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Old 11-04-2004
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Pilothouses?

With all due respect, there are big differences in the definition of a ''motorsailor'' and a sailboat with a pilothouse. The term motorsailor refers to the hull shape and powering of the boat. Motorsailors generally have hulls that are fuller aft to prevent squating under power and have proportionately higher horsepower engines and larger propellors than might be found on an auxilliary powered sailboat. There is absolutely no requirement that a motorsailor have a pilot house. (Look at the S&S designed Chris Craft 35 motorsailors of the 1960''s) Motorsailors generally trade off sailing ability for better motoring ability.

In contast, sailboat with a pilothouse may be configured to primarily be a sailboat and may not even have an engine as was the case with some of the early 20th century sailing work boats or may be auxillary sailboats which are primarily designed as sailboats but have engines as back-ups.

With regards to the original question, I find pilothouse boats harder to single-hand. It is much harder to see from the aft cockpit and so you end up having to keep moving around to check for traffic. It is harder to route control lines past the cabin so you end up moving around the boat much more. The Pilothouse impacts the wind that you feel in the cockpit so it is harder to feel if you are on course. You can''t see the jib from the windward side of the boat because the pilothouse is in the way making upwind sailing much harder. On some pilothouse boats you can sit on the leeward and see the jib but even then on many traditional pilot house boats you can''t see the jib from the helm at all. It is very hard to steer undersail from the pilothouse because all of your usual clues to wind direction and sail trim are obscured.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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