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Old 27-11-2005, 19:14   #1
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Center Cockpit Monohull ???

What are the pros and cons of a center cockpit monohull verses aft cockpit?

Thanks in advance for the info!
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Old 27-11-2005, 19:49   #2
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Pros:

Better visibility
Hard to poop by boarding seas
lends itself to complete enclosure from the elements
accommodates aft cabin with more comfortable sleeping berth
Less distance to travel on deck to get anywhere in a hurry
Better visibility

Cons:

Greater windage (in general)
Traditionalists don't like your boat
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Old 27-11-2005, 20:01   #3
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Some Advantages

Here are a few advantages of the center cockpit (these are my opinions, having one):

*Main advantage: ROOM! You get an enormous space aft of the cockpit below decks for a comfortable aft/master cabin. Many have a centerline queen, and a cabin you can walk around in back there, as well as a head. Aft cockpit boats have well... the cockpit hanging down there at a level that, to me, feels claustrophobic above me when I sleep.

*You are high and dry with a good dodger. With the center cockpit, I feel quite removed from the water that may end up coming over a rail or even from abaft. While they are closer to bow spray, they are higher off the water in general.

Commonly, I have heard people say that the motion they experience in a center cockpit tends to make them more sea sick. I didn't find any difference. In fact, if you are hobbyhorsing at all, the center is where you would want to be. Less overall motion.

DISADVANTAGES:

*One thing I didn't bargain for in my center cockpit was what I felt were awkward placement of the winches. In my center, all sheet winches are located aft of my seating location. This makes it awkward to single hand without engaging the Autopilot. In an aft cockpit boat, I used to just stick my foot in a wheel spoke while working the jib/genoa sheets.

*No backstay or pushpit to lean against on a relaxing watch. Now, I don't have anything right behind me to recline on during a lazy watch.
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Old 28-11-2005, 03:33   #4
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I've had both and the advantages / disadvantages tend to balance out.

As a general rule a centre cockpit will allow higher headroom in an aft cabin, and will usually get you further way from the wet stuff. But they are also usually smaller than the equivilant aft cockpit, usually take a long time to drain if they do get filled, and frequently one finds winches / mainsheets can intrude into the cockpit 'living' space.

IHMO if the boat is well designed a centre cockpit need not look sad. When one thinks about it there are lots of centre cockpit jobs with very sweet lines..............

Cheers

JOHN
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Old 28-11-2005, 04:09   #5
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Lightfin, your question is a bit like asking "What's your weather like?" The answer is "It depends..."

For shorter hulls, the c/c design breeds in significant compromises - what I think are fair to label as liabilities - by mandating smallish cabins, a higher CG, more windage, a wetter cockpit (because it's closer to the bow wave, which the wind takes where it wishes), poorer motion comfort (roll is by far the motion that most contributes to motion sickness), insufficient cockpit locker storage and poor back support (as the designer dare not add even more tophamper). For longer hulls, these become incrementally smaller as liabilities and instead simply become the characteristics that offset the c/c's advantages. In addition, there are other compromises that are not hull-length dependent but which must be accepted - e.g. it's more fiddly and can crreate a nuisance on deck to link a servo-oar wind vane to the wheel, or with some designs the companionway ladder is extraordinarily tall & also steep, a real challenge in heavy seas.

Like many good questions about boat design, yours is easily stated but hard to answer fully & fairly, even in long replies; the devil's in the details and generalizations can be way misleading. E.g. our boat is not particularly big (13M) by today's standards, and I notice our aft cabin has most of the advantages claimed for the c/c design, yet ours is an aft cockpit design.

Jack
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Old 28-11-2005, 15:29   #6
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Interesting!

It seems like EVERYTHING always boils down to making compromises; there's no "just right."

I like the notion of the center cockpit's large aft cabin, but the longer descent to the salon and the smaller cockpit is not appealing.

