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Old 16-12-2015, 16:28   #1
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Pros/cons of center cockpit

Im considering a hunter 420 CC....although the cockpit is smaller than a standard seems adequate for 5/6people and there are two jump seats aft along with a good sized open deck just aft...of course the reward is that the rear stateroom is huge, which is very nice... and being about 2 feet higher the view is nice... any comments??

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Old 16-12-2015, 16:46   #2
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

G'day, Mate. Generally, you are going to have to reef earlier with a CC model vs. the aft cockpit version of a similar model with the higher boom causing the center of effort of the main to be higher off the waterline. You also might occasionally have a "wetter" ride with a splashing wave reaching midships more frequently compared to further aft. But if you are living aboard, the CC model will increase the odds of prolonging the lifestyle longer based on the more accommodating interior as you indicated. FWIW, that's been my experience. All the best. Cheers.

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Old 16-12-2015, 18:19   #3
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

There is at least one existing thread on this worth a search.

Personally for typical cruising use, I think a CC has a lot of advantages.
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Old 16-12-2015, 20:53   #4
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

Everything is a compromise, and everything has it's advantages and disadvantages. What matters is what works for you.

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Old 17-12-2015, 08:24   #5
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

I think the compromises are worth it to get the extra interior room. I wish I had a CC. Seasick prone crew will feel the motion more on a CC because they are higher off the water.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:28   #6
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

Wrestled with this issue for a year or so - before locating Bristol 47.7 with modified cc. Primary gain is large aft stateroom - so you get forward and aft staterooms and two full heads. Perfect for two couples or parents and children. Cons are comfort and size of cockpit unless beam very wide and going to weather - the water hits cockpit more often and harder than with aft cockpit. Tradeoff worth it here, but something to think about.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:29   #7
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

You are looking at an excellent boat! We are owners of a 1997 Hunter 42 Passage (center cockpit). We cruised and lived on it for a year, and are looking forward to doing the same again soon. The major advantage is the headroom in the aft cabin - which is a great advantage on longer trips. Other thoughts:
- headroom and livable space (feels like a much larger boat)
- high freeboard in cockpit
- feels like a smaller boat when steering in tight spots (but you have to watch your tail!)
- higher boom (this can be an advantage or disadvantage)

- smaller cockpit (may be an issue if you like to entertain)

All in all, we love ours - feel free to PM me or take a look at our blog if you have specific questions. and don't let the "Hunter Bashers" put you off! Good luck!

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Old 17-12-2015, 08:29   #8
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

If you are a committed long time ocean sailor and live aboard you will eventually favor a CC boat. For casual coastal sailing you will likely prefer a stern cockpit. The important differences are more about weather protection, accommodation below and deck access and less about handling. If you are a racer, a stern cockpit is basic. If you have ever looked up at a 15 to 20 foot following sea with 45 knot winds, you understand the comfort of a CC layout.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:34   #9
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

I have to disagree with TFere. Yes you will be perhaps some what higher up but it is a better motion in the middle of the teeter totter than on the end. Wetter five sure but a strong Bimini/dodger can mitigate this. CCs tend to have their engines closer to midships which greatly helps the hobby horse effect. Privacy can't be overstated but as Training Wheels points out there are compromises to every design.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:35   #10
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

We bashed back from Mexico in late June this year buddy boating with 2 center cockpit boats. We encountered 60 hours of 40 kt winds and seas continually breaking over the bows and sweeping the decks. Both of these boats had a lot of water get into their cabins due to ,it seemed, not having bridge decks. It appeared to me that the designers, one was a Sparkman and Stephens, thought that because the cockpits were so high off the water that there was little chance that they would completely fill. Our aft cockpit filled sometimes, but it is small and has enormous drains. Plus we have a pilothouse, so we didn't spend a lot of time outside anyway.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:39   #11
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

Biggest advantage - lots of headroom and space in aft cabin.

Biggest disadvantage - windage making docking in wind more difficult.
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Old 17-12-2015, 08:49   #12
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

Long range cruising is about lifestyle choices imho.
Although its nice to have a cockpit that can seat 37 in reality the most you will often have is yourselves and 2 other couples for sundowners and dinners. So if 6 can eat at the cockpit table u are fine.
Now the bedroom... I refuse to call them all those nautical words because a bedroom... space, space, space is what you want. Space to change clothes, space to hang up clothes, cupboard space, bathroom spaces, swing-a-cat space.
If its got that then go for it. Excuse me while I turn sideways and try to slither out the door...

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Old 17-12-2015, 09:03   #13
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

Longer trip to pee off the stern...
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Old 17-12-2015, 09:21   #14
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

I have owned my '03 Hunter 420 for four years and we love it. Wonderful layout inside, very roomy and with the forward and aft cabins we have had friends and family on two and three day trips and enjoyed it completely. She is a great sailboat easily hitting 6.5 to 7 knots in 15+ knots to windward. As to the ride in the cockpit, we have been offshore in some rough water (12-14 at least) and although we are more forward we are higher up so it seems to me that is just not much different than several aft cockpit boats I have been in. I have been preparing her as a live aboard cruiser with a departure date of December 2016. PM me if you have any questions or would like some pictures.
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Old 17-12-2015, 09:32   #15
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Re: Pros/cons of center cockpit

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 room.
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?

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