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What modifications have you made to make your cockpit comfortable?


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I've an old hunter 36 from the early 80s. It has a lot of plus points, but ergonomically the cockpit is definitely NOT one of them. 

Having spent long periods of time sailing down the west coast, I still haven't found anywhere comfortable to sit/lie down for long periods. The only vaguely comfortable spot is leaning against the bulkhead nex to the companion way - it's still not very comfy, and also facing the wrong way. Trying to sail to French Polynesia with the current setup will kill me. I was thinking of building seats in the corner of the pushpit.

If people could post pics or suggestions of anything they've done to make the cockpit more comfy that would be greatly appreciated, or any good tips and tricks.

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55 minutes ago, alctel said:

I've an old hunter 36 from the early 80s. It has a lot of plus points, but ergonomically the cockpit is definitely NOT one of them. 

Having spent long periods of time sailing down the west coast, I still haven't found anywhere comfortable to sit/lie down for long periods. The only vaguely comfortable spot is leaning against the bulkhead nex to the companion way - it's still not very comfy, and also facing the wrong way. Trying to sail to French Polynesia with the current setup will kill me. I was thinking of building seats in the corner of the pushpit.

If people could post pics or suggestions of anything they've done to make the cockpit more comfy that would be greatly appreciated, or any good tips and tricks.

Sailors spend a lot of time in the cockpit.  The problem you describe is pretty universal and I continue to be amazed at the lack of attention given to these issues by designers and builders.

I chose this (pic)  not perfect but it is an improvement.  (Oh.... yes,  you'd have to do a little 'extra' modification for your Hunter, but my point is also that I chose a boat that would allow it...  YMMV)

IMG_0816(1).JPG

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Is yours the more conventional Cherubini model or the newer 36 with a cockpit shaped like a bathtub? If it is the newer model a friend had a smaller version with the little seats in the pushpit. They were fine for short periods on a nice day, but too exposed for real use. Because they are up high and at the very end of the boat movement is exaggerated in even modest conditions. There is a company that sells kits for them, not sure the blond is included.

SternPerch_Catalina30-1990.jpg

Apart from all that modifying the cockpit on an old boat seems pretty difficult. A small dodger can help a lot. Good cushions that can be used in bad conditions help too, we have these http://www.ccushions.com/sail.htm. Too expensive for what they are, but last for years and don't slide about even in wet rough conditions. We don't have room for Veeger's lawn furniture, but modern camp chairs and tables work well at anchor. They pack small and are more comfortable than they look. We have these,

Mantis15_SpreckelsRed_01_57ed4367-55ae-4

 

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1 hour ago, Veeger said:

Sailors spend a lot of time in the cockpit.  The problem you describe is pretty universal and I continue to be amazed at the lack of attention given to these issues by designers and builders.

I chose this (pic)  not perfect but it is an improvement.  (Oh.... yes,  you'd have to do a little 'extra' modification for your Hunter, but my point is also that I chose a boat that would allow it...  YMMV)

IMG_0816(1).JPG

Does that compression post right in the middle of your field of view drive you nuts?

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17 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

Does that compression post right in the middle of your field of view drive you nuts?

Not even a little bit!  I always stand or sit to one side of it anyway.  The mast is directly in front by 10"  (so it's not a compression post).  No one I know can see through their mast yet anyway, nor the furled (or set) jib.  The wheel is about 220 degrees of a turn lock to lock so sitting alongside the wheel requires a couple inches  of arm /hand/finger movement to keep course.  (Less than with a tiller).   I usually sit right there on the stbd side, feet on the cooler (I've now got two matching), plotter to my right, remote in hand....

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1 minute ago, Veeger said:

Not even a little bit!  I always stand or sit to one side of it anyway.  The mast is directly in front by 10"  (so it's not a compression post).  No one I know can see through their mast yet anyway, nor the furled (or set) jib.  The wheel is about 220 degrees of a turn lock to lock so sitting alongside the wheel requires a couple inches  of arm /hand/finger movement to keep course.  (Less than with a tiller).   I usually sit right there on the stbd side, feet on the cooler (I've now got two matching), plotter to my right, remote in hand....

ahh, thought the Mast was top-mounted...  

