Prized pilothouse possessions
Ocean Navigator|January- February 2021
The pilothouse is the nerve center of a power voyagig vessel like this Selene 43 in the Bahamas.
JEFF MERRILL

In my more than 30 years as a boat builder/yacht broker, I have enjoyed visiting hundreds of pilothouses. From 30 feet to 100 feet, tiny to opulent, at boat shows for a quick walkthrough and underway for days on end. My career has allowed me to cruise thousands of miles offshore — standing watch, drinking coffee and observing (mostly with clients doing training deliveries). You can learn something from every boat you visit if you look around with an open mind. That’s how I’ve compiled my list of pilothouse add-ons.

I travel with a camera and all of those clicks have resulted in a huge collection of images cataloging the items skippers consider convenient necessities. Most of the trawlers I’m on are run by owner-operators, not professional crew. Typically, they are an adventurous couple organizing, managing and maintaining their trawler by themselves. One thing all boaters seem to share is the propensity to find creative solutions.

We are all familiar with what is standard equipment and expected gear in a wheelhouse. “That’s a good idea” and “Why didn’t I think of that?” blend together when I see a new tip or trick. I light up with excitement, take a photo and add it to my list. This list has become long and I’ve come to accept that it will never be complete. It seems like now is as good a time as any to show others some of my discoveries. I’ve compiled some of my favorites here.

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