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Pilot House

Nav/Comm Systems

The bridge is where Sea Lion's primary helm station is  She does also have an aft control station on the boat deck and a center station and two wing stations on the flying bridge.


Auto Pilot. She runs with her auto pilot (a Simrad AP 50) on as this affords four steering modes:

  • "Stand-By" -- steering by use of the helm wheel;

  • "Follow-Up" -- steering by use of a joy stick;

  • "Auto" --  steering by use of a dial; and

  • "Nav" -- which allows the auto-pilot to take control and steer the boat directly to a waypoint, adjusting for set and drift along the way. 


Plotters.  She has redundant Odyessy navigation systems on two separate computers with all electronic charts for the Puget Sound area, the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands, all British Columbia tidal waters and all Southeast Alaska tidal waters.   The Odyssey systems graphically identify proximate AIS targets at a pre-set range.


GPS/AIS.  She has a satellite compass which informs one of her three GPS systems.  She also has an AIS transponder/receiver.


Primary Radar.  Sea Lion's primary radar is a Furuno 2117 with ARPA which will track up to 100 targets and plot their CPAs in real time, alerting the watch to crossing routes within any pre-set zone. 


Depth Sounder/Back-Up Radar/Back-Up Plotter.  She also runs Furuno Navnet which includes an HF/LF depth sounder, a back-up, short-range radar, and a back-up plotter. A camera system is interfaced on the Navnet terminal to give camera views from the mast forward and aft, from the aft deck, and in the engine room. 


Sonar.  She also has a retractable, skeg-mounted, 360-degree horizontal and 90-degree vertical Wesmar HD Series E sonar. 


VHF.  She has three mounted VHF radios, two on the overhead panel and one on the face panel adjacent to the helm wheel.  She also has three hand-held VHF radios in a charging rack behind the settee, and she has three Eartec voice activated headphones which greatly facilitate maneuvering at the dock. 


Horn.  Sea Lion has a three-trumpet Kallenberg air horn.  It is attention-getting from a long way off.  It is controlled by an automatic switch system that can be set to match mandated sound warnings in a variety of visibility and movement scenarios. 


Navigation and Maneuvering Lights.  During her 2011 refit, Sea Lion was given rated running lights comparable to those used on sea-going tugs. In addition, she has six mast-mounted 1,00-watt halogen flood lights, two facing forward and four facing aft plus two 500-watt halogen flood lights mounted on the aft corners of the boat deck.  During the refit, LED downlights were installed on the mast wings to illuminate the dock as the boat approaches or for boarding safety at night when the boat is tied up.  The mast lights and the down lights are controlled from the pilot house. She also has a 120-volt search light mounted on the hard-top above the flying bridge. This light is remotely controlled from the pilot house.


Cellular and Internet Service.  Sea Lion has cellular wireless and an Inmarsat V-7 satellite communications system for 24-7 internet connectivity.  

Sea Lion's bridge.  Photo by Sylvia Bolton Design.

Sea Lion's pilot house settee area.  The settee is the favorite gathering place on the boat underway.  The views afforded of the passing scenery are excellent. There are ample electrical outlets for computers, and wi-fi and satellite communications are at hand. Behind the settee, in the starboard-side corner, is a bunk which is a compelling place for a nap, underway or not. Photo by Sylvia Bolton Design

Hydraulic Systems Controls

The stabilizers, bow and stern thrusters and anchor winch are all hydraulically powered from two independent hydraulic pumps. The pumps are driven respectively by power take-offs on the main engine ("Main Hydraulics") and on the forward generator ("Aux Hydraulics").  Both are controlled from the pilot house. 

Engine Controls

The main engine and the forward generator can both be started and stopped from the pilot house. 


The main engine is controlled through Kobelt air controls at five stations:  the pilot house, the aft boat deck, and two wing stations and a center station on the flying bridge.  The Kobelt handle controls both the marine gear and the engine throttle.  In the pilot house only, there are two additional engine controls: a trolling valve allowing the boat to achieve speeds less than idle; and a marine gear bypass that allows the boat to be throttle up without being in gear.  The bypass is useful for increasing hydraulic power when boat motion is not desired.

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