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Old 06-05-2016, 16:32   #1
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V-Berth envy

I placed a similar post to this on the trailer sailor board a few years ago and it worked well so here we go again.

We are in the market for a 32 to 36 foot (more or less) monohull to be kept in the Pacific Northwest and used for exploring as far north as southern Alaska. We have either chartered or looked at several boats, including Catalina 30, 320, 355, 36 and 38, Beneteau 32, 34, 393, and 46, Island Packet 350, and Hans Christian 36. I have come to the conclusion that all boat designers are either 5' 6" tall or they (and their wife) have very big bladders and never have to get up in the middle of the night. Of the boats we have looked at, only the Catalina 38 and 355 have good sized berths, with the Catalina 36 being ok, if not great.

The last time we did this, we were told about the Seaward 25. After we looked at one we drove 1200 miles to buy our beloved Shadowfax. All I can say, is the V-berth is huge! To bad the rest of the boat isn't. We spent 10 weeks on her last summer in the San Juans and Canadian Gulf Islands and she got pretty tight.

So, budget is around $100K, maybe more for the right boat. What should we add to our must see list?
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Old 06-05-2016, 22:43   #2
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Re: V-Berth envy

Canyonbat:

What length & width berth do you require? It should be pretty easy once you know the dimensions you need to find out whether a given boat meets your criteria or not. For instance, we have two doubles on our boat. They both accept store bought double bed size sheets, though one is somewhat smaller than the other. If you and your good lady can sleep well on an old fashioned double, you're probably home free., although for exploring the PNW, you'll probably want a boat with a couple of good sea berths, too, preferably parallel to the centerline of the boat.

Ann
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Old 06-05-2016, 23:00   #3
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Re: V-Berth envy

Width isn't much of an issue since most will be wider than our 8'6" beam Seaward. We are thinking 80 inches or greater at the center line would be great. The Catalina 36 is 78". We have heard that the Catalina 34 berth is even bigger than the 36 but haven't found one to check out yet. Hopefully we will find a few to look at on our next trip to the coast.
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Old 06-05-2016, 23:06   #4
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Re: V-Berth envy

Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonbat View Post
The Catalina 36 is 78". We have heard that the Catalina 34 berth is even bigger than the 36
That's true.
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:07   #5
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Re: V-Berth envy

I'm sorry, canyonbat, I'm having a hard time getting my head around this: what I think you're saying is that you're looking for length 81" and width 102"????? If that's what you mean, and I don't really think it can be, but if it is, I don't think you're going to find it. Our fwd berth is 77" long by 54" wide. Please can you clarify?

Thanks,

Ann
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:58   #6
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Re: V-Berth envy

Howdy!

If you have a $100K, I would look for a boat with a pullman berth forward. These can be roomy and have headroom (if that is a problem for you). But, if you are uncomfortable "crawling over the spouse" to get up to go to the head in the middle of the night, those will be a problem. Some Tayana boats have Pullman berths. Some Hans Christians too (if you like traditional styling boats).

Some Vberths have VERY LITTLE headroom above the berth, especially if the boat is designed mostly for daysailing. I have seen some boats that look great in all other aspects, but their Vberths appear to have such low overheads (ceiling) and high platforms for the mattresses (which will be higher still if you put any ventilation gear under the mattresses), that only children would fit.

My favorite VBerth design?
My favorite is found in the Amel boats, which have a different design concept for the forward berths, with them lower down. I like the ones I have seen online. You might be able to find an Amel (different models) from the early 1990s or late 1980s that would fit your needs, but finding one on the West Coast of USA is more limited. I will post a few photos showing how the Amel boats have a different V berth design, which looks much more comfortable to me.

Another photo or two are from the Bristol 40 footer from about 1976. That is an older design boat and may not suit your tastes, but should be less expensive.

Good luck on your search.
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:07   #7
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Re: V-Berth envy

My boat has an aft queen berth and a forward full length double pullman berth.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:34   #8
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Re: V-Berth envy

Take a look at boats designed by George Hinterhoeller <-sp? Like the Nonsuch or the Niagaras. He had a different approach to vee berths. Another would be PSCs designed by Crealock, more of an open concept.

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Old 07-05-2016, 08:08   #9
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Re: V-Berth envy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
I'm sorry, canyonbat, I'm having a hard time getting my head around this: what I think you're saying is that you're looking for length 81" and width 102"????? If that's what you mean, and I don't really think it can be, but if it is, I don't think you're going to find it. Our fwd berth is 77" long by 54" wide. Please can you clarify?

Thanks,

Ann
Our current V-berth is 92" long by 66" wide but there is a lot of unused space at the toes so anything in the 78 to 82 inch range on length and 60 or so inches wide would probably be fine. We looked at the Pullman berth on the IP 35 and on a Catalina 42 and have ruled out that berth style. Since we have been focusing more on the coastal cruisers, rather than true bluewater boats so far, I haven't seen many with great sea berths. We do not plan on a lot of overnight passages at this point but that may change.

Since our home base is a long ways from where the boat will be and we try do most of our own maintenance, we are trying to avoid boats with a lot of exterior wood. The Amel looks nice but finding one on the west coast in our size range and budget might be a tall order.

Here is our V-berth cushion laid out on our king size bed at home.

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Old 07-05-2016, 08:20   #10
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Re: V-Berth envy

Quote:
Originally Posted by goat View Post
Take a look at boats designed by George Hinterhoeller <-sp? Like the Nonsuch or the Niagaras. He had a different approach to vee berths. Another would be PSCs designed by Crealock, more of an open concept.

Sent from my SGH-I257M using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
The PSC 31 and 34 are both on our list to view as they seem like bigger, tougher versions of our Seaward. The PSC 37 has the pullman so is probably not what we want. The Nonsuch boats are nice but I am not enthusiastic about a Catboat. We have friends with a Compac Suncat 17 and Horizon Cat 20 and both seem to struggle with raising, lowering and flaking that giant sail. On the 30 it must be huge!
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:35   #11
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Re: V-Berth envy

I don't think that there is a bigger V-berth in the size range than the Catalina 34.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:45   #12
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Re: V-Berth envy

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Originally Posted by tomdidit View Post
I don't think that there is a bigger V-berth in the size range than the Catalina 34.
Add: with extremely good headroom.
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