Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-30-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
Member
 
ce_smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Do you really need a lower helm?

I am looking at a 40' Nova Sundeck. The boat does not have a lower helm. What are y'alls thoughts on this. Would it be a major mistake to buy without a lower helm. The only reason I am considering it is it is a good deal. Thanks
__________________
Advertisement

ce_smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 05:50 PM   #2
Guru
 
Forkliftt's Avatar
 
City: Biloxi Mississippi
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Patricia Louise II
Vessel Model: 1983 42' Present Sundeck
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,433
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

I would buy without a lower helm on the right deal, but I love having ours. On cold mornings when traveling it is the greatest thing in the world. We don't have isinglass, which is ok with a lower helm.
__________________

Forkliftt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
Member
 
ce_smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Steve,

What size engines and mpg do you get on your Present 42? I have looked at the Presents on Yachtworld. I really like the layout and looks of the Present.

Thanks

Charles
ce_smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Depends on where you boat and how you use your boat. We never run our boat from the upper helm. Neither I nor my wife like the sight picture from up there as far as operating the boat is concerned--- we feel much more connected to the boat from the lower helm and find it much easier to judge close-in maneuvers like docking from the lower helm than from up above. Plus we can hear and smell what's going on in the engine room and electronics consol, something that most likely prevented a fire several years ago.

We boat year round and in the winter the flying bridge is not somewhere one wants to be unless it's enclosed and heated.

But if one boated in a warmer climate and liked the sight picture from up top, the chances are they would run the boat all the time from up there so a lower helm would be of little value. The big sportfishermen did away with them altogether quite awhile ago.

Personally, my favorite boat configuration is the pilothouse--- Krogen, Victory Tug, De Fever, Fleming, etc. The pilothouse gives you some elevation if you like that but it's out of the weather. Plus many pilothouse designs incorporate a flying bridge if you like the option of driving in the open when the weather permits.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 08:27 PM   #5
Guru
 
Forkliftt's Avatar
 
City: Biloxi Mississippi
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Patricia Louise II
Vessel Model: 1983 42' Present Sundeck
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,433
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Charles,
We have twin Lehman 135's. Recently we moved her from Mississippi to Texas and I ran a constant 1600 RPM's- the first time I have run at a lower speed for that long. We would range in speed from about 7.7 - 9.5 MPH depending on the current and wind. I used a LOT less fuel than I thought I would. I estimate about 160-180 gallons for about 400 miles.
Forkliftt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 09:04 PM   #6
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

A lot depends on the area, climate and your kind of boating.* We have a pilot house with no upper helm and found we do not miss having an upper helm.* Especially, in the colder/cooler PNW, early morning cruises, and the straits open to the Pacific Ocean.* I prefer a lower helm over an upper helm as its nice to be in a protercted heated or AC pilot house, close to the crew/passengers, the head and the engine room.* **


*
So my question is do you really need an upper helm?
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 09:23 PM   #7
Guru
 
timjet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,905
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

A lower helm in many cases defines the interior layout of the boat. Without this option the manufacturer can design the interior living area without the need *to*accommodate*the helm, a nice advantage. However for those operating in inclement or cold weather, a lower helm may be necessary.*

Some designers in late model boats have become very creative in designing a lower helm, but reducing it's impact on the rest of the interior of the boat.

In FL I see no need for a lower helm which takes up valuable space.
Like everything else in choosing a boat there are compromises which must be considered depending on how you use the boat.



Another perhaps creative solution appeared in a 35' boat currently for sale. The owner installed a RV roof mounted type*A/C unit on the roof of the fly-bridge. With the enclosed fly-bridge you can cruise in air conditioned comfort, as long as you don't mind running the gen-set all the time. Looks dumb but probably works.
timjet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #8
TF Site Team
 
Baker's Avatar
 
City: League City, Tx
Country: Texas
Vessel Model: Carver 356
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,630
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

I do think this it is relative to many things.....mainly the size of the boat. Marin digs his lower helm because he has a 36ft GB....he has nose and forehead smears on his window because his face is practically smashed against the window while he is driving. When you drive the bigger sundecks, many times you have a galley/dinette between the helm and the window...which decreases your viewing angle significantly. You are practically driving from the middle of the salo(o)n. Add to it the sheer of the boat sloping up(ie the anchor/roller interfering with the center of your field of vision) and your view down below almost becomes useless.

