When the fleets of little fishing boats were
large here on the west coast wed occasionally see a boat
with the windows knocked out. Occasionally is to strong
a word; rather, once in a great while wed hear of it. Thinking
back, you know I only remember one. The use of the We
is not meant as an Imperial We like the way the English
Queen uses the word, but rather, to cover everybody around, not
The thing is, while we all fear and try to prepare ourselves for terrible weather it rarely happens outside of definite seasons. It does appear that as the planet slowly warms up, these seasons are extending and the severity of storms is increasing. But we cant say that for sure because ocean weather and seasons have only been tracked since the early 1800s, when an American Lieutenant had the idea that ships everywhere should record the weather conditions where they were every day. This info was forwarded to Washington. Later, when wireless communication was invented, this info was radioed in daily and by the 1960s, the pilot charts with their season weather averages were pretty good to rely on. I think they still are, but being no hero I would extend the averages out and try to be well on my way long before the average time of weather change.
That is the way the cautious cruiser should think, and when he/she/it (which shall from now on be abbreviated to the word he alone with no sexual or political undertones at all) does, he can cruise the planet and the odds are hell never experience seriously bad weather. This is different than commercial boats which frequently venture out when they really shouldnt, or push on when they should heave-to. Back when I was a kid and the salmon fleet was huge, even then the rare boats that were lost usually bought it when coming in across the bar. The sea wasnt their enemy; the land got em.
Anyway, just the same if you worry about everything and try to prepare for whatever paranoia you suffer from, should it actually happen maybe youll get through it. Remember; just because youre paranoid doesnt mean they aint out to get ya....
To me, the seagoin boats pilot house should be small and is not part of the main cabin. The cruising powerboats shown elsewhere on this site demonstrate what Im talking about.
If I was building one of them I would make provision to install sailboat type drop boards in the passageway down to the fore & aft cabins. These arent water tight but they really slow down the flow. Lets imagine the highly unlikely situation where the boat is knocked down, looses its house windows, and stays over for a few minutes. Or is pitchpoled and rolled. This stuff is highly unlikely but..... The wheel house would fill with water and in the average boat, the water would rush down the companionway into the main and aft cabin, and youd sink. The drop boards give us time.
Then, Id install four 1 1/2 or 2 cockpit drains in the wheelhouse floor, one near each corner. These would be piped with radiator hose down to through-hulls located at least a foot above the waterline. I wouldnt want to even think about any problem should a thru-hull fail, as unlikely as that would be.
These two simple and inexpensive items will likely never be called upon, but installing them will give real peace of mind because youll know that if things get scary you can insert the drop boards and youll have a pretty good defense if or rather WHEN Goddess decides to take a swipe at you. I doubt youll ever need them in normal cruising but they cant hurt to have!