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Old 09-21-2013, 10:53 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2013
Home Port: kingston
Posts: 2
Default Hi there from first time poster

Hi. My partner and I are looking to get a live aboard and start our cruising life. Currently have a Merit 25 that we race/cruise on but have reached that point where it's time to enjoy the good life and explore . We know we want a pilothouse sailboat, probably in the 40-50 ft range (have the molds/forms of a 50 ft. trimaran in our backyard which was our project boat, but decided that a monohull was more where we wanted to go for cruising. Anyone have ideas for a good pilothouse? Have read one of the threads on here discussing windage issues which helps some, but still looking for more info. Our experience is mostly either river sailing (Hudson) or just offshore doing transports.All input welcome.

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Old 09-21-2013, 11:53 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2009
Home Port: St. Augustine FL
Vessel Name: Linnupesa
Posts: 189

A bit of tongue in cheekiness here but would a houseboat be more appropriate for liveaboards and a real cruiser for actually getting somewhere? The pilothouse sounds great for living in and has super headspace but IMHO is dangerous for cruising in bad weather. A tent or tarp might work in lieu of a full pilothouse, depending on tropical or high latitude sailing. Most boats in the really cool places do have an enclosed and heated pilot house. At least it prevents immediate hypothermia. In Panama you'd curse it for lack of circulation and heat build-up. There you'd like it open to catch any breeze.

The typically large window areas are vulnerable to seas climbing aboard and the coachroof gets in the way of all the sailing essentials, plus you have much more windage to fight with. The boom may need to be raised higher than normal to be clear of the roof and of course the centre of effort on the sail goes higher too, so more heeling. Of course, you may choose just good weather windows and not care.

As a houseboat/home shallow draft is probably preferable, as would a long keel. Sooner or later you'll be sampling the local geology and it's no fun sitting on a short pointy keel. That catamaran or a pontoon type boat would be much more comfortable then.

Do look at sanitation and holding tank size etc. as that will be a big issue in most locations. Line up all the pros and cons first before you decide and good luck. It may be better to have something that really works well 95% of the time than a 50/50 compromise that ALWAYS is a 100% pain. I use a dodger and tent arrangement that I can take down in a hurricane and a nice cuddly companion for those cold subarctic nights.

Ivo s/v Linnupesa

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Old 09-22-2013, 01:06 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

What stopped the multihull project boat? Was it just too much work (I can understand that) or another matter? A trimaran that large would be quite nice.

Your boat should conform to the norms of the expected cruising grounds, yes. Therefore, where do you plan to go? That will lead you to the right boat. Oh, and a good yacht broker will help

Welcome aboard. We look forward to hearing more about your plans so we can assist.

Fair winds,
"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda

What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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Old 09-22-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2013
Home Port: kingston
Posts: 2
Smile thanks for the responses

The multi-hull project was stopped by a protracted horrendously expensive divorce on my partner's part. That and it's a HUGE project and we don't want to have to wait that long to start our cruising. We do like the shallow draft of the Contour (the tri) and it was designed as a charter boat for the Caribbean originally so would fit that part.

The pilothouse part came about because he gets hypothermic in a hot tub lol...northern sailing could get to darn cold. We are talking about doing our damndest to avoid the bad weather windows when sailing, although squalls can't be avoided (darn it)! Have looked at some of the hard dodger types and biminis but again, not sure if they would keep him warm enough. He did a transport from Cape May to our home port in April and it was in the 30's..damn near froze...on a Searunner tri (great boat by the way although just a bit too small for us to live on and a pig at helm).

Ivo, we definately want to cruise vs. just live aboard. For that we could do that here. Want to see the world. Looks like more research into the pilothouse issues is needed, although I've heard that the bulletproof glass is more safe. I do want one with an outside cockpit as well so we can enjoy the good weather when we have it. Nothing like the sound of waves and air in the sails.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:50 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2009
Home Port: St. Augustine FL
Vessel Name: Linnupesa
Posts: 189

The bullet-proof glass is probably lexan plastic like the bank teller windows use.

It does expand and contract with temperature changes and that
may cause leaks in the long run, so it's best to stay with the smaller
sizes rather than using the picture window approach. ( The smaller
size has less relative size change to cause leaks )

The safety issue is likely more the fact that a big panel can break out
far more easily than a small porthole, as the stresses are of course
all concentrated along where it is attached. Off the Somalia coast
a certain bullet resilience would of course be a valuable attribute!

Good luck with your plans!

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Old 09-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 700
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Originally Posted by linnupesa View Post
... sampling the local geology ...
bwahahaa ... funniest quote I've heard in years. Consider it stolen for later use.

= New South Wales, Queensland,
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