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  #41  
Old 03-15-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Nope. I can keep the boat moving in 2 kts. We're not dead in the water. Come sail with me in a Chesapeake summer any time you like.
We can generally keep our girl moving in sub four knots although a real speedster will still pass us by.

Funnily enough, and this is probably some fault of mine, its six - twelve that i have the most trouble with. I'm sure its a trim thing but I never seem to be happy with performance in that wind speed range.
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Old 03-16-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

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Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
Where they come up short is stowage. I have never seen a CC boat that had anything close to adequate stowage, let alone a GOOD amount of it. Take a look at the CC boats on YW and take note of the number of substantial deck boxes on them.

Every CC boat I have known was optimized for maximum living space at the cost of significant sailing practicalities - where does the bagged spinnaker go? Spare or small jib? Where do you stow spare sheets & docklines? shore power cords? Paddles for the dinghy? Crab trap? Etc. etc.
Spinnaker - forward sail locker
Spare jib (100 or 135, whatever is not on the furler) - forward sail locker
Staysail - forward sail locker unless hanked on and bagged
Spare sheets - forward sail locker
Docklines - cockpit locker
Power cords - cockpit locker
Paddles - lashed inside the dinghy upside down on the foredeck
Crab trap - don't have one
Spare anchor - forward sail locker
Dive gear, life jackets, oil, fishing gear, cleaning products, spare anchor rode, passerale, yadda yadda yadda - cockpit locker

HR 40 center cockpit liveaboard
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  #43  
Old 03-16-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

I apologize that this is a long explanation and that it is a draft an article which I wrote for another purpose:

I would suggest that the center cockpit versus aft cockpit discussion is another one of those topics for which there is no one universally right answer and yet it still seems to elicit near religious faith in one or the other view point. My sense is that there are cases where a center cockpit works well and cases which make almost no sense to any fair and impartial judge.

As someone who has designed the interiors for both, I will start with the practicality issue. When you design a boat, and if you start by assuming that the hull form is controlled by the hydrodynamic needs of the boat, the physical dimensions of the human body are so controlling that that for any given length of boat there are relatively few layouts which balance being efficient in their use of space with providing reasonable sized amenities. And while it is true that sometimes the shape of the hull can be tweaked to improve accommodations some, there is a practical limit on which layout will fit and which won't fit without compromising sailing ability.

To explain, as a general rule, designers try to save the best real estate for interior accommodations. Prime real estate needs enough bilge depth and a location near enough to the center of the boat to get adequate headroom in the passageways and standing work areas, and enough beam to get reasonable sized bunks, or dinettes, or heads or galleys plus the necessary passageways.

This goal of preserving prime real estate and not altering hull forms, begins to set a practical minimum size for a center cockpit boat. Since there is a practical minimum size to an aft cabing, as a center cockpit boat gets smaller, the aft cabin pushes the cockpit location proportionately further and further forward, so that the cockpit and passage to the aft cabin are occupying some of the most valuable real estate in the boat. And since there is a practical useful limit to the width of a cockpit, this in turn results in wasting an excessive amount of this prime real estate for items (engine compartments, sail lockers, narrow side decks and so on) which could and should be located in narrower portions of the boat.

Similarly, as a boat gets smaller, it is difficult to obtain adequate headroom in the passageway to the aft cabin without artificially altering the cockpit and deck. For this reason many smaller center cockpit boats eliminate the passageways and become ‘walk overs’ rather than ‘walk-throughs’ as the literature used to call them.

From a motion comfort standpoint, cockpit seats should be as low as possible and still have adequate drainage and vision forward, ideally at or below the height of side decks. As center cockpit boats get smaller the cockpit seats are typically raised to provide a little more headroom in the passage. And as the seats get raised, so do the occupants so that they experience more violent motion both in terms of amount of roll angle but also the whiplash at the end of each roll.

It is for that reason that you often hear that small center cockpit version have poorer motion comfort than their aft cockpit sisters. This may be seen as being offset in part by having less pitching motion, but pitching, especially near the stern as compared to the bow, tends to be the gentler of the two motions.

As boats get longer, there is less of a need to raise the seat tops for headroom in the passageway and less of a need to preserve key real estate since more length of boat has an adequate width for accommodations. In a practical sense, it is very hard to design a center cockpit boat that is much below 42 feet that has adequate passageways, proper sized berths, and which does not have a deck plan or hull design compromised to make the design work. This is especially true if the designer includes enclosed forward and aft heads since the aft head almost by necessity ends up under the cockpit seats. Once the boat gets smaller than around 42 feet, without altering the hull and deck adversely, the passageway becomes overly confined and more difficult to use.

