Yes, clearly we are speaking from different perspectives. The only open ocean sailing I have done is on race boats where there are no dodgers, and the cockpits get wet.(mind you we aren't in the habit of burying rails and punching through waves!) If fact 90% of all the sailing I have done has been on boats without dodgers at all, so I have to chuckle when people wring their hands over getting a bit of water in the cockpit! Whatever do you do when it rains?
The boats I raced for 30 years on foredeck (wet) were all fiberglass below except for the sole. Cushions were vinyl covered. Bedding was double-bagged and we had plenty of double-bagged towels as well. When we ran out of dry stuff we coped.
That's entirely different from a cruising boat with rugs and maybe carpet, nice outfit below, and especially if it is someone's home, or available for private charter.
For small crews and long passages, including day after day droning down the ICW, water in the cockpit is a big deal. It soaks books, kills personal electronics, and makes the watch miserable. In those circumstances it isn't a race and you don't have the benefits of commiseration with a good-sized watch. Of such things are divorce made.
If you are worried about getting splashed when a wave washes the length of your deck, and hits your dodger with enough force for significant water to come through and splash you and make you uncomfortable for an entire watch, I would suggest that you are not dressed appropriately for the conditions!
Run seven to ten days and your opinion will change. Look at the difference between boats in Nanny Cay or BEYC with foulies hung everywhere and crew making run after run to the laundry and those with happy crew and happy owners sitting at the pool bar.
As for professionals saying the friction is not negligible, I think the fact that the vast majority of boats built today are rigged with lines aft, including race boats where being able to hoist and drop sails quickly and smoothly and make adjustments quickly and smoothly is paramount puts that opinion into question!
Not relevant for cruising boats. Lines are run aft because people THINK it is "better" and it sells. The same reasoning has led to big open salons with few handholds. Not relevant for race boats when the foredeck monkey is at the mast jumping the halyard for sail changes. Why do you think I have a sailbag that fits three sets of foulies? On a race boat you don't care that the cabin top is dominated by four winches to tweak one line or another.
The convenience and versatility of aft lines easily outweighs any increased friction in almost every case. Perhaps some professionals are just a little bit set in their old ways?
Ah. So the increased friction DOES exist. It's just that Jon and I and perhaps Andrew are stuck in old ways, despite the listings of current technology we carry on our own boats. Despite miles under our keels on modern boats. Okay, fine. We're old fogies. Our advice isn't applicable to real sailors. Our long won scars aren't relevant to your needs. That's all okay with us.
Jon and I only know each other through these and other forums. Yet you hear the same sort of advice from both of us. Jon and I are looking forward to finally meeting this year. We'll get a picture sitting in rocking chairs, swaddled in afghans, sipping watered down rum watching new(er) sailors make the mistakes we have made and learned from instead of benefiting from our counsel and moving forward to make new and creative mistakes.
By no means do I suggest that I have all the answers. I learn something new nearly every day. "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
When Jon and I agree I suggest there is value in listening whether you go your own way or not. When Jon and I disagree and hold a public discourse with contributions from many others there is probably yet more to be gleaned. I have had the benefit of participating in a number of discussions with and between luminaries of the sailing community during my tenure with SSCA and I learn a lot listening to conversations between people like Evans Starzinger and Nigel Calder. While Jon and I are not in the category of such as they we do have much to offer and are happy to share what we have learned with the sailing and cruising communities. It is up to you to decide if what we offer has value to you or not.