forward raking windscreen; some history for the record. This is not definitive but its all fact, even if it was many years ago that I worked on some of the original converted halibut 'schooners' from Seattle's fleet.
The design of the cabin of ocean going commercial fishing boats follows several paths or influences; power, both amounts and reliability; materials that allow design changes; and weather or sea keeping abilities of historic versus newer hulls' designs.
When the off-soundings (used to be if the bottom was deeper than a line of a couple hundred feet - you couldn't "take a sounding" so the term off-soundings) commercial fleet in the Puget Sound first began fishing the entire NW coast and deeper waters in the Gulf of Alaska, sail had only just given way to crude diesels that had to be stopped and the entire engine rolled the opposite direction to reverse the prop!
Most of the hulls were very narrow and deep in order to provide the lower resistance to waves and many designers/marine architects were still influenced by sailing hulls that needed to get their motivation from the wind: "blow boats" aren't notorious for beam.
Turning our attention to commercial fishing a bit- nobody but nobody thought they could catch crab in the N.Pacific and get it to market alive - they have to be cooked alive or they're not edible. So not much effort was spent on anything but flat fish- halibut were the big deal of the day- and the boats, with their narrow beam and very heavy Hp/Wt. ratio engines had plumb stems (no bow overhang to speak of!!) and little flam/flair to lift the hull in a head sea- and keep the sea from boarding the boat, were not really designed to keep Bering Sea weather off a narrow plumb stem, schooner's bow.
But due to a shortage of fish and overbuilding during the boom of that fishery off WA and Oregon... there were lots of these great looking Doug' fir planked beauties sitting at moorings in WmPuget's Sound. The great Wm. Garden (passed over the bar to Fiddler's Green) designed more than his share and they almost always brought their crew home safely, and very often with a payday in the hold.
When the first few 'crab tanks' showed up- welded aluminum and NON ALLOY 'boxes' in the middle of an 80'er that had a pump attached to constantly overflow the crab tank (fish hold) with fresh oxygenated seawater- the Seattle guys figured out they could make a huge payday by taking older (many then at moorings in Puget Sound for good) halibut schooners and get into 'crabbing'. First off of the Wa. and Oregon coast for dungies, but not many years later, farther afield, for Alaskan King, and Opelio crab- these guys stood to make some serious money.
Just one problem- the engines and hulls made sure they traveled very slowly and those boats could not outrun any weather-they couldn't keep pace with a glacier. Sometimes they were lucky to make a couple knots- if they were 'tanked' and loaded too. So the huge seas of the Gulf would board by the bow and almost all the wheel houses had plumb glass. (heritage design element not designed for purpose) The seas boarding the bow of these schooners were typical of the area - if you've seen The Deadliest Catch you have some idea of the lump common to this fishery?
The huge seas would take out a vertical windscreen. The halibut schooners of days gone by- with their very minimal bow 'spoon' or topsides flam or flare had small lift for the hull in any larger seaway. That meant the bow knifed in- the sea boarded and too often the helm's windscreen came inside with a wave. Not very seaworthy-but the pay days were multi-thousands for a couple days' trip!!! and in the 50'&60's that was some dollars. (millions today)
The older hulls were not designed to carry the loads put on them by their new crabber skippers- where a few tonnes of halibut and ice was a payday in the old flat fish days- the crabbers wanted to put ten times that on these old girls. Lovely older ladies that they were- they graciously did their best- but that meant their longitudinal moments of stability (pitch upward by the bow) were so far out of kilter they had to just stand still and get "hit in the chops" like a 80 year old grandmother in front of a some purse snatching thug in an American city today. Crime against the laws of physics and maritime design on the one hand like the other is a crime against civilization.
Then someone realized (don't know who) that if the windscreen was raked forward- the waves that broke over the bow would be parallel to the falling water! Water would run down the windscreen and even if a 'green one' broke directly over the bow- the glass could hold out.
At the same time double walled, bullet proof, safety glass in aluminum extrusion frames became pretty standard and the 'whirly gig' windshield wiper for the horizontal rain too.
By the time Marco began delivering their steel crabbers both forward and after cabin "boats" (loose term for a 90 -110' steel craft) raked pilot house windscreens were the norm.
The original reason for this design element was to stop the older boats with wood houses and hulls - which were being retrofit daily in Seattle- from losing their new windscreens. By raking the glass forward - a boarding sea, even one that breaks on the bow, is not near as likely to stove in the windscreen.
The look became popular, and as I think welder has mentioned? lots of room up there for all the RF gear, misc items like wiper motors, electronics of all types. And, if a 24'er is caught out in a real blow, and they're breaking- 10'ers and you've got to put your bow into them to get back in - well a boarding sea is less likely to take out your windshield and ruin your trip- even if you're not hauling a couple hundred thousand dollars of crab in an amidships live tank?
Just a little Alaskan/Seattle maritime history, to add to the OP's question. Hope it helps understanding where this current cabin 'line' came to be common practice?
Last edited by kmorin
on Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected poster reference in text