|Good times and good peeps in the cockpit of Rasmus!|
We've gotten a few emails lately asking us our opinion on the matter; all with the final question: "how important is the cockpit?" In our experience, very. We spend a lot of time in our cockpit both underway and at anchor. I'm not the mathlete of our duo, but Scott estimates about 70% of our time is spent there. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are aft cockpits, center cockpits, wide sterns and canoe sterns, huge cockpits and tiny cockpits...there are pilot houses, two-tier cockpits, enclosed and exposed cockpits...some have dodgers, others have biminis and some have full enclosures...the list goes on. Every boat is different and no two cockpits are the same. The way we see it, there are two factors that really contribute to the comfort factor of a cockpit in the equatorial climates: size and protection from the elements.
A nice, roomy cockpit that can provide you with enough space to stretch out - and lay down in - is a huge bonus. Sleeping in the cockpit is a treat from time to time (can you say 'siesta'?), not to mention that fact that it is where you will do 90% of your entertaining (Scott and I did a lot of this, anyone recall my killer sangria??). The more space you have, the bigger the party! Additionally, a cockpit with large combings that you can lean against is another plus - we loved that we could lean our backs agains the cockpit combing of Rasmus - we were not only comfortable, but felt very secure and safe!
|We loved our cockpit "walls" on Rasmus. Every seat was comfy!|
Because of the reasons above, a large, comfortable, enclose-able (center) cockpit was one of our "non-negotiable's" during this last boat search . While we looked at a lot of great boats that would have served us well (an Amel 46, a Vagabond 42, a Bristol 45.5, a Stevens 47, two Whitby 42's, a Moody 47 and an Amphritrite 43) we kept going back to the Brewer 44 because her cockpit trumped all the rest.
Bottom line: the cockpit is where you will want to be most of the time; it offers the best breeze, the best view, the greatest ambiance and it's infinitely more pleasant than sitting down below - so make sure you chose wisely and consider the "comfort factor" of your cockpit (after you make sure it's safe, has good access to lines, adequate scupper drains, and all that other good stuff, of course!).
Brittany, Scott & Isla