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Old 22-01-2014, 15:03   #46
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

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Originally Posted by Albro359 View Post
Amel does it for me...all the design features of a centre cockpit without a high aspect main, comfortable and roomy inside, all on one level apart from a slight step up in the aft cabin, hard dodger, generally very dry, easy to handle...perfect.

I suppose it's a personal preference, but I could just never come to like the steering wheels on Amel boats. Other than that I think they're beautiful. Do they have a reason for mounting the wheels the way they do? Do any of their models come with a pedestal mounted wheel?
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Old 22-01-2014, 15:21   #47
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

I see the center cockpit design associated with other features that are not always part of the bargain. My center cockpit is not accompanied by a higher freeboard. I only step 18" from my toe rail to the typical floating dock. There is no walk-through or living space below my center cockpit. My center cockpit is not wetter by forward location with my dodger and spalsh guards. My advantage was to have my two children growing up aft with separate cabins. Even within the close quarters of a family aboard, it is nice to have some privacy. Now, with our children as adults and moved to shore, it's pleasant to have a guest couple with private space.
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Old 23-01-2014, 08:03   #48
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

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I was not a fan of CC boats until my wife convinced me that we should take a look.
Short version of the story...we bought a Hylas 54 and absolutely love the CC. We spend most of our time with guests hanging out on the back deck. We go to the cockpit to get out of the sun for a bit. The visibility is better from the center of the boat. The only issue is docking. While I'm at the wheel and the wife is on the bow, I'm no longer able to reach the stern cleat with the dock line. Centerline berths also aren't that comfortable at heel while sailing but we use pillows under the mattress to solve that. Can't say enough great things about our Hylas.
The docking issue doesn't seem to affect us, both our old boat, which was an aft cockpit that I LOVED and the new CC boat had side opening lifelines. When setting up for docking we place our dock lines over the lifelines and at the opening, I steer the boat in, she hops off first with the bow line then I walk over and hop off with the stern. Not much different from the original boat. I also have mid cleats on it which makes docking relatively easy for a 47' with no bow thruster. I do have a fair jump though since this one has a bout 24" from the deck to the average dock, no problem at my age now but I do see where it might be an issue 10 years from now.
I love the centerline berth but agree with comfort while heeled, fortunately its either my wife or me at the helm when underway so we can adjust our sleeping attitude to the situation and still rest in relative comfort.
Still jealous of your Hylas though, the ones I've been on were well thought out and user friendly, the cockpit is also more spacious than mine, something my wife reminds me of all the time. No complaints though, as a family boat this one works well, the three cabin layout allows privacy and comfort while the hull design is an early performance cruiser design. It is comfortable and solid at see but still sails well, not like my old racer/cruiser but not a slug either, I never thought I'd be happy with a CC but now we're quite glad we went that route. It's always a trade off, it just depends on your needs at the time.
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Old 23-01-2014, 14:42   #49
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

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Let's see:

dry: it is further forward so it is actually wetter. You need a dodger to keep you dry more than an aft cockpit does.

safe: inside the boat you get different levels of the floor, which is not as safe as all at the same level (you can fall down). Outside, in the cockpit, I don't see the difference.

comfortable: the CC is higher up which means that you move much more when heeling and rolling. The lower aft cockpit will provide a much more comfortable ride.

You've got an aft cockpit boat so obviously that's your preference so just maybe you're seeing things through your aft cockpit colored glasses?

Dryer depends on more than fore/aft location. The shape of the hull, the sea conditions, your angle to the waves/wind, the size of the boat are all factors that impact where the most water will impact.

On deck on almost sailboats there are different "levels of the floor" and additionally many little things to step on or trip over so you have to learn to pay attention and after you've had the same boat for awhile it becomes second nature to avoid them. The same holds true for down below. Besides, not all center cockpits (mine for example) have different levels of the floor anway.

True that you move less when heeling or rolling in an aft cockpit but you move less in pitch in a center cockpit. I loved my aft cockpit Nordic 44 and kept telling myself I was barely moving around running downwind in rough seas because I was so close to water level, but my stomach told me otherwise (I'm not normally prone to sea sickness) and I eventually figured out that it was the "ooooops" at the top as the boat pitched down and then up that was getting to me. On most sailboats, the rolling is controllable even when motoring by raising and sheeting the main in tight, but it's tough to do much about the pitch when seas are up and you need to go downwind.

In response to another posters query about being pooped, it happened to me a couple of times one night crossing the Gulf Stream when I shouldn't have in my aft cockpit 44' boat and it seemed more like I was in a submarine (the dodger had been flattened by an earlier wave) and my head was the conning tower as I popped out and could see again. The cockpit looked like a very large hot tub filled to the brim (hatch boards in). It was frightening. I'm new to center cockpits so can't say how the experience would have been in similar sea conditions, but I would have to think that being up higher would be an advantage. But I obviously survived being pooped and that was 16 years ago and it hasn't happened again so I wouldn't say it should be much of a factor in the aft cockpit versus center cockpit decision in choosing a boat.
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Old 23-01-2014, 23:18   #50
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

The "conning tower" story was really funny! I was pooped a few times in my Tartan 44 so I can relate but I can really picture the dodger and this head swiveling around like a gopher looking out his hole, too funny.

Our CC has level floors as well and I have been on several rear cock pit boats that have different floor levels so its a design thing not a cock pit thing.

Ours is new to us so I'm still getting used to it, certainly a different feeling compared to the aft cock pit boats of my past but its growing on me.

