Of course it's a matter of taste. I like Porsche 911's because you sit way forward and have a panoramic view -- you can see the road disappearing under the front bumper. I always adjust the seat of all my cars to their highest position, although I am not short and it sometimes means that my head touches the headliner
. I hate Corvettes because you sit way back in the back and low down and have to peer out over the long hood
to try to figure out what is going on up front. To add insult to injury, your ass is almost over the rear axle and gets jolted every time you go over a bump. But that's just me -- other people love their Vettes.
Likewise center cockpits. I love the view -- what can I say? I just feel good there. And I like having the after deck
to walk around on.
Other aspects are relatively minor in comparison. Yes, you have to crane your neck a bit to see the mainsail
(if I had better sail trim skills, I might even care). But as someone said, seeing forward is no problem because of the high cut yankee of the cutter
rig. Having the boom set high is no problem -- we're not racing
. It's great not to worry about being decapitated in case of an accidental gybe. And it's great having the traveller BEHIND the cockpit, so you can operate absolutely everything from the cockpit, with winches and lines arranged all around -- what a fantastic working space. And being closer to the genny cars, and the mast
I won't compare to our aft cockpit boat which is almost 20 feet shorter, for the reasons we've discussed. The bows are further away from the center cockpit
of our 55 foot cc than they are from the aft cockpit of our old, 37 foot boat. Plus the bigger boat has double the freeboard, and a fixed windshield. So it's vastly dryer, and altogether plenty dry for us. (I'm not advocating high freeboard, by the way, but it does contribute to dryness.)
I won't even get into the layout below, which others have covered well enough.
Horses for courses.