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Old 06-09-2009, 14:20   #16
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So, we're down to comparing cruising c/c designs with aft-cockpit racers. Easy to confuse matters that way.

So, I will offset with my example. It was 2003 and we (aft cockpit cruiser) were anchored off Big Sand Key in the Turks & Caicos. There was a traditional clipper-like 42' boat with c/c anchored there too and we decided to sail to Luperon/Dominican Republic together.

The weather was fine, 15-20 knots of wind and 6 foot swells. Wind on the nose but for a change we could make it without tacking. The others left earlier because they are slower. By the time we were passing them, we were having sundowner cocktails in the cockpit, wearing shorts and T-shirts enjoying the ride. To our consternation, we say the other boat's crew were all in weather gear">foul weather gear and under constant spray that came on deck at the bow and exactly aimed for their c/c.
Later, they were overtaking us with sails down and engine flat out. They needed 3 days to recuperate in Luperon and dry all the mattresses etc. because the spray found it's way through the entrance of the aft cabin (seperate companionway on the aft end of the cockpit).

They were in survival mode, we were lounging in the cockpit. There was 15-20 knots wind and 6' swells.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 06-09-2009, 15:02   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
So, we're down to comparing cruising c/c designs with aft-cockpit racers. Easy to confuse matters that way.

So, I will offset with my example. It was 2003 and we (aft cockpit cruiser) were anchored off Big Sand Key in the Turks & Caicos. There was a traditional clipper-like 42' boat with c/c anchored there too and we decided to sail to Luperon/Dominican Republic together.

The weather was fine, 15-20 knots of wind and 6 foot swells. Wind on the nose but for a change we could make it without tacking. The others left earlier because they are slower. By the time we were passing them, we were having sundowner cocktails in the cockpit, wearing shorts and T-shirts enjoying the ride. To our consternation, we say the other boat's crew were all in foul weather gear and under constant spray that came on deck at the bow and exactly aimed for their c/c.
Later, they were overtaking us with sails down and engine flat out. They needed 3 days to recuperate in Luperon and dry all the mattresses etc. because the spray found it's way through the entrance of the aft cabin (seperate companionway on the aft end of the cockpit).

They were in survival mode, we were lounging in the cockpit. There was 15-20 knots wind and 6' swells.

cheers,
Nick.

That's not exactly a fair comparison, and not really an indicative comparison of cockpit configuration -- a 42' boat with a 65' one. Of course, the 65' boat is going to be vastly dryer and more comfortable, whatever its cockpit position.

The higher cockpit of a CC helps compensate for the cockpit being further forward. The particular boat -- freeboard, effectiveness of the dodger, shape of the bow, and so forth -- is going to influence the dryness as much as the cockpit position, anyway.
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Old 06-09-2009, 15:38   #18
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My comparison is as fair as the cruiser vs racer one... we can take it much further still, like a laser being so much wetter than a 48' Contest c/c etc. I will just make my examples more extreme on the other end to demonstrate that I'm still awake and can play that game of unfair comparisons too ;-)
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The higher cockpit of a CC helps compensate for the cockpit being further forward. The particular boat -- freeboard, effectiveness of the dodger, shape of the bow, and so forth -- is going to influence the dryness as much as the cockpit position, anyway.
I don't see your argument about freeboard working. To be fair, one should assume the same freeboard height for both aft- and c/c. Now, I know that the freeboard aftships is often somewhat lower than midships, but that is never ever going to be enough to compensate for being that much further forward. When we are in rough weather, and I look at where a c/c would be on our boat, we would need foul weather gear too.

Yes, you better have a really good dodger with a c/c because there will be green water coming at you in bad conditions and spray in anything where the boat starts moving seriously. This is why Contests, Trintella, Halberg Rassy's etc. have rigid fiberglass and glass sections there. I really wonder how much better the forward vision of a c/c is in those conditions. Those builders wonder too, and add windshield wipers etc. to ease the pain. And all that just for a different layout beneath decks. No, no, no! The more I think about it, the worse it gets. I think I'll have nightmares about c/c's tonight! ;-)

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 06-09-2009, 18:22   #19
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jedi I didnt mean to confuse you with the sport boat bit but there are a lot of cruiser/racer out there that are just cruising. just look at the benny's, J's, c&c etc.. I'm no expert by any means, like I said just my 2 cents for the original poster. cheers limmer
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Old 06-09-2009, 22:18   #20
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Limmer,

I understand you didn't mean to, no problem, I was just having some fun. But for a fair comparison of cockpit position you need to look at two similar hulls, same length and same freeboard height and same/similar shape, but one c/c and the other aft cockpit.

Ah cruiser/racers. Well, that's mostly a sales-droid term for trying to sell a design to a bigger group of customers. None of the regular Benny's are racer cruisers, that is the Benny First series. Those are not racers, because they have normal interiors. But I betcha that a First 47.7 with aft cockpit provides more comfort in that cockpit than an Oceanis c/c of the same length! That's because aft cockpits are better ;-))

The fun and jokes aside, I really believe that the only reason designers ever came up with center cockpits is because of the interior layout. And that is a good reason for buyers who particularly like that layout enough to live with the negatives of that design decision.

But there are so many c/c owners that argue that they have so much better forward view when docking that they can't understand one could dock with an aft cockpit etc. and they have what, a 40-45' boat. But I manage docking perfectly from my aft cockpit with a 64' boat (without bow thruster, another device that seems to be always present on c/c boats) and my eyes are just regular, nothing special. These silly arguments are just that, silly, in an attempt to find reasons for preferring a c/c besides the interior layout, because in the real world, these arguments don't hold up.

