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  #11  
Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

IMHO, center cockpits really don't come into their own until you get up around 50-55 feet... In most boats much smaller than that, the tradeoffs of the result of designing the boat from the inside-out, and around the accommodation plan, are just too glaring, and often represent a significant compromise in the safety and security of the cockpit, and access to the deck...

Not to difficult to imagine what might happen to the occupants of the cockpit/fly bridge on this 50-footer, for example, during a knockdown... or, how much riskier the maneuver from cockpit to the deck in heavy weather would become, compared to doing so from most aft cockpits...



A few other downsides of CC designs that may not have been mentioned so far...

Because they are so often the result of the desire to increase interior volume, virtually all that volume is often dedicated to accommodation space. Those center island queen berths in the aft stateroom often extend right up to the transom, thus sacrificing that precious lazarette/sail locker space for stowage of deck gear that is a traditional feature of aft cockpit boats...

Many CC boats are likely to feature hydraulic steering... For those who might occasionally derive pleasure from taking the helm under sail, the lack of feedback or "feel" from hydraulic steering, is not a good thing...

From the helm of many CC boats, so close to the mast, it can be very difficult to view the jib's telltales... Again, for those who might actually enjoy sailing, not a good thing...

CC boats increase the difficulty, and reduce the effectiveness, of the use of windvane self-steering... A HUGE drawback in an offshore boat under 50-55', IMO...

A matter of personal taste, no doubt - but again, in most boats under 50', the aesthetics of the boat are likely to be seriously challenged by a CC design... Higher freeboard as a rule, then the additonal height of the cockpit and boom, slap on the de rigueur full enclosure/oxygen tent representing the Cherry on Top, many CC boats wind up acquiring that Wedding Cake look... That's simply not my style - adding height to a boat's lines, as opposed to length, rarely results in a good look...

Given a bit more time, I know I can think of several more of my own reasons for favoring an aft to a center cockpit, in the size range the OP is talking about... Now, if we're talking about something like an Oyster 625, that becomes a different conversation, altogether... (grin)
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Old 12-26-2012
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
A few other downsides of CC designs that may not have been mentioned so far...

Many CC boats are likely to feature hydraulic steering... For those who might occasionally derive pleasure from taking the helm under sail, the lack of feedback or "feel" from hydraulic steering, is not a good thing...

From the helm of many CC boats, so close to the mast, it can be very difficult to view the jib's telltales... Again, for those who might actually enjoy sailing, not a good thing...
These are very good points that I have missed. Also the limit the use of windvane self-steering is a major disadvantage that I don't know if I can compromised
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

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Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
These are very good points that I have missed. Also the limit the use of windvane self-steering is a major disadvantage that I don't know if I can compromised
I can't imagine why that would be true, you just raise the vane until it has clear air, same as you do on a aft cockpit with bimini and dodger up.
I have five steps off my stern, toe rail to water - it's not that much higher than a aft cockpit.

Now a sugar scoop transom - that would be a problem.

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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

In 1988 I sailed a Moody 34 CC in Turkey that really did not have a lot of the disadvantages that Jon mentioned. It had one big down side: while the engine access in the passage way was great, the dipstick was on the other side of the engine. You could not see it.
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

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the de rigueur full enclosure/oxygen tent
Love it. Especially apropos when one considers the typical age of the owners who have them.

I have to admit that in a climate like ours, they do extend the sailing season to year round but they ARE unquestionably fugly
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

Thank you for your responses and insight, everyone... and for pictures of some very cool looking boats! There are some new ideas for me to process, but it looks like I will remain an aft cockpit guy.

I hope everyone had a merry Christmas and will enjoy an excellent new year!!
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

Great thread. This is very good information for me, since I am in the market for my next boat. I'm currently sailing a Morgan 22. I want something in the 30 - 37 range for weekend coastal sailing. A few times a year I want to go out for a week at a time. Two adults and two kids.

Basically, in a nutshell I want a comfortable family cruiser that will allow us to take along friends for daysails. I want room for everyone to sit, so a tiny little cockpit is not something I'm after.

This thread has got me looking at center cockpits for the first time. Since this boat will be a toy, not my home, my budget for it is going to keep me in older production boats.

Feedback?
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

In the 30-37 range for what you've in mind it's pretty hard to beat the Catalina 34/36.. a wide range of price availability depending on year, essentially the same boats regardless of your budget. Good, roomy cockpits and plenty of room for 2 and 2, plus even the possibility of bringing friends for the 2 kids (always a good plan if you have space)
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

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Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
The Chief in Charge on the USNS Apache that I replaced was taken off as a loss to the Navy because his back was ruined when he slid head down to the foot of his rack which was oriented head to bow, feet to stern. Lee cloths mean nothing in the event of a huge wave, collision etc.
I had a waist belt installed in the rack - same as I used on my first ship - a submarine.
Ha, and I got so many scoffing comments.

http://www.sailnet.com/forums/seaman...rway-risk.html



I'm assuming that the waist belt means you have to sleep on your back. Yes?
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Re: Are Centre Cockpits Good?

Thanks for the reply, Faster.

The Catalina 34/36 look perfect. Just wondering if a center cockpit is something that is enjoyable for easy sailing or rather something to be avoided. Browing yacht world turned up a slew of center cockpits like the Oday CC model that look really nice. Also ran across an S2 9.1 center cockpit. But with no firsthand experience with CC models I don't know if something like that would be a poor fit.
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