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Old 03-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #21
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An excellent point for discussion. The answer I think will depend on how you like to cruise.

We have a 32' flybridge with a covered aft cockpit, which we love. At anchor or at the dock we can have the doors open to the cockpit all the time, come rain or shine, during the cruising season along the BC coast. The forward stateroom doesn't get too rambunctious when the waves or wind pipe up we find.

However, we determined that we needed a second stateroom and so have been on a quest for the last few months for the next boat, looking in the 40' range. Initially we were looking for the same arrangement as we currently have, but with the second stateroom.

What we discovered is that generally speaking, the forward stateroom/aft covered cockpit vessels suffered from a lack of personal storage space in the staterooms. Yes, we looked closely at a Mainship 400 but were discouraged by its lack of locker storage, particularly in the master stateroom.

Once we started looking at aft cabin models, we discovered that they had much more storage space in the master staterooms, albeit at the expense of losing the covered aft cockpit. You also gain a second head usually, and significant separation from any guests you might have on board.

For example, the Monk 36 has a much more usable master stateroom than the Mainship 400.

But all of that comes down to how you use the boat. For relatively short cruises, I don't think personal storage is a big deal, but if you going to be away from laundry services, for example, or like to dress appropriately for every occasion (I have no idea how that works myself.) you might want the storage.

If you like to sit in your cockpit at anchor during a rainstorm and watch the bears flip rocks on shore, then the forward cabin version might be the better choice.

There are also the covered sundeck models, which are kind of a blend of the two types mentioned above, but which I know little about.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:13 PM   #22
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We're aft cabin folks (or mid cabin on some boats too for a number of reasons. Personal choice. I really like the Mainship 390 but the bow slap of the water at night drives me crazy. We used to rent one and ended up using the sleeper sofa in the salon, which made for a very nice set up.

Some other forward cabin boats don't have anywhere near the noise problem (Flemings and Krogens come to mind) but I have to say we were personally extremely disappointed in the Fleming 55 MSR, reminded me of that of a 44 fty Sea Ray, crawl in berth and all.

We chartered a bunch of different boats for a long time, that is the only way we knew what the right features for us are. I didn't bother with boat shows until experience told me what to look at.

Note where I put the italics here. Boats are a very persoanl decision as far as what "fits" you ergonomically and comfort wise. But at least I can't determine that without actually using different boat styles first; then we could play Goldilocks much more efficiently. And as it turned out quite effectively for us.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:43 PM   #23
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we have a 390 and i love the ability to just walk on at the swim platform and right in the sliding door. Storage for long cruises can be an issue, but we use the port stateroom as a large closet, so that solves the problem. On the other hand, wave slap can be an issue when anchored out as you will point into the wind. only once in 5 years, however, did it become annoying enough that we could not sleep. When that happened we pulled out the sofa bed.
all in all, my preference is just what we have.
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Old 03-03-2013, 04:51 PM   #24
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All the posters make very good points. When it comes down to it, it all depends on what your priorities are and how you intend to use the boat. For us climbing on aboard an aft cabin boat with a 55 pound dog was a concern. Yes the aft cabin provides a great liveable layout, but you are generally having to climb. At the dock, that isn't as big of a concern as when at anchor. Since we live at a marina, our preference is not to go and stay at another marina but to anchor out. Taking a Golden Retriever twice a day to the shore to do her business can be difficult having to climb down and back up on a high boat from a tender.
Also, handling groceries and other stuff on and off the boat when it is high is a concern for us.

It was recommended that you begin your search earlier. That is one of the best ideas I have read yet. You need to make a list of the must haves and the like to haves. When you go on a boat, try to loose the rose colored glasses and imagine living on board. Not how cool it will be but what difficulties different layouts present. For my Admiral it was the galley. Could she make all the meals in the boat galley as she did at home. When you are talking about a boat as a home and not a recreational unit then it takes on a totally different set of criteria. You can live with certain aspects for a weekend, week and even several months, but years can be very different. What about laundry, are you going to haul it to the mat every week or do it on board. Is there sufficient freezer space or a place to put a freezer. Most frigs on boats unless you are getting a very large one, are not overly spacious.
What about the head and shower, do you have to climb in or can you comfortably enter and exit.

It took us a year and half to find the right boat. Many features we thought were important we ended up deciding weren't and many items we didn't consider at the beginning became obvious when we took the time on board to imagine living on board. Another example is relaxing. At home you sit in your recliner and kick back. Most boats have settees and they are great doing double duty as lounge and seating for dinning but for long periods are not that comfortable. Take the time to look and imagine. Once you buy the boat it will not be like a house where you can go buy a piece of furniture or replace it to adjust. It just isn't that simple.