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+1 bean bag chairs. Keep you warm too. Had them on our 30' mono for offshore passages.

For the catamaran we used folding camping chairs in the cockpit or side deck. Fun to pass the monohulls close hauled sitting in them holding our drinks. They never waved back for some reason.

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2 hours ago, steele said:

Is yours the more conventional Cherubini model or the newer 36 with a cockpit shaped like a bathtub? If it is the newer model a friend had a smaller version with the little seats in the pushpit. They were fine for short periods on a nice day, but too exposed for real use. Because they are up high and at the very end of the boat movement is exaggerated in even modest conditions. There is a company that sells kits for them, not sure the blond is included.

SternPerch_Catalina30-1990.jpg

Apart from all that modifying the cockpit on an old boat seems pretty difficult. A small dodger can help a lot. Good cushions that can be used in bad conditions help too, we have these http://www.ccushions.com/sail.htm

The cherubini model.

It even has the T seating arrangement so there isn't even room to lie down.

I'm definately getting a dodger of some kind, as coming solo down the Washington/Oregon coast without one was one of my stupider ideas

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1 hour ago, Zonker said:

+1 bean bag chairs. ...............

And I guess that if the wind didn't blow and the boat didn't go you could always eat the beans......

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https://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/37_27/features/Portable-Chairs-For-Sailing_10992-1.html

I've been thinking of a way to rig suspended hammock-style chairs, but that might be too complicated.  I don't think I have room for substantial beanbags.  

Also on the project list - a seat that slips over the second hatchboard, so I can huddle in the companionway, under the dodger. Drop a tarp over the back and make it like a warm little pilot house in cold weather.  I suppose you'd have to keep it all closed-up when off-shore though.  

Really, the main goal for this spring is to add attachment points for every cushion, drink, phone, etc. Including autotiller on standby, so it doesn't all go sliding into the footwell ten times a day.  Velcro or straps or something.  And more sheet-bags.  

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2 hours ago, Little Wood Boats said:

If not fresh wood it could certainly help to rejuvenate old wood for the senior sailors.

WTF is the winch handle for on the pushpit?  Backstay tension??  Why put it up so high??  

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2 hours ago, Whinging Pom said:

Cheapskate here uses gardener's foam kneeling pads.  They do need lanyards though.

87433.jpg

^^^ +1 ^^^

My skinny-assed-chick wife feels the burn after a few hours on a hard cockpit seat.  Not a great situation when we're shorthanded racing so we carry a few of these onboard so if one slides out the open transom there's another nearby!  They're small, light, and cheap, so convenient for temporary support on long sails without worrying about losing them or (more importantly) their getting in the way of line handling in the cockpit.

 

Our previous boat, a C&C 27, had a large cockpit with some wicked counter-ergonomics from the early 70s - lotsa uncomfortable 90 degree angles and a 1" teak strip where the helm wanted to sit:

419214571_20150920CP_14.thumb.JPG.3048dda177962aa111ef28e93f9f6738.JPG

We added some velcro'd cushion used for padding on exercise equipment over the stern rail and basketcase made up a pair of removable custom-fit carbon seats to fit over the narrow combing:

1448371634_120523CP.Cockpit.thumb.jpg.b9dd3fefd4db7a15f9225937de1dc888.jpg

Problem solved!

 

Cheers!

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To enable the dodger seating... you need a lookout (camera). , and  pilot control  displayed on your mfd. 

We have a bridge deck that allows you to sit/lie thwartships below the dodger, and with the forward view/radar/sonar have a modicum of confidence that you don't have to go and look behind the jib... 

 

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1 hour ago, CriticalPath said:

 

We added some velcro'd cushion used for padding on exercise equipment over the stern rail and basketcase made up a pair of removable custom-fit carbon seats to fit over the narrow combing:

1448371634_120523CP.Cockpit.thumb.jpg.b9dd3fefd4db7a15f9225937de1dc888.jpg

Problem solved!

 

Cheers!

