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Old 03-08-2009, 11:06   #1
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Center Cockpit Sailboats and Blue Water Cruising

My wife and I are in the process of selling it all and starting the cruising life. We have looked at hundreds of boats and always come back to center cockpit ketch rigged boats. Are there any concerns I should be aware of that are unique to a center cockbit boat (such as the design not performing well into the wind or too much freeboard that hurts performance)?

I know there is no perfect boat so we want to balance creature comfort with sailing performance. Any thoughs on the topic would be appreciated.


Steve
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:30   #2
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They are very popular and will keep the green water out of the cockpit, although maybe not the bow spray! There is something secure feeling about being higher up in the center cockpit and visibility is slightly better especially docking... One of my favorite well built older ones is the Waquiez Amphitrite 43...
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Old 03-08-2009, 11:32   #3
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Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of boating and this forum.
If you keep coming back to that lay-out then go for it.
Its really all about what works best for you....sail and dock on one before you commit.
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:04   #4
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Aloha Steve,

Welcome!
You might want to use this search engine and just type in Center Cockpit or CC and see what has been discussed before. I don't care for CCs but many others do. The discussion is in former threads.

Cruisers & Sailing Forum

Kind regards,

JohnL
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Old 03-08-2009, 13:10   #5
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Thanks.. we are definitely committed... been dreaming for 20+ years... time to live the dream. I will check out previous threads... still exploring the site....
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Old 03-08-2009, 13:22   #6
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Steve... as others have said, if you are attracted to the concept, go for it!

Be sure to check out the Kelly Peterson 44/46, one of the best blue water boats out there. And there are plenty out there.

Owners' website here (including a few boats for sale):

Peterson Cutter Website - Welcome

They are cutters, not ketches. Both have their pros and cons.
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Old 03-08-2009, 13:51   #7
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This is one of my fave CC boats, but Im not for one moment suggesting you opt for a Formosa Angelique pictures by Jack_Tar - Photobucket

Another ketch Ta Chiao CT 54 for sale in South Oban, Argyll
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Old 03-08-2009, 13:58   #8
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Definitely go for what feels comfortable. We find the CC wonderful and we have never looked at anything else. We have a Peterson 44 which although now getting on in life (most are over 30) we are very happy so far with her. Being closer to the bow is easier for berthing and communicating with whoever is on the bow dropping anchor. Having an aft cabin also suits us and we have a superb sea berth in the main saloon. Had a ketch rigged CC previous to this one but being only 32' she was way too small for a ketch rig and we found all the extra shrouds to be a pain in the rear end (literally). Go for what you like then you will never look back and say "What if".
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Old 03-08-2009, 14:18   #9
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When you look at smaller CC boats the layout below can be chopped up pretty bad. The early boats use a walk over design with basically two companion ways. We used to sail on a 37 Chris Craft CC walkover and it was a nice secure feeling with a half hard dodger. The cockpit was exceptionally deep. Great for day sailing in the trade winds (what we did). Pathetic space below however. Sailability will vary from any boat design but I don't see it as a CC issue but more of the boat may not that great issue. Layout below is effected until you get closer to 50 ft. At that point the increased beam and general cavernous space is less obviously hampered.

Modern furling gear and materials have reduced the handling advantage of the ketch and cutter rigs smaller sails. We have a cutter so it's not the only issue in picking a boat. Cutters and ketches don't lose advantages just that sloops have gained a lot. You can get a well performing easy to handle sloop with less rigging to tend with.

Personally, I would try to find the smallest large boat that works for what you want to do and then work around that idea. Being attached to a specific configuration may avoid seeing boats that really are better laid out for your trip needs.

Bigger boats are bigger and carry the work check list to more than match. You need all the boat you need and it's OK to want more boat than you actually buy and still be darn happy about the whole thing. Say it three times really slow and it makes more sense The extra work in a boat climbs faster than the length. Costs also climb even faster. As you do more work you inevitably spends more money. Paying more to work harder has a new meaning.
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Old 03-08-2009, 15:05   #10
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I agree with Paul

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
Layout below is effected until you get closer to 50 ft. At that point the increased beam and general cavernous space is less obviously hampered.
I don't think the advantages of a center cockpit design overcome the disadvantages until somewhere around 50 feet. On anything shorter, the cockpit is too close to the splashy part of the boat. All you end up is a boat design where a dodger is an absolute necessity.
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Old 03-08-2009, 16:23   #11
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Quote:
All you end up is a boat design where a dodger is an absolute necessity.
I always thought there were anyway. I wouldn't own a boat with no dodger. Space management varies on a lot of factors and boats. The only rule I've heard of is 2 tons per person (water and fuel count). The amount starts with an empty boat. That is very very minimal.

People don't always think that the boat won't hold all the crap they really do need plus the extra stuff they just can't live without.

You can start out thinking you don't need very much space and of course relative to the 3 bedroom house, 2 car garage, attic, (maybe a basement), and utility shed you don't. You sell off all the material possessions but you are still left with a LOT of crap to bring along. The scary part is you really need most of it. You also bring stuff you don't need, but you don't know the difference just yet. Some stuff you just have to have because you always have.

Kids and safety gear is not optional unless the kids can be left on shore and not legally considered abandoned. The technical difference matters.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:08   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I don't think the advantages of a center cockpit design overcome the disadvantages until somewhere around 50 feet. On anything shorter, the cockpit is too close to the splashy part of the boat. All you end up is a boat design where a dodger is an absolute necessity.
I think this is the right tack. Unless there is room for a below deck passage, it appears to me to lose a lot of utility. I'd be more concerned about a big deep cockpit with no easy way to get the water out ( common in the CC boats I've seen) Just my 2c's.
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:27   #13
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I feel that many smaller CC boats don't have a deep enough cockpit in order to keep headroom below. In many you sit on the boat not in it (Moodys for exmple).
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:36   #14
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As I've previously noted, I prefer sailing an aft cockpit boat. For many of the reasons above - but as well, I like the view and feel from way aft. That being said, when we went boat shopping, I knew we were going to have a CC. There are just too many other advantages:

The aft "palace" - and it's not a cave
The aft sundeck behind the cockpit is the second most favorite part of the boat - the ladies call it "the beach"
6'3" walkthru headroom
The ability to see the bow when docking and anchoring
Sail trimming is right at the wheel for the main and genoa
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Old 04-08-2009, 08:44   #15
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Songlines...

It might be wise to seek counsel from a family that has cruised long distance in CC boats for many years. See Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction . John Neal is a very personable and knowledgable guy and could be very helpful to you.

s/v HyLyte
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