Pilot House Pros & Cons

Steve, Thank you for responding so fast to my e-mail. I have many questions which seem to be answered several different ways by as many people. It is always a pleasure to have some one like yourself to give input. I still am interested in a boat, I thought a motorsailer since I will be in Alaska most the time. But several people have been talking against them if one was ever to truly sail in the open ocean, small on deck structures etc is preferred as to a pilot house. Although I have found the open ocean, hundred miles off shore to be calmer in the long run than the inshore tides etc… (I have skipped tugs across the gulf of Alaska several times). I anxiously await your response. Cheers, Spike

Hi Spike: You are right about where its rougher! Close to shore, with tides/currents are usually much worse than offshore–especially in Alaska! Re: the pilot house boat and/or motor sailor for offshore, that’s a function of design and construction. If it is well built and suitable strong for a knock down or dropping off a wave, you will be OK. You then have the issue of how well they power and or sail. In the olden days motor sailors did not motor well and didn’t sail well, so you had the worst of both worlds. Today, with modern engines, lighter boats, and good folding or feathering props you can have both in one package. If you are going to be using the boat in Alaska, Canada and the Pac. Northwest, the pilot house and powering will be more important than the pure sailing abilities–at least that’s our take on the tradeoffs Good Luck–Steve

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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