Safe and Seamanlike Cockpits

On days like this we need a proper seamanlike cockpit, not a party patio.
Note that our companionway boards with windows are in, not our solid ones, because we were sailing in a sheltered bay with an offshore wind (relatively smooth sea state) when this was taken. Even so, I could argue it either way.

A little while ago...OK, August...I wrote an article on voyaging sailboat deck layouts. A subject that gets way too little airtime in the cruising community, given that a good layout will contribute far more to a safe and enjoyable cruise than all the complicated gear that seems to consume more and more of our attention with each year that goes by.

I'm as guilty as anyone given that it's now December and Part 2 was conspicuous by its absence while I waffled on about induction cooking, electric winch handles, generators, and a bunch of other stuff.

Anyway, with that mea culpa out of the way, let's get back to the stuff that really matters, particularly when we get offshore far from land.

As with the last deck article, I will use the Outbound 44/46, our own McCurdy and Rhodes 56, and the Boréals, as well as some others, as a base for my thoughts.

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Meet the Author

John Harries

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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