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Pilothouse in the PNW

Dec 25, 2000
4,265
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
You have to like the feel of the boat.
It's worth mentioning here that Belle-Vie over the years has delivered countless ahhh moments. Sea kindly, stiff, fast and very comfortable. She really likes the grandkids at the helm, too. I realize there are lots of boats out there, but it is the one that we made as part of our life that really counts when all is said and done.
 
May 20, 2016
2,890
Catalina 36 MK1 94 Everett, WA
I’m confused. Which head needs a USB port and why? Thought you sailed your boat like I do from the Helm.

Looking forward to a winter cruise or two.
That had me confused at first, but figured it was for a fan to disperse the smell.
 
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Likes: jssailem
Dec 25, 2000
4,265
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Which head needs a USB port and why?
The one that sits atop my shoulders. My brain contains all these vivd memories. It would seem that some day, someone will be able to wire a USB port to that grey matter between my ears in order to download all those images and clips onto a DVD, eh?
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,739
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
That is what I guessed. While it would appear to be a convenient idea can you imagine the size of the filter that would be needed to only capture the good stuff? Like what would the playback be like of your thoughts while driving the school bus and the little kiddos are having a particular active day?
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,739
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Balloons were up getting ready for the Daybreak assention.
2475ADFF-39AD-44AC-BE56-BF60CB5F4A7F.jpeg6CF6FF22-77B8-4FD8-837D-F58B4B331247.jpeg4368809D-4AF5-4A5A-99D5-16D43DF52BA7.jpeg
These balloonists are early to bed early to rise thinkers.
 
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Likes: Will Gilmore
Jan 8, 2020
46
brentswain 31 31 twin keeler Easystreet Heriot Bay BC
My opinion and take it for what it’s worth...A pilot house with inside steering is nice for the PNW during inclement weather..However, you can’t sail from inside. At least very effectively..From the cockpit, looking fwd in good weather, you have to look over the house. Deck access could be difficult. A lot of sailors like them as when down below, you are still looking outside instead of being inside a hull. With a “conventional” layout, you can install a dodger such that you can get out of weather and breaking water under power. I can stand in the companionway and drive the boat under autopilot with a remote. I could also enclose the cockpit if I want. When things are “favorable”, fouly up and get wet and sail! And a pilot house has more windage...It all comes down to what kind of sailing you want to do..
You definitely can sail from inside. If you go a knot slower , I'd rather do that for a bit longer ,than freezing and wet at a knot faster. My wheelhouse gives me far more floor space aft , allowing more flexibility in interiors ,and less distance to climb down from the cockpit in rough weather, a big safety factor.
Much easier deck access.
Comparing a dodger to a wheelhouse is like comparing a lean to to a hotel room, in terms of comfort.
Dodgers have the same windage as a wheelhouse, if the wheelhouse is kept small, and less that a wet crew in the cockpit. Most dodgers fog up, and are hard to see thru, and just as hard to see over ,more so than a small wheelhouse.
Leaving one's the only option , steering from the torture chamber of an open cockpit in bad weather ,is the logic equivalent of a pickup truck which can only be steered from the open box .
As I cruise the BC coast full time year round, I'm embarassed that it took me so long to build myself a boat with a proper wheelhouse . Now I can go anywhere along the BC coast in the dead of winter in aT shirt , the wood stove roaring , only going on deck briefly ,to wave at someone in a very expensive ,but 'Stylish " boat , freezing, and wet in their "stylish" open cockpit, huddling vainly under a dodger .
Hard to get washed out of a wheelhouse, in rough weather. Hypothermia and discomfort cloud judgement, bad seamanship.One can steer for many hours in a car , in comfort, but the same would leave you feeling wrecked in an open cockpit in bad weather. There is no logical justification for this, whatsoever.
 
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Jan 8, 2020
46
brentswain 31 31 twin keeler Easystreet Heriot Bay BC
NA Bob Perry calls it "the row away factor" and it can be just as important as the rating numbers. Having said that.... having a boat with real speed under sail (or power) is really really nice.
Perry always values cosmetics over function and practical . I did too, when I was a naive beginner, before I got alot more cruising experince. A bit of ocean and full time , long term cruising experience would cure that . The two are compatible, but it takes years of actual, hands on cruising experience, to find the balance, and value the two. Sitting at a drawing board for decades, juggling numbers, is no substitute for hands on cruising experience. Building my first boat , when I spoke of yachtiness, a guy who worked the tugs ,building next door ,had a good description of such priorities.
"Like a greyhound in the jungle!" With 20-20 hindsight, Exactly !
 
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Jan 8, 2020
46
brentswain 31 31 twin keeler Easystreet Heriot Bay BC
A layered Ward at the helm on the Extreme Winter2019 excursion.
View attachment 170650

Les and John navigating Navy Channel as the snow whips about the boat.
View attachment 170651 View attachment 170652

PacificNW sailing at it’s finest.
From inside a well insulated and heated wheeelhouse, looks like far more fun. Nice thing about his coast, a nice, well sheltered, hurricane proof anchorage is not far away, and guaranteed at the end of the day. No one rowing out with his hand out for fees, either.
In the tropics ,such anchorages would be so crammed with coral ,you couldn't row a dinghy thru them.
 
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Oct 19, 2017
6,018
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
So... I take it, you're in favor of pilothouses, free cruiser?

I'm sure we would all love to see some pictures of your boat. Building my own boat has been a dream of mine since I was a kid.
20180219_142242.jpg

The guy with the sander is my father helping build our family boat way back in the 70s
No pilothouse though.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
Jan 8, 2020
46
brentswain 31 31 twin keeler Easystreet Heriot Bay BC
Here is my boat. I have put together over 3 dozen of them. This is the third one I have owned. After building my first one ,by the time I launched her ,I had many things I wish I had done different. By my second, it took me ten years to get to that point. After 36 years, there is little I would change on this boat.
 

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Likes: Will Gilmore
Jul 1, 1998
3,036
Hunter Legend 35 Poulsbo/Semiahmoo WA
Best boat? Find out what your wife likes and decide if you can live with it.
Women tend to like to be able to look out so a pilothouse design helps. One downside is the interior levels are often broken up and then there is the chicken ladder from the cockpit.

Canvas dodgers, biminis, and side panels cost to begin with then require maintenance. Zippers and stiching fail due to UV exposure and the canvas shrinks with time and at some point will need to be replaced. Almost as bad as buying a new sail.

Septer 41 (spelling?) is a sought after model but priced accordingly. More of a raised-deck salon model than the higher pilothouse type. Canadian built.

There is an older Seabird pilothouse (Canadian built, I believe) next to us and the gentleman is well along in years and I know would like to sell it but it is not what you'd call a performance sailer; however, would be good for up north.

It's all a compromise, a difficult one..
 
Jan 8, 2020
46
brentswain 31 31 twin keeler Easystreet Heriot Bay BC
A friend lived on a Scepter. Zero insulation, soaking wet inside , like living in an ice house.
A wheel house gives you far more floor space aft, and a much shorter climb from the cockpit.