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Chapter 10

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It might seem odd that a whole chapter has been devoted to cockpit design, and you might even be wondering why it has been included at all.

The reason is simple: faulty cockpit design is the leading cause of small boat sinkings, particularly outboard and stern drive boats, and to a lesser extent, smaller inboards and sport fishermen.

This chapter will review some of the most commonly found design defects, how to locate them, as well as offering some solutions on how to deal with them.

Every year thousands of small boats sink, usually at their docks, with no one aboard and no one witnessing the event.

In most cases the reason why it happens is the result of bilge pump or battery failure. Indeed, bilge pump and battery failures invariably figure in to scheme of events, but investigators often don't go far enough to find out the whole reason these components failed.

That so many small boats suffer from unseaworthy cockpit design is simply the result of cockpit scuppers that allows water to back-flow onto the deck and then find its way into the bilge via leaking hatches or other openings.

Designers could easily create more seaworthy designs by giving the vessel sufficient freeboard so that the decks would not have to be placed at, or near the water line.

But the tendency is to create boats with low freeboard mainly for stylistic considerations, and it is this low freeboard that forces the designers to set the decks dangerously low down in the hull.

Copyright© 2004 David H. Pascoe
(Additional spaces are added for easy screen reading.)

Table of Contents: Chapter 10

10. Cockpits 225

Plastic Hatches 226
Estimating Changes in Trim 232
Pounds per Inch Immersion 233
Are Scuppers Necessary? 234
Motor Wells 234

Design Trends 236

Sport Fishermen 238
Deck Wells 238


surveying Fiberglass Power Boats Surveying Fiberglass Power Boats
- 2nd Edition

Soft Cover
480 pages
Publisher: D. H. Pascoe & Co., Inc.
Published: 2005
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0965649601
ISBN-13: 9780965649605

Price: $34.50
In Stock



David Pascoe - Biography

David Pascoe is a second generation marine surveyor in his family who began his surveying career at age 16 as an apprentice in 1965 as the era of wooden boats was drawing to a close.

Certified by the National Association of Marine Surveyors in 1972, he has conducted over 5,000 pre purchase surveys in addition to having conducted hundreds of boating accident investigations, including fires, sinkings, hull failures and machinery failure analysis.

Over forty years of knowledge and experience are brought to bear in following books. David Pascoe is the author of:

In addition to readers in the United States, boaters and boat industry professionals worldwide from over 70 countries have purchased David Pascoe's books, since introduction of his first book in 2001.

In 2012, David Pascoe has retired from marine surveying business at age 65.

On November 23rd, 2018, David Pascoe has passed away at age 71.

Biography - Long version

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