If you have a flybridge that is fully enclosed by eisenglass, then weather should not be an issue if there is any sort of sun(obviously not the case in the PNW). The Sun definitely causes a greenhouse effect and keeps it plenty warm.

To answer your question, the lack of a lower helm would not bother me one bit. I have had a trawler with a lower helm and used it extensively. But I would view it as a luxury and not a necessity. If the deal is right, I would not let it stop from buying it. I would simply put an autopilot control head down below so I could operate the boat from there while in "unobstructed cruise"....IOW generally out of the way of anything while I was making a sandwich or running down there to use the facilities.
Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-30-2010, 11:02 PM   #9
TF Site Team
 
Peter B's Avatar
 
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Lotus
Vessel Model: Clipper (CHB) 34 Sedan/Europa style
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,669
Send a message via Skype™ to Peter B
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Quote:
ce_smith wrote:

I am looking at a 40' Nova Sundeck. The boat does not have a lower helm. What are y'alls thoughts on this. Would it be a major mistake to buy without a lower helm. The only reason I am considering it is it is a good deal. Thanks
As one or two others said, why would you want an upper helm?* I have both - but it I had to chose, I'd go for the lower, and we live in a place where we can boat all year round, yet I still regard the upper helm as a strictly fair weather - know exactly where you are and what bottom you are over type of steering position, for all the reasons Marin mentioned, and some.* For a start, one generally installs the best and latest electronics down below to keep it out of the weather and more easily adjusted/read/reliable, etc.* But most of all, and this no-one mentioned - weight up top in a seaway is best kept down, and more to the point in rough weather the height magnifies the roll movement horribly, and it can then even be dangerous trying to get down to the lower helm.
The exceptions would be the large, semi-planing boats with fully enclosed flybridges, internal stairs down, and which maintain stability in a seaway by virtue of their speed and size.* Eg Riviera/Hampton/Horizon... 50 ft & up,*and larger kind of stuff.* Who affords those...?* Mainly folk who never venture out anyway, they just party on them.


*
Peter B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 04:40 AM   #10
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,525
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

If you buy a roomairan with no lower helm , it can easily be overcome.

Many of the new autopilots have remotes wired or wireless

so with a ENGINE KILL switch below you could handle it from the Barcalounger .
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 05:40 AM   #11
Member
 
ce_smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

I should have mentioned that the boat is a 40' sundeck. It will have isenglass on the flybridge and we will keep the boat in Madisonville, La. I bought* a slip there a couple of months ago. Will mainly cruise on the panhandle of Florida and Alabama.
I see that everyone has their opinion and each has valid points. The boat does not have autopilot, but I sure was planning on getting one, so the remote is a great idea.
ce_smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 07:14 AM   #12
TF Site Team
 
Peter B's Avatar
 
City: Brisbane
Country: Australia
Vessel Name: Lotus
Vessel Model: Clipper (CHB) 34 Sedan/Europa style
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,669
Send a message via Skype™ to Peter B
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

The remote would be ok in some situations, but in a seaway when it's rough, the time when most of all one would want to be down, I don't think I would like to be down there, relying totally on a remotely controlled upper helm, but that's just me.
Peter B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 08:59 AM   #13
Guru
 
City: Carefree, Arizona
Country: usa
Vessel Name: sunchaser V
Vessel Model: DeFever 48
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6,369
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

I'm with Marin, to a point. Our lower helm (DF*48)*is where the social action is when cooking and chart reading etc. Also in snotty weather the lower helm has much less movement. Our upper helm is totally enclosed and can easily accomodate a footrall team, so in plus 40 degree weather it is comfortable. It also has a dayberth! The upper helm access from below is totally enclosed so one does not get wet. On a GB like Marin's, accessing the upper helm can be a wet trip.

