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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I''m sure it depends on your skill level, but i was wondering if it was possible to single-hand a pilothouse boat.

With a crew of 2?

Are there any advantages of a pilothouse over a cockpit (besides, i guess, shelter during a storm)?

-D-
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have never sailed a pilot house equiped boat. Is it that much differnt than any other boat? I would think if you have some mythod of self steering (say an autohelm) that you could leave the wheel long enough to handle other important issues with halyards, sheets, or any other lines that need attention. I have a BIG problem with boaters that see a pilot system as a first mate that they can leave incharge of a boat without a lookout. That a differnt question though.. Sheltere is the only reason I can think of that makes a boater want a pilothouse. Storm or sun having shelter can be nice... As for me anything more than a dodger make a boat.... well kinda ugly.. Sorry
 

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No reason you can''t single hand a boat just because it has an extra helm station below. You''d have to go topside to handle sails of course, but it''s not that different from running any other boat. What tasks concern you specifically about short-handing a PH boat? I''m planning to buy one in a few months, and I''d be interested to know if you had any specific difficulties with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I''m new to the sailing world. My wife and i are just starting to look into the idea of cruising, so we''re just trying to get a feel for everything we can.

I kind of like the pilothouse style, but for no real particular reason.

So i was just wondering if anyone had any opinions on Pilothouse vs Cockpit type boats.

And especially since it will be just my wife and i sailing, i was wondering if having a pilothouse with just 2 people was a good/safe idea.
 

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oceanmaui,

As covered by the previous replies to your leading post in this thread . . . there are little differences aside from the added comfort and protection provided by the pilothouse. I am not too familiar with ALL the pilothouse choices out there, only with the one my wife and I recently bought . . . a Nauticat 33 motorsailor. We absolutely love the boat''s build quality, interior liveability and outstanding teak joinery. The standing and running rigging is also of a high quality. The interior space actually seems bigger than most 40 footers I''ve been on.

Irregardless of what some sailors think about the appearance of a pilothouse, I really do like the traditional lines of Nauticats (did someone actually say pilothouses were "ugly" in a prior reply?). There is a lot to be said about not having to deal with dodger canvas and issen glass.

With a 90 hp diesel, I can motor upwind, in no wind, or against currents at 8-9 knots. However, it is still a sailboat, although comparatively not the fastest ketch, she sails pretty darn well for her size.

If you are interested in pilothouses and in terms of basic differences between boats with cockpits . . . it is important, in my mind, to have an aft station for nice weather sailing or motoring. When things get snotty, go inside. Sliding teak pilothouse doors on both starboard & port sides make deck access easy. A large sliding moonroof makes checking sail trim convenient. The aft deck helm is also the preferred station when sailing in tight quarters. Therefore, we have versatility with both a cockpit and a pilothouse.

My wife is a total sailing novice, but with autopilot (we have a handheld remote), I can singlehand the boat even when tacking, or trimming the sails. Eventually, my first mate will be more confident to take the wheel, usually the arrangement most couples in our situation lead to.

The bottom line is what feels right to you and the type of sailng you prefer and expect from your vessel. Motorsailors & pilothouse sailboats are not designed to be fast race boats, but are extremely comfortable and versatile cruisers. JMO

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Steve.

I think that''s what we''re looking for, something nice and comfortable...a good cruiser. Not interested in racing.

A side question i guess...are "pilothouse sailboats" different than a "motorsailor"?

I''ve seen listings for both titles, but not sure if that''s just symantics, or if there is a real difference between the two.
 

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Perhaps other, more experienced sailors than I, could add a more definitive response to your question, but to my current knowledge, there is little difference between a description of a motorsailor and a pilothouse sailboat.

A similar analogy may possibly be made with: powerboat vs. motor-cruiser . . . depends upon which side of the pond you reside, I suppose.

Every boater has different criteria in developing a program of requirements; with a positive attitude, no one''s choice is a wrong one . . . simply the fit that works for your enjoyment.

In my world, boats are intended to be recreational, a means of escape from our regular land-based existence. What makes boating stressful (sail or power), is the constant interference of people making (sometimes unexperienced) adverse opinions of what we should be buying, or what we should have done, more often than not, after we have made our very expensive boat purchase.

Best of luck in your search for the ideal vessel. Keep an open mind and a steady course.

Steve
 

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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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Thank you for your knowlegable clarification to my reply Jeff_H . . . I stand corrected on the difference between pilothouse sailboats and motorsailors.

I do agree with your assessments of motorsailors. However, I feel the need to amend your observation that forward visibility of pilothouse sailboats is obscured from the aft helm by the pilothouse. This may be true with most pilothouse boats, where the aft deck helm is level (or below) the foredeck level. My pilothouse sailing experience is mostly limited to my Nauticat 33, with a poop deck raised such that it affords excellent forward visibility with a good view of all sails.

I also have good control of the headsail, with sheets directed aft by lead blocks to two winches mounted upon the pilothouse roof . . . inches from the helm. Going forward is necessary though, to work the main and staysail. I am still on the uphill side of the learning curve . . . but do immensely enjoy the boat.

One downside to this raised deck arrangement, is the position of the mizzen mast over the pilothouse roof. The resulting boom''s position causes the mizzen sail to obscure some lee side visibility unless one crouchs down . . . not terrribly inconvenient, but the boom creates a potential hazard in an uncontroled gibe or when coming about.