Exactly what I need on mine, I never really understood how they got so many aspects of design right except cockpits. I think we were just tougher in the 70s.

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2 hours ago, shaggy said:

WTF is the winch handle for on the pushpit?  Backstay tension??  Why put it up so high??  

The way she is handling it I think its some sort of nautical dildo......

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1 hour ago, CriticalPath said:

^^^ +1 ^^^

My skinny-assed-chick wife feels the burn after a few hours on a hard cockpit seat.  Not a great situation when we're shorthanded racing so we carry a few of these onboard so if one slides out the open transom there's another nearby!  They're small, light, and cheap, so convenient for temporary support on long sails without worrying about losing them or (more importantly) their getting in the way of line handling in the cockpit.

 

Our previous boat, a C&C 27, had a large cockpit with some wicked counter-ergonomics from the early 70s - lotsa uncomfortable 90 degree angles and a 1" teak strip where the helm wanted to sit:

419214571_20150920CP_14.thumb.JPG.3048dda177962aa111ef28e93f9f6738.JPG

We added some velcro'd cushion used for padding on exercise equipment over the stern rail and basketcase made up a pair of removable custom-fit carbon seats to fit over the narrow combing:

1448371634_120523CP.Cockpit.thumb.jpg.b9dd3fefd4db7a15f9225937de1dc888.jpg

Problem solved!

 

Cheers!

Mine looks exactly like that, except there is a seat at the back and a gap either side of the pedestal (which means that neither side seat is long enough to lay down on. nice work lads)

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1 minute ago, alctel said:

Mine looks exactly like that, except there is a seat at the back and a gap either side of the pedestal (which means that neither side seat is long enough to lay down on. nice work lads)

Can't you put in some removable panels to fill the gap? I have thought of doing that on our cockpit. You could have one side at a time to make getting behind the wheel easier.

 

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15 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Can't you put in some removable panels to fill the gap? I have thought of doing that on our cockpit. You could have one side at a time to make getting behind the wheel easier.

 

I've thought about it too, just storing the pieces when not in use along with the bit of cockpit cushion would be a pain and it would take a bit of fiddling to work out how to mount it so it sits securely.

I'll probably end up doing it however.

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Velcro strips on the seats and cushions. Press studs are too strong and can rip the vinyl if pushed, plus they corrode.

Teak drinks tray in front of the binnacle.

Bimini with window so you can see the main.

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3 hours ago, alctel said:

I've thought about it too, just storing the pieces when not in use along with the bit of cockpit cushion would be a pain and it would take a bit of fiddling to work out how to mount it so it sits securely.

I'll probably end up doing it however.

Yes, I'm at least a dozen years into the contemplation. That is somewhere behind replacing some through-hulls.

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14 hours ago, steele said:

Is yours the more conventional Cherubini model or the newer 36 with a cockpit shaped like a bathtub? If it is the newer model a friend had a smaller version with the little seats in the pushpit. They were fine for short periods on a nice day, but too exposed for real use. Because they are up high and at the very end of the boat movement is exaggerated in even modest conditions. There is a company that sells kits for them, not sure the blond is included.

SternPerch_Catalina30-1990.jpg

Apart from all that modifying the cockpit on an old boat seems pretty difficult. A small dodger can help a lot. Good cushions that can be used in bad conditions help too, we have these http://www.ccushions.com/sail.htm. Too expensive for what they are, but last for years and don't slide about even in wet rough conditions. We don't have room for Veeger's lawn furniture, but modern camp chairs and tables work well at anchor. They pack small and are more comfortable than they look. We have these,

Mantis15_SpreckelsRed_01_57ed4367-55ae-4

 

These. (For the cockpit, work well and last forever.)

They have (all?) the Hunters:

http://www.ccushions.com/results.asp

 

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8 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

How about custom cockpit cushions?

Pricey but they are the best comfort improvement I've ever experienced.

Meh...  We've got 'em on the Aloha, and had them on the C&C before.  They're great for dockside comfort but IMHO poor seamanship and potentially dangerous to have 'em out while out on the water.

Cheers!

