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Old 01-19-2019, 01:16 AM   #21
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I had a cockpit with 4ft tall gunwales and it was safe and enjoyable even at sea. However there was no transom door so it took a big hop to get onto the platform - but I was younger then . If the gunwale were only 30" high like in some boats, then you could do without the door.

For looping and coastal cruising, a cockpit is exceptional. However I think for serious bluewater cruising, especially in areas known for rough water, then I would do without it.

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Old 01-19-2019, 01:40 AM   #22
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I have a 5' deep cockpit, which is OK but I wish it were double the size and had more room for a folding table and chairs. The OA Mk 1's that have the 5' extension (doubling the cockpit depth) are really nice!

The climate you will spend a lot of time in dictates whether an enclosure is desirable. The PO had clears with sunbrella edges, and since the clears were past their use-by date I had some 95% shade block material sewn in place of the old clears. They stay attached at the top on sail-track (bungee's at the bottom, zip joins to the 4 sections), and roll up when not in use. They are not waterproof, but they give some shade and privacy if stern-in at the dock.

We do use the cockpit a lot, but having a Portuguese Bridge and useable foredeck means we have options for getting a nice cooling breeze as well. On so many boats the foredeck is mostly wasted real estate.

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Old 01-19-2019, 03:21 AM   #23
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I think Cockpit is a nice additional space for several functions.

I have canvas whith windows that protect the cocpit from wind and rain / sea spray and it is important here where the warm is only a couple of months off season, in warm weather I can roll them up in minutes and I have a perfect open space.

It's a good space to dry your clothes etc, if the rain has watered you into a nature walk, it's a nice space to enjoy the evening and watch the sun fall and enjoy the cocktail having a deck chairs out and a small table. In addition, of course, store several things.

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Old 01-19-2019, 07:00 AM   #24
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Most folks chose to go boating in good weather , summer not winter.

The difference between relaxing out side or inside is critical to enjoying the cruise for me..

Our boat is 50 ft long 15 ft wide and the aft cockpit is full width and about 15 ft long.

Sure it makes the enclosed space smaller , but if the cabin/PH is fine for travel or 3 rainy days in a row , that should do it.

Every ones desirement list is different , inside or outside is up to you!
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:12 AM   #25
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True only point is after so many positive cockpit comments....

Sure a cockpit is a convenient space, but it can be at the price of making other spaces inconvenient...such as master staterooms which for a liveaboard or multi year looper, it may be important.

On a trunk cabin like mine...two easy steps, then a flat. then 3 easy steps on up to a flying bridge. It gives that outside feeling and a 360 degree view versus 180 in a cockpit and it gets the breeze at anchor.

Many rave about the view from the bridge while driving...why ot at anchor or dock too?

I love cockpits, but didn't work for me in this size liveaboard...part time cruiser...probably would have considered those designs.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:36 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by AusCan View Post
Boating is all about water. The cockpit is where you are closest to the water. I've always found the cockpit is where people tend to spend the majority of the time on a boat.
Agree with all. We used to have an enclosed cockpit, as many Kadey Krogens do, but within a week, we took it down and opened it up. Now, we still have full roof above, but we like being "outdoors" to eat. If wx is not so nice, we are in salon.
Lastly, don't compromise. There are enough boats out there for you to get exactly what you want.
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New York

a Kadey Krogen 42 currently:
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:40 AM   #27
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We considered Tollycraft 40s and Tollycraft 44s when picking our next boat. They are pretty much the same boat except the 44 has an added cockpit. We went with the 44; it is vastly easier to board and the genset is moved out from under the master stateroom to under the cockpit which cuts way down on noise, I'm told. Our cockpit is not very big and we expect to spend most of our "outdoor" on the much larger aft deck above the master stateroom.
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Old 01-19-2019, 07:47 AM   #28
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My vote is FOR a cockpit.
Prior boat had an aft cabin and not as boater friendly.
Cockpit a big plus for us and our style for many of the reasons mentioned... especially like soaking up the scenery and relaxing there...
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2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:12 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Sevo View Post
We think we want a cockpit motor yacht. It seems the cockpit would make line handling and dinghy access much easier than on a boat without one. How much of a factor is that in reality? (We'll both be mid 60s when we do the Loop; we're both still active and agile at present.) Is there a downside to having a cockpit? Is this one of these strictly personal choice items? I ask because, while there are several CPMY models in our desired size range (42-46 ft), holding out for a cockpit does limit the market a bit, and disqualifies a number of other boats which might otherwise check all our boxes.

Our "convertible" format, with cockpit, does indeed make aft line handling and dinghy access easier (latter enabled further by the swim platform). The low "sportfish-style" cockpit coamings also make boarding easier than in some other cockpit models. Mission critical, for us.

