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Old 08-10-2016, 06:19 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by nowakezone View Post
In the end, it seems the lower helm or pilothouse is a matter of preference rather than necessity.

One caveat, in my opinion there is some length of a trip between a day sail and crossing an ocean where not having a lower helm would be a safety issue.

Even the sailors do not stay on deck 24/7 when they cross an ocean.

I concede this would only apply to a small fraction of trawlers as most never make passages exceeding 24/48 hours.
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:45 PM   #122
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One caveat, in my opinion there is some length of a trip between a day sail and crossing an ocean where not having a lower helm would be a safety issue.

Even the sailors do not stay on deck 24/7 when they cross an ocean.

I concede this would only apply to a small fraction of trawlers as most never make passages exceeding 24/48 hours.

I've never seen a sailboat with a "lower helm" and yet they seem to make ocean passages safely.

Then again, I've never seen a "trawler" yacht actually trawling...
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Old 08-10-2016, 06:51 PM   #123
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I've never seen a sailboat with a "lower helm" and yet they seem to make ocean passages safely.
)
Never seen one w a FB...
So what do youcall it???
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Old 08-10-2016, 07:01 PM   #124
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I've never seen a sailboat with a "lower helm" and yet they seem to make ocean passages safely.
The Nav station on sailboats is generally below deck and many/most passage making sailboats have wind steering vanes. Thus they can set the angle to the wind and go below deck. Many have the communications, radar and chartplotters below deck.

As I mentioned I have been on my flying bridge in ten foot confused seas and don't want to do it again. The roll and pitch at that height were substantially more than in the pilot house.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:26 PM   #125
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Other than weather, why have a lower helm?

Regarding usefulness of a lower helm: For me it all depends on my crew for docking whether I use the FB for docking or not. Underway In fog I use the lower so as to have the better plotter. I'm a nice sunny FAC day the top deck is the place to be.

Seems the only one who doesn't like the FB is Sophie the dog!

There is some similar validity to the complete disconnect when up on FB. Can't hear the engine noise, feel the boat breathing. Sometimes I have to go to the aft edge to listen to the exhaust to hear the 'sputter' of water splashing out the exhaust.

Regarding being up top in seas the vivid picture of the Hatteras ejecting the operator at Ponce Inlet a couple years ago should be all the nudging for a lower helm needed.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:43 PM   #126
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Regarding usefulness of a lower helm: For me it all depends on my crew for docking whether I use the FB for docking or not. Underway In fog I use the lower so as to have the better plotter. I'm a nice sunny FAC day the top deck is the place to be.

Seems the only one who doesn't like the FB is Sophie the dog!

There is some similar validity to the complete disconnect when up on FB. Can't hear the engine noise, feel the boat breathing. Sometimes I have to go to the aft edge to listen to the exhaust to hear the 'sputter' of water splashing out the exhaust.

Regarding being up top in seas the vivid picture of the Hatteras ejecting the operator at Ponce Inlet a couple years ago should be all the nudging for a lower helm needed.
It was a custom Garlington and notoriously dangerous Jupiter inlet by the way.
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Old 08-10-2016, 08:56 PM   #127
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When I was a sailor we always believed that you reefed the main when you first wondered if you should reef the main. We do the same with the fly bridge; we go to the lower station when we first wonder if we should go to the lower station.
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Old 08-10-2016, 11:43 PM   #128
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FB inferior

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Yeah those CG life boats are really inferior. So are those new Nordhavns of the past decade or so. Ditto those bluewater sportsfishermen especially with the towers. You should go give all those guys a good lecture.

Spend some time underway in a few so they'll know you're an expert !
Cal I'm not say'in you should whack your FB. I'm just pointing out that they are'nt one of the things that make a boat a better boat. The cabin itself comes under the same scrutiny but we put them on our boats to make them more useful the deck however is a very valuable part as if helps warer tight integrity immensely. But as long as the helm station has good visability we can do nicely w/o the FB.

A boat w a FB is'nt a bad boat because it has a FB. It would be a little bit better as a boat without it though. Many trawlers that have the FB I would retain the FB if it were mine. A 32GB I'd whack it ..a 42 I'd retain it. But that's just me. Would'nt recomend you whack yours.
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Old 08-11-2016, 07:42 AM   #129
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i share your thoughts entirely. When we found the boat we wanted that had 90% of everything we wanted, molded in stairs were missing! This concerned me at first (I'm 75) but after climbing the ladder a few times (The hand rails & hand holds were precisely placed) the worry disappeared. Another benefit of the ladder is that when in the salon, we have a much greater view out the back of the boat....no molded stairs wiping out about 30% of the view. (On most boats.) Molded in stairs are nice (IMO) but finding the boat with the most desired features was priceless!

Since several folks afterwards have commented on age... I'll chime in about that too...

Your ladder does indeed look to be better angled than the ones we found when shopping for our third boat, and your point about stairs obscuring the view from the saloon is spot on... as with our current boat.

The ladder on our first boat (Mainship 34 III) was OK... for us... then. The big dogs (a Pyr and a big Golden) couldn't navigate it, though, and as time marched on, we became less comfortable with schlepping trays of goodies to the flybridge...

That was a great boat, and if we had her now, I think I'd have been inclined to research replacing the original with a purpose-built circular staircase of some sort. Or if that wouldn't work, now that I've seen the pic of yours, maybe just a straight ladder but with a much wider angle. Something that could solve the big dog/schlepping problems as well as do our current stairs.