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I have a very comfortable cockpit..... 2 x 6 foot plus side benches with suitably high ... but not too high...  backs... sit/sleep whatever.... plus 4 cushions ... 2 per side ... originals from 1984...

At sea only one in cockpit for the watchkeeper..... you can see one under the helmsman's bum.... at sea in any sort of weather... none in cockpit...

I see those canoe sterned aft cockpit boats turning up with so much shit down the back... I just think HTF do you go to sea with that? Most have not much more than a foot well... and unless you have severe curvature of the spine  no way could you have a cockpit nap.....

 

IMG_1565.jpg

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Re the pushpit, these might fit and the dealer in Vancouver could source them for you.

Hunter came out with stern rail seats in 1994 for the Legend 35.5, I priced them used at 15 boat bucks. These are more encompassing than the slat style add on. A plate base or stanchion modification would be required to fit for the rear ones to change it from 90 degrees to your stern slope angle.

Plus 2 for the wood to span the seats. A piece to bridge the starboard and port seats would be a bonus esp if you use an oversize cushion like the Fatboy.

A seat that clips on the companionway is useful to hunker under the dodger.

Hunter did a stern seat bulge on the rear seat, for a somewhat level perch heeled over.

Webb Chiles would second the portaseat idea, 2 bases and one seat with backrest would do it.

Image result for hunter 36 cherubiniImage result for fat bag bag chair
Image result for 1994 hunter 355 lifelines
 
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19 hours ago, shaggy said:

WTF is the winch handle for on the pushpit?  Backstay tension??  Why put it up so high??  

Hand powered blender?

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6 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

A drastic modification: Plow out your galley and navigation system (both superfluous for many) and build a 12' cockpit over the 4' of deleted house. 

1270808012_GYREcockpit.thumb.jpg.d60cd7dc063f13cad39f39452a6ba4bb.jpg

Add 2 more sets of drink cozies to the cockpit, that now drinks 12

188358861_GYREcozies..thumb.jpg.a9c8537b0f228781c41b0e0a4b3e658f.jpg

 

I liked what they did with the mod.  However, after spending all that dough to make a significant change, they missed the boat on at least trying to make those seats more comfortable.  I'm not sure the coaming angle is sufficient and for sure the seat should have more of an angle that both 'locks' you in when on the lee side and takes significantly more heel angle before you're sliding out.   French and Webb  (and Art Paine) at least made a good stab at it with the modified Alerion cockpit bench seats on Luna.  Quite similar to what I had on my old Yankee One-Design.  (more like a church pew).  Those great New England porch chairs, the Adirondack chair might be a touch extreme  for a boat but they are comfy even without a cushion.

 

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Varnish is all very well, but the ergonomics are terrible. Wide cockpit seats, low coamings, a recipe for bad backs.  Look at Finot designed boats as to do it right.

As for silly little wheels set into a trench cockpit, that's meant for a tiller ...

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What, aren’t padded hiking straps good enough?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to point out a small (22’) package can have some comfort.   The backstay leaves bruises but locking an elbow behind it and the other against the push pit provides a safe perch on a heel.   I’m embarrassed by the lines everywhere,  but was short tacking and just snapped the photo in response to somebody texting me to do something I didn’t want to do.   Interlocking cockpit cushions (not shown) stay put if the rail stays dry, but I don’t bother with them for solo day or evening sails,  

B77242ED-5CC2-4884-877D-914EBA0B840E.jpeg

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16 minutes ago, Lark said:

What, aren’t padded hiking straps good enough?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just to point out a small (22’) package can have some comfort.   The backstay leaves bruises but locking an elbow behind it and the other against the push pit provides a safe perch on a heel.   I’m embarrassed by the lines everywhere,  but was short tacking and just snapped the photo in response to somebody texting me to do something I didn’t want to do.   Interlocking cockpit cushions (not shown) stay put if the rail stays dry, but I don’t bother with them for solo day or evening sails,  

B77242ED-5CC2-4884-877D-914EBA0B840E.jpeg

Is there a reason your tiller lock box is installed upside down?

