Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-14-2019, 02:57 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: Sunshine Coast
Country: Australia
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 87
Flybridge helm only ??

63 ft apparent long range cruiser with only a flybridge helm, enclosable with clears. My thinking is, that I worry about cruising in foul weather from a flybridge for extended lenghts of time with limited viability through wet clears. Guests/ family are on the main deck due to the weather and accentuated rolling that you get from being high up. What experiences, preference do people have. Any so called long range cruisers that I have seen seem to mostly have either a dual helm or just a lower one. Any thoughts??
__________________
Advertisement

Ralsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 03:50 PM   #2
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,516
I have a dual helm. My flybridge is enclosed with canvas and vinyl. Oddly, I spend almost 100% of my time in the upper helm. You would think that in big seas the motion would send me down but it has not. I have done Coastal Cruising, running around the clock some 25 miles off shore. What I have not done is a passage. How would I feel running 24/7 from my flybridge? My gut says no, I wouldn’t want a passage maker with out the lower helm.

So, in other words I feel the same as you but just maybe the reality is different or at least different for different folks.
__________________

tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 03:54 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Blissboat's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Shallow Minded
Vessel Model: Shoal Cat
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralsy View Post
63 ft apparent long range cruiser with only a flybridge helm, enclosable with clears. My thinking is, that I worry about cruising in foul weather from a flybridge for extended lenghts of time with limited viability through wet clears. Guests/ family are on the main deck due to the weather and accentuated rolling that you get from being high up. What experiences, preference do people have. Any so called long range cruisers that I have seen seem to mostly have either a dual helm or just a lower one. Any thoughts??
The considerations you list are valid, and I would add this: when shorthanded and faced with the necessity to handle a dock line, pick up a mooring, or recover someone / something in the water alongside the boat, it's awkward for the helmsman to leave a flybridge station, scamper down a ladder to the cockpit and help on the main deck. Much better to have a helm station on deck, preferably with a side door opening onto the side deck / walkway. From there, the person on the helm can disengage the engine and step away from the wheel to be helpful for a few moments.
__________________
ďBelieve me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.Ē
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Blissboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:03 PM   #4
Veteran Member
 
City: Sunshine Coast
Country: Australia
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 87
Will mostly be coastal cruising with maybe the longest passage of maybe 18 hours at 9 knots. Will have a second person on board for most trips (wife). How's the visability with clears when it's raining and you are trying to dock?
Ralsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:12 PM   #5
Guru
 
jleonard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralsy View Post
Will mostly be coastal cruising with maybe the longest passage of maybe 18 hours at 9 knots. Will have a second person on board for most trips (wife). How's the visability with clears when it's raining and you are trying to dock?
I never had an issue with visibility from the bridge
jleonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:21 PM   #6
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,995
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralsy View Post
Will mostly be coastal cruising with maybe the longest passage of maybe 18 hours at 9 knots. Will have a second person on board for most trips (wife). How's the visability with clears when it's raining and you are trying to dock?

I have run a lot of different boats and unless you have certain "clears"...visibiity can be awful to dangerous.


Of course docking from a lower station can be challenging because of lack of view and rain can make any docking tough.


A second station is only as useful as it is instrumented...


No right answer...only "it depends" on the boat and partially the captain.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:22 PM   #7
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,516
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralsy View Post
Will mostly be coastal cruising with maybe the longest passage of maybe 18 hours at 9 knots. Will have a second person on board for most trips (wife). How's the visability with clears when it's raining and you are trying to dock?
Visibility through wet vinyl is better than constant spray on the lower helm. For docking, wet vinyl and wet glass is pretty equal. A good defogging system is important. My flybridge actually has better defogging than my lower helm.
tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:50 PM   #8
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5,770
I would think that a 63í boat would have stabilizers. We only have a flybridge helm, we didnít want a lower helm because of the space given up. So we always drive from the bridge.

As to visibility from the flybridge with eisenglass in the rain. We have EZ2CY for our front panels. I was told by a canvas guy in NJ that fabricated the EZ2CY panels that I should use Sumner 210 spray wax on them and it would help the water bead and roll off. I had polished the old panels that came with the boat and were pretty cloudy for hours with a lot of different products including Flitz and used a buff ball for hours. I had given up on making them better for the trip home. He gave me a can of 210 and I used it. The difference was phenomenal and it is easy and quick to use. Literally I had spent 5 hours buffing the panels with Flitz and a buff ball on a drill. I used the 210 and did the inside and outside of the flybridge and sundeck enclosures in 1.5 hours. It is all I use on my panels now. Love the 210. No affiliation.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 04:51 PM   #9
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,995
Actually constant spray with wipers is better than very intermittent spray where the liquid dries to a salt film.


