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Old 07-25-2019, 07:43 AM   #1
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Grand Banks 32 Helm Seats. Need new layout.

We have a 1987 Grand Banks 32 and find the helm seat very uncomfortable. Thinking about extending the current platform six inches amidships and then mounting a production seat with arm rests on it. The current seat (21X24 inches) is unkind to my back and moreover I recently was thrown out of it sideways across into the galley. Luckily I had a good grasp on the wheel or else I would have sustained some broken ribs. We were crossing the Georgian Bay from Parry Sound to Tobermory in a bad beam sea. If you have a GB32 and have seen or done any seat modifications I would love to hear about it and see some pictures.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:30 AM   #2
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I'm a huge fan of the Stidd seats in our 47 Eastbay. The front-back and height adjustments are tremendously helpful for finding 'just the right spot' for comfort. They do offer ways to mount them on cabinets, in addition to the pedestal mounts. They're not inexpensive.

https://stidd.com/products/options-a...nting-options/

I'm a big guy and the 500 series has very good support and lateral strength. It's able to hold me in place side-to-side when seas have been rough. The arm comes up easily with a press-in release button. Mine is on a pedestal, so I can turn it to face the salon area, for added seating. To have one that rotates on a cabinet I think you have to move up to ones that recess the pole into the cabinet.

I don't if a double-width seat would give as secure a position or not.
https://stidd.com/product-gallery/wide-double-seats/

I've not seen any 32 with them at the lower station, but have found it helpful to browse yachtworld looking for options. I've got a whole bunch of 'project ideas' that I've right-click-saved from various listings! I'd wonder if the folks at Oxford have done any mods for something like that?

Maybe if not a full change of the seat/cabinet, the addition of a flip-up armrest/bolster of some sort? Might be possible to have a bracket fabricated, and the side of the seat upholstery altered to allow for the same sort of flip-up armrest.
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Old 07-26-2019, 01:40 AM   #3
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Mostly, I'm subscribing in case a useful answer appears.

I have been researching this topic a year with no good results. The original GB design, which was religiously adhered to until c.~1996, left the lower helm station seating either horribly designed or even non-existent. Really big flaw everyone seems to sweep under the rug when talking about them.

There are just so many used GB trawlers I look at and have to price how to tear out the nonsense behind the lower helm station and make it useful. I also want to find "BTDT" threads as someone must have dealt with this - whether you had a lower helm seat in place or modified the cabinet/ice maker behind the non-helm ones with a custom solution.

This is a big reason why, as an aftermarket buyer, the Albins and others with less rigid/more evolved designs are so much more appealing.

I've searched high and low on the GBOF for answers w/o success.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:38 PM   #4
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I'm somewhat skeptical the aftermarket is being greatly affected by this. Price point probably has more to do with the appeal of others than a helm seat ever would.

Probably the biggest reason you're not seeing a lot of been-there-done-that is because mucking around making big changes with teak cabinets and cushions gets expensive. At least if you want to do it in a way that doesn't negatively affect the boat's value.

Not that I disagree with wanting a different seat config.

For those not clear on the config, I think this is representative:
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:42 PM   #5
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This is how one 43 was set up:
(not mine, just from a yw listing for 'Giulia')

Which basically appears to have used a pedestal Stidd and then moved the cabinet out toward the port side. Not sure how ideal that is, as the pedestal can't now allow the seat to turn due to the cabinet being under it. But does at least have the attached foot rest, something I'm not certain can be retained with a cabinet-mounted variant. That would presumably require going without one (something I'd reject) or having one on the face of the cabinet. But those are often more of a contraption then they're worth.
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:26 PM   #6
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Here is what I did to that area on my N37:

https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d19c2...f0603ca9d9.pdf

A whole bunch of other projects, though most are GH N37 specific, are here: N37 SCOUT Projects

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Old 07-31-2019, 03:03 AM   #7
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I have different seating problem.. itís no seat at all ...itís a long story donít ask ...but I was wondering if anyone has there old original seat parts they would like to part with ...
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:37 AM   #8
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Boathealer - very nice work on your helm seat. Can you reach the wheel from the seat? It looks pretty far from the wheel in the photos. I'm thinking of taking on a project like this in my boat but haven't figured that part out yet. In order to keep hands on the wheel the seat would need to be so close that it blocks access in and out through the side door.
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaBreeze View Post
Boathealer - very nice work on your helm seat. Can you reach the wheel from the seat? It looks pretty far from the wheel in the photos. I'm thinking of taking on a project like this in my boat but haven't figured that part out yet. In order to keep hands on the wheel the seat would need to be so close that it blocks access in and out through the side door.
Yes. I put the seat on a slide for just that reason. There is about 8" of travel fore-aft. I needed that for the clearance for the helm door as well. When the seat is slid all the way forward, the wheel is easily accessible. You can see the tightening knob at the side of the seat for the slider.
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Old 07-31-2019, 09:58 AM   #10
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Grand Banks 32 Helm Seat Final Solution

I could not seem to find any seats that are commercially available that would fit me or my wife. So, I manufactured my own seat and then built a footrest-storage box for the floor instead of that pathetic little 45-degree footrest the boat came with. This is still in the "roughed in" stage and all bare wood will be upholstered to the max and the rectangular arm rests will be replaced with teak about the same size and have rounded ends. The footrest on the floor is a box with a hatch cover, sturdy and ugly. It too with be upholstered, carpeted and the visible sides covered with some teak trim strips. It gives one a good stepping stool to get up into the helm seat and a comfortable place where you can actually stand up if you need to reach forward and upward to adjust an instrument or whatever. To get started, I had to remove the teak fid around the current "seat." The plywood base off which this is built projects out six inches inboard from the original seat platform -- actually seven inches on the front and five inches on the back. We are temporarily using old foam and the seat back from the original until we send the unit out to the upholstery guy. Always a work in progress....
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:09 AM   #11
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I'm not kidding when I say this but look at professional series tractor seats with slides. Sure they mainly come in black or gray but that can be changed with vinyl/cloth spray dye or a nicely upholstered cover. They can be had with suspension for bombing around in rough seas. They're about half or less money than actual boat seats. They are designed to sit in for long periods of time, be in the weather, and take a beating.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:11 PM   #12
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Or truck seats... there are lots of truck seats that have tons of features and a fraction of the cost of stidd or other marine seats.
https://www.minimizer.com/product/se...her-heat-cool/
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:38 PM   #13
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I have rather short arms and legs although I am 5-8. With the current pads, probably what I will have, the wheel is a bit of a stretch. It fits my wife perfectly and she steers a lot. With a thin pillow behind my back I am fine.
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