Steve
 

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Thank you for pointing out that there are some ''work-arounds'' for the visibility issue such as a raised after deck/cockpit area. This of course comes at the price of an increase in motion for the helmsman and a higher weight in the ends of the boat increasing pitching resulting in a decreased motion comfort,and higher weight and windage above the waterline reducing stability.

Respectfully,
Jeff
 

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A sail performance purist you are, Jeff_H.

As I suggested earlier, the perfect sailboat will be defined differently by each sailor you ask. Motorsailors are a unique design intended for a select group of boaters. The fact that Siltalia Yachts of Finland is still producing Nauticats, after launching over 4000 during the past 30 years, must offer some support to the success of the design.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

Steve
 

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Hi Steve,

I don''t think of myself as ''purist'' as much as a therosist. I am only commenting on the impacts of various trade offs, not on their universal desirability. As has been said here many times, all boats are trade off''s and there is no single universally correct answers when it comes to sailing preferences, any more than a case could be made that vanilla ice cream is universally superior to strawberry.

Jeff
 

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But doesn''t the discussion beg the question...Can a "pilothouse" boat be designed to maximize the sailing ability and still do 6-8kts under power?

The raised salon designs aren''t that attractive, except for the extra light.

I''ve long wished for a compromise boat of this nature...the benefits of a pilothouse without the usual tradeoffs. I suspect too that as some of us get older, protection from the elements can become an issue...and more than one of our listers has gone the trawler route.
 

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I considered the trawler route . . . but decided to go pilothouse/motorsailor. Racing in sailboats, lately, is not my goal. I''ve had a few fast powerboats and several smaller sailboats. Therefore, my vision of boat "beauty" may be different from most "traditional" sailboaters.

The Nauticat 33, in my mind, was the best selection for my wife and I, combination of build quality, spacious living quarters and good looks.

During sea trials, my surveyor recorded on GPS our motor speed at 8.3 knots (against current) and sailed 6 knots, full ketch rig at 33 degrees into a 12 knot wind.

That''s fast enough for me.

After 54 years of life, having choices is a good thing.

Steve
 

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Possibly your not thinking of this kind of pilot house sailboat but I''ve owned a Corbin 39 for over 23 years. She has a flush deck and a small raised piolt house. I installed inside and outside hydrulic steering stations in her. When you are outside it is just like any other sailboat and I can single handle her just fine. When the weather gets bad (we''ve been out with seas breaking over the bow and washing down the length of the decks and over the pilot house)you better believe it''s better in the pilot house. Check out the owners group website www.corbin39.com.
 

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I always thought that the prettiest pilot house boats were two that were in Arthur Beiser''s old book "the Proper Yacht".

Cardhu p97 Small deckhouse 41 loa and 10''9" beam
Love her above the waterline, hate her hull form below.
She''d be beautiful in fiberglass w a new underbody.
Laurient & Giles

Glass Slipper p175 48'' loa and 12'' 9"
Same reactions E G van de Stadt

I was lucky enough to buy the book from the library next to my high school in 197_. Most enjoyable use of a dollar.
 

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The Tayana 37 is a good example of the same hull being built both as a pilothouse and aft cockpit boat and illustrates Jeff,s point that a pilothouse is irrelevent to being a motorsailer.

Pigs
 

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well, I am over 50 and I am in the process of finding the right boat to live comfortably aboard 6 months and to travel a lot. I have searched a lot and I am particularly interessed in Pilot houses that sail properly, so perhaps I can give some information and anwser Halyardz question :

"Can a "pilothouse" boat be designed to maximize the sailing ability and still do 6-8kts under power?"

Yes, there are some that are really fast, almost as fast as their sister cruiser-racers and the place to look for them is the North of Europe, where the love for sail is big and the climate doesn''t help.

In Europe we call the pilot houses Deck Saloons... I know that in absolute terms it is not the same thing, but even when they are more of a pilot house than a deck saloon, they call them DS anyway.

So, to my knowledge, very fast to fast DSs you have from Sweden the CR 40DS, The Arcona 40ds, the Fantasia 44ds, from Holland the Eversail 40ds, from Dennmark, the Luffe 43 Ds.

Between the reasonably fast DSs with great seaworthiness (having in many cases an AVS superior to 150º) you have, from Sweden the Regina af Vindo 38 and 43, from Denmark the Nordship 38 and 43 ds, from Finland the Degero 38 and The Nauticats 37, 39 and 42 (those are not motor-sailors).
Those are small companies that have only DSs in their range of models.

All those boats are very well built, ocean boats, semi-custom and all can be sailed from the interior, with good to reasonable view all around, some by joystick (autopilot), some through a proper wheel. Unfortunately they are expensive, but they are boats for a life time, in my opinion.

All of them can cruise at 7 Knots under power and sail easily between 6 and 7 knots and some like the Luffe 43 even a lot faster.

Jeff_h had said :
"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.... . 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."

I don''t think that this applies to some of those boats. The cockpits are raised and you have a clear view over the DSs, and almost all of them have smart ways to deal with control lines (take a look at the Luffe 43 DS) and can easily be handled from the cockpit..in fact most of them are designed to be easily single handed.

If someone knows about modern fast sailing oceangoing American Pilot houses between 38 and 43 foot, that cost no more than US$400000 (all included), please share with me.

Paulo
 
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