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Pilothouse Sailboat Buying Guide
What is a Pilothouse Sailboat?
A pilothouse sailboat is a monohull with an enclosed area on deck, which is the so-called pilothouse (sometimes called the wheelhouse). These sailboats have a pilothouse in addition to a conventional cockpit, which is usually open to the elements. The pilothouse can be enclosed or partially open, and usually includes a secondary wheel station and navigation equipment. It has the obvious benefit of protecting sailors from a wide variety of elements — rain, sun, or spray. It offers a comfortable seating option for sailors on deck. Some note that the pilothouse can steal from the interior living space, meaning there may be a smaller salon area below, but the extra living space on deck can make up for it. Usually, the pilothouse area has large windows, so visibility is not sacrificed underway.
The best raised pilothouse sailboats make perfect vessels for overnight cruising and day sailing for you and your guests. They come in a wide variety of styles and designs, ranging in price from the smaller end of pilothouse sailboat costs to the more expensive and luxurious pilothouse yacht costs in the millions of dollars. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time onboard your pilothouse sailboat, it can be ideal in rainy locations like The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
What are Pilothouse Sailboat Made of (Construction Material/Hull Design)?
A pilothouse sailboat has many options when it comes to construction. You can find pilothouse sailboats constructed from composites, metals, and wood. The hull configuration is usually displacement and different keel options are possible from a full keel to a lifting keel, bilge keel, or fin keel, depending on the vessel. A pilothouse can be found on various sailing vessel types.
What are the Different Types of Small Pilothouse Sailboats Available?
There are a variety of small pilothouse sailboats available depending on the style and model you are looking for. Some you’re likely come across include:
- Pocket Cruisers – Smaller sailboats that may have a small cabin but are often day sailers. They can still have a pilothouse but may not have as much space below deck. These are also easily trailerable in case you want to keep the small pilothouse sailboat out of the water and not pay for mooring fees.
- Motorsailers – Combining both wind and engine power, motorsailer pilothouse sailboats are an excellent option for those that enjoy sailing but also want the option of motor power should the wind not be cooperating, or you wanted to do some long-distance cruising and have a backup.
- Performance Pilothouse Sailboats – These vessels are also sometimes called racing pilothouse sailboats and are usually used in regattas or for those looking to enter some races with their small pilothouse sailboat. A key distinction here is also the rigging and sailing equipment that will be used for sailing – this is usually higher performance than those standard ones on other pilothouse sailboats.
As with any boat purchase, you’ll want to consider what you want to achieve with your pilothouse sailboat. Do you want to take the small pilothouse sailboat out for little day trips around the lake? Or are you looking to cross the Atlantic or enter some races with your pilothouse sailboat? They aren’t all created equal so getting to the real reason why you want to purchase a pilothouse sailboat for sale in the first place is a great place to start.
Why Should You Buy a Pilothouse Sailboat?
You should buy a pilothouse sailboat if your primary desire is comfort under sail or if you might live in a climate where you need some extra weather protection, like the United Kingdom. If you’re a keen sailor year-round, a pilothouse can extend the amount of time you’re able to spend comfortably on your boat, depending on geographic area and the vessel usage. While some say the pilothouse configuration is good for short passages, there are pilothouse sailboats that are excellent for overnight cruising and day sailing, and those that have even done circumnavigations. They tend to have a deep draft and therefore are more stable on the water. If you’re looking for a boat for a longer voyage, the additional shelter on deck provided by the pilothouse can be welcome during the heat of the day or while on watch at night while still providing good visibility for maneuvering.
Are Pilothouse Sailboats Good?
Pilothouse sailboats are well built vessels that are enjoyed by those who appreciate the added protection and views that a pilothouse sailboat offers. With a wide variety of styles and lengths, you can easily find the right pilothouse sail boat to fit your needs – whether you’re looking to do some overnight cruising and day sailing, or even live onboard full-time in cooler climates like the United Kingdom and Seattle, the best pilothouse sailboats quite literally, have you covered.
What Does a Pilothouse Sailboat Cost?
Finding the best pilothouse sailboat for your needs will come in a wide variety of budgets and price ranges. Are you looking at pilothouse sail boat costs, or a pilothouse yacht cost? Yachts will come in larger lengths and therefore, higher price tags. Whereas sail boats will have a smaller price tag.
Depending on the age, length, condition and builder of your sailboat, you could be looking at a pilothouse sailboat cost of around $100,000, up to those pilothouse yacht costs of over $5 million.