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Old 29-02-2020, 18:31   #1
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Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

Just generally, do cat owners do a lot of steering from inside? I realize not a lot of cats have twin, indoor/outdoor helm stations, but do you bring your auto pilot remotes inside and steer through the front windows when it is crappy out?
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Old 29-02-2020, 18:49   #2
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

Gday unbusted, We are on our second cat. The current model is a Lagoon 440 with the capability of steering via a remote control. Personally I do not like the units. While I do sail with the auto pilot on its always at the helming station or with someone there and keeping a proper watch. Its just my opinon but if you are inside the saloon you can become complacent and fail to keep a proper lookout.



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Old 29-02-2020, 18:51   #3
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

Few Cats have pilot houses, though most do resemble "deck salons", in mono-speak.

We have an actual pilot house cat. I think most cats have a safe and warm area to keep watch, but there are some of the older ones that don't have a view forward, from inside.

Just be sure to keep the lights off, while keeping watch!
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Old 29-02-2020, 18:52   #4
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

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Just generally, do cat owners do a lot of steering from inside? I realize not a lot of cats have twin, indoor/outdoor helm stations, but do you bring your auto pilot remotes inside and steer through the front windows when it is crappy out?
absolutely.
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Old 29-02-2020, 23:54   #5
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

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Gday unbusted, We are on our second cat. The current model is a Lagoon 440 with the capability of steering via a remote control. Personally I do not like the units. While I do sail with the auto pilot on its always at the helming station or with someone there and keeping a proper watch. Its just my opinon but if you are inside the saloon you can become complacent and fail to keep a proper lookout.







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We do this on our Lightwave 45, pretty much always someone at the helm or there abouts on watch
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:17   #6
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

I always have someone close to the lines and wheel in the cockpit with a good all round view.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:57   #7
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

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We do this on our Lightwave 45, pretty much always someone at the helm or there abouts on watch

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
I always have someone close to the lines and wheel in the cockpit with a good all round view.

Totally agree with this, cats are very stable on autopilot, so it is easy to forget about keeping a proper watch.


Our cockpit has a hard bimini and clears so is not like being in the cockpit of a monohull. We have AP remotes on both sides of the cockpit, cats are wide and at the nav station in the bridgedeck.
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Old 01-03-2020, 03:25   #8
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

we always maintain watch from the cockpit...it's under roof and quite sheltered, but you are still in touch with the weather and how the boat is handling the conditions.

this was actually taught to me as a first year apprentice when i went to sea. the master on my first ship would not let the office of the watch stay inside the wheelhouse...by all means come in and plot a positron or whatever..but then back out on to the bridgewing...and this was on a 15,000dwt ship

old habits die hard

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Old 01-03-2020, 03:50   #9
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

Tinted windows, in pilot house or bridgedeck, are a no no at night.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:07   #10
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

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Totally agree with this, cats are very stable on autopilot, so it is easy to forget about keeping a proper watch....

That is a characteristic of the sailor, not the boat. Yes, you can sit in the salon... but you DON'T.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:10   #11
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

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Tinted windows, in pilot house or bridgedeck, are a no no at night.
Yet nearly all boats have them.

I've wrestled with this issue myself and went non-tinted. I do have regrets. It's like a solar oven without them.

My solution is to add tints on roller shades (polarized) and full blackout shades that can be pulled on top of that.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:27   #12
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

Re. tinted windows, they do keep cabin lights from blinding the watch. You just get a little glow, only enough to see your way around the deck.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:33   #13
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

Tinted windows are a compromise, like most things in life. We opted for the darkest tint available, because the sun is always trying to bake us out of the boat, and these help quite a lot, in lowering the temperatures.

We very seldom sail near shore at night; and offshore, I don't worry so much, since we also have a front cockpit, radar and ais, which we use regularly while on watch.

Cheers.
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Old 01-03-2020, 07:47   #14
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

When I was teaching people how to sail large cruising cats, I insisted that somebody who knew what to do ALWAYS had to be within reach of the sheets.

You can certainly set up another rule, depending on your risk tolerance. It does seem--to me--obvious that the worse the weather the MORE important it is to have somebody within arm's reach of the sheets. What are you going to do if that steady rain in 15 knots of wind suddenly is a prolonged 40 knot gust on your beam? If you sail enough, this IS going to happen.

To me, good seamanship requires rapid control of the boat's drive system. If the boat is under sail, that means in the cockpit. If the boat is motoring, sails down, then a pilot house helm is OK.

Some of this is the same reason I forbid any deck crew on my boat from using headphones on watch. Hearing odd noises from the rig, or the hull, or whatever! is IMPORTANT. Ducked down in a pilot house you miss a LOT of situational awareness even if you are good about eyeballing the horizon.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:10   #15
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Re: Are all cats essentially pilot houses?

Yes, headphones and watching a movie is not "watchkeeping".
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