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Old 14-12-2019, 02:55   #1
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Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Hi all,

Would be interested in your thoughts on this.

Iím looking at a few centre cockpit boats and I love the style with spacious aft owner cabin and forward V-berth.

But, for two couples spending about as much time on passage as at anchor, how practical is this set up?

The choice always seems to be big owner cabin or lots of smaller or individual/sea berths (unless you go over 48ft or so then you might have the luxury of both).

Question to the forum is.. how practically can owner double berths be adjusted for off shore use (with Lea cloths etc) ?

If you have a big owner cabin configuration do you find you inevitably end up sleeping in the saloon on passage? Same goes for the V-berth, are they entirely impractical on passage?

Do you personally favour sea berths or the luxury of an owner cabin at anchor/marina?

Interested in your thoughts!
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Old 14-12-2019, 04:42   #2
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

I have an Amel 50 with two queen sized beds (forward guest and aft master cabin) and a stbd forward twin stacked bunk stateroom. The salon settee can be converted to a queen bed by lowering the table also.

The two large beds have 3 lee cloths each (two on the sides and one in the middle) so that two people can sleep at the time during crossings. The stacked single beds have their own lee cloths. The salon bed has a single lee cloth also.

We can also sleep in the cockpit as the seating on each side, or across, is wide and long enough for an about 6ft person. I don't have lee cloths there but I could easily add them.

For longer passages as a couple, we use the salon with the lee cloth without lowering the table, which can make it a trip hazard. It's very close to the center of the boat. I sleep like a baby...

During crossings, the bow cabin would be the least desirable. The single bunks can be ok. I like the salon best as it is the closest to the boat center and the companionway. My next favorite is the aft master cabin.

I find this setup as a good compromise for crossings and at anchor comfort. We spend most of the time at anchor. Click image for larger version

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Old 14-12-2019, 05:08   #3
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

I have a very large after cabin, probably to large to be honest, occasionally I sleep there underway.

I have the saloon table down fulltime, I prefer it as a big daybed type setup, great for watching movies. We have another little table settee that goes down to make a sea berth with lee cloth. Underway we we sleep in the saloon, the center of the boat is more comfortable underway. The autopilot is noisy in the back cabin and its hotter.

The queen size bed upfront isnt particularly comfortable for me underway although my current crew is happy sleeping there underway.Click image for larger version

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Old 14-12-2019, 07:21   #4
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

My Hylas 44 has a large aft cabin. Under way we have lee cloths for the settees in the main salon. If we use the aft cabin at sea we sleep sideways, as there is no good place for lee cloths. Some aft cabins do use 2 piece mattresses and lee cloths.
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Old 14-12-2019, 07:23   #5
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Thanks both.. when you see the pictures like that the saloon does look very inviting.

Do you ever sleep two like that? I canít imagine it would be so easy to set up lee cloths for that?

You are fortunate to have some quite large boats there

Where do you store the table cushion/mattress when not using as a bed? Just throw them on the V berth?
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Old 14-12-2019, 08:35   #6
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Quote:
Originally Posted by libspero View Post
Where do you store the table cushion/mattress when not using as a bed? Just throw them on the V berth?
We also leave the table down most of the time when anchored and during short hops. Otherwise, the tabletop matress goes under the master bunk. Tons of room under there.
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Old 14-12-2019, 08:39   #7
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

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Originally Posted by libspero View Post
Thanks both.. when you see the pictures like that the saloon does look very inviting.

Do you ever sleep two like that? I canít imagine it would be so easy to set up lee cloths for that?

You are fortunate to have some quite large boats there

Where do you store the table cushion/mattress when not using as a bed? Just throw them on the V berth?
The little table just goes down to make the bed, and the center cushions just store in bag cabin when not being used.

Regarding saloon we only sleep there underway therefore theres never need for 2 to sleep together there.

The tack we are on determines which side we sleep on. To be honest it needs to be quite rough for us to put a lee cloth up, the boat is quite stable.
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Old 14-12-2019, 09:10   #8
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Regarding saloon we only sleep there underway therefore theres never need for 2 to sleep together there.

The tack we are on determines which side we sleep on. To be honest it needs to be quite rough for us to put a lee cloth up, the boat is quite stable.
Same here on both accounts. We only used the lee cloths when we crossed the Bay of Biscay. In the Med, crossings are short and not that rough, if you plan well.
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Old 14-12-2019, 09:28   #9
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Thanks all.. that is reassuring to know we can consider the sea berths a ďnice to haveĒ instead of a ďmust haveĒ.

The saloon option sounds perfect if as workable as you say. It opens up a lot of options for slightly smaller boats that would be more in our price and handling bracket.
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:13   #10
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Quote:
Originally Posted by libspero View Post
Hi all,

Would be interested in your thoughts on this.

Iím looking at a few centre cockpit boats and I love the style with spacious aft owner cabin and forward V-berth.

But, for two couples spending about as much time on passage as at anchor, how practical is this set up?

The choice always seems to be big owner cabin or lots of smaller or individual/sea berths (unless you go over 48ft or so then you might have the luxury of both).

Question to the forum is.. how practically can owner double berths be adjusted for off shore use (with Lea cloths etc) ?

