I'm also following the "sailboats with unstayed masts" thread: two posts yesterday got me thinking -
micah719 posted about 'whaleback' Chinese junks (deck is shaped like a whaleback, with wheelhouse set above, like a separate pod - if wheelhouse is wiped out in a storm then the hull
below remains intact). In the same post he has a link to the most horrific storm photos I've ever seen, the waves continuing to rise to heights well over 20 meters once the hurricane
force winds begin to abate. I hope I'm allowed to copy the link here:
'Here are some interesting pics I found on this site:
) "The Storm" is an interesting collection of pictures...'
Makes me think again about the safety
of pilothouse yachts. Though they rate highly in ultimate stability comparisons, if ever the pilothouse is breached (and it most certainly would be in a "storm" approaching anything like the ferocity portrayed in the photos) then survival chances would be negligible. Of course survival of any yacht in those conditions would seem unlikely but it's interesting that the ancient Chinese realized that those raised cabins or pilothouses are the most vulnerable.