According to the plans, the distance between the aft bulkhead and the aft edge of the deck beam is 31 inches. I did a dry run for deck installation and by chance held up the cockpit combing to the opening in the deck panels to see how the two matched up. I was surprised to see that the fore/aft dimension of the combing was 30 5/8 inches which left only 3/8 inches margin of error! Not a lot on a 17 foot boat. Any reason why a couple of inches couldn't have been incorporated into the plans to give a little more wiggle room? As it was mine will fit by only the smallest margin.