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Old 28-02-2010, 07:47   #1
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'Bluewater' Cockpits

Have someone interested in my Cal-39 so have been looking at next boat choices. Leaving the boats nameless to focus on the question; the lead choices are a center cockpit boat (43') and a "bluewater" boat (42') with the expected smaller cockpit. Now there isn't any doubt that the center cockpit boat has alot more room in the pit than the other. But, we aren't really party boat people and must not be every popular as we find it hard to find people who want to go out with us. So for the near future while weekend coatral cruising it's just the 2 of us 90% of the time. And in the end it's just us again and maybe a guess once in a while (who probably came to be in the sun not to sail).

So this question goes out to those who have cruised/sailed on a small bluewater cockpit boat: to what degree did you wish for more cockpit space? Was this something that you wished most of the time or just when you had guests?

PS - there are lots of "other" agruements to be made between the boats, but they all balance out along the way and the cockpit space is really the one I don't have an answer for. So lets not let this become an aft vs center cockpit discussion as there are already those.
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Old 28-02-2010, 08:44   #2
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Ours was a single seat aft cockpit boat...you talk about small.
If you've got enough room to stretch out on the sides then you're probably going to get at least 4 people in the cock pit....sounds to me like that would suit you just fine...
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Old 28-02-2010, 08:49   #3
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Small or Large.... remember that you will spend a lot of time in the cockpit. l have found that some boats have very short cockpit combings and with a cushion under you they can hit you in the middle or lower back and be very uncomfortable. Spend some time lounging around and "test driving" the cockpit. We chartered a boat n the Vl once and it was a kidney buster.
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Old 28-02-2010, 08:51   #4
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Sitting out in the cockpit and watching the world go by is one of the great pleasures cruising .
I would insist that any boat of mine had cockpit that has enough room , with wide enough seats, for 2 people to lie back, stretch out and still have a nice view.
This would also give enough room for at least 4 people to sit.
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Old 28-02-2010, 09:39   #5
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The cockpit becomes our primary living space during the summer months. There is a downside to this: when we anchor out in the Delta, our cockpit inevitably becomes the place to socialize for the owners of so-called "blue-water boats" anchored nearby. Part of this is because we have a walk-thru, sugar scoop transom that makes access a lot easier for those who swim over to our boat. Add to that a great speaker system, plenty of shade, cushioned seating that can accommodate a dozen friendly people, and enough solar/wind power to be able to make ice, and you can see why I tend not to get as much reading done in the afternoons as I'd prefer.

If you feel you wouldn't enjoy hosting such gatherings among your fellow cruisers, by all means stick to the "blue-water" cockpit.
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Old 28-02-2010, 09:59   #6
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Remember here that the bluewater boat I'm talking about is a 42' boat. It has enough space for 2 to sit each port/stbd. Three could probably sit back on the helm seat. So not a party space, but enough for 2 people to kick/lay back and the helmsman could probably get pretty comfortable behind the wheel. Even on my Cal where I could seat an extra 2 people, only two would be able to laid down.

Maybe I would just plan to go to Bash's boat ( drink, baff, go home) ;-)
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Old 28-02-2010, 10:17   #7
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Although I cruise in a catamaran, I spend more waking hours in the cockpit than any other place on the boat. It doesn't matter if I am at anchor or at sea. I live in the cockpit. For me, cockpit design is a make or break feature in deciding on any yacht. The cockpit must be comfortable for at least several people or I wouldn't consider the yacht for purchase.
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Old 28-02-2010, 10:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
to what degree did you wish for more cockpit space? Was this something that you wished most of the time or just when you had guests?
Never.

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 . . . . but not extra space - never wanted that.

We have partied on Lin & Larry's boat, and they have a relatively tiny cockpit but there is still enough room to serve rum to quite a crowd!
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Old 28-02-2010, 10:34   #9
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Most so called bluewater cockpits are a joke,you are supposed to suffer this ridiculously small cockpit well for the 99% of the time you are aboard at the dock or on the hook because it wont hold a lot of water when you get pooped while rounding cape Stiff in a gale,the joke is that that stupid little well probably has 2@ 1.5" or 2" drains that take over a minute to drain the thing from full.What i want is seats long enough and wide enough to sleep on with nice high backs with the proper angle of around 7 degrees and a big footwell with big drains.The good news is that there are lots of boats with nice ergonomic cockpits out there,the bad news is that most have inadequate drains, but if you look closely many can be retrofitted to have huge drains through the transom or even an open transom that will drain the big cockpit much faster than the so called bluewater cockpits,you can have your cake and eat it too.
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Old 28-02-2010, 10:53   #10
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My criteria is simply this, I have to be able to lay down. I like to snooze in the cockpit even while sailing, with the wind vane steering. Ditto my wife. I helm she snoozes.

To my mind when making passages, especially shot handed, it is your duty to stay well rested. That often means sleep whenever you can.

The ultimate is to be able to sleep either on a seat lengthwise or across the bridge deck athwart ship. Oh the luxury.
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Old 28-02-2010, 11:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Maybe I would just plan to go to Bash's boat ( drink, baff, go home) ;-)
You're more than welcome to stop by anytime Bash is hosting a bash. You'll find it to be a bit of a bash getting here from Salem, I'm afraid, but only from the Canal up.

That said, I find myself wondering how you can so heartlessly consider walking away from a boat as beautiful as a Cal 39. You certainly don't want less cockpit than you've already got, eh?
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Old 28-02-2010, 12:14   #12
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Add my name to the list..

And vice-versa..

As far as drains go Im going to have to work on that one...But Im not blue water either..although Im going to sneek in a few...
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Old 28-02-2010, 12:31   #13
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To me, there are two and a half types of a bluewater cockpit:

- small one (e.g. Hans Christian, L. Hess, etc.),
- the open one (e.g. J-97),
- the center one (e.g. CC HR, Najad, etc.)

The CC is only a 'half' as many people say they are to not as comfortable as the former two (too far from the roll center), but I sailed them and like being heigher off the water and away from spray.

b.
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Old 28-02-2010, 14:09   #14
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Well I just got back from visiting my boat for the first time since beginning of Nov. It was nice to find that the only thing that happened in the 80+ mph wind last week was that one of the seams on my winter cover pulled apart and will need sewing.
Taking a look at my Cal-39 as compared to the "bluewater" (this is a Passport 42 by the way) and looking around the yard some; my Cal kind of has less cockpit space than others already This I feel is because my Cal really is a crusier and some of the cockpit has already been lost to the aft stateroom and the large aft head. Looks that the Passport only has about 8" less seating area port/stbd, plus the space where my boat has an extra seating spot before the companion way.

I think the whole water holding volume when swamped thing is marketing for why you WANT and smaller cockpit. When in trurth you got a smaller cockpit in order to gain more cabin space. So a lot of "bluewater" boats were designed for long term cruising/living and they ended up with the smaller cockpits. This is an egg verse chicken thing, but being in sales I can just see a marketing guy spinning a story as an excuse for why a small cockpit is a plus!
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Old 28-02-2010, 14:10   #15
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Quote:
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We have partied on Lin & Larry's boat, and they have a relatively tiny cockpit but there is still enough room to serve rum to quite a crowd!

People will stand on 1 leg with their butt hanging off the rail for some rum!
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