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Old 10-22-2012, 08:21 AM   #21
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fly Bridge

I would much rather have the fly bridge than not. I really enjoy open air and the visability from up there, not to mention backing into or out of the slip. While docking I can watch the crew and hear them clearly. We have stairs to our fly bridge, not a ladder - my wife insisted on the stairs and I'm glad she insisted on that. We have easily removable side curtains so most of the time we travel with only front wind protection - we do not have a full enclosure and I don't see the advantage either. If it's cold, too wet, or bumpity, we go below for a better ride.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:01 PM   #22
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I'm glad to have both stations. I use the flybridge for docking and harbor cruising. I prefer the lower helm for open waters. The lower you are on a boat, the less the rocking is felt (for those that don't have stabilizers). Also there's easy access to food and drinks downstairs.

I have to admit though that when the water is flat, I drive upstairs for about an hour out of a 3-hour trip. Other times that I operate from the flybridge is when crossing a shipping channel and visibility is reduced. Up there I can hear foghorns better.

With all that said, the absence of a flybridge would not be a deal breaker for my next purchase. Although I would miss it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:58 PM   #23
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Although our boat came with a fly bridge, if I had a choice I would not have one. With a raised pilot house we can see perfectly and can hear and feel the engines much better. In fact I can't really hear the engines up there, just feel them. With a bridge there is more to take care of and more canvas to buy. I just feel more connected to the boat in the pilot house
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:27 PM   #24
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Love the FB but on the must have list was access to the FB from the Pilothouse. I really didn't want someone walking out the back of the boat or outside in the dark to get upstairs. Even in Northern Califirnia we enclosure the flybright and use it year round as an extra room.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:01 PM   #25
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We hardly use the FB on our Selene. Much more comfortable in sun or rain to be in the PH. Can always keep the PH doors open if it is not too windy. Even then usually you can still keep one door open. The hot sun is just as big a problem as the cold/wet weather. Sometimes nice to lounge up there and we do keep our dinghy up there. FB station is used in docking situations for better rear visibility.
Would not view the FB as a "must have" provided all round visibility is good from the PH.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:46 PM   #26
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I agree with you Jay , love being outside ,not enclosed, just a bimini top. Great for backing into the slip.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:47 PM   #27
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We run the boat from the bridge; better vis for crab pots, debris, other developing traffic situations. Much easier to see during docking efforts. At rest, FB gives us an extra area for privacy, reading , etc. Really nasty weather miay find us running from the lower station; so far that has been rare.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:02 PM   #28
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The view is better and I like being outside when I can, it's certainly quieter and my wife is beside me instead of behind me on the settee. I make frequent trips around the boat while underway to check on things. If it's warm the windows all come out and we leave the bimini, if it's not, we cover up.
Marin, I heard you say a few times that a pilot house is your true choice for a boat and that going slow isn't the best way to go, when will we see the new and improved mode of travel. I also am looking forward to pilot house, then maybe the bridge won't seem as necessary.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:25 PM   #29
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I also am looking forward to pilot house, then maybe the bridge won't seem as necessary.
That's all I've got, by choice.

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:30 PM   #30
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Marin, I heard you say a few times that a pilot house is your true choice for a boat and that going slow isn't the best way to go, when will we see the new and improved mode of travel. I also am looking forward to pilot house, then maybe the bridge won't seem as necessary.

I got way too much on my plate these days to be thinking about a different boat right now. We bought the GB because of their build quality and the fact that old ones like ours are dirt cheap. So it gets us out on the water in a really well-made boat (especially true for the mid-73 to mid-74 boats) for very little purchase cost.

We have three options we've been casually considering for the future for awhile now. One is to do nothing and continue to use the boat as it is now. Two is to take this boat up to Vancouver or over to Sidney and have it totally rebuilt. Re-power, new generator, refinish the hull and topsides, new decks, everything. Three is to buy a different boat. However there are only two contenders for "different boat" and either one of them would be a fair amount of money to purchase and own, much more even than completely redoing our current boat.

In the end we'll do what seems to make the most sense to us but we won't know what that is until the time comes. So for now we use and enjoy what we have now even though we have no real use of a flying bridge and we despise going slow.

PS I don't' know where the frowny face at the top of this post came from. I didn't put it there.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:59 PM   #31
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In my case, my preference has changed over time. When the boat was new to me, the FB was the place to be. Warm weather or cold, I liked the view and preferred the docking perspective. That's where my boating instructor preferred and that's where I learned.

Over time, I operated more and more from the lower helm, especially throughout the winter cold and fog. Besides, that's where my radar, autopilot and my best (largest) chartplotter are located. After a bit, it became my preferred helm due to its proximity to all the comforts of home and the ability to monitor and hear the engines.