In terms of wetness, because the cockpit on a center cockpit is proportionately closer to the bow, passengers in center-cockpits that are otherwise unprotected, experience more spray and solid water than make it aft.

Center cockpit boats often require more complex and higher maintenance steering gear. They sometimes require more complex deck plans as well with turning blocks and slant base winches making ergonomics and low friction harder to achieve.

With the extra companionway, and more opportunities for operating portlights, ventilation tends to be better on center cockpit boats especially in the aft cabin.

The storage issue is one that is more or a liability on smaller center cockpit boats. Walk through center cockpit boats simply have more circulation area. There is no way around that since there is no way to double load the passageway to the aft cabin. And if a head and or berths tuck under the cockpit seats then more bulk storage is lost. It’s just the way it is.

But as boats get larger, these issues fade away quickly and at some point the sheer length of travel between the cockpit and the main cabin make an aft cockpit less practical.

There is a perception that performance sailors buy aft cabins and only cruisers buy center cockpit designs. I am not sure that is all that true, but I will say that from a performance sailing standpoint, lower friction and direct feel steering is easier to achieve with an aft cockpit, and it is easier to get a clear view up the slot without craning your neck while still being in a spot where you can see the leech telltales on the mainsail from an aft cockpit.

So in the end, like so many sailing decisions, the choice of center cockpit versus aft cockpit comes down to personal taste, sailing objectives and aesthetic sense. Now that we put that one to rest, does anyone want to debate which is inherently better vanilla or strawberry ice cream?
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  #44  
Old 03-16-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Now that we put that one to rest, does anyone want to debate which is inherently better vanilla or strawberry ice cream?
That is not open to debate - vanilla. You can always add strawberries or anything else to vanilla but picking them out of strawberry gets VERY tedious.
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  #45  
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

Yeah, but try picking the vanilla beans out of vanilla.

By the way, did you know that vanilla is the only edible agricultural use of orchids.
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  #46  
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Yeah, but try picking the vanilla beans out of vanilla.

By the way, did you know that vanilla is the only edible agricultural use of orchids.

I didn't even know it CAME from orchids. I just checked with my foodie wife and as I expected, she did know.

At least there is SOME good provided by those vile plants. The description of them by General Sternwood in "The Big Sleep" perfectly describes my own attitude to those particular parasites.

Knowing that they provide vanilla puts them in a whole new, more favourable, light though.
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

....oooohhhh... thread drift... more like torrent....
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  #48  
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

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....oooohhhh... thread drift... more like torrent....
Thread Skookumchuck?
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Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

Greeting all. I mostly lurk on this forum, but this topic has certainly caught my attention as I have had my eye on on a few CC models as I am intrigued with the "Aft Cabin" aspect.

Most of the references in this thread point to some high end/larger CC designs, but I'm wondering if any out there can comment or has experience on some of these specific models that are more in reach of the "budget sailor". Particularily sailing characteristics, and operating under the general acknowledgment that most find the cc's to be "ugly" (though I don't find a couple of them ugly, especially the S2 9.2C)

S2 9.2C

Irwin 37 CC

Morgan 41 Out Island

Coronado 35

O'Day 32

O'Day 37

Any others I'm missing?

Thanks,

Mark
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Old 03-17-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

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Originally Posted by looking4wind View Post
Greeting all. I mostly lurk on this forum, but this topic has certainly caught my attention as I have had my eye on on a few CC models as I am intrigued with the "Aft Cabin" aspect.

Most of the references in this thread point to some high end/larger CC designs, but I'm wondering if any out there can comment or has experience on some of these specific models that are more in reach of the "budget sailor". Particularily sailing characteristics, and operating under the general acknowledgment that most find the cc's to be "ugly" (though I don't find a couple of them ugly, especially the S2 9.2C)

S2 9.2C

Irwin 37 CC

Morgan 41 Out Island

Coronado 35

O'Day 32

O'Day 37

Any others I'm missing? Thanks, Mark
I'm one of the eccentrics (some would say weirdo's) who actually LIKE the Coronado 35 (and 41). I've never been on a similar sized boat that had so much useful accommodation, with headroom everywhere. I also like the flush deck, a LOT. They are a bit "motorsailorish" - overly small rig and REALLY suffer from a lack of stowage, however the big deck can easily hold a couple of deck boxes that double as seats. Less easily corrected is very small tankage.

For a dockside liveaboard and local coastal sailing they would be high on my list of choices. They come REALLY cheap too.

One thing about their aesthetics - is absolutely essential to have the original style broad stripe of colour that runs through the hull ports - they are pretty ugly without it - it really makes a difference to their appearance. A band of the same colour around the moulded recess on the outside top of the cockpit coaming improves their appearance as well. With the stripes they look a lot less dumpy.
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