Join Date: Jan 2007
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Since I have a pilot house (Coronet Elvstrom 38) I am biased. I sail in a T-shirt when others around me are braving the wind, rain and waves of the North Sea all wrapped up in their warmest all weather clothing and huddling under an inadequate dodger. And when it gets really hot, you need a bimini, which I have as standard by removing the pilot house sides and back.
But generally, such craft are not built to race. On a boat my size, it might carry 6 or 8 crew to race, but I only have room for four in the pilot house and the side decks are not designed to be sat on. Racing boats need lots of space to let a large crew move about fast. The pilot house does add windage, which equals drag, which equals not so fast up wind.
The "mass produced" boats are designed to meet both racing and charter cruising requirements. I guess they make up the majority of the buyers who buy brand new, as the racers want the latest and fastest and the charter companies like to offer new boats for hire. There were a lot more pilot house models built before 1975, but that market slump bust a lot of builders. Since then, the remaining companies have largely focused on their main chance. However, Nauticat survived, as did Fisher for a while. Others try now and again but generally have low sales numbers.
For those who want not to race, or just charter for a couple of weeks, and want to live-aboard and travel slow but far, the newest is not so important as the functionality. So they hunt for a suitable boat and/or spend a lot on converting it to purpose. Some even add pilot houses.
My 2 cents.