April 2012 Issue
A Practical Look at Sailboat Cockpit Design
PS outlines what to look for when searching for a comfortable, functional cockpit.
A sailboat cockpit’s design and layout can determine the process of boat-handling tasks, including everything from steering and sail trimming to what goes on when it’s time to reef. We’ve found that many cockpits are optimized for at-anchor enjoyment instead of underway usability, so boat shopping should include close scrutiny of how essential sailing and boat-handling tasks will be accomplished. Make sure that the cockpit of the boat you are about to buy is in keeping with the mission of the rest of the boat—whether you’re a marina hopper, a club racer, or an offshore cruiser. Our recent survey of cockpits covers the highs and lows of cockpit design for various types of sailboats, and also includes a DIY guide to rating cockpit ergonomics to help your boat-shopping process.
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