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We had the portaseat idea for many tens of thousands of miles and they were a great addition. We also used a couple of Thermarest camping mattresses which were much cheaper alternatives to cockpit conditions. I think the wood inserts and the above would make the cockpit very comfortable at fairly low cost.

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1 minute ago, Ishmael said:

Is there a reason your tiller lock box is installed upside down?

I didn’t know it was.   It came from the factory that way and didn’t know any better.   Hanging head.   Must have been the same guy that now installs seatbelts for Boeing (RIP airbus thread).   

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There are several pics in this thread of some kind of cushion wrapped around the horizontal bars of the pushpit - what are they? Hoping they aren't a Special Marine Thing (ie expensive)

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17 minutes ago, alctel said:

There are several pics in this thread of some kind of cushion wrapped around the horizontal bars of the pushpit - what are they? Hoping they aren't a Special Marine Thing (ie expensive)

http://www.zarcor.com/products/sternperch/orderForm.php.  No experience with this company, it just popped up on google.

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Has anyone got one of those West Marine super-deluxe reclining “go-anywhere” seats?  On paper, it looks exactly like what I need for the port settee. Nibbled one end away for a chart-table extension.  The other end for a galley extension. Just enough left for a La-Z-Boy of some sort.  

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On 3/1/2019 at 4:46 PM, olaf hart said:

 

Its on the mizzen mast, see the winches just above it?

Quoted the wrong post.  Meant the one with the blonde..

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29 minutes ago, toddster said:

Has anyone got one of those West Marine super-deluxe reclining “go-anywhere” seats?  On paper, it looks exactly like what I need for the port settee. Nibbled one end away for a chart-table extension.  The other end for a galley extension. Just enough left for a La-Z-Boy of some sort.  

The WM knockoffs are garbage. Zinc hardware and fast-fading fabric.

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Knock-offs of what? I thought they just bought a few runs of other peoples stuff with their obnoxious logo stamped on them.

 

Have seriously considered having some custom boat badges made up of a size to glue on over WM logos...

 

And REI

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What always makes me mad are rounded cockpit back rests like on the Bav 37:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQbSU3G-gMrphSd6njkpP3

There is no way avoiding getting your backbone bended. If you try to snooze facing aft you sooner or later end up on the cockpit floor. Peter Kammler once noted "I wish the designer would have to spend a night an watch in his cockpit".

Much better are rectangular backrests like:

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT5tE5ly5-_u9aNUIZR4O5

Same applies for the height of backrests and their angle. There are various ergonomic proposals how to do this like (copys from Steven Dashews books)

image.jpeg.7398ef50ae67985176fd9bc530189039.jpeg

image.jpeg.8aee6ad9e2af788496c4c5d6803c25df.jpeg

The very only argument for rounded backrests is that they allow some more headroom in the after cabins - but you will definite spend more time in the cockpit than in the cabin.

I enjoy asking dealers on boatshows if they have spend some time sailing and sitting in the cockpits. Drilling deeper and asking them to sit down in comfort...

Knut

 

 

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On 3/1/2019 at 3:27 PM, toecutter said:

I feel like a bit of authority here. My wife loves our boat, which means I have to love it too. It's a nice boat but it has the worst cockpit ever. It's basically like sitting on a hobie cat.

Our solution to make things more comfortable is the sport-a-seat. Bit pricey, but designed for the environment.

https://www.sportaseat.com/

We just bought a couple of these to try out on our boat. So far they seem pretty nice, but we will know more after we try them out for the season.

Cdn $69 at the boat show wasn't too bad.

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We just bought a couple of these to try out on our boat. So far they seem pretty nice, but we will know more after we try them out for the season.

Cdn $69 at the boat show wasn't too bad.

The website says $149US.  I'd try 2 at $69 each but none at $149.

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2 hours ago, Jabber said:

We just bought a couple of these to try out on our boat. So far they seem pretty nice, but we will know more after we try them out for the season.

Cdn $69 at the boat show wasn't too bad.

Are they the originals, or one of the knockoff brands?