(Sight lines from helm to stern are better for us, too, than if we had an ACMY or CPMY. There are other ways to solve that, though...)

The biggest trade-off is about interior and/or covered space; I think a similar length ACMY probably would have almost twice as much interior/covered space as we have...

The only way we could move to a motor yacht is if it were a CPMY version... but you're right, that's a pretty limited market. And it would need about a 50' or slightly larger CPMY to sort of replicate what we've got now (~42) PLUS an aft cabin. I don't see much out there that would ring our chimes...

South River, Chesapeake Bay
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Old 01-19-2019, 08:52 AM   #30
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many cockpit boats also need stairs to climb up to the salon and bridge.

IMO a large part of the cockpit value depends on whether your area uses floating docks or not. Floating docks are easier to access from a cockpit.

Climate is also a consideration. Will you spend more time completely exposed to weather with a cockpit or would you prefer a covered area with removable enclosure?
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Old 01-19-2019, 09:18 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by OldDan1943 View Post
and the aft line handling too.

A BIG cockpit takes away from the interior space.

This being our first trawler type boat we wanted a cockpit, but a smaller one which would sacrifice interior room as little as possible.
The best way to find out is get her out on the ocean, because if anything is going to happen it's going to happen out there.
"Captain Ron"
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:24 AM   #32
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The two things we really like about our GB 32 are
1. The "back porch." Socialize, easy on/off/, people watch, etc.
2. the wide side decks make it super easy for us older folks to get around the outside.
3. Back porch at the same level (no steps) as the main accomodation is a plus also.
Good luck
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:54 AM   #33
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I'm a cockpit guy.... well worth the cost of interior space, but I'm also like being outdoors.
My 400 Mainship has a great cockpit, easy access for docking, space for socializing, etc.

Have considered a few boats with much smaller cockpits, like the 430 Mainship. However, it still has access all around for docking, and a lot of folks socialize on the top of the aft stateroom instead of storing the dinghy there, and put a top over that area.

The boats that have a big aft stateroom that goes to the end of the boat and needs a ladder to get to the swim platform are dangerous to me.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:04 AM   #34
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One of our checklist items when shopping for a trawler.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:44 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by BDofMSP View Post
Although I've never owned a boat without one, I'm not considering any boats without a cockpit as I search now. Interaction with neighbors at the dock, the dog, elderly passengers, loading provisions, line handling, and simply interacting with the water while we're at anchor are all important reasons why.
Yup. Totally agree. Our previous boat didn’t have a cockpit. The one we’re buying now does have one. We specifically wanted one for all of those reasons.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:19 PM   #36
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I've had both. As in most things, you get used to what you have and learn to enjoy the good parts and work around the bad. I used to have a 35' trawler, single screw, sundeck on back and no thrusters...and made do. Now have a cockpit and thrusters...make do also.

Never found docking to be that much of an issue other than in strong wind. In most places, people are nice and if they see you coming in to dock, they'll gladly lend a hand. that was the norm, rather than the exception.

Oddly enough the biggest advantage for us on a cockpit boat was that it made it much easier to socialize. Folks would stop and chat etc much more freely if they could just look over from the dock. When friends would gather, its more likely that they will pick a cockpit boat to do it on, rather than climbing up on a sundeck.

have fun, either way.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:43 PM   #37
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I wouldn't have a boat without a cockpit. It's where we hang out when we're at anchor to docked, where we usually eat, cook on the Magma, and it makes getting on and off the boat very easy.

Mike and Tina
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:11 PM   #38
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Lots of good feedback. Thanks to all for your thoughts. Sounds like our desire for a cockpit has some reasonable basis after all.

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Old 01-19-2019, 01:18 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
My vote is FOR a cockpit.
Prior boat had an aft cabin and not as boater friendly.
Cockpit a big plus for us and our style for many of the reasons mentioned... especially like soaking up the scenery and relaxing there...
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"They" say, 'the best place for a stable stateroom berth is under the pilot house.' Of course it is also helpful if the boat has active hydraulic stabilizer too.
The meek will inherit the earth but, the brave will inherit the seas.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:18 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Russell Clifton View Post
A cockpit makes it way easier to get on and off the boat. You won't be 60 forever. I wouldn't own a boat without one.
Me either!
But get a boat with a cockpit and a side door if possible! A properly equipped cockpit just extends the recreational space which includes fishing, whale watching, crabbing, barbecuing, sunsets, swimming, etc, etc, etc.

I have had 9 boats since 1995 and every one of them had a cockpit. I can't imagine not having one although I know a lot of folks that do!
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