What follows is intended to add to the general discussion topic about pilothouse boats. It is what I see and want, and obviously is not exactly what you want to find. For example, you want a longer boat and your budget
may be much higher than mine and your desires for a newer or new boat is something I don't necessarily share. So, our general interest is the same, even if our specific needs or wants are different.
I hope you find the following at least interesting to read as a different set of preferences.
I am strongly attracted to Pilothouse boats, and hope to get one in the future. I too have read many of the threads here on this forum related to Pilothouse boats.
As I said, I like Pilothouse boats. I have an eye out for them. And I would appreciate anyone telling me of others in the future (a PM is good). I am still identifying brands and boats (years) and considering them.
Given the number of brands and years (I am looking back as far as 1985), I have seen a wide range of boats, styling, and asking prices.
My goal is to find a boat I would be happy to sail offshore
and while I would want it to be comfortable in the tropics, I want the pilothouse because I would like to go where the water
and air is colder in the future. I am looking for a "live aboard" for two people. Speed of the boat is not as important to me as the comfort and safety
of the boat. My hull material preference would be in this order: Aluminum
. It is most likely I would be getting a fiberglass
When I look at the various Pilothouse boats, here is what I prefer and am looking for in a boat:
1. I want the pilothouse to include a settee long enough for sleeping (6'3" or more) for the off watch or second on watch. I want to be able to sit and read (at anchor) while seated in the settee in the pilothouse and to be able to look out the Pilothouse windows/portlights without having to stand up to look out (which is why I don't like a typical "sunken" or low Deck Saloon
2. I would also like there to be a saloon
table large enough for 4 people to eat around or for me to use for a "desk" when at anchor
or in a marina. I am an artist, so I would like the table to be large enough for me to put out a half sheet of watercolor paper and my paints and stuff so I could comfortably sit in the Pilothouse settee and paint
(for pleasure and to make my art). I want to do this surrounded by the natural light from the pilothouse windows.
3. I want a forward facing inside helm
position (with wheel or with autopilot
controls) that is positioned so one can truly see out the forward portlights
. Some Deck Saloon boats have such low saloons that it appears one would need a ladder to look out of the forward portlights
4. I want multiple portlights, but I don't feel they have to be huge (as seen on some boats). Moderate sized portlights would satisfy me. Reverse slope (like a Fisher) portlights in the front would not bother me and I do not prefer the very long/large forward sloping glass seen on some boats.
5. I want portlights on the aft bulkhead of the pilothouse (to look out back)
6. I would like a ketch
, but would accept a cutter
. Since I would also like an arch (for solar
panels) to be added on the stern, I would not want a ketch rig that prevents the use of an arch.
7. I would like an outside helm
position (such as a raised cockpit seen on some Nauticats). This could have the wheel on the bulkhead (this does not bother me).
8. If the settee (dinette) is large enough in the pilot house, I would not feel a need for the second dinette seating area down below. Larger Nauticats and some other brands have two dinette areas, but I don't expect to have a large crew so don't see the need.
9. While I can appreciate a galley
"up" design, and have seen some nice ones, I do not prefer that. I prefer more "seating" and "sleeping" (long settee) in the Pilothouse, rather than a small galley there.
10. I would prefer to have a chart table in the pilothouse along with room for radar
and chart plotter and some other instruments at the inside helm position.
11. I would prefer to have an aft cabin
with a double berth, rather than two singles.
12. I would like a swim platform on the stern or something similar to be added if it does not exist in the design.
I like them but they do not fit me for one reason or another.
Most of the boats I have seen that satisfy these wants are about 40-45 feet LOA
While some smaller Pilothouse boats are nice and several are "salty" or have what appears to be good designs, I find that some have Pilothouse designs (interior space use) that do not fit my desires. Examples of those would be the Fisher
line and some other brands. Why? Some have very short settees in the Pilothouse, or no table there, or a very small galley up but no good seating area in the pilothouse for anyone but the "pilot."
In general, I want the pilothouse to be used for seating (and watch keeping) and for use as my "office" (or art studio) while I am moored/anchored, rather than as a galley.
I anticipate a total crew of 2 (a couple, me and a mate/spouse) so I want there to be good seating for two in the Pilothouse.
Some boats of this size have very nice features, but may not fit exactly what I want or want to spend now. Some notable examples are shown in the photos I am posting
below. These have some of the pilothouse characteristics I like.
Boats such as:
Amazon 44 (This boat has one of the nicest pilothouse layouts I have seen, see the first photo
below. While it does have the galley up, the port settee is just right for what I want with a large enough table for my needs as an artist.)