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19 hours ago, alctel said:

There are several pics in this thread of some kind of cushion wrapped around the horizontal bars of the pushpit - what are they? Hoping they aren't a Special Marine Thing (ie expensive)

Do a search for "barbell foam pads" and you'll find lotsa choices.  Common length is 16", usually nylon cover with a velcro closure, and about $10 each.  Not weather proof or UV resistant so for temporary attachment only...

s-l640.jpg.245801d45e2769c30f3115203ca71f3d.jpg

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4 hours ago, Jabber said:

We just bought a couple of these to try out on our boat. So far they seem pretty nice, but we will know more after we try them out for the season.

Cdn $69 at the boat show wasn't too bad.

Of all of the crap I've bought for my boats over the years, the only things my wife actually likes are the sportaseats.  I bought two at the Newport Boat Show about twelve years ago, and they are still going strong.  They get a workout over the summer on the boat, and we used them over the winter too.  They are great for stadium seats that don't have backrests (like every place my daughter had a swim meet).  The seats are out in the sun all day, and then sat on with wet bathing suits; we take them to the beach, and to the pool too.  There are covered in real sunbrella, and the locking mechanisms are clearly first rate.  When West Marine first came out with their version of the sportaseat, it was a bit different; the WM version folded in half for easy storage or carrying, had a shoulder strap and a pocket sewn onto the back.  I really liked that design, but when I tried it out at the store, it was just not as comfortable as the sportaseat; not even close.  And the locking mech sounded and felt a bit cheap.  I understand that WM abandoned that product a few years ago, and started making something more like the sportaseat design.  Haven't seen it yet though.

One word of caution on the sportaseat:  I found that having them in the cockpit while sailing is not a good idea.  They got in the way of line handling on my Oday 23; the seat backs impeded access to the winches, and getting someone to move around was just complicated by the seats.  Granted, the cockpit in the Oday 23 is a bit small and maybe you have the room in your boat to accommodate the sportaseat while sailing.  I'm hoping that will be the case on my new boat (Catalina 28), although it does have custom cockpit seats as well.

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Good stuff, thanks lads

Will maybe get a couple of sportaseats and a couple of those barbell rail prorector things and try those before I start splashing out on custom cushions etc.

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1 hour ago, alctel said:

Good stuff, thanks lads

Will maybe get a couple of sportaseats and a couple of those barbell rail prorector things and try those before I start splashing out on custom cushions etc.

Dodger first.

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Sorry I don't have pictures, but I loved our soft vinyl throw pillows.  Waterproof enough, and if they did get wet it didn't matter.  Just like for your sofa, prop them into a corner, stack a couple, sit on them, whatever.  We had a few big ones and a few smaller ones, for cockpit or cabin.  Any canvas shop should be able to make them.

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On 3/3/2019 at 12:25 PM, Ishmael said:

Are they the originals, or one of the knockoff brands?

I don't think they are Sport-a-Seat, they are Comfort Seats, but they are essentially the same thing. The fabric looks and feels like Sunbrella, and certainly are higher quality than some of the other brands at other boatshow booths. Their regular price tag was $169. They came from Steveston Marine.

https://comfortseat.com.au/main/index.html

C1102B-500x500.PNG

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My two boats have both had soft and although they could be removed or folded I never did. The only sailors I see doing so are racers with larger crews. If I were to start from scratch I would build a hard top with soft sides. The top gets most of the UV damage and also is an ok place for solar panels so hard would be good, with zip out soft sides for hot days.

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Another vote for the Sportaseat (or equivalent).  Since they can fold flat, they've replaced our custom cockpit cushions (I keep them in storage).

While sailing, I allow one Sportaseat in the cockpit for the 1st Mate. She sits/lays/naps on the low side. I sit on an ordinary Type IV PFD, square cushion on the high side, while driving the bus. At anchor, we put both Sportaseats in the cockpit for lounging with libations.

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On 3/4/2019 at 6:47 PM, Jabber said:

I don't think they are Sport-a-Seat, they are Comfort Seats, but they are essentially the same thing. The fabric looks and feels like Sunbrella, and certainly are higher quality than some of the other brands at other boatshow booths. Their regular price tag was $169. They came from Steveston Marine.

https://comfortseat.com.au/main/index.html

C1102B-500x500.PNG

Correction: I was in Steveston Marine today and asked them about the seat cushions...the ones I bought are knock offs that they had made, but they do feel like good quality material. Time will tell how they hold up, but the price was right!

