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Old 28-02-2010, 13:40   #16
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Gotta have the ability to stretch out and still survey the world around me, out of the wind, maybe even out of the sun on occasion depending out your latitude.
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Old 28-02-2010, 14:36   #17
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The W32 has a small footwell and no backrests except the bulwarks. We found it very comfortable with those small boat cushions that are supposed to double as emergency flotation. Never wanted a bigger cockpit as it would seat 4 easily and 6 ina pinch and there was enough length to stretch and sleep. We were not the boat that attracted crowds which was fine by us. We'll leave the multi's for being the community center. One reason I'd never want a multi.

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Old 28-02-2010, 15:45   #18
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My very brief definition of a bluewater cockpit is:
- will invite and host MIN amt of blue water (small/closed cockpit HCH, Hess),
- will drain MAX amt of blue water in MINIMUM time (large/open J-97),
- will give MAX protection, control and rest to the crew and ship MIN blue water and drain MAX in MIN time (a cc on a HR).

So, I think there are some desirable features, but no single "best" cockpit design.

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Old 02-03-2010, 21:45   #19
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my definition of "best" cockpit design, on the other hand, includes:
-a great sound system
-a comfy place to read
-maximum protection from spray (which means as far away from the bow as possible)
-plenty of shade
-unrestricted access to the BBQ, swim ladder, transom shower and primary winches
-a great place to enjoy a sandwich, sundowner or smooch.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 02-03-2010, 23:20   #20
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having had a aft cockpit boat and now a cc cockpit, and looked at tons between, I can say that the cc cockpit wins for me. Sure you are a Little closer to the bow, but a good dodger/binini will fix that. Sure you are a little higher off the water, so the roll is felt more, but then you are futher off the water so spray is less. But not all cc cockits are the same. Take a vagabond 47 for instance. It has a small cockpit for that size boat. I believe to have a large interior which sold a lot of them. But I did not like the cockpit.
The best cockpit I have ben on is the Bob Perry designed Tatoosh 51. The comeings are slanted just right, the depth is just right, the width perfect. No traveler to block you way. You can sleep on the seats, or have a party on it.
My Endeavour 40 cockpit is ok. The wheel takes up a bit to much room, but they have those folding wheels, I might consider when I have more money than boat projects (LMFAO, when will that ever occur??!!??) But 2 can sleep on the seats while one steers if you wanted to, and still have a large enough aft deck for a few more.
Also, where would you clean your fish on a aft cockpit boat ?
And they there are the interior arrangements that a CC boat over 40' LOA, can give, like a proper engine space, and the aft cabin, which can be nicer that one under the cockpit, or a vberth.
SV Sarah Claire blog...
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Old 03-03-2010, 11:27   #21
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Bluewater Cockpits

I saw this thread two days ago, and debated on whether to reply or not.....since like you I didn't want to rehash the debate over bluewater boats...

But, now perhaps I could add a few of my thoughts / ideas....and who knows, someone may like 'em

1) I may be in the minority, but I do not think that a "bluewater cockpit" necessitates a small cockpit......
If it's designed correctly, it will be:
a) self-draining or very rapid draining.....
b) tall / large bridgedeck, keeping water out of the companionway / cabin..
c) safe and secure, with strong, sturdy foot braces and handholds, harness padeyes, etc.
d) afford decent protection from weather (boarding seas, etc.)
e) have winches, helm, etc. positioned properly, so that the boat can be handled safely in heavy weather, with a shorthanded crew....

Plus, some other items, such have provisions for dodger, bimini, saftey gear, etc. etc. etc.....the list goes on and on....

But, my point is that the only reason that many consider bluewater cockpits to be "small" is because of the need to drain them easily / rapidly.....and be able to be secure, and hang-on...
However, self-draining / semi-open aft cockpits solve the first issue very well....and they do not necessarily mean an "open stern"....and if the cockpit is designed correctly, you can be secure in a blow, be able to hang-on, AND be able to lay about at leisure when things are normal....

See photos of my self-draining cockpit, as an example.....
Cockpit Padeye
Scuba Tank Mounting
Annie Laurie Translant

In addition to the open center section, there are 2 drains, one in each helm foot well, which allow for draining of that small area on either tack....
Annie Laurie Translant

2) Now, while I do sail long distances offshore, and across oceans, I also DO enjoy laying back and relaxing
And, having a cockpit big enough for two, or more, people to lay back and relax in is very, whether it's seating 5 or 6 at the cockpit table for dinner, or two people napping, really does the job....

Yeah, I know some would call it a luxury and say it's not a real "bluewater cockpit" if it isn't cramped....but I disagree.....
IF it is designed correctly, with a decent bridge deck, as well as being divided by a secure cockpit table / foot brace, and adequate handholds, etc. it can be spaceous AND truly "bluewater".....

And, while I agree with most of what Evans wrote:
You want the seat backs to be comfortable, and many have the angle wrong. But pretty much any cockpit has plenty of space. You want the winches positioned and angled for easy use. You want the wheel sized/positioned so you can steer sitting on the coaming. It's nice to be able to stand on the helm seat (to get best forward visibility of the bow) and still be able to reach the wheel. . . . . and many other important features of a good cockpit
I do not think that it is paradoxical to write that you can have all of those things, AND have enough room to stretch out, relax, nap, sleep, fish, read, entertain, etc.....
IF it is designed correctly, you can have it all....but, you'll probably spend some time looking closely at different cockpits and their layout/design, before you find the one that's just right......although if you find the right boat in other respects, you can make changes to the cockpit to make things work better if needed....

3) I agree with what some others have posted regarding nice coamings, backrests, cushions, etc......but those can be screwed-up on any design, whether bluewater or dock-condo....

4) As for my experiences in other boats....
Bluewater cockpits:
I've sailed offshore in a 49' CC which had a nice sized bluewater cockpit....
and a 37' Tayana, which I thought was a bit cramped for more than 2 people.....and not too comfy to sit in....

....and some others with non-bluewater cockpits, which I thought weren't really to my liking....

I hope my thoughts contributed positively....


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