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View Poll Results: Best berth for sleeping at sea?
Forward Bridgedeck? 2 5.00%
Forward in a Hull? 1 2.50%
Aft? 22 55.00%
In the middle? 14 35.00%
Oriented fore-and-aft? 10 25.00%
Athwartship? 5 12.50%
On an angle? 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25-05-2008, 19:03   #1
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Best Cabin Layout for Comfort in Cats

Since the kids can fall asleep anywhere, I'm mostly concerned with the best berth for the Admiral and I, since we will be the watchkeepers and will need to get a decent sleep when off-watch - specifically when passage-making, although opinions on in-port sleeping arrangements are welcome too. Specifically thinking of around-40 ft cats, there seems to be 3 choices: forward, amidships, or aft; and on top of that the orientation - fore-and-aft, athwartship, and angled between the two previous. Understanding there will always be motion and noise, especially when sailing, what cabin location/berth layout offers the motion/noise that is either most conducive or least disruptive of a good night's sleep?
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Old 25-05-2008, 21:03   #2
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These Outdoor Cabins are best!




Absent that, on a 40 Ftr, aft hull is likely the best choice based on available design limitations (although many will end up catching their nap on the salon sofa....)
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Old 26-05-2008, 02:07   #3
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Kevin, my vote goes for aft berths as well. My fore/aft forward berth seems to suffer more from the motion while underway (not significantly different from a v-berth in a mono). Forward athwartship doubles can also be more susceptible to slamming as the leading edge of the bridgedeck is often more blunt in order to accomodate the berths.

As to athwartship versus fore/aft orientation for the aft doubles, I can only speak from personal experience to the former. While an arrangement that is unsuitable for a sea berth in a mono (due to heeling), in a cat there is generally less motion in a seaway from heeling than there is fore/aft from waves, so an athwartship aft seems to work just fine.

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Old 26-05-2008, 08:44   #4
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I've owned a PDQ 32 with aft berths, and a PDQ 36 with forward berths. Forward is further from the enginesand easiest to ventilate, and aft is steadier in a seaway. I haven't seen a for-and-aft pilot berth in the salon yet, but that might be the best place to sleep when you're next on watch.

We chartered a Moorings 4700 and I found that from the starboard aft stateroom I could easily go out through the overhead hatch to reach the helm if needed, but the hatch had to be closed if it was raining. But sailing with four admirals is no fun.
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Old 26-05-2008, 12:27   #5
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Thanks for the replies so far. My gut feeling was that aft berths would have less motion, but the recent discussions on bridgedeck clearance led me to believe there might be more waveslap noise aft. I hadn't really considered ventilation, but I guess that adds another question - wouldn't fwd cabins tend to take more spray through open ports/hatches?(when underway)

Another preconceived notion I have, is that the forepeak single berths that are common in charter boats, would only be suitable for sleeping in port, and best used as storage underway - any thoughts on that?


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Old 26-05-2008, 17:37   #6
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Kevin, the forward single on my boat is usable underway, and is actually quite confortable when running, broad reaching, or close hauled - although the latter only so long as the waves/swells are not too large. In that case, you do get more motion than I would prefer, although still not as bad as a monohull (insignificant heeling). Further, my single is placed a decent distance back from the bow - certainly in comparison to the forward double/v berth on most monos.

I think you will typically find more wave slap forward (or at least, the most severe slap forward) of the aft berths. And cats without forward doubles tend to have a much more gradual and curved leading edge to the bridgedeck than those which have them (and hence, need a flat 'floor' forward as the base for the mattresses).

As for ventilation, there are pros and cons to both locations. Yes, in certain conditions the forward deck hatches can take on some spray; on the other hand, the breeze for the aft cabin deck hatches is partially obscured by the house, bimini and in my case from time to time, full cockpit enclosure.

For and aft, or athwartship aft doubles? Really, as I have already mentioned, since there is so much less heeling in a cat than a mono, athwartship aft doubles are quite usable underway and typically have easier ingress/egress. Neither layout would be a deal breaker or maker for me.

Brad
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Old 26-05-2008, 19:53   #7
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There are other aspects as well. E.g. end entry v side entry and island vs classic.

There are many many boats out there with single side entry doubles. I just don't get it. What is worse than having to crawl over someone getting in and out.

I haven't been on a boat with one of the newer island berths yet, but would imagine it's nice at anchor, but not in a seaway. I sometimes like to roll against the sidewall, so would miss that. I guess people like the side entry instead of crawling in from the end.
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Old 27-05-2008, 00:52   #8
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My favourite place on my Privilege 435 when on passage is the saloon settee. Right under the mast, litlle movement rarely any slap as there is plenty of bridgedeck clearance and near to the helm in case of problems.
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Old 27-05-2008, 02:07   #9
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After having sailed 300000 nm and most on cats I find the rear hull position most comfortable both for noise ( absense ) and movement and that is the reason that our master cabins are placed in the rear hulls , when on long cruises with my wife we use the saloon berth because of the fact that it is closest to the steering station

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Old 27-05-2008, 05:49   #10
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Mark, I don't think you'll see many island berths in 40 foot cats - the beam of the hulls is insufficient. As to problems in a seaway, most of the 'island' berths that I have seen in cats still have contact with the hullsides for about the top 2/3rd's of the berth - which should be adequate to provide support for your hips and upper body in a boat that doesn't heel to any significant degree.

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Old 27-05-2008, 18:35   #11
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I'm with Jeannius. When we're doing a passage, the off-watch sleeps on the salon settee. The off-watch can get to the helm quickly if help is needed and the motion is comfortable.
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Old 28-05-2008, 10:06   #12
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Thanks all for the replies. Some great information. I'll have to add a decent settee to my "must have" list.
Are there any concerns with heat and/or noise when motoring/motor sailing in the aft cabins, generally?
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Old 28-05-2008, 11:10   #13
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Old 28-05-2008, 11:26   #14
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My Master's berth keeps my head next to the mast at the exact center of the boat. I never have a problem sleeping there underway. If we are on an uncomfortable point of sail, and my body moves around, I just tuck some pillows under me.

My wife likes to take the benched wedged under the table. Once again it depends on which point of sail we are on. For her to choose which sette to sleep in.
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Old 28-05-2008, 16:09   #15
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Climbing over your bunkee to get out of or into a double is a problem if you don't have a head or foot entry. And on my PDQ its a pretty long drop to the deck, but I don't recall any other owners rigging lee cloths. My solution is a temperpedic mattress. One I've sunk into that Z-monster you'ld have to pick up the boat to shake me out!
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