They still have a bunch of them in stock.

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On 3/2/2019 at 11:15 AM, Norse Horse said:

Re the pushpit, these might fit and the dealer in Vancouver could source them for you.

Hunter came out with stern rail seats in 1994 for the Legend 35.5, I priced them used at 15 boat bucks. These are more encompassing than the slat style add on. A plate base or stanchion modification would be required to fit for the rear ones to change it from 90 degrees to your stern slope angle.

Plus 2 for the wood to span the seats. A piece to bridge the starboard and port seats would be a bonus esp if you use an oversize cushion like the Fatboy.

A seat that clips on the companionway is useful to hunker under the dodger.

Hunter did a stern seat bulge on the rear seat, for a somewhat level perch heeled over.

Webb Chiles would second the portaseat idea, 2 bases and one seat with backrest would do it.

 
Image result for 1994 hunter 355 lifelines
 

This looks like a Hunter 28. Like mine, except this one looks cleaner and better equipped.  I find the "helmsman's hump" to be very uncomfortable.  Also, since I like to be up where I can see, I spend most of my time sitting on the two-inch wide top of the coaming. I have thought of working out some better place to sit.  The general proportions of the cockpit are comfortable, but the benches are too short to lie down. The starboard side bench is the top of a locker.  The slanted parts of the outer coaming are a mystery to me. The angle is way too steep to make sense. By the time the boat is heeled enough for it to be comfortable to sit there, the boat is on her ear.  One bad thing about this cockpit is there is pretty much no place to put anything down. A camera or binocular in the cockpit always seems at risk of falling off the bench. 

Hmmm, the winches are placed differently than on my boat. Maybe it's the very similar Hunter 30.

 

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On 3/5/2019 at 5:58 AM, alctel said:

Getting one made when I get back this fall. Trying to decide whether to do hard, soft or a combo of both.

I'm going combo.

Hardtop, vinyl sides, sunbrella covers

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If the weather's nice I always lower the spray hood (dodger).  Not doing so would be like owning a sports car and never lowering the roof.  What you really want is windscreen wipers, carpet slippers, comfy chair, fireside, house ... 

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Instrument positioning is important. My sailing buddy has a 34-footer with the instrument display (depth, relative wind, speed) on the cabin bulkhead facing the cockpit. It's a nice place to lean back, but when you do, you block the view of the instruments. 

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7 minutes ago, Bull City said:

Instrument positioning is important. My sailing buddy has a 34-footer with the instrument display (depth, relative wind, speed) on the cabin bulkhead facing the cockpit. It's a nice place to lean back, but when you do, you block the view of the instruments. 

That's where mine are.  Because that's where the original ones were when I replaced them.  Can't see the compass on port tack.  Can't see the electronics (depth!) on starboard tack.  Already went aground once because of that.  Someday, I'll probably get annoyed enough to move them to a pod on centerline above the companionway.

Here's a photo of the same model of boat, stolen from somebody's blog, with some interesting ideas:

Picture%20368.jpg

The companionway opening is too low anyway, for open water, so they replaced the lower board with an instrument pod/seat/snack tray.  The problem with that is that it would be a bit of a pain to step over if you couldn't open it up when moored.  

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2 minutes ago, toddster said:

That's where mine are.  Because that's where the original ones were when I replaced them.  Can't see the compass on port tack.  Can't see the electronics (depth!) on starboard tack.  Already went aground once because of that.  Someday, I'll probably get annoyed enough to move them to a pod on centerline above the companionway.

Here's a photo of the same model of boat, stolen from somebody's blog, with some interesting ideas:

Picture%20368.jpg

The companionway opening is too low anyway, for open water, so they replaced the lower board with an instrument pod/seat/snack tray.  The problem with that is that it would be a bit of a pain to step over if you couldn't open it up when moored.  

There are many places in the Pamlico Sound where you have to watch depth like a hawk.

