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What is a pilothouse boat?


Characteristics of a pilothouse boat



Wouldn't you like to know the historical origin of pilothouse boat? The English version of the name for such boats comes from the pilot's cabin located in the middle of the boat. In French, the boat is called a 'timonier' and the word translates as "helmsman". The reference is to the expert sailor in charge of the helm and rudder aboard sailing boats. In addition to managing the direction of the boat, they checked the course and signals, and gave orders to the crew. Since then, a 'Pilothouse' has commonly been used to describe a type of motorboat equipped with a pilothouse.



The Pilothouse boat is a versatile houseboat, between 6 and 10 metres long with a sheltered steering position. The pilothouse is located in the centre of the boat, with two side decks for access to the forward cockpit. The aft cockpit is unobstructed for easy fishing and storage of gear. On small motorboats, there is often only one gangway to optimise the volume of the pilothouse. In addition to housing the cockpit, the pilothouse can accommodate a sleeping area, a kitchenette and even a toilet.



Thanks to their planing hulls, the pilothouse can quickly move out of the water to reach a high speed. Their inboard engines have traditionally used shaft lines, but now Z-drive is preferred. Outboard models have also flooded the pilothouse market with the advantage of lower purchase and maintenance costs.


The pilothouse boat is excellent for fishing and day trips. In fact, the pilothouse is often referred to in nautical language as a fisherman's promenade. These pleasure craft can also be used for small coastal cruises depending on their size and interior layout. Pilothouse boats are easily adaptable to all sailing programmes: from fishing to simple pleasure boating, diving or family outings.

Choosing a Pilothouse Boat offers a versatile dayboat with major advantages:

  • Safety at sea: thanks to its wheelhouse, you are protected from bad weather and you can shelter your fishing equipment ;
  • Indisputable reliability;
  • The large cockpit is perfect for friends to fish without getting in each other's way.



With its distinctive deck plan, among many other things, the pilothouse is the fisherman's favourite boat. Its small trawler silhouette is a written invitation to set sail in search of the most exciting shoals.



The most sought-after pilothouse boats



Jeanneau's Merry Fisher range is one of the most popular in the pilothouse market. The Merry Fisher 895 Marlin skilfully combines all the necessities of sport, comfort and fishing. The model benefits from a wide range of equipment, twin engines and comfortable living spaces. The manufacturer Rhea Marine also offers a pilothouse range among its models. Also, the Barracuda models from Beneteau are a good example of this type of motorboat.



While the Pilothouse Boat is certainly perfect for a fishing programme, it has many other strings to its bow. Climb aboard your future pilothouse boat and ramp up your trips to sea and make every moment of navigation an unforgettable one.