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Old 16-01-2021, 13:48   #1
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Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

hi - i am considering a 35 ft center cockpit sailboat -i have always had aft cockpits. Given in a CC, you are forward and higher, is there any problem seeing around a gennie ? in my aft cockpit, i can always look under it.

Also, there must be more side to side, fore and aft movement in the CC cockpit because it is higher - is this noticeable compared to aft boat ? also, given the boom and sail are relatively higher, does this noticeably increase heeling compared to an aft cockpit boat.

Tx for any help.
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Old 16-01-2021, 15:12   #2
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

I have not been in any smaller CCs (~35') so won't comment on the visibility concern.

Generally you will feel rolling motion more, due to being higher, but feel pitching motion less, due to being more towards the center of the boat. The heeling moment of the rig may be higher on average, but I wouldn't try to answer such a question as there are too many variables - look at the particulars of a specific boat and eyeball the center of pressure for yourself.

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Old 16-01-2021, 15:43   #3
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

Seeing around the jib seems like it would be more difficult depending on the exact boat and sail.

I think the CC is a little wetter in heavier weather.

Center cockpit is in the most desireable position on the boat for motion. It forces to salon to move forward some. If you are not going on passage most of these don't make a difference.

If you are sailing offshore as a couple then sailing guests aren't real going to be that common and privacy doesn't strike me as a good reason for the aft cabin. A smaller main cabin means few dinner guests.

If you are living aboard and maybe coastal cruising near where friends might visit regularly then the aft cabin privacy is a bigger draw.

Depends on what you intend to do with the boat.
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Old 16-01-2021, 15:43   #4
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

What make and model are your looking at?
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Old 16-01-2021, 16:12   #5
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

There's no difference in seeing around the genoa; that is a function of boat design and sail cut, imo.

You are up higher, so side to side motion increases but pitching decreases so it kind of all cancels out.

I'd argue that cc boats are no more wetter than aft cockpit. The higher position prevents a lot of spray from reaching the cockpit. Be prepared to take the odd bucket sized clump of water every now and again though as a side on hit in certain conditions will throw it up and over.
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Old 16-01-2021, 19:14   #6
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

My 47 foot center cockpit is considerably drier than my 38 foot aft cockpit was.
The rolling motion difference is negligible, it’s fairly slow. The feel of the pitching when you are above deck is less with the cc but not dramatically
Both are good sea boats. 34000 lbs and 18000 lbs empty respectively.
The higher freeboard of the big boat helps a lot.
Both have good dodgers.
For me, the biggest difference is maneuvering in close quarters. Docks. Tight harbors. With an aft cockpit you are essentially at the stern. With the bigger cc I’ve got about 20 feet of boat plus dink on davits behind me. I have really need to learn to be conscious of that.
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Old 16-01-2021, 21:02   #7
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

I'm not a fan of CC in smaller yachts, because if the aft cabin is of useful size and the cockpit is of useful size, then the saloon is pretty cramped... and that's where you spend time whilst awake. I've never appreciated devoting a huge part of the available volume to a place where you are gonna be asleep when using it. A big, open and airy saloon/galley are quite attractive to me, and helped guide the selection of our current boat.I reckon the trade offs become more favorable somewhere in the mid to high 40s.

I know others don't agree... just my opinion, based on being in a lot of boats over the years.

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Old 16-01-2021, 22:02   #8
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

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I'm not a fan of CC in smaller yachts, because if the aft cabin is of useful size and the cockpit is of useful size, then the saloon is pretty cramped... and that's where you spend time whilst awake. I've never appreciated devoting a huge part of the available volume to a place where you are gonna be asleep when using it. A big, open and airy saloon/galley are quite attractive to me, and helped guide the selection of our current boat.I reckon the trade offs become more favorable somewhere in the mid to high 40s.

I know others don't agree... just my opinion, based on being in a lot of boats over the years.

Jim

As the owner of a small centre cockpit, I probably have to disagree on principal. Ours has oodles of internal space for it's size with a couple of compromises specific to the design, both of which we have worked around more or less. Although one in particular still irks me a little bit, the missus won't have any other boat so happy wife happy life I guess.


But I digress, the two things that are a PITA on just about any centre cockpit is the boom height and the height of the steps from cockpit to cabin. Ive had to learn to scamper up the mast to attach halyards and swing like a trapeze artist from the companionway on the odd occasion in bumpy seas!
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Old 16-01-2021, 22:09   #9
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

When I sailed a KP 44 the roller furled headsail and staysail were high enough to see under. If you have a Genoa cut to be close to the deck, that would be another story, as it would for any boat.
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Old 17-01-2021, 08:19   #10
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

I have an Irwin 44 center cockpit and love it. (it is almost identical to a CSY 44).
Mine is a "walk over" which provides total privacy between cabins, a very large engine compartment, and a really big comfortable cockpit.

I have a head and A/C unit in the aft master cabin. Another head and A/C unit in the forward cabin.

I looked at other, even larger center cockpit that aren't walk over. The passageway or hallway in the hull connecting the cabins makes for a cramped cockpit and you lose the feeling of privacy.

This also makes for a cramped engine compartment.

Depending on where you cruise a small cockpit is problematic. I lived and sailed the Virgin Islands for 17 years. Also did a trip to the Bahamas. Most of the time at anchor is spent in the cockpit and the bigger the better.

I intend to cruise the Bahamas in the Spring, NE USA in the Summer, and back to the Virgin Islands next fall. I will have various friends come and go and they all love the privacy of the walkover and the great big cockpit.

All the best.

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Old 17-01-2021, 10:24   #11
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

This seems to be something very personal and based upon which characteristics that person values. My aft cockpit allows for more storage than the typical equivalent center cockpit but doesn't compare in cabin size and amenities.
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Old 17-01-2021, 10:34   #12
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

The “back porch” on a CC boat is a unique advantage over any aft cockpit boat. Everything else is a function of rigging dimension, design, bulkhead locations and LWL.
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Old 17-01-2021, 10:56   #13
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

When at anchor, everything about a CC is a pro: it’s bigger, it allows a huge aft cabin with walk around bed etc.

When under sail, everything about a CC is bad: it is much wetter, rolling almost pitches you overboard, the big bed in the aft cabin is unusable, life in the cockpit is more difficult.

Pick your choice (we have both aft and center )
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Old 17-01-2021, 11:51   #14
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

I disagree with Jedi's observations; but then I'm 71 ft. and a 16 ft. beam. I wouldn't never consider anything but a CC for offshore. Safety, drier, and no problem seeing all round. Also, on the aft cabin berth point ... the fact is that walk around beds are ridiculous. A queen from Port to Starboard and sea berths along each side is the more logical way to design an aft master cabin. I cannot understand why anyone would want a cabin forward. Those are my thoughts and experiences for what they're worth.
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Old 17-01-2021, 12:00   #15
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Re: Center vs Aft Cockpit Sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by PHK1 View Post
hi - i am considering a 35 ft center cockpit sailboat -i have always had aft cockpits. Given in a CC, you are forward and higher, is there any problem seeing around a gennie ? in my aft cockpit, i can always look under it. Probably a bit, not a game changer necessarily.

Also, there must be more side to side, fore and aft movement in the CC cockpit because it is higher - is this noticeable compared to aft boat ? It is higher, but it is also more centered on the boat. Probably a good tradeoff.

also, given the boom and sail are relatively higher, does this noticeably increase heeling compared to an aft cockpit boat. It may depend, is the mast really higher than an aft cockpit same model, or does it just have less sail?

Tx for any help.
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