On a sundeck model, the better deals are with no lower helm because they are not in as much demand.
sunchaser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 10:33 AM   #14
Guru
 
ARoss's Avatar
 
City: Chocowinity NC
Vessel Name: My Yuki
Vessel Model: 1973 Marine Trader 34
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 625
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

It's interesting to see the varied replies to this question. Clearly a "different strokes" kind of issue.

We have upper and lower helms, and while I usually prefer the flybridge for visibility both underway and while docking, we don't have a full enclosure up there and with wind/rain/choppy seas it's nice to go below. When the weather's nice being higher up makes the Mate happy, esp in the Ditch -- she never liked being in the cockpit of our old sailboat where she couldn't see much.

I recently installed a second chartplotter on the lower helm so I have redundant GPS, engine controls, radio, compass, etc at both stations. The autopilot works only from the upper helm but the conditions which would drive me below pretty much make my old wheel-pilot unusable anyway. Also the radar repeater is only hooked up at the lower helm.
ARoss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2010, 08:52 PM   #15
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,170
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

If you end up single handing, without a lower helm, you won't be able to go to the head or get something from the fridge without stopping the boat and going below. With a lower helm, on autopilot, at 8 knots, you have plenty of time to do either, between checking for logs, crap floats or other boats.
koliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 04:25 AM   #16
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 16,525
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

I don't think I would like to be down there, relying totally on a remotely controlled upper helm,

At least a boat AP will do as you ask,

unlike the AP in the Airbust that may simply decide to over ride your commands.
FF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 08:32 AM   #17
Guru
 
Gulf Comanche's Avatar
 
City: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Country: U.S.A.
Vessel Name: Old School
Vessel Model: 38' Trawler custom built by Hike Metal Products
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 799
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Got caught in a bad lightning storm about a month ago; quite a bad feeling being the tallest, metal object for miles around on Lake Ponchartrain. Had her all buttoned up and was praying that Mr. Ferriday was correct in his theory (Ferriday Cage). I guess he was; I'm still here, as is my boat. Don't have an upper helm and don't think I want one.
Mike
Baton Rouge
Gulf Comanche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 12:06 PM   #18
Member
 
ce_smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Mike,

Where do you keep your boat? I bought a slip in Madisonville last month. As I already said, everybody keeps bringing up great points about no lower helm. Makes my head swim.

Charles
ce_smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 02:03 PM   #19
Guru
 
Gulf Comanche's Avatar
 
City: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Country: U.S.A.
Vessel Name: Old School
Vessel Model: 38' Trawler custom built by Hike Metal Products
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 799
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Charles:
My slip is on the Blood River, Vacajun Marina, south of Springfield. About an hour from Baton Rouge.
Mike
Gulf Comanche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 02:59 PM   #20
Member
 
ce_smith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Re: Do you really need a lower helm?

Mike,

I have lived in Louisiana all my life and never heard of the Blood River. Of course I am a Yankee since I live up*in West Monroe. But we do have family land down in Placamine Parish. Used to have a family*orange grove until Katrina. In fact, I just finished a meeting with my brothers and we talked about how we heard that the fishing is better than it ever has been. Lots of Red fish. My slip may be availble for a while if you would like to be futher south. It is on the Tchfunchie River.

Charles
__________________

ce_smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
34 LRC Lower helm visibility at cruise?? Fighterpilot Californian 6 04-18-2011 10:13 AM
Adding a captain's chair to lower helm - ideas? 7tiger7 General Discussion 34 03-29-2011 09:20 AM
Upper vs Lower Helm Budds Outlet General Discussion 59 12-01-2010 06:49 PM
RainX on Lower Helm glass? Woodsong General Discussion 29 11-27-2010 10:42 AM
best lower helm electronics? Woodsong Electrical and Electronics & Navigation 36 09-08-2010 11:32 AM




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012