I see that many BCC’s have one, and others don’t. It seems like a great place to hang things like outbaoards, laundry and rescue paraphernalia. Does it make the cockpit area very confined or is that a good thing?

Stewart, The pushpit or sternrail as we Yanks call it, can be installed inside the main sheets or outside the main sheets.

Installed outside the main sheets:

  1. +/- the main sheets do not rub against the pushpit except where it meets at the boomgallows. There can be a lot of stress here when on a run.
    2 + Because the sheets are inside, you can mount a Bar B Q on the rail.
    3 + You can have a nice wind curtain made for the pushpit.
    4 – Installing it will be a problem because the mainsheets are attached to the taffrail so the pushpit would have to go outside of this, making mounting difficult.
    5 – You cannot do #2 below…

Installed inside the main sheets:

  1. – The main sheets will rub against the rail because the boom is shorter than the top of the pushpit. I do not find this a problem but others might. My wind curtains have leather sewn on the top, where it passes over the sternrail.
    2 + On my own boat, I have a cockpit cover that goes from the aft end of my dodger to the boomgallows. After it is installed, I have a roll down piece that rolls down to the top of the pushpit. If I have my wind curtains attached this totally can enclose the cockpit if sides are added.
    3 – You cannot hang anything on the pushpit because the main sheets rub against it. However, I hang my BBQ there when at anchor.

Summary: If you intend to coastal cruise, you probably do not need a pushpit. However, I can tell you that having a totally enclosed cockpit underway is well worth it. When I sail locally, I remove my wind curtains because I want that tropical breeze. However I still have my underway, cockpit cover to protect me from the tropical sun. At anchor, I will often put up my cockpit cover and unroll the back flap to keep the sun out of the cockpit.

Underway, I have wind curtains on my lifelines and pushpit. At sea, I always install my underway cockpit cover. If needed, I can unroll the back flap and attach it to the pushpit wind curtain. I have separate flaps for port and starboard that are easily attached to the cockpit cover and to the side wind curtains. This will make the cockpit totally enclosed. I have often used this enclosure at anchor for sleeping outside. Underway, if the wind is from the port side, I can install the port side cover but leave the starboard off.
There is a drawing of this in my book, pagea 467 - 468


yeah it seems that there is a bit of study required, I may be best to wait until 126 hits the water and I can see the configuration precisely. The idea of having the cockpit protected from both sun, wind and the elements is good. Thanks for the info Roger.