And I think a lot of people are assuming the very good or new vinyl.


The vast majority of boats I have been on the bridge vinyl is already cloudy enough to run with it open under ideal conditions.


Keep it new like or go with one of the newer miracle vinyls and sure...different story.


So bottom line is that a flybridge only is no big deal except maybe for line handling if it is laid out well, instrumented well and the enclosure stays glasslike.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 05:00 PM   #10
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5,770
I did add a stern thruster since we only have the upper helm. Our dog has to be first so it was always a race between him and I to get down from the flybridge first. With the stern thruster I can get down from the bridge carefully and then bump the stern back to the dock since most times it has blown off the dock by the time I could get down to handle the stern lines.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 06:03 PM   #11
Veteran Member
 
steelydon's Avatar
 
City: Beaufort, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Obsession
Vessel Model: Transpac Eagle 40
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 86
When the sun goes down I move to the lower station. My instrumentation is actually better in the pilot house and the crew is kept is not allowed out on the decks or up top. It is a safety issue for us on overnight passages and while changing watches can be accomplished safely while underway knowing that everyone is within the confines of the boat is reassuring. If I am singlehanding with no dock assistance the lower helm is the only place to be. Access through both pilot house doors allows me to move easily on one level to handle lines. Wipers and climate control make the lower helm 100% more comfortable on winter/foul weather conditions. Also most crew and passengers move below so the lower helm keeps me in touch. The fridge and pantry are also easily accessible while at the lower helm. I would not own a boat without a lower helm.
steelydon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 06:13 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
City: Rochester, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 465
I'll agree that only having an upper helm with vinyl windshields seems like a poor setup to me unless you only ever run in good weather and rarely take spray up that high.

I've only got an upper helm, but it's not as high up as most flybridges, so less of an issue with rolling comfort (by the time it gets too unpleasant, conditions are at the point where I'd rather be relaxing at the dock anyway). And unlike most flybridges, I've got real windshields with wipers (for better visibility), so between that, the bimini and the vinyl side curtains, it's protected enough from spray and weather provided it's not too cold.

With a flybridge, depending on air draft, whether there's already a radar arch, etc. you might be able to add proper windshields.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 06:18 PM   #13
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,516
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Actually constant spray with wipers is better than very intermittent spray where the liquid dries to a salt film.


And I think a lot of people are assuming the very good or new vinyl.


The vast majority of boats I have been on the bridge vinyl is already cloudy enough to run with it open under ideal conditions.


Keep it new like or go with one of the newer miracle vinyls and sure...different story.


So bottom line is that a flybridge only is no big deal except maybe for line handling if it is laid out well, instrumented well and the enclosure stays glasslike.
Good points. I canít imagine trying to operate while looking through old vinyl.
tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 06:25 PM   #14
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5,770
When we bought our current boat the vinyl was pretty cloudy. We planned on replacing all the canvas once we got the boat home. Met a canvas fabricator in NJ on the way home. He suggested EZ2CY for the forward panels. When I was making the new panels I sent him patterns for the front panels and he fabricated them for me. They are just like looking through glass. We clean and treat them and the vinyl panels with Sumner 210 spray wax which helps the water bead up and runoff without wipers. Works pretty well.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:20 PM   #15
Guru
 
Codger2's Avatar
 
City: San Diego
Country: US
Vessel Name: "Sandpiper"
Vessel Model: 2006 42' Ocean Alexander Sedan
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 5,900
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
So bottom line is that a flybridge only is no big deal except maybe for line handling if it is laid out well, instrumented well and the enclosure stays glasslike.
Couldn't agree more! My helm is well equipped and flybridge only. The enclosure is .060 Lexan (polycarbonate), the windlass has a chain counter and is operated from the fly or the bow & the electronics are all Raymarine. (Radar, plotters, AIS, etc) but the VHFs are Standard Horizon with GPS & iCom with hailer, fog horn, etc. Note: The Lexan enclosure is new and sheds rain like I can't believe....hope this continues.

