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Dufour 24 Swooner
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for the sailboat of my dreams, and I've always dreamt of that Pirate-like berth with aft windows. I've seen the Vagabond has it, but don't hear great thing about the rest of the boat. Any favorite boats with master aft berths?
 

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I was aboard a Hylas 70 that had a pretty sweet aft berth.

In all seriousness, I have minimal requirements for the berth. I want a place I can easily stand to dress and a large comfortable mattress. Decent storage is good. Beyond that, its for being horizontal and I don't need a condo master bedroom back there. I much prefer the space be used in the salon or cockpit.
 

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The new Jeanneau DS boats aft huge aft cabins with hull ports, even the 44 foot version,
boat-44DS_interieur_2013112711445328.jpg
It is not the best use if space on a boat that size, but as long as offshore use is not the goal it might be OK.
 

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Old enough to know better
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What is your budget as the listed boats are ranging from 30,000 to 1,000,000 so it really does matter. What is your intent, long distance voyaging, short distance crusing or sitting at a dock?
 

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Dufour 24 Swooner
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Great suggestions so far!
Honestly @miatapaul, I'm looking for what my wife calls my "Boat Porn". I just bought my first boat (a lovely 1975 Dufour 24) but I know it will not be my last and am already trying to identify that "perfect" boat that will be my retirement vessel.

I'm looking for the kind of comfortable craft that can take me around the Caribbean, across the atlantic, and through the Med. Ideally between 100 and 300k (I'm not a rich man) but a key feature I dream of is to wake up after an afternoon nap to the smell and sound of breaking waves wafting through an open window above my head.

I'd like my wife to be there too, and comfortable, which means a full size, square bed (not a v-berth) and centered within the hull. Seems like the aft berth would be the best way to go.

Thanks all!
 

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The Nauticat 37 has an island queen berth with a split mattress that allows a lee cloth to be installed down the middle of the berth.

It is one of the few island queen berths that I consider sleepable under way.

 

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bell ringer
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I think just about any mid 40s center cockpit boat has a great aft master far as being a "real" bedroom goes. Even on most larger boats the aft berth is the basically the same after 45' as the extra length goes into other areas, like too much guest space so you can't get them to leave ;)
 

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I'm looking for the sailboat of my dreams, and I've always dreamt of that Pirate-like berth with aft windows. I've seen the Vagabond has it, but don't hear great thing about the rest of the boat. Any favorite boats with master aft berths?
Well, sounds like you have plenty of time to fine-tune your search... Wouldn't surprise me if you wind up modifying your priorities as you gain more experience, and do more sailing and cruising on a few different boats...

I think as you gain some experience offshore, you might come to appreciate that those "aft windows" in the transom may not be such a great idea... :)

Even aft staterooms have their downsides... They rarely afford a great place to sleep while underway, unless you crave the sound of an autopilot grinding away underneath your pillow... And, in the tropics, aft staterooms can often be a challenge to ventilate well. If you're relying on natural ventilation, I almost always wind up sleeping forward on aft stateroom boats, anyway...

bottom line, don't let windows placed below deck level dictate your search for your dream boat, I think such an approach is unlikely to end well...

:))
 

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you can do a tayana 48, and add the windows yourself.
An island queen without lee clothes is a nightmare underway. The pullman can be just as bad.

I did a delivery of a Hylas 46 to St Baths from Newport, RI. It was impossible to sleep in any berth. Its layout was similar to the Tayana.
 

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Take your wife to sea and ask her to sleep in the big bed in the aft cabin and I'll bet you'll do the rest of your offshore passages without her. The huge aft cabin sells well at the boat show and may be comfortable at anchor but as several people have pointed out they are a lousy way to get any rest at sea.

We have a nice double berth just forward of the mast which is great at anchor. When we go to sea we use the aft cabin quarter berths (we have two either side). I actually prefer the top one even though it has only has 8" or so from nose to overhead (lying on your back). With the lee cloth up it's a very snug place to be when the sea is running strong.

One of the things you will find about sleeping underway offshore is that you often need to wedge yourself into a position so that your body stops rolling about. That's nearly impossible to do in a big aft cabin center line double bed.

As for "windows in the transom"....IMHO, ports in the hull of any sort have no place in a offshore boat.

What's really important in picking a boat is to know what you want to do with it....if you're going to cruise weekends near home or seasonally in the Caribbean you pick one kind of boat. If you're going to cross oceans, you pick another. A few designs will do both, but it's a smaller number than many people want to admit.

BR completed her third Atlantic crossing a few weeks ago. One of the guys in the crew is a very experienced ocean racer / skipper / owner. He walked the docks in Mendelo, Cape Verde looking at the 50 or so boats that were prepping for the crossing when we were there. In his view the vast majority of them were not suitable for ocean crossings. It's true that 90+% of when will attempt the trade wind crossing and, in all probability, all of them will make it. But crossing an ocean in even a moderately well-built production boat is not with out risk, as was demonstrated this summer with the loss of Cheeki Rafiki (a Beneteau 40 something) with all hands. My friend races his Beneteau 44 to Bermuda and in several other North American ocean races. He doesn't think his boat is not suitable for ocean crossings. Three days or so to Bermuda is one thing. A 20 day passage that puts you 1200-1500 miles from any help is another thing entirely.

So my advice would be to figure out what you want to do and buy a boat that's suited to that purpose. If you want to do mostly coastal cruising that would include a trip to the Med, buy a coastal cruising boat with a big double bed and windows in the transom and ship the boat to Europe.
 

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Catalina 400 MKII
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One of the reasons why we bought the Catalina 400 is the large aft cabin, with a double bed with access from both sides. Since we do coastal sailing, it is very easy to use. I like an aft cockpit, as opposed to a center cockpit, so my boat was best suited to my needs. The bed does not have a lot of head room, but is comfortable for us.

One modification that I have heard about is to install a divider in the bed which allows the use of lee cloths to make a true sea bed(s). I can think of several ways that this can be done. I'm still thinking about how I would do it on my boat. I would have this done if I planned to go offshore.

As to the thread drift about production boats vs. custom boats ("... even a well build production boat is not without risk..."). All boats on the ocean are risky. All small boats (less than 60 ft) even more so. This topic is so beat to death. The appropriateness of a craft for a specific voyage is much too complex to be addressed by such general statements. Posting about specific models, or specific modifications, or specific preparations is really helpful.

Back to the original post. Yes, there are a lot of larger aft cabin yachts that can make excellent cruisers. Some are ready to go. Some may not fit your needs, but some may be modified to do so.
 

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Bundle board works better than leeclothes on any double berth. Have two great sea berths in saloon and a double in a quarterberth on my boat. In actual usage try not to use the bundle board. It's easier to get in and out of berth without it. You can wedge in as only front of quarter berth is open so not necessary. The forward island queen is my wife's favorite berth but I think any berth forward of the mast works only when the boats not moving.
Points made about sea berths are right on the money. Best berth is always the leeward saloon berth. Least motion and your not pinned to the leecloth. Second best if engine is not on is a small double quarter-berth.
The big double quarterberths on a lot of current boats seem too big even with a long body pillow.
 

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Schooner Captain
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An island queen without lee clothes is a nightmare underway. The pullman can be just as bad.

I did a delivery of a Hylas 46 to St Baths from Newport, RI. It was impossible to sleep in any berth. Its layout was similar to the Tayana.
I bet, we have twin aft cabins with a 3rd in midships. great sleeping everywhere!
I would not give up the 3 cabins for a centerline bed, unless it was a king :p
 
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