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Old 21-10-2014, 14:44   #31
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Re: Centre vs Aft Cockpit

Ted Brewers Pan Oceanic 43 and 46 are a great compromise... aft cockpit but a doghouse forward of the aft cockpit with inside steering, (kind of a enclosed almost center cockpit) a berth and chart table right up at the helm.
PAN OCEANIC 43 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com
Friends had that boat... what a comfortable boat....
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Old 21-10-2014, 14:47   #32
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Re: Centre vs Aft Cockpit

Brewer's a master. And I sure like double ender's.
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Old 21-10-2014, 16:59   #33
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Re: Centre vs Aft Cockpit

This subject has been argued a lot here on CF, and there are certainly advantages to both designs. For me, it boils down to how you want to use the available internal volume of your boat. Is it a good choice to utilize a large percentage of said volume for an aft cabin, a place you usually only visit to sleep, at the expense of markedly reducing the size of the saloon and galley areas... the places that you actually spend much of your waking hours enjoying? For Ann and I, the answer has been no, that is not a good choice, but others disagree. For crews with two couples, or one couple plus children the dynamic changes, and the isolation of the aft cabin is attractive. In fact, I believe that the charter trade is where center cockpit designs got their start... giving two couples the chance to share a charter with some privacy

The engine room issue is another tradeoff. Big engine room, less room for other parts of life. Our current boat (aft cockpit) has the engine midships, under a large galley counter. The whole counter assembly hinges up, giving 360 degree standup access to the engine... arguably better than the confines of the center cockpit "engine room". It is noisier than some arrangements, but this could have been alleviated somewhat by better sound insulation at build time, just as it is in center cockpit boats. There are many ways to fit a boat together, and many disparate solutions have worked for some part of the cruising fraternity.

So, as in all things, there ain't no free lunch. If you use the volume for sleep, it isn't available for cooking, etc. Only you can determine which fits your desires best.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 23-10-2014, 17:06   #34
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Re: Centre vs Aft Cockpit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post

As to the relative "dryness" of the CC -- I've noticed that in the long range cruising fleet, the majority of CC boats have constructed large (and to me ugly) structures enclosing the cockpit. I'm sure that this gives marvelous weather protection, but one suspects that if they were as dry as advertised, the CCs wouldn't need these structures... only a common spray dodger with perhaps a bimini in the tropics.

Anyhow, it really does come down to how you want to use the volume at your disposal, and for sure, YMMV from mine!

Cheers,

Jim
I have a CC boat and have been doing a lot of thinking about the type of dodger/bimini I want. The boat came with the usual high, ugly structure that Jim objects to. I definitely want to have a bimini that I can stand up beneath but I had an opinion similar to Jim's about blocky looking dodgers so was thinking seriously of getting a lower, sleeker looking dodger that would be about 15" lower than the bimini height, with a removable connector section to the bimini. So, on nice days, I could remove the connector and have unobstructed visibility through that 15" vertical slot and a nice breeze on my face. In rainy weather or spray I could zip in the connector and keep the cockpit dry. BUT, after a year of using the tall dodger as is, with a big window in front that zips and folds down on nice days, I'm now more inclined to stick with "big ugly" but it has nothing to do with how much spray makes it to the cockpit area. For me it has to do with the volume of space within the enclosure and not having to remember to duck my head under the dodger as I go up and down the steps and the visibility and air flow are all fine with the front pane unzipped. It just seems really functional to leave it as is and creates a nice big feeling space. Then there's the consideration of the additional windage the taller structure would create in a hard blow..... as you can tell I'm still not 100% decided but the current settup still has a couple of years left so I can take my time and work on other areas that are more urgent.

But I would take with a huge grain of salt the claim that CC boats are wetter than aft cockpits. The aft cockpit is further aft, but the CC is higher, both factors that help avoid spray. My last boat was a 44' aft cockpit and my current boat is a 47'CC. It seems like almost always when there's a big splash, most of the water lands just forward of the mast and a few drops come across the front of the dodger, but hardly ever in the sides of either my aft or center cockpit boats. Maybe the geometry in smaller CC boats (under about 40") would make them "wet" but I haven't found it to be true in my boat.

Another nice feature of a CC boat is that when heading offshore, I always move my RIB from the davits that I use when coastal cruising to lash it down inverted on the foredeck, I can actually see over it whereas on my aft cockpit boat I was much bothered by the limited visibility forward when I had the RIB aboard. And speaking of visibility, the CC design is really nice for docking or grabbing a mooring because your view of the bow area is so much better. But on the other hand, when at the helm and docking shorthanded in challenging conditions, it takes me a little longer to get from the helm to the dock than it did with my aft cockpit boat. Lots of pluses and minuses to consider. I wouldn't steer you away from either type. Good luck with your choice!
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Old 23-10-2014, 17:38   #35
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Re: Centre vs Aft Cockpit

One other thing to consider is height of boom above deck, and accesibility for furling. Either you accept the performance hit and get in mast, or you really need a smooth mainsail track and stack pack type gear. Otherwise you're reaching around a tall bimini to get to the boom.


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Old 23-10-2014, 17:55   #36
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Re: Centre vs Aft Cockpit

Originally Posted by Jim Cate

As to the relative "dryness" of the CC -- I've noticed that in the long range cruising fleet, the majority of CC boats have constructed large (and to me ugly) structures enclosing the cockpit. I'm sure that this gives marvelous weather protection, but one suspects that if they were as dry as advertised, the CCs wouldn't need these structures... only a common spray dodger with perhaps a bimini in the tropics.

Anyhow, it really does come down to how you want to use the volume at your disposal, and for sure, YMMV from mine!

Cheers,

Jim

I suspect it's simply to keep warm. ... and let's face it.. a big wave slapping the beam or forward of it is going to get you wet in an aft cockpit or center! But many live aboard in marinas first and get used to sitting in an enclose above decks area.
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Old 24-10-2014, 09:57   #37
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Re: Centre vs Aft Cockpit

Whether an aft or cc, any boat I've had needed a dodger to avoid a face full of water when going upwind in dicey conditions.
Even nicer to stay under when at sea in rainy, cold conditions, a nice place to huddle in protection when on watch.
Even though none of us likes to, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
All I can think of is the three stooges short when Curly get a face full of water every time he opens the port to look out. Been there, done that.
Knowing when to duck is a good skill to learn, it's all in the timing.
I do agree that some of the hard dodgers I've seen could have been designed better to give them a more flowing look that matched the boat better but there's no arguing with the effectiveness and function.
One of the better thought out hard dodgers I've seen is in the Outbound 52 CC, it's not as tall as some but has a cutaway section where the hatch is to allow easy ingress. It still affords plenty of protection for on watch crew.
I've been looking at my boat and considering building a hard dodger for it, I think building the mold for it would take longer than actually laying the glass. Not sure I'm that ambitious these days.
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