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Old 05-26-2016, 06:15 AM   #21
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Most PH are the high point in the boat, where motion will be larger.

If extensive offshore work is contemplated the PH bunk should be fore and aft , not a lubber bunk athwartship.

The lubber bunk is fine for guests in port or a snooze in the PM inshore.

Night operation , no tinted windows fwd and no reflections from the glass areas is required.

A gauge light kill switch , or very good rheostat dimmer is needed.

Running very dark inside is needed if you are looking for logs or Sea Land boxes barely awash.

Windows tilted fwd seem easier to not have reflections from.

The head must be accessible to the watch stander , or a secure line , so boys can do what boys do over the side.

Life rings or MOB gear is needed P&S , with in easy reach of the watch stander.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:03 AM   #22
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I put visibility top of my list with reverse (forward) slant windows for many reasons, full visibility aft, and visibility to each side for docking (i.e. doors on each side). I will also go along with the others who say it has be separated from lighted activity in the galley / saloon. I kind of like the idea of Dutch doors but my sliders seem OK.

Next up would be making the captain comfortable including:
- 2 adjustable helm chairs - Mine go up and down, footrest adjusts for height, back angle is adjustable, armrests are adjustable for angle. Need enough room for guests to pass behind, need to be light enough to move out of the way on occasion. Below is a pic from a couple weekends ago with them positioned next to each other with armrests raised - perfect for having my 4yo grandson with me. They needn't be massive Stidd chairs - mine are Zwaardvis bases from a second hand shop (probably takeouts from 47' Bayliners) with lightweight RV seats bolted on top.
- Adequate ventilation. It seems I am constantly adjusting airflow as the wind changes, sun comes through my 2 large overhead hatches, my wife asks for more or less air. It's cool in the PNW when on the water and it's a delicate balance. It's particularly important to have enough ventilation when there it's raining and there is a semi-wet crowd of people in the pilothouse - my furnace has a couple of outlets at the helm but I still have to crack windows and (occasionally) wipe the insides.
- Dedicated places for stuff. Binocs, log, writing instruments, sunglasses, water / coffee / pop, whatever. Doesn't have to be fancy, but has to be within reach while seated at helm.

Third would probably be comfort for guests. I have a long queen berth area behind the helm that can hold a bunch of people but it doesn't have a table and is a little awkward to get jump up to if the guest is a child or elderly - I've been thinking about a modification for 10 years but don't want to compromise the berth (see next point). I'd also like to be able to use this as a work area so I'd need good ergonomics for a laptop and widescreen monitor.

Fourth would be sleeping accommodations. That berth is perfect for the 2 of us and where we sleep if we're not at a dock - really love the 360 visibility just by raising my head a few inches. I've always preferred pilot berths when being a guest on "other peoples' boats" and consider this a valuable amenity for casual guests over having to dedicate a stateroom. The key thing is that is has you have to immediately put everything away when waking in the morning. We had two guests up there a couple of years ago and they still had their crap spread around the pilothouse at 10am - I finally had to ask them to tidy up. This actually goes for anybody sleeping in a common area but I haven't found the right way yet to impart my sense of urgency on my guests.

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Old 05-26-2016, 10:45 AM   #23
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A couple of observations:

Formerly I had my instrument panel high in the overhead. I found as my eyes aged the angle for viewing (tilting neck/putting on glasses/focusing) was becoming more effort and less reward. For that reason I switched to in front of the wheel just below the chart table.

In front of my wheel is a wonderful area for full sized charts, coffee mugs and more. Plus the compass.


That's a roll of paper towels incidentally. Didn't notice that before.

There is an angle about 6" wide that allows me to see clearly and the instruments are out of the way. Frankly I'm not keen on a bunch of stuff between me and the front windows. The compass suffices.

That said, I'm old school. We always steered by compass course and I continue to do so. It's just easier/more intuitive for me.

As far as doorways, having one on each side is a True Blessing. That was one of the criteria for purchase when I was looking for Seaweed. I want to be able to solo (make that "need") so having access to those side cleats is critical.

However, while underway and at anchor for the most part, I have devised netting to go over my sliding doors. If a rogue wave should unbalance me, I'll still be aboard. This is a picture of my setup:



This works quite well however there is a problem. On the Gulf Coast I'm seeing lots more boaters and I'm one of those who waves. My netting makes that a slower process. This week I'll figure out a way to hang the netting a bit lower to facilitate waving.

Y'all wave back now, okay?!?

I am fortunate that Seaweed has a large flat area for my chart. I also tuck the netbook in the corner for OpenCPN

I am envious of some of those captain's chairs you have. They look totally comfy. Mine was AWFUL. I finally took it off and got rid of it. I did keep the post so I could go with another replacement.

The problem with mine was even with the seat slid all the way forward it was "too far" to reach the wheel. And it was uncomfortable.

Then I went for a ride on an older Hatteras. It had the original helm chair and that was wonderful. The seat was fastened to the deck when underway or could be moved. I'm enamored.

