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Old 22-04-2017, 12:19   #1
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Aft Cabin pros cons

Hello all, I am currently in the market for a new sailboat anywhere in the 40-50' range. Not sure yet, just been walking around the insides and the decks of boats at boat shows. I will be sailing with just myself and my special lady friend. I'm planning on going wherever the wind blows so I don't want to have any limitations on where I might be sailing to. My question pertains to the master suite that some vessels have in the aft cabin. If I were to be doing some circumnavigating would it be wiser to have that area for storage and just utilize the forward cabin for sleeping, or have people found storage isn't much of a problem and if u want the aft cabin to just go for it? Also when u are at sail is the aft cabin preferred for sleeping over the forward cabin for the person off watch or visa versa? I might as well throw one more question out there that I have, are only two burners on the stove not enough or just fine? Has anyone been frustrated while trying to cook with only two burners and wished they had a third or fourth?
Thanks all
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Old 22-04-2017, 13:05   #2
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

I've had the master cabin forward and the master cabin aft.
I found that my forward cabin had anchor chain/snubber noise when the boat hunts at anchor which was bothersome. My current aft master cabin has the disadvantage of the waves occasionally slamming into the aft part of the boat and due to the hull shape of the transom this is loud and occasionally vibrates the whole boat.

When at sea the forward cabin is usually given to someone as punishment. The aft cabin is better, but the best sea-berths are midships.
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Old 22-04-2017, 13:38   #3
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

We have had both, prefer the aft cabin, it's quieter in most conditions. Wave slap would normally happen in marinas and we seldom stay in marinas. 2 burner usually does the job as the pans usually limit what you can put on the stove.
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Old 22-04-2017, 13:55   #4
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

When we were running with 6m to 8m waves my wife was in the aft cabin doing crosswords and knitting.
A year later she was in survival mode in the forward cabin continually repacking the pillows around her to prevent being rolled around.
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Old 22-04-2017, 14:49   #5
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

Midships is where you want to be in the worst weather.

In bad but not that bad weather aft is probably ok.

Downside to aft cabin is increased runs and more turns for steering cables which means increased maintenance and likelihood of failure.

V-berth only usable in a marina or moderately protected anchorage.

Unless you are a gourmet cook 2 burners should be fine for everything but a big todo. Usually that's something like Thanksgiving or Xmas you are doing with other cruisers then you probably want to spread the work around to several boats and 2 burners is still fine.
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Old 22-04-2017, 16:05   #6
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

FWIW, we have a four burner stove. I very occasionally use three at once, can't remember ever using all four. And the downside of the four burner is that one can't get a big pot centered over any one of the four. The real issue is the kinda standard size dictated in most yacht galley designs... not much room for bigger cookware like a big wok (which I use a lot) no matter the number of burners.

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Old 22-04-2017, 16:38   #7
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I've had the master cabin forward and the master cabin aft.
I found that my forward cabin had anchor chain/snubber noise when the boat hunts at anchor which was bothersome. My current aft master cabin has the disadvantage of the waves occasionally slamming into the aft part of the boat and due to the hull shape of the transom this is loud and occasionally vibrates the whole boat.

When at sea the forward cabin is usually given to someone as punishment. The aft cabin is better, but the best sea-berths are midships.
Thanks for the reply! Did you find it difficult to deal with storage with the the aft cabin on longer passages?
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Old 23-04-2017, 04:46   #8
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Johnny.
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Old 23-04-2017, 07:34   #9
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

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Thanks for the reply! Did you find it difficult to deal with storage with the the aft cabin on longer passages?

On a 2 cabin boat, the one you don't use makes wonderful storage space
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Old 23-04-2017, 07:47   #10
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Johnny.
Gracias! It's great being a rookie and having such great input from people on here
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Old 23-04-2017, 08:29   #11
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

In warm climates, we have (on charter boats) found forward cabin to be MUCH cooler, direct breeze from forward hatch gets much more air moving, aft cabins tended to be stuffy. The caveat here is these were aft cockpit boats (so low ceiling in aft cabins) and charter boats so twin aft cabins, not single full width... single aft cabin and/or center cockpit might make aft cabin more attractive.

Possibly bigger question is which cabin is going to make it easier for you and your lady friend to get in and out of the berth without disturbing the other person. In our current 32' I can't get out of the berth without waking/moving my wife, not ideal to say the least.
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Old 23-04-2017, 08:30   #12
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

Due to wave slap and other contingentceis , we use the forward cabin for us, and the quater berth or larger aft cabin for stowing our and the boats gear.

Not sure if you are talking mid cockpit with a huge aft state room, but for mid cockpit vessels I found it hard to flake the mainsail to the boom, due to not having any place for solid footing. And, on vessels in the 46 foot range the sails are heavier to handle, and when on a moving platform and no solid footing, well, not a good plan.

Now , as to using the forward cabin. We are both 5' 6" and very fit, taller people wound probably find the aft cabin would fit them better. But , for us , the V-bert is just fine.

I rig chaffing gear on the anchor line to also silence any noise. This can be on the bow roller as well as any line, like a briddle to a mooring line eye.

Boats , anchorages, marinas, etc, are noise prone, not only from the vessel itself, out outside influences as well. Loose halyards on other boats, party times, beach bar bands, weather etc. We use ear plugs to help with what we personally cannot calm.

As one poster said it very simply......what ever cabin you are not sleeping in, use it for stowage. Fenders, sail bags, cockpit cushions, extra bedding, companion way hatch boards, and personal gear .

That is another reason that we use the aft cabin for stowing items, easier access from the cabin to the cockpit and topsides.

There are lots of things to take into account, physical descriptions of the skipper and crew, and ease of entry and exit and overall comfort for sleeping, also, ventillation if sailing in tropical zones, etc. etc. etc. Many aft cabins have one very small port light, and no large overhead hatch .

Just some of our ideas, but it all comes down to personal preference. What works well for you .
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Old 23-04-2017, 08:39   #13
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

As to the stove. Consider how many times you use more that two burners on land.

I like a center cockpit but it doesn't seem like to many have top side access only fore and aft. I like water tights especially if you wish to sail where the wind may blow. JMHO
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Old 23-04-2017, 08:43   #14
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

Yep I get what you're saying. I'm 6'2" and around 205 lbs. I'm planning on living on the sailboat I get as well. Lost my home in divorce. I have plenty $ invested for passive income and have a good amount to use for buying my first sailboat, sky's the limit but I do like moderation. I want to get the boat as close to being right as I can so I don't have to worry about selling and buying all over again. From what I've been gathering with this discussion is I think the larger aft cabin is worth it. I do like the idea of having the aft cockpit as well. I get losing the headroom, but there's always going to be give and take
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Old 23-04-2017, 08:44   #15
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Re: Aft Cabin pros cons

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Originally Posted by johnnyj View Post
Thanks for the reply! Did you find it difficult to deal with storage with the the aft cabin on longer passages?
Every boat needs a cabin - be it fore or aft. The location of the cabin isn't as important as it's size relative to the rest of the boat. Proportionally bigger boats have much more storage spaces than smaller ones.
On the subject of storage I think it is more important to consider the weight (and balance) of the things that are stored than their volume. But I'm sure that others will chime in on that subject since I'm spoiled - I am alone on board and have a big boat with huge amounts of storage that I don't use at all.
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