Cockpit Centric Sailing - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 01-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Cockpit Centric Sailing

Let me preface this by saying I'm from Florida. I'm spoiled by warm tropical waters and warm weather.

That said...

Why are sailboats designed in such a cockpit centric manner? It seems like there is a lot of wasted deck space for lounging and enjoying the ride. I would love to see more designs use the deck in creative ways.

Sure there are some lines to navigate, but I have to believe a creative designer could add more comfortable seating without sacrificing performance.

What do you think?

Fairwinds, Ryan
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post #2 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

I think it is a safety concern. It's fun to be on the foredeck during the transit down the river (back when such things were allowed*), not so much fun when the seas kick up.

To be on the foredeck at sea, you'd need to be harnessed and tethered; and that takes away a lot of the fun. Having a guest fall overboard would take all the fun away.

I'm sure some of the huge sailboats have foredeck lounges (probably with their own companionway) and I'll bet they are sunken below deck level (like the cockpit) so you have to get thrown out (can't just fall out) and then you land on the side deck and can still grab the lifeline.

Just my $.02 with no research at all.

Ken

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post #3 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

Sailboats are for sailing. Powerboats are for lounging!

Seriously, sailing is about the journey and power boating is about getting there and looking good. Sailing happens in the cockpit.
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post #4 of 21 Old 01-25-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

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Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Sailboats are for sailing. Powerboats are for lounging!

Seriously, sailing is about the journey and power boating is about getting there and looking good. Sailing happens in the cockpit.
I guess that's the source of my question, Tim. The journey could be even better enjoyed by crew, kicking back in a safe place on deck. I'm not promoting getting there fast or looking good. Just a comfy seat on the deck.

It seems like a missed opportunity in boat design to me.

If I weren't trading my Harpoon 5.2 next month, I would have removed the front deck and built a wrap around cushion seating area.

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post #5 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

I think the question is what are you going to be doing with your sailboat.

Dock queen? Sure, set up a lounge on the front, complete with wet bar. Actual sailing? Anything you put up there may end up in your way, it seems. Plus, if you make a recess on the deck for safety, then you cut into headroom belowdecks. I'm not sure there's a great way to compromise on a monohull to do what you're looking for.
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post #6 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

Catamaran's have bow seating, they can because the jib doesn't sweep the bow on them like it does a mono.
Lounging on deck during a tack is a good way to get flogged and flapped over the side.
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post #7 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

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Originally Posted by TheWollard View Post
I guess that's the source of my question, Tim. The journey could be even better enjoyed by crew, kicking back in a safe place on deck. I'm not promoting getting there fast or looking good. Just a comfy seat on the deck.

It seems like a missed opportunity in boat design to me.

If I weren't trading my Harpoon 5.2 next month, I would have removed the front deck and built a wrap around cushion seating area.
The purpose of crew is to grind winches and trim sails!

Should have put a few smiles in my previous post. Did not want to come off so serious
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

I think you need to get into the bigger boats to really get deck space. The thing is.. most smaller boats are what you would call "flush decked" this makes them not only livable below deck, but much more seaworthy than a more open boat would be at their size.

For instance.. this is Charlotte.. a 50foot schooner that was built and sails out of martha's vinyard. As you can see, she has plenty of deck space for being forward under sail.. but in anything more than calm seas, it is going to be a wet ride.

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post #9 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

The deck monkeys, er er crew, are not to lounge. They are to tack, gybe, grind, and keep my glass topped up.

Just sayin'
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post #10 of 21 Old 01-25-2013
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Re: Cockpit Centric Sailing

Conditions permitting, we use every inch of the deck. There's almost always someone lounging against the cabin side on the weather deck. Of course, most of the crew is 6 ft tall or better so the cockpit can be all knees and elbows pretty quick.
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