If you have a big owner cabin configuration do you find you inevitably end up sleeping in the saloon on passage? Same goes for the V-berth, are they entirely impractical on passage?

Do you personally favour sea berths or the luxury of an owner cabin at anchor/marina?

Interested in your thoughts!
My boat is an aft cockpit with forward stateroom double, two salon singles, and aft quaterberth. Positioning to the Washington coast with protected anchorages all berths are used. During roundtrip offshore to Hawaii the forward stateroom was used for storage and the other three used as hot (shared)-bunks by a crew of four; 2x4 hour shifts outbound, 2x6 hour shifts inbound (preferred). Lee cloths were a necessity on the salon bunks but rough seas destroyed the first version tossing crew members around into them. At Hawaii I designed version 2.0 using stainless steel eye straps and available line weaved between them that worked amazingly well.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:17   #11
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

I prefer lots of berths rather than cabins.

Everyone needs a place to call their own...their bunk. If you want to have lots of friends join you, they need a bunk.

I like the S&S designs with upper pilot berths in the main salon. Kids love these. And you can nap without being in the way. Quarter berths (port AND starboard) are great for sleeping and/or storage (think inflatable dinghy).

Remember, its a boat, not a condo, the rules are entirely different. I want to sleep central in the boat so I can hear the boat and whats going on. I don't want to be isolated in a cabin. If you need a ton of privacy, maybe you shouldn't be on a sailboat?
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Old 14-12-2019, 11:35   #12
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
I prefer lots of berths rather than cabins.

Everyone needs a place to call their own...their bunk. If you want to have lots of friends join you, they need a bunk.

I like the S&S designs with upper pilot berths in the main salon. Kids love these. And you can nap without being in the way. Quarter berths (port AND starboard) are great for sleeping and/or storage (think inflatable dinghy).

Remember, its a boat, not a condo, the rules are entirely different. I want to sleep central in the boat so I can hear the boat and whats going on. I don't want to be isolated in a cabin. If you need a ton of privacy, maybe you shouldn't be on a sailboat?
Your entitled to your views of course but stuff evolves , that includes boats.

Having comfort dosent always mean your detached from what's happening, in fact being better rested due to more comfort allows you to react etc better and being more aware of what's happening.

Both Boom and myself have said we dont actually use the lee cloths that often. I can only speak for myself but due to the stability and sailing ability that comes with a large biggish modern design comfort at sea is better although many that are stuck in a 80's timewarp will argue.

Now before you say "well you must sail in sheltered waters" I have crossed the Indian Ocean, rounded the Cape, crossed the south Atlantic and are now in Panama, this also included a very rough 700nm beat from Seychelles to Madagascar, so yes the boats been to sea (crossed the Pacific to).

More comfort dosent mean less seaworthy or detached from the elements. Condo like rocks! Why? because it's my home! Anyone can be uncomfortable, no skill involved in that.

Regarding berths, I deliberately choose a two cabin version, generally it's only two of us, I would of preferred the slightly smaller rear cabin with workshop .
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Old 14-12-2019, 12:27   #13
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Our boat is centre cockpit with a large aft cabin, a double in the forepeak and two (convertible to three) berths in the saloon.

The aft cabin has a queen double centre-island bunk that does not really lend itself to lee cloths. This is essentially our accommodation when on anchor. The forepeak as others have said is not that comfy under way and is usually also only used as accommodation while on anchor.

When weíre on a passage we generally try to have only three people on board and with at least one on watch at any time, the two bunks in the saloon are equipped with good lee cloths and are a safe place to sleep in any conditions.

In the unlikely event we have 4 persons on a passage (we never have more), we generally make a 3rd berth on the saloon cabin sole which is well contained even without lee cloths. This is the spot on the boat (at the base of the mast) that has the least amount of movement and sometimes we use this option for someone who is feeling queasy.

I agree that people on board need a place to call their own and that is why we resist having more than two couples on board. They (including we) have their own space in the two cabins both with their own heads but while at sea, we share saloon bunks. We do however have individual bedding in the form of a good quality sleeping bag and feather pillow for each person.

I consider the cockpit the domain of the watchkeeper and he/she gets first choice of where they want to be. Anyone else in cockpit uses space the watchkeeper doesnít and we resist any person choosing the cockpit as a place to sleep.
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Old 14-12-2019, 13:59   #14
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

On a passage i made ready, aft main berth. settees, dropped table bunk at settee, forward berth, floor.

Sleep wherever seems best at the time. Lots of times thats the cockpit with harness on.

I dont really see the need the argue about it.
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Old 14-12-2019, 14:27   #15
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Re: Sea Berths Vs Master Cabin Trade-offs..

Hanse 388 here.

No lee cloths anywhere, just the standard boat and we've done fine for all our overnight passages.

We've used the sleeping space in the saloon as well as all the cabins.

With more than a little heel all the cabins are fine since there are no island berths anywhere. You just sleep against the center wall or the hull. (This is obviously more difficult if two people share the cabin.) In the bow cabin I've found myself sleeping a bit more across the bed when we are heeling.

In my previous boat I had real sea berths, but I can't say that I miss them. Of course it's easier to have beds designed for heeling, but we've been quite ok without them.
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