These terms are just some of those used to describe the major enclosed bridge or wing deck accommodation on a cruising catamaran. My personal preference is “pilot house”. This excellent facility on cats is unequalled by other types of vessels for view, ventilation, space etc.
We have been very lucky to be able to design our own, and have adopted a style that is unusual. We wish to avoid the “porsche” styling with large, almost horizontal windows, which allow too much hot sun into the cabin. Fortunately our design marries very well with Bob Oram’s latest motor-sailer designs. This also allows us to adopt one of his head sail rig designs and with our slightly larger engines, turn Binary into a motor-sailer.
We realise that this was really what we wanted all along and the cause of some past diversions.
We were also fortunate in that Bob was free for a couple of weeks, and accepted our request for on-site assistance in the convivial atmosphere of the Top End dry season. The task involved design of the new composite chainplates and their locations for an 44C motor-sailer. This work also involved a completely new mast beam located well aft and across the bridge deck cabin.
Bob is a serious and experienced builder, and when he designs like this it is very hands on.
I had just started the build of the side walls when he arrived so whilst I started putting them in place he assisted me, designed the beam, studied Judy’s drawing of the bridge deck design, and improved the front cockpit layout.
During the “slow” periods Bob kept busy sealing the hulls with epoxy, sanding the hulls with me assisting, fairing the hulls with Judy mixing. Later, we both rolled Penguard Highbuild onto each hull.
A few days later with the cabin side walls fitted, we fitted the front cockpit bulkhead (FCB). We screwed in one of our builders planks trimmed to fit between the BCB and the FCB as a longitudinal temporary beam to act as the centre of the roof radius.
Whilst waiting for me to complete my bits, and for the glue and tape to cure, Bob designed three lots of composite chainplates – combination cap shroud and lowers chainplates, forestay chainplate and baby stay chainplate. In the space of a day I assisted (mixed, wet out tapes and passed to Bob) while he fitted the doublers to the back cabin risers, with 1000gsm uni-directional and 750gsm weft triaxial.
We also shopped for 19mm 316 rod to act as pins in our chainplates and Bob set them up on ply cores with silica/epoxy forming.
After cutting and fitting the front cockpit side walls, Bob then led the lifting up of two of the roof sub-panels. I chamfered the abutting edges and then they were fitted together. We then tortured them to create the final radius by strapping to the hulls and screwing down to the side walls. We then filled the chamfered joint with glue and laid up a joining tape.