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Old 06-04-2014, 15:17   #1
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Sleeping orientation

Question for those of you who have slept on a few different catmarans,

Do you prefer to sleep head to toe in "length" with the boat or in width with the boat and why?

Eg I've only ever stayed on catamarans where the beds run bow to stern but I notice on all of the Sunreef catamarans they now only have the beds orientated port to starboard.

Wondering which people prefer?

Also wondering is it better to have the master cabin bed in the rear of the boat or the bow? I'm assuming Stern only for width of the hull reasons (but also wondering for either sailing at night if the waves on the bow are noisy (but then if you motor.....then no way someone could sleep in the cabin just in front of the motors in the stern).

Thoughts?
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Old 06-04-2014, 15:35   #2
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Re: Sleeping orientation

Our boat has two full queen sized berths - one facing fore/aft and the other athwartship. We have the fore/aft in our "owners" side that we use mostly.

The good thing about catamarans is rolling is not usually a problem, so the orientation and size of berths are usually inconsequential.

However, sometimes we do get rolling sufficient enough to be annoying to sleep in. In those times, we simply sleep in the athwartship berth so that the rolling becomes pitching to us. It is much easier to sleep when the motion is a pitching one than when it is a rolling motion.

Your thoughts on width is the reason most berths are in the aft part of the boat - the cabins can be made larger there. Also, the motion is more damped in the aft. Some catamarans have a central bridgedeck cabin forward that provides more space.

Mark
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Old 06-04-2014, 16:12   #3
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Re: Sleeping orientation

While underway, assuming you don't sleep right near the helm, the fore and aft are preferable due to the primarily pitching motion of a cat underway.

At anchor, that same berth becomes a liability if the inside person has to pee or get a drink. At anchor, the athwart berth wins out because each can get out of bed independently.

I chose athwart ship berths and will (as always) sleep right by the helm underway, no matter who is on watch.
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Old 06-04-2014, 16:20   #4
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Re: Sleeping orientation

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Originally Posted by oceannavigator View Post
At anchor, that same berth becomes a liability if the inside person has to pee or get a drink. At anchor, the athwart berth wins out because each can get out of bed independently.
That is dependent on the individual berth design. It is just the opposite of your description for our boat.

Mark
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Old 06-04-2014, 17:00   #5
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Re: Sleeping orientation

On a mono the only choice is fore and aft orientation. Berths in the bow tend to be VERY uncomfortable on anything but broad reaching or more off wind. The vertical motion in the forepeak can bounce you off the overhead in the extreme and just uncomfortable with the constant upward acceleration and downward fall as the bow hits the seas.
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Old 06-04-2014, 17:08   #6
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Re: Sleeping orientation

[QUOTE=DeanCollins;1511258]
Quote:
Do you prefer to sleep head to toe in "length" with the boat or in width with the boat and why?
Fore and aft is good in a seaway - heavy going, sleeping with your feet forward is a very good thing. Athwartships is good other times, if that allows for access either side (though that depends on the design)


Quote:
Also wondering is it better to have the master cabin bed in the rear of the boat or the bow? I'm assuming Stern only for width of the hull reasons (but also wondering for either sailing at night if the waves on the bow are noisy (but then if you motor.....then no way someone could sleep in the cabin just in front of the motors in the stern).
Neither, the roll pitch and yaw movements of the boat are magnified the further away from those centres. And if you are having a main cabin in the stern for width, then the boat is likely to have some "ahem- obesity" issues. What I mean by that is, the sterns and hulls should be designed around what makes a good boat, not what makes a good bedroom.
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Old 06-04-2014, 17:48   #7
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Re: Sleeping orientation

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
That is dependent on the individual berth design. It is just the opposite of your description for our boat.

Mark
Which makes total sense if your berth is down in the hull rather than tucked up onto the bridgedeck.
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Old 06-04-2014, 21:03   #8
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Re: Sleeping orientation

I much prefer berths facing fore and aft particularly while the boat is underway while on passage as you are orientated with the forward movement of the boat. Berths in the aft of the cat will also be much quieter while underway as well as water passes through the bridgedeck.

In my experience I have also found that fore and aft facing berths allow someone to get out of bed without disturbing their sleeping partner unlike athwartship berths.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:07   #9
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Re: Sleeping orientation

Yes, athwartship doubles can require the person on the inside to have to crawl over the person on the outside - although for couples who still enjoy some physical contact, this can actually be a nice start to the day! Unless they are 'island berths' (which in cats of 40 feet or under LOA requires pretty excessive beam aft), fore/aft berths still require someone to crawl out of a tunnel and in my experience this is still apt to awaken someone sharing the berth.

In terms of motion while underway, I am with those who say depending upon the conditions/point of sail, there is very little difference. Unless a boat suffers from excessive hobby-horsing, when reaching there tends to be more motion side to side which favors athwartship berths; when sailing to windward (or downwind in large waves), a fore/aft orientation is typically more comfortable.

Another issue which can have a dramatic effect on comfort, however, is the how the bridgedeck and tunnel were designed in order to accomodate these berths. Some cats with large athwarthsip, forward doubles have a flat bottom and a very blunt leading edge to the bridgedeck: this will increase pounding generally, but also specifically underneath these berths! Other boats accomodate berths over large 'shelves' that protrude into the tunnel. These can reduce bridgedeck clearance under the berths to a matter of inches, again contributing to pounding underneath the berth when underway.

As to noise from the diesels in aft berths when underway - I see this as a pretty rare occurence. On longer passages, you will typically be using the engines primarily when entering or exiting harbours - and at these points, you will usually want your crew to be awake! If becalmed and in a hurry, unless in extreme conditions we usually motor on only one engine and can choose to use the engine in the opposite hull of the aft cabin that may be in use. We have a fore-aft berth forward in one of our hulls and I can say that noise from waves while underway is tyically greater there than in the athwartship aft doubles.

Brad
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