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Old 10-25-2015, 10:08 AM   #1
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Portuguese Bridge

For those of you that have them, is there real value for a Portuguese Bridge on a 50' or under trawler? Storage is nice, but do you take solid water over the bow significantly? Are there other pluses I'm missing?
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:45 AM   #2
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Sitting on the bow is my favourite place while cruising, so I would love to have one.

Most that I have seen are open at the aft end so are self draining. If designed properly they would reduce the risk of a big wave taking out the pilothouse windows.

On the right boat they look good, but they don't suit every boat.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
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For those of you that have them, is there real value for a Portuguese Bridge on a 50' or under trawler?
I have the same question. I've always been fascinated by that concept!
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:31 AM   #4
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The big plus for us is passengers and crew or protected be hind the bridge. We canvas enclosed between the bridge and pilot house roof which makes the area dry and protect area like the stern deck. There is a teak seat in front of the pilot house Windows.

The Roughwater 58 was designed but Ed Monk to be a Pacific coastal cruiser so with that in mind a bridge would be an advantage.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:25 PM   #5
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The captain of the big seiner we chartered did the docking from the Portuguese bridge. All other activities, including operating the vessel when I set was done from the wheelhouse.


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Old 10-25-2015, 12:50 PM   #6
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I've always liked the sort of boat that has a portugese bridge. I think they look really good forward of a pilothouse with wannabe windows. I suspect that the vast majority of boats have them for aesthetic, rather than practical purposes, but that's just an assumption.
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
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We canvas enclosed between the bridge and pilot house roof...
I'm trying to visualize that and can't.
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:54 PM   #8
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I am very fond of bow seating of which most on trawler size boats are Portuguese bridges. It just expands the usable outdoor space and gives another separate area. It especially comes in handy when you find yourself docking stern-in.
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Old 10-25-2015, 07:28 PM   #9
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Doubt a Portuguese bridge is practical for boats much smaller than 50-feet LOA. And in absence of a flying bridge, it would be a great location for a second helm.

Meanwhile, in the world of a mid-thirty-foot boat, the forward cabin's roof is a great seat if the climate is right and there isn't spray shooting over the bow.

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Old 10-25-2015, 07:57 PM   #10
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I can't speak to having a Portugese bridge on a boat under 50' as we are 58', ebut I love ours. WE have a control station at the front starboard which helps greatly in a lot of docking situations. We have been in water rugh enough to have the bridge serve its original purpose and with a bit of luck we never will be. But there is a bit of a safety feature to us. We are an asymmetrical saloon, so our walk around is only on the starboard side. But, you can walk from the cockpit all the way around to the door on the port side of the pilothouse and be behind a high, solid bulwark the entire time. With the front deck access doors closed, it is fully enclosed, so the dog cannot escape and go overboard and neither can any kids. And it does provide some additional storage as well as the two seating benches, with storage beneath, on the bow.
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:16 PM   #11
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I have always like them. It gave you another area on the boat to look out over the water. May not be practical, but they sure do look nice. We don't have one. When we were shopping any boat that had a wood (teak) walkway was a disqualifier for us.
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Old 10-26-2015, 12:42 PM   #12
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Doubt a Portuguese bridge is practical for boats much smaller than 50-feet LOA. And in absence of a flying bridge, it would be a great location for a second helm.

Meanwhile, in the world of a mid-thirty-foot boat, the forward cabin's roof is a great seat if the climate is right and there isn't spray shooting over the bow.
To me, just seeing how the three of you are seated, basically your boat accomplishes what we like about bow seating and decks, however labelled.
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:25 PM   #13
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Since the question was limited to 50' and under, I held off on responding, but our PB is almost as popular as the galley. I wish I had pics. With wing stations on both sides, all docking and close quarters maneuvering is done from there.
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:29 PM   #14
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Meanwhile, in the world of a mid-thirty-foot boat, the forward cabin's roof is a great seat if the climate is right and there isn't spray shooting over the bow.
You're absolutely correct, Mark! I had a cabin top like that on my last boat and my wife & sister in law loved to fish from up there.

SeaHorse was less than half the cost of the boat we have now but as of right now, it was 3X more fun! 32' Halvorsen is a "tough" little boat and very seaworthy! (No, I'm not having seller's remorse.)
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Old 10-26-2015, 01:38 PM   #15
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The Alaskan 49 has one .
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:51 PM   #16
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Great social area

Not sure how efficient mine is, does stop a lot of seas. We had over 25-30kts in 6-8ft seas in the spring on the way to the BVI's. Not Bad seas or weather but the wave frequency did mean we dipped our bow occasionally, not bad at all, but it does what it supposed to do and stops seas rolling down the side decks. On another point it does seem to be a great collection point for the humans on board when on passage, where they can lean on the caprail and watch the world go by.
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Old 10-26-2015, 09:15 PM   #17
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I think it's a great feature. The best treatment I've seen for a Portuguese bridge is deFever's. Whether in its earlier form used by American Marine on some of its Alaskan series of wood boats, on deFever's built under that name by various yards over the years, or on the Flemings that Tony Fleming "derived" from the Alaskans, I think deFever did a better job of incorporating the PB than anyone else.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:15 PM   #18
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They are a great vantage point for guests, it enables them to be forward and safe. From my perspective I also really like the storage. Good for anything volatile as the storage is not connected to the boat interior, and is vented at deck level as well.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:39 PM   #19
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Ponte Portugues mesmo
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Old 10-27-2015, 02:56 PM   #20
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My takeaway is that folks like them for seating and additional, semi-protected outside space - but that for most folks they don't serve the purpose of deflecting solid water that comes over the bow.

..makes sense. Can't believe that being in conditions where a Nordy (for example) is taking solid water would be a lot of fun, regardless of the ability of the boat to handle it safely.
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