I am looking at the cockpit size for the DH 12 1/2, 15 and 17 and trying to assess the size of the cockpit that will have adequate room for the hemlsman and the crew.
I have the WB plans for a DH 12 1/2. It shows a floor or well that is roughly 16" deep and about 6' long. It appears that the seat is at the deck height leaving the crew to essentially sit on the deck with only the coamings behind them and with their feet to reach across the floor and rest on the edge of the deck just across the floor.
If you refer to WB #183 pg 56, you will see an article on a DH 15. With a somewhat larger cockpit, it shows a deck outside the coamings and then seats inside the coaming that are lower than the deck and finally with a floor that is lower than the seats.
If you refer to WB #196 pg 66, you see a DH 17 with a deck outside the coamings with only a floor to sit on (i.e. no seats). This also seems to be with little comfort.
Personally, I like the DH 15 with 3 levels, with the deck, the seats and the floor. This arrangement leaves the helmsman with around 24" from the edge of one seat to the other and with only 16" for the DH 12 1/2 if the 12 1/2 used a 3 level arrangement. Either arrangement leaves the helmsman with little room if looking directly towards leeward. The only option is for the helmsman to put their feet their feet forward. Would it be a crime if I were to make a change to the 12 1/2 by putting in seats similar to the DH 15?
Finally, the tip of the tiller in all 3 designs is forward the helmsman's body requiring them to pivot the tiller above them when tacking. Is tipping the tiller up while tacking, allowing the helmsman to shift seats, standard?
With other designs, such as Joel White's Haven 12 1/2, the tip of the tiller is aft the helmsman's body leaving them to simply come about without having to pivot the tiller up when moving position. Also, there is plenty of leg room in the Haven.
I am trying to determine which DH to build as I do not want to build a Haven 12 1/2. I would prefer to build the DH 12 1/2, but I want to have a better understanding of the size of the cockpit? Also, I am juggling to build just a daysailer versus a weekender which would leave me with the DH 12 1/2 or the 17. The 17 is fine but it seems that it would be uncomfortable without seats.