Originally Posted by Jeff_H
Can someone explain why the head forward with a pullman berth behind is appealing. Maybe its me, but I have never understood the appeal of a pullman berth or having the head all the way in the bow. Underway, there is too much motion to make using the forward head comfortable, and the pullman berth is only a seaberth on one tack. At anchor its hard to get ventilation and headroom in a forward head and one person can't have to climb into or out of the bunk without having the other person have to move.
You raise some good points. I've been contemplating this a bit lately, since some of the larger boats we are considering have pullman berths. Previously I have not been a huge proponent of pullman arrangements, but my thinking has recently evolved somewhat.
In my mind, a pullman cabin with forward head in the bows begins to make sense when the boat is large enough to have a second aft day head. The forward "ensuite" head in the bows, properly designed, can offer a bit more privacey and a separate shower stall, which are desriable features. While underway, the aft day head can be used and as a bonus offers a wet-locker for foulies.
You're right about the difficulty for two people using the pullman berth -- the person outboard needs to have the larger bladder for sure. But it's still a much better bunk than many other bunk arrangements. At least the inboard person has incredibly easy in/out access, and the outboard person will too once the inboard person shifts out of the way. Not to mention the great headroom and airy feeling. The same cannot be said for most double quarter berths, many aft centerline or athwartship berths, or for that matter many v-berths.
I also feel a pullman berth can be fitted with a leecloth or board to make it a more useful bunk underway on either tack, but to me the appeal of the pullman is primarily at anchor. (Underway, the best seabunks are those positioned midships or further aft that run parrallel to the fore and aft axis so your head and feet don't end up elevated higher than the other depending on which tack you're on.)
And, as someone who sails with a boat load of children, I see the pullman berth as sort of a play pen where kids can evacuate the mainsalon to play board games, cards, read etc, and still have some headroom. So, different boats for different folks, I suppose.
In my experience the pullman berth is much less common than the standard v-berth. I think the HC33 is a rarity in that size range. You might also take a look at Bob Perry's nice Saga 35 -- I think the pullman berth was optional on them. The pullman was defintiely available (standard, I think) on the Saga 43, with a v-berth option.