One other thing, looking at boats can be a real joy. We enjoyed spending our weekends looking at all the different boats, when it was all said and done we ended up with one that met most of our requirements that was within our budget.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:02 PM   #25
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PLUS, a few extra weekends away with the Mrs. is ALWAYS a good thing!
Why would you say that?
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #26
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Chine slap

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Greetings,

We plan to start seriously looking at boats in about a year when the wife retires from teaching. One thing I have not been able to find on this site is a discussion of the pro's and con's of a forward berth versus aft. It seems to me a forward cabin, like in a Mainship 390, would have more movement and be subjected to anchor line tugs while an aft cabin would be much more serene. Then again since i have no experience i may be totally wrong.

Comments?
OP -

Google these two search strings -

Nordic tug chine slap

Mainship chine slap

Some of the hits will point right back here to trawlerforum.

I think you will be amazed at the extent SOME owners have gone to be free of it. Others find no problems with it.

I was once in a transient marina that isnít that well sheltered from the SE with a MS 39 on each side of me. Amazing amount of noise. How those loopers slept thru it is a mystery to me.

Full disclosure - the little DeFever has no chine.

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Old 03-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #27
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I have only seen it on a larger sized boat , but the Fwd cabin is the PERFECT place for the engine room.

Place a head & shower behind its bulkhead and quiet cruising is a snap.

Fwd sucks at cruise or much of the time at anchor.

Why not give the most rotten ride to the iron topsail,, rather than to humans?
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #28
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Since I like to fish and enjoy easy water access, I prefer the fwd cabin. But, IMO, it comes at the sacrifice of sleeping comfort.

Most aft cabins place you well above water level on the aft deck. I prefer a cockpit to provide easy water access. Of course, larger boats can offer both the aft cabin and a cockpit, but access can be awkward. Many of them require you to pass through the aft cabin to access the cockpit from inside the boat (turning your bedroom into a hallway for all guests to pass through) or use the side deck to the sundeck then climb down a ladder to the cockpit.
Best advice our broker gave us during the search for our first boat was to include an aft cockpit if we were going to insist on an aft cabin/sundeck. We're currently slipped at a high dock, so we walk straight onto the sundeck. But at floating docks or when boarding from the dink, the cockpit is a godsend. Yes, I had to boost our Airedale terrier up from the cockpit to the sundeck when he got too old to bypass the short ladder with one jump...but he was always wearing a life jacket with a carrying handle, so it worked out just fine.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:42 AM   #29
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I'm with Pat on this one. Being able to walk aboard is a huge plus. Climbing up and over an aft-cabin isn't high on our list of desirables.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:32 AM   #30
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Since I like to fish and enjoy easy water access, I prefer the fwd cabin. But, IMO, it comes at the sacrifice of sleeping comfort. I prefer a cockpit to provide easy water access. Of course, larger boats can offer both the aft cabin and a cockpit, but access can be awkward..... or use the side deck to the sundeck then climb down a ladder to the cockpit.
In 1995 I had these exact same requirements so I bought an Offshore 48' Yachtfisher. It was the first big boat I ever had and I "was green as grass" about knowing about boats. As Al has pointed out, boarding was a little challenging but once aboard, what a great boat! 18 years and 8 boats later, I wish I still had that boat! Huge aft state room, helm down below, dinette accross fom the galley, a day head, nice guest cabin, fly bridge, twin Perkins, and "the softest ride on the water." (Not a good boat for dogs, however.)
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #31
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The aft cabin/forward cabin issue is really about boat size. There is only so much room on a boat.

When looking at boats we found that anything less than around 40- 45' boats generally (but not always) had a vee berth for the forward bunk space. If you want a queen berth it almost has to be an aft cabin design in a smaller length boat.

Looking at mid 40' boats and larger they generally can have a queen berth wedged into the front of the boat.

On a pilothouse style if you use the pilothouse as an access path to the forward cabins then at around 45' -50' you could have a mid queen berth full width stateroom.

On our boat we do not feel different motion in the forward berth vs the mid berth, but the mid berth is somewhat quieter in terms of wave noise, but it is also right along the companion way and close to the galley so other boat noise comes into play.

We carefully considered aft cabin designs and loved the roominess, but they can be a real pain for fishing. Nothing beats a real cockpit for fishing.