I can give an example of how not to do aft cockpits. A good one is the Catalina 47 with aft owners cabin with dance-around queen bed. That cabin is fine but it is as high as the deck and they just popped a cockpit on top of that. Now, you can't do that, because it would get too high. So they just lowered the cockpit seats so that they are a mere 12" from the floor (that's nice seating!) and also lowered the coamings to 6" or so, making sure you break your back when you lean against them... or you flip over them onto deck and guess what: you look down onto the lifelines because you are higher so you go overboard. This is a dangerous cockpit.

And no matter how much I like Bruce Farr, his pilothouse c/c yachts with aft cabins that are more like dance halls are stupid too. The ass of these boats is so big and high that I can't understand anyone wanting to have something to do with it. And with all that "grandeur", they don't even provide standing room for my 6'6" height. I can stand in some 30 footers!

Oh my, I am warming up. c/c, let's see. Ah, boom height. Many of those raise their boom so high that I can't touch it from deck, no matter how tall I am! Oysters are like that, and it's the reason I abandoned the thought of buying one. Look at a racer, they have their boom attachment inches above deck, that's where you want it, closing the gap between sail and deck and keeping center of effort as low as possible. All that given up for a c/c.

Boom vangs. So many c/c owners just remove their boom vang because it is "in the way" that some yards don't even fit them anymore on their c/c designs. Like "who needs a boom vang?!"

I better stop now ;-)

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 06-09-2009, 22:21   #21
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Aft. Unless you're going to weather, in which case: AFT!!!
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:22   #22
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Since we have both a center cockpit and an aft cockpit (common style in Europe, ala Swan or Baltic) here is what we have found. Steering for me is best from the aft cockpit, to be able to see the sails and pick a line through waves makes upwind sailing quicker. From a comfort standpoint we like the center cockpit, the motion is better, the dodger keeps us dry and warm, and the closeness to the galley and nav station make it a nice place to camp out when sailing. We drive from the center cockpit with the ap.

I really don't think it's fair to compare a 40 footer and a 60 footer. They are very different boats.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:30   #23
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So were down to comparing 63 ft high tech boats with old 43 footers? :>)
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:46   #24
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This 'dry, drier, dries ...' - it is probably the driest is to stay at home.

Freeboard vs. dry ride ... well, I do not know - my boat has very low freeboard and she rides very well ('very dry'). I believe it must be this and then on top of it some other design issues - flare, disp fore, etc..

One of the nice things with well designed cc is that if knocked down then the cockpit will either remain dry or drain much faster than any aft c - which are lower and much easier to poop when running before the seas.

So to me the cc is OK, except perhaps on smaller boats where having the cockpit aft maximises living quarters and ergonomics of the whole layout.

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Old 07-09-2009, 15:01   #25
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So were down to comparing 63 ft high tech boats with old 43 footers? :>)
Yep ;-) We "aft cockpit lovers" will not hesitate to counter silly arguments for c/c with silly arguments for aft cockpits ;-)

What I think matter a lot for a dry ride is the shape of the bow. I have clearly seen that clipper-style bows create an enormous amount of spray.

ciao!
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Old 07-09-2009, 18:01   #26
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Jedi may be right - narrow entry, not too much flare and disp fore just enough to get her going without diving and taking water on deck.

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Old 07-09-2009, 18:54   #27
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Not very much experience here...

But we were out in 47 knots in inland waters here in the PNW with those short steep waves like the Great lake boys talk about and found our CC a lot wetter then we thought it would be.. The tops were blowing off the wave and pelting us sideways on top of splash from the bow...Rather wetter then an aft cockpit in these conditions I can not say but one thing about a CC you cant argue away from is you are definitely closer to the splashy end of the boat... and water has less time/distance to fall out of the air before it smacks you in the face..I now believe a plumb bow boat to be dryer then a flared one..if I could change one hull design feature of my boat... it would be that one...a plumb bow may give you more green water over the foredeck in certain conditions but it ain't flying all over the place as much and I believe it will hobby horse less as well.

I also worry about the dinky cockpit drains we have and I will be addressing that in the future with larger ones but it will still be a limiting factor due to plumbing issues..... an open stern aft cockpit is impossible to beat for fast cockpit drainage.

Docking there is no comparison to a CC for ease of handling and vision and we will dock far more then we will sail in the nasty stuff.
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Old 07-09-2009, 19:44   #28
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You know still raining- for a really accurate comparison you and I need to cruise together in the same weather and compare at the end of the day. My Valiant vs your Irwin. And then dock at Friday Harbor and see who gets the most Dungeness
BTW, are we still planning on October?
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Old 08-09-2009, 14:38   #29
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We have an Amel Maramu. It's my second center cockpit cruising boat. For long term living aboard and cruising I would stick with center cockpit. My engine access is phenomenal. We like the split living arrangements. Having an aft stateroom gives us some separation from guests or a charter client. Hard to beat from a practicality standpoint.

For what most people do with their boats - weekending, daysailing, and club racing, I prefer an aft cockpit fin keel spade rudder racer cruiser.
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Old 08-09-2009, 16:02   #30
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I have been full time sailing on my center cockpit 47 foot yacht for the last 2 years. So far not a drop of seawater in the cockpit. Given the wrong conditions I can imagine some water finding its way to the cockpit cushions, but it hasn't happened so far. Similar sized aft cockpit boats that I have sailed have been much wetter. Most have been production so called cruiser/racers, but we still beat them for speed by a comfortable margin (although many of the boats we outpace are sailed by charterers)
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