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post #2167 of Old 11-19-2013
Brent Swain
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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Re: Pros and cons of steel sailboats

Originally Posted by outbound View Post
Earlier Brent talked about the vurtues of pilothouses. I seriously thought about a pilothouse but went with a hard dodger boat for several reasons.
1. Find if you are on deck to are more likely to pay attention to things like the
the horizon
the wind
the sounds of your boat
the set of your sails
2.found I'm more likely to watch my sails and adjust if I'm on deck.
3.With the AP remote around my neck but under the dodger I'm comfy and out of the weather but still fully dressed/harnessed to make any adjustments or attend to any urgencies. Whereas in a nice warm pilothouse I have to get fully dressed and rigged up before going out to deal with whatever.
Seems unusual Brent would be a pilothouse fan as it takes you out of the joy of the environs. Kind of like going through a forest on a motorbike smelling and seeing everything versus traveling in a motorhome looking through a window.
Wonder what others think. Guess the full enclosures you see are about the same thing and folks seem to like those. Maybe it's a PNW thing.
Minus temperatures forecast here in the next couple of days, not the kind of wind I want to feel. Feeling icy doesn't bring a lot of joy. Hypothermia in an open cockpit clouds ones judgement, as does handling wet charts in an exposed cockpit. I prefer my dry chart drawer , in front of my inside steering seat. When I am in my warm wheelhouse, I can get on deck and handle any urgencies quickly, and get back below quickly enough to not get very wet , certainly not long enough to justify putting on a lot of extra clothes. With the wood stove roaring I dry off any rain drops I've accumulated, and recover any lost body heat quickly .
One can drive for hours in bad weather in a car, and feel only moderately tired, whereas sailing in an open cockpit in rough weather for a relatively short time can leave one feeling exhausted , with ones judgement severely clouded. There is no reason sailing should not be as comfortable as driving.
Try selling a pickup truck which can only be steered from the open box. That is equivalent logic to a sail boat which can only be steered from an open cockpit, or huddled behind a dodger in a following wind. With my wheelhouse, I still have the option of steering from the cockpit , which I often do, in fine weather.. I just like to have the inside option as well.
Being able to raise the floor in a wheelhouse lets you have a lot more floor space aft , wasting a lot less space on cockpit.
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