We did look at a 44 or 45' aft cabin that someone had put a canvas roof over the sun deck, filled in the area beneith the rails with something, and removable eisenglass up higher. That made for a HUGE covered porch. They had nice wicker furniture back there and the space was impressive!
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:02 PM   #32
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If you want a queen berth it almost has to be an aft cabin design in a smaller length boat.
Looking at mid 40' boats and larger they generally can have a queen berth wedged into the front of the boat.
We carefully considered aft cabin designs and loved the roominess, but they can be a real pain for fishing. Nothing beats a real cockpit for fishing.
Kevin: It is possible to get most of those amenities in a much smaller boat. Including a separate shower from the head and a nice helm station.

Halvorsen 32' Gourmet Cruiser
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #33
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If you're talking about a diesel cruiser in the 35 to 42 foot range the two most typical configurations are tri-cabin and sedan/Europa. We have a tri-cabin and the big advantages are:

1. Two heads.(Huge advantage.)
2. Guests and owners have their own cabins with the "neutral ground" of the main cabin between them.
3. The main cabin offers the occupants of the aft and forward cabins the opportunity of a place to read, make coffee, etc. without disturbing the people in the other cabin.
4. The forward cabin provides great storage when we don't have guests, which is most of the time.

The advantages of the Europa are:

1. Larger main cabin than a tri-cabin of the same size.
2. Direct same-level access from the aft deck to the main cabin.
3. Larger forward stateroom and head than on a similarly-sized tri-cabin.
4. In the case of the Europa, a covered aft deck that can be enclosed with transparent curtains and heated to provide a great living space even in inclement weather.
5. More spacious aft deck for socializing, fishing, etc.

The disadvantages of a sedan/Europa, particularly in the smaller sizes are:

1. No separate guest stateroom. Guests have to sleep in a berth made up in the main cabin.
2. Only one head.

For a couple who doesn't anticipate cruising with guests very often or ever, in our climate we feel the Europa has the advantage. For a couple who is going to have guests on occasion or a lot, we feel the tri-cabin has the advantage.

The only way to get the advantages of both is to move up to a larger boat. A GB46, for example, can be had with up to three forward staterooms and/or a couple of heads in the Europa configuration.
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:38 PM   #34
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Kevin: It is possible to get most of those amenities in a much smaller boat. Including a separate shower from the head and a nice helm station.

Halvorsen 32' Gourmet Cruiser
You have a very well designed space efficient boat there.

Nice!!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:11 PM   #35
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A number of people have said it comes down to how you want to use the boat - I think it comes down even more to how a specific boat is laid out. That said, we've always had v-berths. Not because that is necessarily where want to sleep, it is just that is how the boats we've looked at and owned have been laid out. I will say that in our Nordic there is some chine slap. As others noted, some people go to great lenghts to avoid the sound. Us? We hardly notice it and find it relaxing. Then again, we live in the city very close to a fire station and often have helocopters flying over our building, so maybe we are just less bothered by noise in general. I do appreciate what Tad said about being able to check the anchor from the v vs an aft cabin. We also really like having the open cockpit in the back for swiming, hanging out and fishing, and can't imagine having to climb up a ladder from the swim platform to the sun deck. But, that is just us.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:40 PM   #36
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Kevin: It is possible to get most of those amenities in a much smaller boat. Including a separate shower from the head and a nice helm station.

Halvorsen 32' Gourmet Cruiser
Very nicely appointed vessel and a prime example of how easy the access is to virtually every part of the vessel without climbing.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:52 PM   #37
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My wife is a bit clasutrophobic so the forward cabin wasn't an option, at least in the 38' range. Besides space, she needs lots of natural light so the aft cabin fit the bill.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:29 PM   #38
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We are in the same situation, retiring next year and currently learning and trying to decide what is important. There has been some great information on this thead.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #39
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We are in the same situation, retiring next year and currently learning and trying to decide what is important. There has been some great information on this thead.
Not necessarily as it relates to what you and yours will be comfortable in. None of the rest of us are you, at least I don't think so. Take the chine slap issue. I absolutely can't stand it. We have friends and know others with the boats where I couldn't tolerate it, that sleep like a run down hound up there.

Virtually every issue discussed here is the same way.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:53 PM   #40
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Have had both.
Loved the fwd V berth in our first sailboat. Kept that one 11 years, did lots of anchoring out.
Nest sailboat had an aft berth. Also loved it and anchored lots for 6 years.
Present trawler has the aft berth. double bed size. Neither sailboat had such luxury. We also have a fwd V berth that is acres bigger than our first sailboat. No, I haven't tried it out in 19 seasons, cause the aft is so good, and that is where SWMBO sleeps.
Distance from our aft cabin to the foredeck to check the anchor is the same as from the fwd berth, as you must go to the midships side doors to get there, from either end. I tend not to bother anyway, cause after so many years, once I set it, I know it will remain just where I put it. In the morning, it is always there, at the end of the chain!
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