The cockpit is usually where a ship’s steering is controlled. The name “cockpit” probably comes from the fact the the coxswain would be stationed there, the coxswain being the person in charge of navigation and steering the ship.
The cockpit was rebuilt with superb craftsmanship by John, measuring and cutting carefully to make the most of the materials. The timber used was iroko, which is very tough and good for outdoor use as it does not require oil or varnish as often as other woods.
It’s better than before. The storage is now easier – for example a large warp (heavy rope) can be stored under the seats ready for quick deployment; there’s a bit more protection against the wind, and it’s more strongly built. It looks good too!