You have to know what you are doing to make an enclosed bridge look good. I definitely agree that SNAPPA's bridge needs some stylistic improvement that would have made it look much better. The enclosed bridge is nice for those that need more cabin room (no helm below), and need the visibility of a bridge without having to be out in the weather. Where I fish in Alaska, I need great visibility without being out in the weather. Typical summer weather for me is wind of 10-20 knots, air temp of 45-55 degrees, some days rain, some days sunny. An enclosed bridge is very tempting and would be very user friendly for me, but a tall pilot house would work good too. Thanks for the pictures.
My boat has three forward facing windows like that it makes a lot of room electronics. BUT while anchored it does not lay straight into the wind . Seems like the wind will catch the center and port window then switch to center and starboard
Here is a drawing I came up with. Still trying to decide what I'm going to do. The enclosed bridge from a functional stand point would sure be nice. The challenging part is getting the lines right so it looks good.
I am liking the top house version. After our first season on a top house boat in Bristol Bay, I don't think my dad or I will ever go back to a flybridge. No need for redundant controls, all electronics are inside out of the weather. Skipper is out of the weather and can be on station at all times, really good visibility. Just need good windows, wipers (bus style) and a good defroster to keep your windows clear at all times.
Of course your boat now has a pretty tall cabin and good vis.
Scott- I hope the new boat worked out good for you guys this year, sounds like you enjoyed the boat. We got the best price for our sockeye since 1988 at $2.20/lb.
Dave- Not sure why a bridge wouldn't work on a DE boat, mine worked great this season. The visibility from the bridge on my Wesmac was amazing, and good visibility will make a guy money and keep him out of trouble. And there is no such thing as a "production boat" for Alaska commercial fishing, so that isn't an option for us . Every new boat built for Alaska is custom designed and outfitted according to the needs/desires of the owner. In the Alaska salmon fisheries, we have wind, rain, and cool weather in the summer (some mornings on the water are in the low 40's with wind and sometimes rain). So it's nice to be able to get out of the weather and still have good visibility of the boats and nets all around you. How we use our boats and what we need from our boats is completely foreign and very different than most east coast fisheries. Fly up to Bristol Bay or Cook Inlet and go out on a gillnetter, and you will see how valuable a bridge can be.