I went from an aft cockpit to a CC three years ago, prior to that all my boats were aft cockpit.
The main advantage we were looking for is livability over the long term for an expanding family
, although the cc boat we bought has also turned out to be a decent performer too. Yes the cockpit is smaller but in reality your buying
for your family use, not as an entertaining platform, while cruising your not going to have 11 people on board on a regular basis.
You'll also get a higher center of gravity since the boom has to be set higher up the mast
, which usually means the mast
will be taller too to maintain the mainsail
area. Not an issue unless your looking to do the intercoastal. If the hull
your looking at came in both aft and center cockpit
designs you'll want to see if the masthead is higher off the water than the aft cockpit version, and if so, if there was additional ballast to offset that difference.
There are so many different interpretations of the CC design it really comes down to what model and what sailing style you prefer.
As for wetness, well, yeah, you do tend to get a bit more water over the deck, but again, it depends on the model and cabin house design. I've been splashed in the CC but I've also been pooped in an AC, either one should have BIG scups to drain fast in case of water incursion.
Benefits? A really nice living space, a really nice aft cabin, not a low ceillinged bat cave, the actual room for two heads, a decent galley
size and good head
Sailing performance is mostly a function of hull/rig design, which doesn't necessarily have any direct connection to the cockpit orientation, although, generally, a CC will be a little heavier than it's aft cockpit cousin.
In my case the boat is 47' which gives lots of living space, three cabins, and has good sailing manners, it's a pretty stiff boat.
You may want to see how the engine
access is, I've seen a wide variation in ease of maintenance
and access between the different builders and designs, from really easy to a real bitch.
Overall I'm really pleased with the CC design, it fits our needs at this time, it's quite livable, and the Admiral loves it, which really makes a difference. When our extended cruising
days are over or when our kids
are off and on their own, I'll probably move back to an aft cockpit boat, mainly because we'll probably downsize at that point and an aft cockpit layout doesn't really work well in a boat under 40', under that footage it's too much of a compromise.It all depends on what your intended use is.
If your not sure, why not charter
one and try it out?