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Helmsman Launches 43E Pilothouse Hull No. 1

An evolution of an existing model, based on customer feedback.
The all-new Helmsman 43E Pilothouse

The all-new Helmsman 43E Pilothouse

Helmsman Trawlers has launched the first hull of its second-generation 43 series, the 43E. The new model is a progression from the 38E, a TrawlerFest Best in Show award winner that debuted in 2016.

Features of the 43E are not revolutionary, but evolutionary, with key modifications born from experience and customer feedback. Tooling was adapted to adjust the camber of the pilothouse roof, improving rainwater drainage control and altering the aesthetics of the forward windows. The pilothouse windshield has been retracted, enhancing the boat’s appearance without altering the layout or size of the pilothouse. Interior volume was increased in the forward head and guest stateroom by altering the exterior side deck design. Soundown acoustic foam was added as a hull liner beneath the teak joinery in the master stateroom.

The Helmsman 43E's salon and low-rise pilothouse 

The Helmsman 43E's salon and low-rise pilothouse 

“In this size range, we get inquiries from people who are interested in midship masters,” said Scott Helker, founder of Helmsman Trawlers. “When asked why, it’s usually because of hull noise at night. But midship masters have their disadvantages, too—lack of ventilation and light, and a necessary increase to the overall height of the boat. So even though our 43 has very little in the way of exterior hull structure to cause wave-slapping noise, we’ve taken the extra step of attenuating wave noise with acoustic foam, which also has some thermal benefits and helps prevent condensation.

“We also changed our window supplier to Bomar, which builds our windows to order in New Hampshire,” Helker adds. “These are more expensive for us, but we like their exterior appearance better, are pleased with their quality, and with most of our windows being opening windows, we are happy with their ease of operation and tight sealing.”

Standard propulsion on the 43E is a 250-hp Cummins QSB 6.7, though the owners of Hull No. 1 opted for the 425-hp version. With the optional engine package, Helker says, the boat should achieve around 13 or 14 knots wide open, with a range of 1,300 nautical miles at an 8-knot cruising speed.

The owner, who is moving up from a Helmsman 38, preferred the larger all-around configuration of the 43E, including the bigger guest stateroom, Helker says. Hull No. 1 will reside in and cruise the Pacific Northwest.

“Improving upon our existing series, as opposed to launching new ones, helps ensure quality control,” he says. “Our customers can rest assured that all the little bugs are already worked out.”