Originally Posted by Jim Cate
As to the relative "dryness" of the CC -- I've noticed that in the long range cruising fleet, the majority of CC boats have constructed large (and to me ugly) structures enclosing the cockpit. I'm sure that this gives marvelous weather
protection, but one suspects that if they were as dry as advertised, the CCs wouldn't need these structures... only a common spray dodger
with perhaps a bimini
in the tropics.
Anyhow, it really does come down to how you want to use the volume at your disposal, and for sure, YMMV from mine!
I have a CC boat and have been doing a lot of thinking about the type of dodger/bimini I want. The boat came with the usual high, ugly structure that Jim objects to. I definitely want to have a bimini
that I can stand up beneath but I had an opinion similar to Jim's about blocky looking dodgers so was thinking seriously of getting a lower, sleeker looking dodger
that would be about 15" lower than the bimini height, with a removable connector section to the bimini. So, on nice days, I could remove the connector and have unobstructed visibility through that 15" vertical slot and a nice breeze on my face. In rainy weather
or spray I could zip in the connector and keep the cockpit dry. BUT, after a year of using the tall dodger as is, with a big window in front that zips and folds down on nice days, I'm now more inclined to stick with "big ugly" but it has nothing to do with how much spray makes it to the cockpit area. For me it has to do with the volume of space within the enclosure and not having to remember to duck my head
under the dodger as I go up and down the steps and the visibility and air flow are all fine with the front pane unzipped. It just seems really functional to leave it as is and creates a nice big feeling space. Then there's the consideration of the additional windage the taller structure would create in a hard blow..... as you can tell I'm still not 100% decided but the current
settup still has a couple of years left so I can take my time and work
on other areas that are more urgent.
But I would take with a huge grain of salt
the claim that CC boats are wetter than aft cockpits. The aft cockpit is further aft, but the CC is higher, both factors that help avoid spray. My last boat was a 44' aft cockpit and my current boat is a 47'CC. It seems like almost always when there's a big splash, most of the water
lands just forward of the mast
and a few drops come across the front of the dodger, but hardly ever in the sides of either my aft or center cockpit boats. Maybe the geometry in smaller CC boats (under about 40") would make them "wet" but I haven't found it to be true in my boat.
Another nice feature of a CC boat is that when heading offshore
, I always move my RIB
from the davits
that I use when coastal cruising to lash it down inverted on the foredeck, I can actually see over it whereas on my aft cockpit boat I was much bothered by the limited visibility forward when I had the RIB
aboard. And speaking of visibility, the CC design is really nice for docking
or grabbing a mooring
because your view of the bow area is so much better. But on the other hand, when at the helm
shorthanded in challenging conditions, it takes me a little longer to get from the helm to the dock
than it did with my aft cockpit boat. Lots of pluses and minuses to consider. I wouldn't steer you away from either type. Good luck with your choice!