Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit - SailNet Community

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Old 03-13-2012
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Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

I did an archive search, but could not find any threads on this subject.

I am looking for a new boat, that i am going to live on.

Local coastal cruising, singlehanding in the San Diego area.

I am presently looking at Hunter 420s. I really like the large aft cabin sleeping areas.

I really don't know much about the differences in the two different cockpit styles, other than it generally gives you a larger sleeping area in the aft.

I appreciate any and all constructive advice.

Blair
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

CC is "dryer" but also presents more windage, especially on the 42/420s...the CC can be more difficult to get in and out of, than an aft cabin. CC presents a more comfortable area for anchoring and living, but again the trade off is as above.

The aft cockpit was "easier" to motor and single hand, you were inches from the stern, could throw dock lines and spring lines, steer easier as you are standing over the rudder, and could judge the nose easily...the CC a little more learning curve on motoring and docking as you are 8-10 feet from the stern and almost that far from the rudder post, so your perspective of turning and such were delayed....

Can't beat the CC for liveaboard, and the Hunter 420 uses the same hull as the 41, as does the Beneteau 36CC and the B 361....i.e. they sail quite well....
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

center cockpit only way to go,much drier in a sea,much more room inside,great for living aboard. the rest of the garbage about easier control can easily be adapted too.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

I think the CC can give a gentler motion, being closer to the center of motion of the hull - but a higher roll moment being higher in the boat. In the smaller sizes you're going to get a taller, higher windage package and while you can get 'privacy' the left over interior space is tighter than the same sized aft cockpit.

Not sure how different the H 420 is, but we know people with the 450 and it's so tall that it's difficult to get off onto those typically low lying floats when docking, they have exceptionally high freeboard. The early FG arches were suspect too, from what I've heard.
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

The advantage of a center cockpit is the space on the back cabins, I mean in standing height. The disadvantages are a higher freeboard and more windage if the boat is smaller than 60ft.

On boats with less than 50ft it is really too much, I mean the space is very good but it comes clearly in prejudice of the sailing performance.

As always it is a question of compromises: If you really want/need that space and are more living on the boat than sailing then we can even justify that in a 37ft boat...but certainly that has nothing to do with a sailing advantage.

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Paulo
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Old 03-13-2012
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

While CC have more living space than aft cockpits as a general rule, the newer boats out there Jeanneua, Benneteua, Catalina aft cockpit boats, are putting in very large aft cabins. So one is not restricted anymore to just CC boats to get the large aft cabin. But in both designs it comes at a price; storage. Cockpit lazzerates are smaller or non-exsistant. Finding place to store dock lines, fenders, extra sails, wash stuff and other gear can be problematic.
Also, CC cockpits are typically very small. Lounging out with more than 3 people, especially when the weather get bad, can also be a concern. With most tables extended out eating with more than 4 people around one will have to find other means to entertain guest.
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

We now have our first centercockpit boat and I like everything about it except the look and the fact that you are islolated and it is harder to help with docking when there are only two (or one) onboard. We looked at a number of aft cockpit boats in the 42 -44 foot range (Swan and Hylas among them) and could not accept the compromise they had chosen to get a decent aft cabin - having a very wide bridge deck (in one case it was 5 or 6' feet from the cockpit well. If you wanted a dodger, which is pretty much a given for extended cruising, you had to go out on deck, around the dodger to get to the companionway.

I found handling not an issue. Coming from a 35' it felt the same, just another 10' following along behind.
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
While CC have more living space than aft cockpits as a general rule, the newer boats out there Jeanneua, Benneteua, Catalina aft cockpit boats, are putting in very large aft cabins. So one is not restricted anymore to just CC boats to get the large aft cabin. But in both designs it comes at a price; storage. Cockpit lazzerates are smaller or non-exsistant. Finding place to store dock lines, fenders, extra sails, wash stuff and other gear can be problematic.
Also, CC cockpits are typically very small. Lounging out with more than 3 people, especially when the weather get bad, can also be a concern. With most tables extended out eating with more than 4 people around one will have to find other means to entertain guest.
Yes you are right but the boats that come with a big aft cabin with standing height are the so called Deck saloons, that should be called instead raised cockpits

In fact the extra height in the saloon, besides give light to the interior demands a raised cockpit and that permits the height in the aft cabin.

The costs are a lot more windage, more steps to go from the cockpit to the saloon, as killarney has referred, more difficult docking (to jump out of the boat) and a position on the cockpit more far away from the boat CG and that means more ample lateral movements and more discomfort.

The Deck saloons and the center cockpit boats have many things in common

Regards

Paulo
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

The other trade off is between entertaining space and sleeping space, generally. Aft cockpits usually have more open salons/galleys, but the cockpit floor impedes the ceiling height in much of aft stateroom. CCs have apartment like aft staterooms, but you lose it in the salon. Very generalized statements.

Since most of our activity is horizontal in the stateroom, with plenty in a corner to stand and dress, we opt for more elbow room with guests. The Deck Salon just gives us tons more room to enjoy on deck. We can sit 12 easily. Most CCs in our size range get maybe 8, even 6. The downside to the huge cockpit is distance to controls, lines, winches, etc.
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Re: Center Cockpit Versus Aft Cockpit

Iasked the same question a while back on a different forum. Here are some responses from that post. Living Aboard Forums • View topic - Aft cockpit or center cockpit
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