A Sailor’s Cockpit Enclosure—Part 1


There's no gentle way to say this, but I have long felt that cockpit enclosures are for those who don't really want to sail their boats. And, of course, I'm also well-known as an advocate of clean decks.

But now we have a cockpit enclosure, and...I'm loving it. OK, I nearly gagged on that statement, but it's true. And...I was...wrong...about cockpit enclosures—ugh, that was even harder to say.

This is the story of how and why we ended up with a cockpit enclosure, together with the design we came up with and the usage we are adopting to make sure we can still sail our boat efficiently and safely.

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John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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