One of my dislikes of catamaran's is what I consider their cumbersome sleeping compartments, and they usually require a fairly long and steep descent to get to them, but I enjoy their larger, more open salons and cockpits.

Is there a 40 to 45 footer out there that meets my "aging" comfort desires (I thought the center cockpit varieties may be the closest)?
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Old 28-11-2005, 16:43   #7
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One thing you'll notice in overseas ports is that the passage makers are center cocpit vessels, averaging around 42'-46'................._/)
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Old 29-11-2005, 05:31   #8
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Actually, what I notice in "overseas ports" (26 countries, island nations & dependencies so far) is that both the size of boats and the location of their cockpits varies over time as trends change and designers & builders chase their tails. We seem to have now come full-circle re: cockpits, aft cockpit having been the original norm, then center being the predominant theme (influenced heavily by builders who were trying to entice both charter and individual buyers), and now builders are often swinging back to aft cockpit/large aft cabin designs. Boat size has incrementally grown larger among the well heeled crowd; retirees and the relatively wealthy certainly have increased the size of their boats non-stop. However, I still see many smaller and medium-sized boats being cruised by those of younger sailors, couples with families, and those with generally more modest means.

Jack
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Old 29-11-2005, 06:05   #9
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Lightfin

You said it right earlier -- everything is a compromise...

Is there a boat that will meet your needs sure.

Will you have to adjust what those needs are a degree to meet the boat - probably unless money is no object.

When we were looking to define our requirements for a cruising boat [took about 6 years of walking the docks and boat shows], we found they changed over time from aft cockpit, to raised salon/pilot house to center cockpit.

We ended up with a 1985 Moody 47 which was the best compromise between; cost, performance, comfort for us. Then spent 4 years rehabbing and making it ours.

You are embarking on a fun journey - have fun with it.

Of course you should check out the Moody options - 425 might be right up your alley...but there are a number of models between 38-44
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Old 29-11-2005, 07:21   #10
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Quote:
Lightfin once whispered in the wind:


Is there a 40 to 45 footer out there that meets my "aging" comfort desires (I thought the center cockpit varieties may be the closest)?
Plugging the boat I decided on, take a look at the Gulfstar Hirsch. It's got a PHRF of 120, is a center cockpit, has centerline queen and sizeable aft cabin (with headroom no aft cockpit cruiser could match), etc...

Here's a link to one I looked at in MA.

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...19&slim=quick&
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Old 29-11-2005, 13:51   #11
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"Is there a 40 to 45 footer out there that meets my "aging" comfort desires (I thought the center cockpit varieties may be the closest)?"

My wife and I found the Brewer 42 or 12.8 to be perfect for our needs and wants. The cockpit is spacious and the seats are large enough to sleep on. All winches are located for easy access and not in the way.

The salon is as large as most of the aft cockpit 40'+ boats that we inspected. The room comes at the expense of the v-berth, it is smallish, but it is just my wife and me.

The aft stateroom is fantastic. We found that it is almost impossible to sleep comfortably with your spouse in aft cockpit boats.

She is a double head sail ketch, which means each sail is smaller that those on a 42' sloop.....therefore easier to handle as we sloooowly advance in years.

Tons of stowage space. Four large hanging lockers, wet locker, tons of drawers. We rebuilt the galley to accomidate my wife's desires.

The engine room is very large. I've spent 4-5 hrs at a time working in it and remained very comfortable. This is a HUGE plus no matter what boat you purchase. You want easy engine access.

She sails very good for a cruiser and is extremely well built.

Roger
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Old 29-11-2005, 14:41   #12
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Is there a 40 to 45 footer out there that meets my "aging" comfort desires (I thought the center cockpit varieties may be the closest)?
Try the CSY 44s.

They are old sturdy center cockpit boats.

As for center cockpit boats in general, the ugliest one I have even seen must be the Irwing 32 CC.
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Old 29-11-2005, 17:08   #13
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Thanks to each of you for the specific boat brand/size suggestions. They all sound good, and I will check them out.
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