Now, like the PO, I operate from the lower helm 80% of the time. In the summer, we still enjoy the FB for the leisurely cruise, but I have to admit that I feel a bit removed from the sound and feel of the engines. Maybe it's the pilot in me, but I like to listen to every sound.

I like having the FB and would probably miss it if I didn't have it, but it would be a "like-to-have" not a "must-have' in my next boat. Having the extra real estate for storage (cleaning supplies, grill, propane, extra cooler, folding chairs) is also a big plus. I should add that our lower helm provides uninhibited 360 degree visibility which helps make operating from the lower helm very comfortable.

"I don't like heights and prefer not to climb ladders or worry about being thrown out from an overlooked wake or errant wave." -Mark Pierce-

It was pretty rough up there on that day! We didn't stay long. ;-)

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Old 10-23-2012, 12:23 AM   #32
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Thanks for your understanding, Al. ... Your Calfornian LRC has several desirable features over my Coot, but then we all compromise in pursuit of the perfect boat. My saloon ...

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Old 10-23-2012, 12:52 AM   #33
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Fully enclosed Flybridge with U-zip windows for me. On my last boat I used the lower helm on 2 occasions in 6 years, one for the delivery as at the time it only had the bimini and was too cold to sit up there for three days. The second when I got caught in a fast moving thunderstorm that had a ton of lightning and didn't want to be up high. Now if I had a pilothouse I would probably use that more. But as far as docking, always from the bridge. I feel I have a 360 view and the fact on my 48 the lower helm is there but really not accomadating for alot of use but nice to know it is there as a back-up.
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Old 10-23-2012, 06:21 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Our dislike of operating from a flying bridge has nothing to do with weather. We both dislike the sight picture from up there in terms of operations and we don't like being disconnected from the boat. At the lower helm we can hear, feel, and smell what's going on in the engine room.............
In both our opinions the best configuration for a cruising boat is a raised pilothouse. We would take that configuration over a flying bridge any day.
I'm with Marin and Mark here. Ok, we have a flybridge, but my depth sounder up there has gone on the blink and I don't have GPS up there, other than a hand-held. I don't really want to duplicate expensive and weather vulnerable equipment up there, but don't feel safe running the boat from there for long without it. The height magnifies the movement in a seaway, and moving between up there and down below is much more dangerous in unsettled conditions. I also look at the extra flat surface for mounting solar panels and how much easier it is to set up an uncluttered radar station without a bridge in the way. So, if there is ever another boat - it's a raised pilot house for me...those Nordys just don't need those flybridges.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:17 AM   #35
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My wife and I love our flybridge and that's one of the reasons she liked the boat in the first place. She (and I to a lesser extent) like being out in the sun. When the sun gets too much, the bimini top goes up.

Visibility is far better from the flybridge and our trips are as much for the scenery as for the destination, perhaps more so.

We operate from the flybridge unless it's raining or too cold for comfort.
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:13 AM   #36
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Although there was no poll on this thread such as YES or NO on like or dislike a fly bridge... I'd gestimate YES nudges out NO. Maybe someone would like to begin some sort of a vote thread... could well be more detailed than simply YES/NO. I just don't have time to do it right now. Cheers! Art
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:53 AM   #37
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With trawler speeds, there's simply nothing better for us than sitting up in the open air and enjoying the salt air. We have a Europa, so there's LOTS of room up there to stretch out.

My wife is a triathlete and even rides her bike up there. (on the trainer)
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:01 AM   #38
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I've taken a friend out a number of times on Moon Dance. He's a lifelong powerboater, sailor, offshore racer, fisherman .... a real boater. We always drive from the flybridge. His first reaction was, "Man, this is great. It's like being on a sailboat except I don't have to fool with the %!)*@ sails and ... I can actually SEE."
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:57 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
My wife and I love our flybridge and that's one of the reasons she liked the boat in the first place. She (and I to a lesser extent) like being out in the sun. When the sun gets too much, the bimini top goes up.

Visibility is far better from the flybridge and our trips are as much for the scenery as for the destination, perhaps more so.

We operate from the flybridge unless it's raining or too cold for comfort.
On our 2012 trip to SE Alaska we spent a lot of cold, rainy hours operating from inside to warm comfortable pilothouse however, in the right areas and conditions the flybridge was the place to be!
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:00 AM   #40
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Last 3 boats (38' Bayliner, 40' Bayliner, and the current 52' PT Overseas) have had flybridges, and they are without doubt the preferred place to pilot from. Better sight lines and the simple joy of being outdoors- nothing better.
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