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Cockpit with two steering positions on a large sailing yacht
Cockpit of an old sailing boat

A cockpit (also colloquially: cockpit , formerly: cocpit ) in sailing and motor boats is the open part on the deck of a boat in which the crew and passengers stay during the journey. If the floor is above the swimming water line, i.e. lower than the deck to protect against wind and water and against going overboard, the cockpit is usually made watertight and self-draining . In these cases, floor and side walls of the cockpit are grooved waterproof and caulked , and are on either side outboard leading pipes for removing the top entering the cockpit water, sometimes with non-return valves mounted. A watertight cockpit must not be too big so that it does not miss its purpose. It is either aft (mostly) or amidships. It can be open or closed (→ cake stand ). On sailing yachts there are also winches for the mainsail and several cleats . The benches around the steering position are arranged in such a way that you can steer while standing or sitting. The riser is the vertical plank of the cockpit.

On some ships, especially motor yachts, there are two steering positions (but there is only ever one cockpit). From the cockpit one can go through the companionway below deck, if one is available.

Does the cockpit have to be drained , d. H. Water flowing in are drained off using bilge pipes with a large diameter, or bilge flaps and self-bailers on dinghies. To prevent slipping, the floors are equipped with wooden ledges with embedded quartz sand or rubber trimmings in the form of strips. Alternatively, the floor can be provided with a teak flooring or with a grating made of wood ( grating ).

The crew is in the cockpit most of the time during the voyage. Often a table in the middle can also be opened, for example to take meals.


  • Adolf Brix, Practical Shipbuilding - Boat Building, Series: Historische Schiffahrt - Volume 155, CT Salzwasser-Verlag, Bremen, 2010, ISBN 978-3-86195-322-7 , page: 213
  • Günther Werckmeister, Bora: Journeys and Experiences of a Cruiser (1928), European University Publishing House, 1st edition, November 14, 2011, ISBN 978-3-8457-1007-5
  • Richard Lohmann, boat construction, boat building, boat types (1922), CT Salzwasser-Verlag, Bremen, January 5, 2014, ISBN 978-3-86741-724-2 , page: 110 ff.

Web links

Commons : Sailboat cockpits  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Obligation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Cockpit  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Friends of Classic Yachts: The sailing dinghy. Berlin Small Sailing Association, 1922, accessed on October 22, 2017 .
  2. Nautical Lexicon - Sailing Lexicon. Retrieved October 22, 2017 .
  3. Jack London: Fish Pirate Tales . 1st edition. Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag GmbH - DTV, Munich 1976, ISBN 3-423-01176-9 , p. 103 .