The mess with the old wooden cockpit is, that the distance, even of long-leged persons, between the hollow of the knee and the instep is much shorter than the width of the deck.
This makes hiking in the outer position of the crew is extremely difficult and unsafe with the old wooden cockpit design. Friction of the hiking straps (if possible at all) is very high. Furthermore the
straps are strongly bent over the cockpit edge.
For the helmsman, or for the crew if the breeze is not strong enough for the deep hiking, the situation is even worse and becoming a true torture for the calf and probably a cramp is not far away.