Thanks again for the story!
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Old 24-01-2014, 13:49   #51
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

In response to another posters query about being pooped, it happened to me a couple of times one night crossing the Gulf Stream when I shouldn't have in my aft cockpit 44' boat and it seemed more like I was in a submarine (the dodger had been flattened by an earlier wave) and my head was the conning tower as I popped out and could see again. The cockpit looked like a very large hot tub filled to the brim (hatch boards in). It was frightening. I'm new to center cockpits so can't say how the experience would have been in similar sea conditions, but I would have to think that being up higher would be an advantage. But I obviously survived being pooped and that was 16 years ago and it hasn't happened again so I wouldn't say it should be much of a factor in the aft cockpit versus center cockpit decision in choosing a boat.[/QUOTE]

Love the picture you formed in my head, it puts it right in perspective.
One thing I will say since going to a center cockpit is that when running on a beam sea in light wind the roll is exaggerated in a CC, I've experienced this when running in light winds after a front has passed through and the remaining seas are still fairly big. I don't feel much difference in a following sea or going to wind.
In my aft cockpit boat I did figure out why most people get the knee high sea boots. I was pooped on that one back when I wore the shorty boots (I didn't like the thigh rubbing of the taller ones) and the cockpit filled enough to go right over the top of the boots and fill them, that boat had 4 scups in the cockpit and a tall rise to the hatch so it drained pretty quick but the boots took a little longer to drain.
As for a wet cockpit or dry? It really depends on the design of the cockpit, my aft cockpit C&C was well designed and was pretty dry even when going to wind and shipping lots of green water, I have seen the entire deck of the boat disappear plunging through a wave and still had a relatively dry cockpit, as long as you duck to miss the blast being redirected by the dodger.
Other boats I've transported not so much, it isn't really a CC or AC thing, it's a design thing. The wave that filled my aft cockpit would have just landed on the aft deck of the new CC boat and dispersed, we'll see how it goes in the future, so far it's pretty well protected. I am considering building a hard dodger for this boat though, for several reasons, we'll see.
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Old 27-01-2014, 00:09   #52
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

Southerly make a 42 CC which is a very well built boat however it is very expensive. I own a Beneteau 40CC which I am very happy with. It is ideal for a couple with occasionally another couple as guests on board. The galley being in the passage way to the aft stateroom is very safe to work in underway. Sure the cockpit is a little cramped however there is great deck space above the aft cabin which is very comfortable at anchor. The below decks volume is enormous, airy and very liveable. At the end of the day it comes down to individual requirements and compromise. My CC is a great live aboard boat but on long passages when I bring on some mates to help crew the accommodations are less than ideal due to the large centreline aft berth. However, I have a large deciding lee cloth that we rig down the middle which works well.

The major producers do seem to have moved away from CC being driven by the need to meet a budget. IMHO quality standards have also dropped significantly. At the Southampton boat show last year I saw nothing that would tempt me to trade up to a new aft cockpit even putting budget aside. That is I didn't see anything to tempt me away from my 12 year old 40CC.
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Old 27-01-2014, 00:17   #53
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

I keep hear about quality standards dropping and I admit its been a long time since I have been to a boat show but what are people "seeing" or not seeing that causes them to believe that quality standards are falling on the new production boats???
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Old 27-01-2014, 01:50   #54
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

For me it was a number of things. For example, tap the cockpit side on a new Beneteau sense and then tap the same area on my 2002 Beneteau 40CC. You can hear the difference. There isn't as much GRP laid down. Interior fit out just isn't as solid as my boat that has solid rosewood mouldings and feels more solid. Gone from the new models and replaced with capped edges in some instances. IMHO the new beneteaus look beautiful but they are definitely built to a reduced budget. I guess thats OK for many people as it allows them to get into a shiny new yacht. They are building for their perceived market.
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Old 27-01-2014, 06:23   #55
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

I think tapping the sides of a GRP hull isn't a way of telling much of anything. You could equally compare your 2002 Benny, with a 1980s hull and find it has far more GRP. But today you have closed mould resin infusion, exotic materials and greater process control, allowing hulls to made lighter but stronger.

I mean unless you saw a comparative finite stress analysis , its hard to really comment other then " perception"

Ive sailed some brand new Jeanneaus, just as good a boat as one 20 years ago, different style , different layouts etc , but just as good a boat.

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Old 27-01-2014, 06:25   #56
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

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I suppose it's a personal preference, but I could just never come to like the steering wheels on Amel boats. Other than that I think they're beautiful. Do they have a reason for mounting the wheels the way they do? Do any of their models come with a pedestal mounted wheel?
I really like the bulkhead mounted wheels like on the Amel and some Benneteaus 55's ( which i really like as a boat) given the AP steers 99% of the time, I rarely sit behind a wheel , more usually I sit under the spray hood

Pesonally i really like the type and if I ever get to build a custom boat, thats where the wheel will go.

dave
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Old 27-01-2014, 06:39   #57
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

Dave just what exotic materials are the production guys using in yachts today?? As far as I can see its still the same products ie; one coat of vinylester and the rest is polyester vacuum bagged.
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Old 27-01-2014, 06:45   #58
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

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Dave just what exotic materials are the production guys using in yachts today?? As far as I can see its still the same products ie; one coat of vinylester and the rest is polyester vacuum bagged.
Several are using Kevlar and Twaron is certain parts of the hull.
Most are now using closed mould resin infusion as well.

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Old 27-01-2014, 06:46   #59
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

Cprebble I looked at the new Sense on utube and I have to agree with some of your thoughts as Beneteau has been very careful where they spend their money on the finishing touches but I think all the production builders have to be very price sensitive these days. Man those boats are huge these days, great Med boats.

Your B42cc is kinda cool, are you going to do some serious traveling with your boat?
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Old 27-01-2014, 06:48   #60
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Re: Center Cockpits - Still Popular ?

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great Med boats.
Great high european latitudes boats too. Great anywhere really, A tribute to modern GRP engineering and boat design , all are tougher then the skipper.

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