COMMUNICATIONS & ELECTRONICS
Running shot of the brand-new 59 Coastal Pilot from Nordhavn Yachts. A formidable new entry into the category, the 59 runs happily between 8 and 18 knots on a semi- displacement hull. Bottom: Inside the Coastal Pilot’s saloon/galley features excellent visibility. Healthy amounts of galley storage and seating make for a comfortable long-term cruising boat that is equally adept at entertaining a crowd.
the main deck, combining the saloon, galley, and pilothouse, often achieved by moving the pilothouse forward.
Large windows and hatches are another attractive benefit of restricted coastal use, creating brighter, more inviting cabins and interior living spaces. Category A boats will typically have smaller windows and hatches to withstand the water pressure from large waves or boarding seas. Also, because category B and C boats are not designed to withstand high seas and the potential for large volumes of sea water on deck, designers have more flexibility in exterior deck spaces and bulwarks. This may allow more room for entertaining or outdoor living. It also could open up space for a larger tender.
Running closer to shore keeps coastal boaters in more contact with marine traffic and navigational restrictions than those in the open ocean. Staying close to shore doesn’t always mean staying within the range of VHF radio, and certainly not always within mobile phone service. A coastal cruiser needs to be equipped with the correct hardware to communicate with other marine traffic and sources of assistance, yet does not require the redundancies of open-ocean boats. Two-way satellite communication devices have become very popular and competition along with increased use of these devices has considerably lowered the purchase price and costs of operation.
Radar and AIS are very important when operating close to shore. A coastal cruiser may not need the long-range of a large high-power radar, but often good target definition and object separation come along with the larger systems. Due to their more likely use around other marine traffic, much of which could be commercial, at a minimum an AIS receiver is recommended, and should ideally be an AIS transceiver.