So I'm looking around -- four legs, sturdy, small and with arm rests the proper height.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:54 AM   #24
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Typical Great Harbour GH47. Ticks most of the boxes.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:59 AM   #25
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Typical Great Harbour GH47. Ticks most of the boxes.
The GH pilothouses are wonderful. Just about ideal.
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:05 AM   #26
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Everything I need ,plus some
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:33 PM   #27
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Having spent many watches in various pilothouses over the years, I've found that the only truly important piece of equipment is this:



Radars and plotters and fancy red lights are nice, but none of them will help you get through that stack of chart corrections you've been putting off quite like a pot of cheap coffee, made in a cheap coffee pot, with so many grounds in the basket that some of them don't even get wet. The hissing as the stuff sloshes out of the pot and leaks all over the counter. The smell of thousands of cups of crap coffee burnt onto the hot plate. The windows fogging up. The zip tie that holds the handle on, because it went sailing across the pilothouse that one night, and somehow managed not to shatter. Pure romance.
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Old 05-26-2016, 06:07 PM   #28
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Typical Great Harbour GH47. Ticks most of the boxes.
The least of Great Harbour pilothouses ticks off most of the boxes. The GH 47 though.....I mean, with a separate head and queen berth, all you'd ever need is right there. Add a microwave and fridge, and the Admiral can have the whole lower deck to herself. Awesome.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:00 PM   #29
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Yes, the GH47 looks satisfying, as do many of the other respondents. I can't wait to fall asleep tonight and dream of the perfect compilation of toys and appointments. I notice no one has mentioned the want or need to have access stairs to the top deck/helm.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:12 PM   #30
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What's in a Pilot House?

Fred,

Why do you say this?

"If extensive offshore work is contemplated the PH bunk should be fore and aft , not a lubber bunk athwartship"

Seems like the rolling offshore would roll you out of the bunk easier if it is fore to aft, but maybe I'm thinking about it wrong.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:17 PM   #31
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I would say that I am comfortable with the pilothouse in Sonas with the exception of rear visibility. The opposite side of the rear pilothouse bulkhead in cabinetry in the galley - so the missus is very happy to have that.

So to resolve that I am adding a rear facing camera feeding to the large monitor in the middle of the helm.

Another item I would add to the list is a good air system to keep the windows and air clear - especially since many times the reason you are in there is because the weather outside in not nice and you may be a bit soggy by the time you get down or need to nip in and out to the fore deck etc.

Oh, and add efficient wipers and window cleaners!
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:20 AM   #32
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I Oh, and add efficient wipers and window cleaners!
Not necessary with forward-raked windows! I have one center wiper and don't need it for rain. Or wind and rain. Only for wind spray.


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Old 05-27-2016, 06:34 AM   #33
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"Seems like the rolling offshore would roll you out of the bunk easier if it is fore to aft, but maybe I'm thinking about it wrong."

The usual fore and aft bunk is not wide , so its easy to pad with a couple of cushons or life preservers to NOT roll.

No way to pad a lubber bunk to not stand you on your head every so often.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:36 AM   #34
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Not necessary with forward-raked windows! I have one center wiper and don't need it for rain. Or wind and rain. Only for wind spray.


Keith
Interesting. Even if forward raked, if you are running at over 8 kts (sometimes 10-12) wouldn't you get the rain?
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:58 AM   #35
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Interesting. Even if forward raked, if you are running at over 8 kts (sometimes 10-12) wouldn't you get the rain?
I can do 12 kts if I have a 4 kts following current.


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Old 05-27-2016, 08:32 AM   #36
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I'm rebuilding my pilothouse now, so I'm relying on this thread to tell me all I need to include. I already know I need a set of sliding dutch doors with big dogs. The rest of it will be patterned after a Walmart miniature version of 101TUG, a spectacular example.
If you can fit them, sliding/retracting screen doors are a huge plus. Anywhere with bugs, you will thank yourself over and over for having screened doors.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:00 AM   #37
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The GH 47 though.....I mean, with a separate head and queen berth, all you'd ever need is right there. Add a microwave and fridge, and the Admiral can have the whole lower deck to herself. Awesome.
Yep. I have spent MANY nights in the watch berths on the various GH47s during boat shows, deliveries, offshore passsages, etc. Certainly my favorite cabin.

Interestingly, 8 of the 9 GH47s built were configured with a large L-settee and chart table aft in the pilothouse. The settee folds down to become a nice queen-bed and the small chart table flips open to become a dining area. Then the watch cabin has an athwartship queen bunk with dresser and half-head (see diagram below.) Great layout.

However, Hull #2 was built with the aft pilothouse bulkhead moved forward a bit, increasing the size of the watch cabin. So, the pilothouse only has room for a bench seat against the aft bulkhead. The watch cabin is really nice though, with fore-aft queen berth and full head with shower (pics.)
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:02 PM   #38
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Interesting. Even if forward raked, if you are running at over 8 kts (sometimes 10-12) wouldn't you get the rain?
Of course he would! Where is the pipe dream icon? LOL!
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:46 PM   #39
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We've got Port & Starboard sliding doors, 360' visibility, good seating but no bunk, plenty of space for charts and popcorn. The pics below are before our recent electrical upgrades & minor refit. I still need to replace the wipers and some dodads. And we are getting new cushions this year.













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Old 05-27-2016, 06:46 PM   #40
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Menzies, I like your PH. It is very similar to mine except bigger. You have a touch more room for and aft which is nice.
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