My only wish is that I had a "firemen's pole" for sliding down from the flybridge for line handling!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Flybridge surround.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	131.8 KB
ID:	95277   Click image for larger version

Name:	helm.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	175.8 KB
ID:	95278   Click image for larger version

Name:	AA150.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	40.0 KB
ID:	95279  
__________________
Codger 1941.. Constant pursuit of the ultimate SoCal Cruising boat.
Codger2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:31 PM   #16
Guru
 
Fletcher500's Avatar
 
City: So-Cal
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Helmsman 4304
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 1,150
We are not long range cruisers, just the coastal thing. This is our first boat with both a lower and upper, and I have found both to be useful in different circumstances. The longest run we make is about 15 hours. When its cooler, or during the evening I prefer being inside the wheel house.
Fletcher500 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 07:55 PM   #17
Member
 
Medic's Avatar
 
City: Hudson, WI
Country: USA
Vessel Name: former: Dix Sept
Vessel Model: Nordhavn
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 23
Think twice!

Will you have both heating and air conditioning on the flybridge? You state you will be mostly coastal cruising. Fine. Where? If on the East Coast above Florida, maybe OK. If Florida or the Bahamas or Caribbean, think hard. An enclosed flybridge with Eisinglass, Strataglass, EZ2CY or whatever in the hard sun is a greenhouse, and you must have air conditioning. Unless, of course, you can roll your panels, which you cannot do with EZ2CY, then you maybe, maybe will be OK.


If you are going to be inland in Kentucky, Tennessee, etc FORGET a non-air conditioned flybridge. Unless, of course, you have a second, inside helm in which case the flybridge will be wonderful on wonderful days.
Medic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 08:13 PM   #18
Guru
 
Comodave's Avatar
 
City: Au Gres, MI
Country: US
Vessel Name: Never Say Never
Vessel Model: President 41 DC
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 5,770
We only have an upper helm. We have EZ2CY on the front with a negative angle by design. When we put the hardtop on the bridge I made it so that the hardtop extended forward so the front panels angle back at the bottom. That helps keep a gentle rain off the front panels. But almost the entire width of the front hinges up to open the bridge and get as much air into the flybridge as we want. If it is cold we can run the genset and have a couple of space heaters up on the bridge. So we can have cooling air or heat on the bridge. The view is incredible and if we did have a lower helm the view would be so obstructed to the rear it would be a constant problem keeping a proper lookout. Yes we do get more motion up there but we have been out in 5 to 7í waves and it isnít too bad unless they are on the beam. And then my wife would veto being out so we would sit and wait another day. We are retired and donít have to prove how tough we are so we frequently wait out the weather.
__________________
Boat Nut:
If you are one there is no explanation necessary.
If you arenít one, there is no explanation possible.
Comodave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 08:42 PM   #19
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,652
We bought our boat, in part, because it did have upper and lower helms. In the 10 years we've owned it I think I have skippered from the lower helm three times. The first was just to see how it looked and the other two because I thought it would be better in the bad weather we were in. It wasn't.

In the lower helm I have 3 windshield panels, each with a working wiper. Yes, they clear a lot of rain but the visibility is still better from up top.

The upper helm is a piece of cake to drive from in bad weather. No wipers, but I've found I don't need them. The highest point on the upper windows is about 18' off the water. Many times I've gotten spray up there and it's no problem at all. Here's a video I took a few years ago. We were in about 35-40mph winds directly on the bow with waves running about 8'-10'. As you can see, the spray and green water that came over the bow dispersed almost as fast as it hit.



As far as the boat listing when being operated in heavy waves and high winds on the beam, I don't know how much the beam of the boat (15.5') stops the listing to the side, but we've never encountered that where it was bad enough that I wanted to go below to drive.
__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2019, 08:58 PM   #20
Guru
 
BruceK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 9,978
I confess it may be a personal thing, but I would not buy a boat without a lower helm. But there are plenty of boats sold in Australia without, some Riviera and Maritimo boats have only the FB helm, but later ones tend to have a fully solidly enclosed(no flexible clears or canvas) FB with a/c and lots of comforts and conveniences, though I think, no head.
Apart from the weather aspect, there is the advantage of company, the proximity to the mechanicals, the creature comforts, and the ability to help with docking.
For an older FB set up,probably custom modified and improved, click thru the pics of this 1989 IG44, the FB gets close to replicating the one below. http://www.andrewmooremarine.com.au/kong-halvorsen-44/
__________________

__________________
BruceK
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
BruceK is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×