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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 04-22-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

My wife and I are in the process of searching for a vessel to take a full-time open-ended Caribbean cruise, and who knows where else. Wehave noticed it is very hard(or nonexistant) to find cockpit specs; bench length/width, sole width, that sort of thing. That being said I am asking who has a comfortable cockpit and why? This can be your boat, someone elses, new, old, does not matter. We are just looking for boats with a livable cockpit. LOA 30-35'' but any will do.
Dave
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Old 04-23-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

A comfortable cockpit is not necessarily a seaworthy one. For true offshore sailing, you want as small a cockpit as possible so when it fills up with a breaking wave, you won''t endanger your boat with the added weight. Very large scuppers can help, but 1000 pounds of water takes a looong time to drain. But since you will be anchored more often than sailing, a compromise is in order.

My 30 foot boat had cockpit seats that were 6''3'''' long - I could easily lie down and even nap. The seats can''t be too wide or they won''t be comfortable. The depth of your cockpit may depend on the height of you boom, but you want to make sure you can see over your dodger if you have one. Shallower holds less water, but make sure the bridge deck is high enough to prevent water from entering the cockpit if you get pooped. Deeper cockpits make you feel safer at sea and less vulnerable.

The coamings should be angled out slightly and high enough to give you a sense of security. You really need to spend some time n a cockpit to see how it fits you.

I think cushions add more to a cockpit than anything else. Get 2-4 inch closed cell foam or laminated open cell/closed cell and get some comfortable sunbrella covered pillows and you can always get comfortable.
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Old 04-23-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

Fourknots,
Thanks for the information. Curious, what sort of boat do you have?
Dave
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Old 04-24-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

For years, I had a 30 foot sloop and sailed it to Florida from Alaska. Recently bought an older 45 foot Ven de Stadt cutter (kids are bigger now) that we live on. It has a small aft cabin with a small deep cockpit, that I wasn''t sure how I''d like until a recent trip with strong winds. Now I really like the cockpit - it feels very secure. It''s not big enough to entertain in, but heck, that''s what the deck is for, right?
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Old 05-03-2003
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Comfortable cockpits

We have a very comfortable cockpit with nice closed cell foam cushions...but the best thing we ever did was add a full enclosure to the bimini/dodger...it lets us sail comfortably in all sorts of weather and ands another room to the "house" with a great view...even on rainy, windy days.
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Old 07-13-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

Ahoy, comfortable is relative. Me vessel is for sure the most uncomfortable cockpit ever devised for port or entertaining. Its too deep the seats are too short and narrow and to open a hatch requires any one to stand out of the way. However when it counts I would not trade it for all the comfort in the world. A rogue wave recently pitched me headlong into this cockpit from the cabin top and since I wasn''t wearing any life line or safety gear it''s very design saved my life and my vessel. There is nothing more to be said. Pirate Of Pine Island
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Old 07-26-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

Speaking of biminis, I had a thought earlier today and I was wondering if anyone has tried this or if anyone has an opinion on it:
I have a sort of canopy bimini which attaches to a hard dodger. The material for it is about shot, and, while looking for material to replace it, I discovered something called Shade Screen... its a heavy mesh netting, sold at plant and garden stores, for making shaded canopies over plants. I think itd make a wonderful awning/bimini, but I dont really know much about the stuff or if there would be a disadvantage to using it. Some friends on another boat use it for hatch screening, with good results. Any opinions?
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Old 07-27-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

Don''t know about it as a long term solution, but you won''t get any water protection from it (i.e., when it rains, you''ll get wet).
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Old 08-11-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

The Morgan40 cockpit is tough to get around in, mainly due to the mizzenmast being right in the middle of anything and everything you would want to do. The steering post is cumbersome as well. Thankfully there are plenty of rigging wires to grab as you contort yourself between the benches. If I had a choice to custom-design it, I''d get rid of the aftmost lazarette and replace it with a fold-down seat so you had room to stand behind the wheel and let the bloodflow back to your butt.

One thing that makes it a lot more bearable, though, are cheapo stadium seats from Wal-Mart. They are similar in design to Crazy Creek chairs that you find in yuppie camping shops and catalogs, and they only cost $10 compared to $60 and up for the others. They have a very important insulated drink-can pocket in front, with a zippered pouch for keys or whatnot and a mesh-backed pocket on the back support that works great for your charts or books. Not only that, but the butt cushion on the wal-mart ones is thicker.
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Old 11-29-2003
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Comfortable cockpits

Juat a note about cockpits, not too wide. was on a horrible trip across the gulf on a heeling boat in rough conditions with just such a cockpit. while it was great for moving around at dock/anchor, heeling over you had to sit on the low side or the sole because there was nowhere to brace with your feet, the opposite seat being too far away (and i am 6'' 2". mark
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