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Old 26-02-2013, 11:29   #1
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Pilot House or Not?

I have recently stumbled into a potential deal on an all aluminum sailboat 44 foot totally unfinished......just the hull and a truck load of parts.
Only thing is the present owner cut into the deck and added a pilothouse.......more room below but I am not sure I like the pilot house idea, having never been on one.
What say all of you.....pilot house or no pilot house, what is the preference?

I suppose I could always cut it off and weld it all up back to original....
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Old 26-02-2013, 11:41   #2
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Re: Pilot house or not?

Kinda depends where you want to cruise and what you want to do with your boat. I have a motorsailer with a substantial pilot house because I spend my time cruising the coast of BC. This is what I wanted and got the right boat for the job. If you plan on spending a lot of time in somewhat cold and rainy environment you might appreciate that pilot house. If on the other hand you plan on staying in the sun shine and nice weather it is not so important.
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Old 26-02-2013, 11:54   #3
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Re: Pilot house or not?

I'd bet you have more than half the work ahead of you, if you have to finish out the interior.
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Old 26-02-2013, 12:17   #4
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Re: Pilot house or not?

I really like certain pilothouse boats. Done well you are no longer living in a "cave". Inside steering, galley and dinette up in the pilothouse and it's wonderful.But dont underestimate the work required to finish the interior and mechanical. I spent over 2000 hours on a 31 footer doing that.
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Old 26-02-2013, 12:19   #5
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pirate Re: Pilot house or not?

For a live aboard I'd go for the Pilothouse... sailed in them before but UK-Med area so did not appreciate them much grumpy 'Trad' git....
Last year I spent nearly 8mths on one in the tropics and believe me that lid made all the difference.. still had an outside helm etc but it was nice to sit inside from 11 am onward... and nice in the blows..
First time ever I've got burned in the Carib.. so bad it bled.. go for the shelter our UV filter ain't what it was..
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Old 26-02-2013, 14:05   #6
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Re: Pilot house or not?

As Lancerbye say. it depends! We also have a pilot house motor sailor and have both heat and AC. We are comfortable no matter where we go ! We find in the summers in places like Panama, sitting out the Hurrycane season AC is almost a requirement for at least us OLD Folks! LOL and it's not so bad to be cool or warm on those long night watchs ! Guess it's all a matter of taste! We had a semi pilot house on our Colvin , but the one we have now is much better and it works for us ! One thing for sure it will make your cruiseing season much longer and more comfortable ! Just our 2 cents
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Old 26-02-2013, 14:10   #7
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Re: Pilot house or not?

Post a pic? Was it in the plans or was it an addon?
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Old 26-02-2013, 14:12   #8
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Re: Pilot house or not?

Ooops......it's a 34 not a 44......

I do have 4 years to do the finishing.....I think that is a reasonable time frame, but the budget may stretch the time out a few extra years.
I suppose if there was no pilot house we would be tucked under a dodger and canvas cover anyways..........we probably will be mostly on the west coast of BC so maybe a pilot house is a good idea..........I think I'll try and arrange a couple of tours on other boats to get a feel for how it is.

Thanks Guys!!
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Old 26-02-2013, 14:17   #9
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Re: Pilot house or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
Post a pic? Was it in the plans or was it an addon?
It was an add on.......covered in snow right now so I couldn't really see all from outside but from inside it looked like a good job
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Old 26-02-2013, 14:59   #10
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Re: Pilot house or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bern74 View Post
I have recently stumbled into a potential deal on an all aluminum sailboat 44 foot totally unfinished......just the hull and a truck load of parts.
Only thing is the present owner cut into the deck and added a pilothouse.......more room below but I am not sure I like the pilot house idea, having never been on one.
What say all of you.....pilot house or no pilot house, what is the preference?

I suppose I could always cut it off and weld it all up back to original....
Your post is deja vu for me.

I also have a 34 foot aluminum boat to which I cut the deck and added a pilot house. Same cruising grounds too - inside passage.

Many pilot houses are built a little to low for effective use buy a helmsman. Make sure that when you are at the inside steering station that you can see the horizon over the bow.

Of coarse when the pilot house is high enough to be used as such, the increased weight and windage can be a large penalty when sailing.

Also, large areas of glass need to be properly engineered for strength if you plan on taking green water aboard your decks.

Lastly, many would not tolerate the rather towering appearance of a functional pilot house on such a small sailing vessel. Here are a couple of shots of mine. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Steve
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Old 26-02-2013, 15:11   #11
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pirate Re: Pilot house or not?

Lovely... can't figure out if the rig makes the lid or the lid makes the rig...
she please's the eye..
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Old 26-02-2013, 16:04   #12
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Re: Pilot House or Not?

A pilot house does not add space below deck. It adds enclosed space above the deck.

If you are in a climate that has rain / snow / etc. and if you sail a lot, go for a pilot house.

The only thing I missed in our South Pacific adventure was ... a pilot house.

A pilot house does not exclude large comfortable cockpit in any case.

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Old 26-02-2013, 16:22   #13
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Re: Pilot House or Not?

I think pilothouses are harder to pull off with a smaller vessel. On anything about 40 ft., I really like them. It bothers me on boats like the new Seaward 46 that have great pilothouses, but no steering system inside the vessel. I love the idea of being in a well protected pilothouse during rough weather, with red ambient lighting and the GPS and radar glow.
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Old 26-02-2013, 17:41   #14
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I have the similar dilema in reverse. New alloy boat with no pilothouse but I would love to add one. I think if it isn't to high and ugly and you intend to cruise in higher latitudes keep it.

If well built a pilothouse should be able to withstand whatever mother nature can chuck at it and it adds valuable ultimate stability if it has a good water tight door.

For me the main benefit is being able to keep a lookout without getting a wet bum. Should save a fortune in wet weather pants...
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Old 27-02-2013, 06:58   #15
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Re: Pilot House or Not?

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
I have the similar dilema in reverse. New alloy boat with no pilothouse but I would love to add one. (...)
Relatively easy to build in GRP as an add-on. If executed properly, indistinguishable from an alloy job.

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