Hey!! the weather in Seattle is an absolutely beautiful fall day today...
Wish I could be out on the water!
I generally concur with blt2ski's assessment. We considered Pilothouse to deal with the inclement conditions, but I could never figure out the use of the inside steering station if you actually want to sail the boat... With all the changing variables, traffic, wind, tides, land, you generally aren't going to stay on the same course for very long. I guess with fancy enough winches you could do that from the inside too..
We did chose a CC for the cockpit enclosure though so I am biased.. This was after seeing other snugly warm CCs sailing around while were less than snug on an AC.. even in the spring.
A pilothouse with a raised salon DOES seem pretty fantastic for having a nice view with your morning coffee though, especially on a beautiful fall day such as today..
If you are out here to visit at some point, I _think_ the Gemini at the end of I dock at Shilshole Bay Marina is a liveaboard. You could leave him/her a note and get an opinion on living one.
I have seen a pretty extensive cockpit enclosure on another Gemini as well, C dock at Elliott Bay Marina, giving you a nice porch and effectively inside steering.
If you go the charter route, would highly recommend Windworks sailing, have been a member there for going on 7 years. They have a nice variety of boats, and also social activities.
Also, legal liveaboard moorage can be hard to come by here due to DNR restrictions. The waiting list for regular moorage can be long enough (most places longer than your estimated tenure aboard), though spots do open up in the winter.