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Old 02-12-2010, 15:46   #31
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Having owned and cruised a centre cockpit 40 ft boat , it is as you have found - a comprimise,
The aft cabin is great in port - Its like a mental barrier - people always ask before going in and looking . Gives you a totally private area-
Is a nice place to sleep when underway - especially if on the favourable tack. The motion is the best here. A front vee berth cabin under the anchor chain is not great .
Usually accomodates a decent size berth - unlike the front vee berth


Down side - cockpit is usually very shallow to allow access through to aft cabin , steep stairs to enter boat . Steering position is right under the main - can get a crick in your neck looking up

Im currently looking at getting back into a boat- Am thinking I will run with an aft cockpit with a decent size aft cabin - can be done - have looked at a couple of boats where the mainhatch entry from the cockpit is offset allowing more room for a cabin aft - but of course - once again a comprimise
Good luck

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Old 03-12-2010, 06:09   #32
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.....................Down side - cockpit is usually very shallow to allow access through to aft cabin................
For many years we've been subject to the comparison with the "new" model center cockpits with the walk-through to the aft cabin. Our separate aft cabin without the walk through access from the main cabin is unheard of among modern designs, but it has a further advantage of privacy. For us, it was the domain of our two children as we lived aboard through their teenage years. In addition, without the walk-through, we have a much larger engine room. Still, I find owners with the little hallway on their center cockpits assuming that I am just rationalizing my fate of owning the "old" design.
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:46   #33
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Re aft/centre cockpit: if you plan to sail in Mainland Europe and with just 1 or 2 able persons abloard, aft cockpit is better since you will be mooring up stern to quay. An exciting operation if you can't even see the quay from the helm. Peter
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:10   #34
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Is a nice place to sleep when underway
It is why I have an aft cockpit and CC give me a sore neck when keeping an eye on the sails and anything else up the mast.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:14   #35
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Re aft/centre cockpit: if you plan to sail in Mainland Europe and with just 1 or 2 able persons abloard, aft cockpit is better since you will be mooring up stern to quay. An exciting operation if you can't even see the quay from the helm. Peter
I've seen the difficulty of Med-mooring a center-cockpit boat a couple of times on this thread. Since I'm a real PITA about unsubstantiated statements I did some testing. We don't have much in the way of Med-mooring around Annapolis, so I just anchored in Back Creek and backed up to various t-heads. Really no problem, and not substantially different from the last aft cockpit boat I Med-moored. In fact, being able to stand on the aft deck (higher) made getting stern lines pretty easy. I had to work around my grill and Lifesling, but that isn't relevant to aft v. center cockpit. Did everything single-handed if that makes a difference.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:07   #36
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Apart from dinghies, I've spent by far the most time on a centre cockpit Fraser 42. She has a little hallway down the starboard side from just aft of the nav station to the aft cabin. We lived aboard when we were kids; mum and dad had the aft cabin, us two girls were up forward. You have to hunch to walk through the hallway, which is also curved as it follows the curve of the hull. One can technically access the aft cabin through it's own hatch, but as we live/lived in the PNW, when it's pissing rain, one didn't want to have to go outside (we eventually added a beast of a pilot house)

Engine room access is fine (though I'm very short) We considered dropping the cockpit floor so that the pilot house roof wasn't so high (and such an monstrosity of an eye sore) but we liked the current access, and that would have become even more of a massive undertaking.

She sails well, (though visibilty above the pilot house is a bear) and the aft cabin is sooo comfortable in moderate seas. I've never seen any real snotty offshore weather while sleeping in there.

Though we never Med moored (unheard of here) we regularly backed the boat into her slip with no troubles. Mooring lines could easily be led to the cockpit and tended to from there.

Now that I've bought a boat of my own, we have an aft cockpit. I would have loved a centre, as it allows far more privacy. However to squish it into a sub 35' boat seemed like a poor use of space. I'm sure they're out there, but we're happy with our traditional layout for the aft-cockpit.

If given the choice, and I could persuade my father to give up his Fraser, I'd take her offshore without a second thought.

However, with that hallway, there is 0 cockpit locker storage. As in there is not even a single hatch. The engine room goes all the way to the port side. It's never been a problem, but just something to note.
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Old 25-12-2010, 01:43   #37
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There is no right answer

I just got back from my first extended cruise - I crewed for 30 days in the Sea of Cortez on a Hunter 37 Legend. At least that's long compared to my 3 and 5-day trips previously.

Well, I'm hooked and am becoming more serious about purchasing a cruising sailboat. I've always been an aft cockpit guy, but after meeting people in the Sea of Cortez it is clear to me that it is a truly personal choice.

In La Paz, Cetus (Terry and Heidi Kotas) were in the slip next to us. Cetus is a Fantasia 35. It a classic double ender and center cockpit. Two of their three Pacific crossings have been in this boat. For them it is perfect. The move to it from a 30-foot aft cockpit boat was because they wanted 3 cabins.

I liked Terry's comment about his boat: "It might take a day to get up to hull speed, but once I'm there nothing can stop us." Clearly you need to love your boat, not other people.

My interest is in finding an aft cockpit, 3-cabin (vee berth plus two aft cabins) cruising sailboat. I want three cabins because I typically sail with single people. On a long cruise, everyone should have their own space. I also personally hate the "salon shuffle" each night. If there are two of us, then the third cabin can be used for storage.

I did notice an early posting in this thread about looking at charter boats for three cabins. Good idea, but I don't think of them in terms of a cruising boat for an ocean passage.

By the way, Terry Kotas has written two novels: Adventures Aboard Rick's Place and Adventures Aboart S/V Casablanca. I just finished the first and look forward to starting the second.
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Old 25-12-2010, 03:05   #38
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Both OK

We've had both. Previous boats have been aft cockpit. Current one is 40 ft CC. They're both good. Our CC has fairly low freeboard so high centre of gravity is not a concern. She sails well. Appreciate the aft stateroom. We read the wind angles off a data display in the cockpit, otherwise craning the neck to look at the masthead indicator would be a problem. I think it's more about the boat overall than the location of the cockpit.
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Old 27-12-2010, 06:35   #39
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as i posted earlier i have a CC on my 44 feet alumium boat and it is really nice. my cockit is deep and somewhat funny design, like the older Amel Sharki and Maramu. The cockpit is not symetric which mean that on on side the walkthru is taking some space. A step is in the floor so that you have space under the doghouse but overall it is not getting too high. check out some pics from the amels.
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Old 27-12-2010, 09:38   #40
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I am also not accustomed to being in locations where a Med-mooring is common. I see the presence of my dinghy on extended davits at my stern a far greater problem than having a center cockpit.
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