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Old 10-03-2016, 16:25   #31
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Re: Flush Deck down sides?

The older S&S designs are deeper drafted and whether flush deck or not, they all seem to handle similarly. Reading what others say above about the S&S Swans reminds me of a friend's mid-50's era 49' S&S wood yawl. It has a cabin trunk but handling is much the same. They did a Transpac a few years ago and said "never again" on that boat. While very seaworthy, just not so comfortable as other bluewater vessels.

Flush Deck/ Raised Deck in general:

We sail a raised deck boat 54' on deck. It's an old (1930 SS Crocker) design so low freeboard compared to today's designs. It was designed to accommodate the 6'4" tall original owner--so has 6'6" headroom in the living areas. Ours is shallow draft (for its size) at 6'4" draft (design draft 6') and we essentially have very little bilge and very narrow sole. Loads of outboard storage and wide berths because of the shallow draft and raised deck.

We love LOVE all the deck space of our raised deck boat. The jacklines run fairly far inboard and we run breastlines (extra lifeline at chest height) to hold onto so we can walk forward quickly rather than crawl. It's a good practice for anyone to have breastlines if they can do so on their boat.

In our case, the midships and aft area is raised and the foredeck (first 17 ft of the boat) is flush deck but often referred to as recessed by people who have raised deck boats. There is a 16" step-up across the boat at that point to the raised deck. You can see in the included picture--raised deck area has hull ports above the clamp/rubrail and foredeck has hull ports below the shelf/rubrail. Portholes are often underwater especially the forward ones. With big seas, the large rubrail (about 6" sticking out from the boat) deflects water amazingly well. If we have boarding seas going to windward, they go onto the foredeck and drain at the freeing ports in front of the raised deck. They hit the front face of that raised deck with a lot of force and while we've seen the water splash up into the rig maybe 20' up, surprisingly little water makes it onto the raised deck and the cockpit itself is dry in those conditions.

When large seas are beam on or aft we can have boarding seas to the midships area. They wash across the deck. We store a 17 ft canoe on the port side midships with room to walk outboard of it and it is the biggest impediment to the deck being clear for the seas washing across. We fully expected to lose the canoe in at least two different gales with breaking waves upon us but somehow it's managed to stay with us and undamaged.

We have 3 low traditional butterfly hatches midships that provide great light and ventilation and that amazingly don't leak (if they're properly secured) even when waves are washing across them.

There is a small (for the boat size) low pilothouse called a "charthouse" 8' x 8' and about 4' tall right in front of the cockpit. We can steer from inside it. It and the 8" cockpit combings keep the large and deep cockpit very dry in most conditions. In big seas off the Oregon coast during a gale we were getting cockpit-filling waves and were ever so thankful for our six large cockpit drains. Two of those are above the seat level and I never thought they'd see use--but they did.

I love flush deck boats (and the lower freeboard raised deck boats) and would think you'd enjoy all the things we like about ours. Since we do have that bit of a charthouse to hide from winds behind, it's a bit different than what you're considering. Even so, the deckspace is awesome and I think makes for a safer boat. On a wood boat like ours, "raised deck" is not quite the same as a fiberglass boat. In either case, the structure at the deck/hull interface is really important to understand and to be very strong.





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Old 10-03-2016, 18:19   #32
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Re: Flush Deck down sides?

Your boat is beautiful. I'm thinking I'd have to use s cabin covering canopy for a flush deck design.
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Old 10-03-2016, 22:51   #33
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Re: Flush Deck down sides?

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Originally Posted by Schooner Chandlery View Post



Agree, great looking boat. Where were the pics taken?
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Old 10-03-2016, 23:19   #34
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Re: Flush Deck down sides?

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Agree, great looking boat. Where were the pics taken?

In Raccoon Straight in San Francisco Bay and near Reid Glacier in Alaska.


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Old 07-11-2016, 13:51   #35
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Re: Flush Deck down sides?

FYI:
I just started a new discussion topic thread on CF that is focused on a general discussion of Flush Deck Boats.

Here is a link:

Flush Deck Boats Illustrated Guide

Flush Deck Boats Illustrated Guide

I have read all of the comments in this thread, and invite you all to participate in the new thread. IF you have posted a lengthy comment in this thread, I invite you to copy/paste your comments into the new thread.

Why a new thread on a similar topic?
Because the focus of the new thread is not on "down sides" and will include both positive and negative aspects of Flush Deck boats, along with photos and information about many FD boats.

The new thread is NOT limited to the needs/desires/budget of a single CF member or boat. It is more broad in scope and open to posts on ANY FD boat.

I hope you will enjoy it too.
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:15   #36
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Re: Flush Deck down sides?

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
If you're looking at flush decked boats be aware of the location of the hull/deck joint. The pic of the Contest 36 above, it looks like the joint is at the rubrail down some ways from the actual corner of the hull/deck. This is a very weak location for this joint. Contact with hard objects imparts more of a bending force at the joint, more easily damaged than when its actually at the corner of the hull/deck.
With all due respect this is completely false and the joint is subject to no more forces that a raised deck. In the case of the Contest 36 the joint is an overlap rabbeted one with the thickness at the joint over 1". The hull and deck are glassed together. I've had the boat 31 years and it's been subject to all manner of forces including a lee dock with 25+ knots. Never had any damage. The joint is covered by a 1 1/4 x 2" teak rub rail which is *sacrificial* and mine is being replaced after 31 years.
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Old 07-11-2016, 14:44   #37
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Re: Flush Deck down sides?

What is a Hull-Deck joint? Gilana is all one, all the way round but its Steel so You don't have to snap the lid shut and then burp it.
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