What's involved in moving them to the pedestal? Wiring and plugging the old opening? Could you make a "pod" that would hang them from the dodger, maybe with a plug/unplug for storage?

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29 minutes ago, Bull City said:

There are many places in the Pamlico Sound where you have to watch depth like a hawk.

What's involved in moving them to the pedestal? Wiring and plugging the old opening? Could you make a "pod" that would hang them from the dodger, maybe with a plug/unplug for storage?

Well, it's a tiller boat.  And the helmsman position is right up against the bulkhead, which is why it's so hard to see the other side.  If you stand back behind the rudder post, about where the pedestal would be on wheel boats, you can see both bulkheads fine, though you can't read the exact compass heading.  Here's another stolen pic of that same boat.  Not sure about putting the magnetic compass right next to the engine gauges...

(The problem with putting a pod on the sea hood or the dodger, is that first I'd have to finish building the sea hood and the dodger. :rolleyes: )

 

tr15.jpg

Another cockpit feature seen here is the sun canopy they've put below the boom.  Although theirs always seemed to be an ad-hoc affair made from scraps of driftwood and cheap tarps, rebuilt for every passage.  I think one might devise a better arrangement.  But they made it across the Pacific that way...

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2 hours ago, toddster said:

 Someday, I'll probably get annoyed enough to move them to a pod on centerline above the companionway.

That's how they are on my boat. Works well.

 

ChristmasEve2017c.jpeg

(Though my cockpit is far from the epitome of comfort, as you can see!)

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... making a tiller-condom is on my project list.  But it seems like a slippery slope.  If not careful, you'd find yourself making hatch covers, winch doilies, dorade mittens.  And removing and storing all that stuff every time you want to leave the slip.

If you flip the tiller over backwards when not in use, the bottom takes the UV damage and the top still looks passable.

From what other material could you make a decent-looking tiller that resists sunlight?  3-D printing?  Laminated plastic?  Fiberglass and foam over some kind of armature?

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I recently refinished mine - it's carbon tape wound diagonally over a foam core.

It's stiff, strong & light but the craftsmanship was less than stellar so I did a bit of filling with epoxy/talc and painted it with "Trim Black" automotive paint. That's the satin black used on window trim and so forth on cars.

It gives a finish similar to black anodizing and is extremely sturdy - I've used it for years on cars and have never had a hint of a problem or sunlight damage with it.

Here's before & after.

 

Tiller 3.JPG

Tiller 6.JPG

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On 3/1/2019 at 5:57 PM, CriticalPath said:

^^^ +1 ^^^

My skinny-assed-chick wife feels the burn after a few hours on a hard cockpit seat.  Not a great situation when we're shorthanded racing so we carry a few of these onboard so if one slides out the open transom there's another nearby!  They're small, light, and cheap, so convenient for temporary support on long sails without worrying about losing them or (more importantly) their getting in the way of line handling in the cockpit.

 

Our previous boat, a C&C 27, had a large cockpit with some wicked counter-ergonomics from the early 70s - lotsa uncomfortable 90 degree angles and a 1" teak strip where the helm wanted to sit:

419214571_20150920CP_14.thumb.JPG.3048dda177962aa111ef28e93f9f6738.JPG

We added some velcro'd cushion used for padding on exercise equipment over the stern rail and basketcase made up a pair of removable custom-fit carbon seats to fit over the narrow combing:

1448371634_120523CP.Cockpit.thumb.jpg.b9dd3fefd4db7a15f9225937de1dc888.jpg

Problem solved!

 

Cheers!

i dont think i had ever seen them rigged. i like it. but as far as cockpit improvements go..... wheres a photo of your drink holder? that was art.

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One addition that made my cockpit more comfortable were weather-cloths. 

Apart from the shielding from spray and wind, they add some privacy in the cockpit, and with an awning, make a nice place to relax without going full oxygen tent. 

 

 

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We did something easy on our C&C 99. We bough two Lifeslings and hung them inside the lifelines on either side of the cockpit roughly in line with the wheel. It gave the driver a nice backrest when steering from either side with feet on the pedestal.

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