Proper Sail Lockers on Cruisers - Opinions Please
Just sharing an observation and looking for opinions...
I have been studying interior layouts of a variety of boats between 30' and 50' and noticing that so few have a proper sail locker in the bow with direct access from the deck. I am new to sailing however it seems this feature would be worthwhile as a place to stow the multitude of gear associated with a long passage (sails + everything else) as well as a proper place to hang foulies.
I am inclined to think that sufficient provision could be made for sleeping arrangements via pullman berths in the aft. Am I discounting too heavily the value of the extra living space at the front of the boat? Is a sail locker too spartan a feature for cruising weeks or months at sea?
Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!
True enough, most mass-production cruisers lack sail lockers, let alone those located on the forward deck. Seems the advent of furling headsails (and even mains) has lead many to rely on the furler to "change" sails. Some of the custom, classic, and truly dedicated blue water cruisers still have a proper sail locker.
I have a large sail locker under the v-berth. Although there is a hatch overhead I wouldn't call it "direct access" from the deck. I have space for whichever headsail isn't on the furler (a 100 and a 135), a staysail, a spinnaker, some odd canvas for awnings, all my tools, and a director's chair. The v-berth opens up to the sides for access and I can launch the spinnaker through the hatch. It works well.
When going offshore I rig the staysail before heading out. I fly the 100 offshore and switch to the 135 for Chesapeake summers. The spinnaker is really the only sail that goes in and out underway.
On small cruising boats (less than 45ft) the interior space is a priority and most only uses the sails that are rigged so a dedicated sail locker is just a waste of space.
As has have been said makes more sense in racers that are always changing the front sail. One of the modern few small sized cruisers (41ft) that has a good sail locker on the front of the boat with outside access is the Comet 41. The sail locker has space for a big geenaker and a storm sail with some space to spare.
Charter the competitive Comet 41through Solent Yacht Brokers of Cowes
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