When we shopped for this boat, we knew we wanted to return to a flybridge style -- mostly for visibility, but also for the additional entertainment/relaxing space -- but we also wanted to solve the dog/schlepp issues at the same time... so we looked only at boats with stairs. Hadn't seen any great examples of usable ladders. That narrowed the field dramatically and then we also learned even flybridge boats with stairs are not all created equal. Some stairs are uncomfortably steep, or uncomfortably shallow, or uncomfortably narrow... and then in some instances the stairs for some reason apparently caused the designed to reduce the useable size of the sidedecks. (??)

Anyway, now that we have stairs... or maybe I should say even though we have stairs... that age thing is still creeping up on us. And now, after a decent comparison, I think I can say that in most cases ladders are no better or worse than stairs from an aging point of view. I don't creak any more nor any less, these days.

OTOH, I can carry my own fully-laden tray of beverage and snacks and so forth up the stairs all by myself... even with the big dog racing me to the top -- or bottom, as the case may be).



But we can't see out of the saloon as well as you can. I can live with that, but your pic makes a useful point for folks who might be shopping.

-Chris
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:25 AM   #130
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When we were shopping for boats, the styles we were interested in had more or less vertical ladders with handrails to the FB. Ann would ask : "well how are going to get the cocktails and canapes up there?" A PO's beautiful solution to this was a real closer for us and we were so happy with it as years went by:



Personally I think anything that makes navigation of the boat safer, as in reading depths and spotting obstructions, makes it a better boat. If it adds to the fun and the outdoor living space, so much the better.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:01 PM   #131
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Caltex's photo points out something else and that's the value of having inside, weather protected stairs or steps.

That is one of the nice things about Raised Pilothouse designs. Normally, from the main deck, it's up a few steps to the RPH and then from there up a few to the bridge, all protected and rather few number of steps. Also moving from the RPH helm to the bridge helm, if there is one, is very easy.

Oh larger boats there are two popular classifications, tri-level or tri-deck and RPH. Several builders have moved from strictly tri-level to more RPH boats. The 100' Hatteras is a RPH as is the new Westport 125'.

To us, there is no factor as important as safety. If I can't move up or down between decks or helms and feel safe, then forget that boat. If I can't feel my guests are safe from going flying over the side, then forget it. There is an absolutely beautiful, technologically advanced, almost George Jetson level boat, from Delta Powerboats, the Delta 54 IPS. Gorgeous boat. One of the most respected designers in the world. Yet, I look at it and my first reaction is "where are the rails?" I saw it featured on a tv show, selling yachts, and people walking around, including the bow, and all I could think of is no rails. If I had one, I would absolutely add rails, regardless of what it did to the aesthetics.

I think buyers of trawler type boats, and perhaps it's age related, but I think more likely not just that, are more safety conscious and less appearance conscious. We're, as usual, an anomaly, in that we like speed and performance, but safety is number one and appearance is very far down the list behind space, performance, quality of build, layout and other factors.

Even on a small boat, I'd rather give up a little move of my cockpit or my salon to have an easy and safe way up and down.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:07 PM   #132
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Good points B. One of the "must haves" on the boat we buy is safety. I'm only 62 but have bad knees, bad back, bad balance, etc. So the last thing I want is a narrow walkway with low railings. Or a steep ladder to the FB.
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Old 08-11-2016, 01:16 PM   #133
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Large sedan cruisers were popular in the 50's.

But one needed to look out over 20' or so of foredeck so seeing stuff adrift must have been difficult. Or if the cabin went way far fwd (as many did) the "wheelhouse" windows were vulnerable to headseas over the foredeck. Neither option was great and if you hit a big log and your boat wasn't steel getting holed was very likely.

But if the windows held up and you missed the logs they were great boats. Long and low as boats should be w very little windage and a nice low CG. We have one of those elegant boats on our float.

This boat is representative of the type but many were much bigger. This lady's on our float and I admire her as I walk by. She's twin diesel and apparently the owners do'nt feel the need for a FB. Many of the old boats have one tacked on.
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Old 08-11-2016, 02:53 PM   #134
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Good points B. One of the "must haves" on the boat we buy is safety. I'm only 62 but have bad knees, bad back, bad balance, etc. So the last thing I want is a narrow walkway with low railings. Or a steep ladder to the FB.
High priority for me was wide decks and substantial railings. The ladder at the back of the saloon has a warning sign against going to the roof while the boat is underway.

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Old 08-11-2016, 07:49 PM   #135
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Wifey B: No trip between Ohio and FL, nowakezone?

I freaking love my inferior flybridge. Oh, I can stand on top and look down on those who don't have flybridges. Don't worry. I have good balance. Long ago I accepted if it wasn't Nomad Willy's, man of many boats and anchors, boat then it was inferior. I think every boat here is beeeuuuuutiful.

Nowake.....there are lots of old guys here.....this is like areas of South Florida, you're under the average probably. Move to Hallandale and if you're 80, they'll call you kiddo.

Speaking of Hallandale, follow the link and click on the play button for Wasting Away in Hallandale.

https://neilrogers.org/wasting-away-...le-hallandale/
Hahahaha!!! That song is hilarious, Wifey B!! I know Hubby B thanks his lucky stars every day for you. That's not to say you don't do the same because I'm sure you do.

Oh you have to know in Naples I'm still calling everyone sir or ma'am. That's a good thing. Naples is pretty, and there's a few things to do, a few good restaurants.... but nothing like your home port.

I shouldn't be so negative about river cruising, Wifey B. I'm not really. I'm just tired of the midwest. And I'm tired of river ports. No matter what, a river marina is still on a river. Sigh... yes every small town has its own charm... but I've had all the "world's best ice cream" and pulled pork I want. Whether at the beach, the marina or on the boat, nothing compares with the ocean or the gulf. Personally speaking, of course.

Speaking of lower helms, I haven't ruled them out. I tend to like the layout of sedan bridges interiors and bridges more than I do trawlers but I haven't seen a lot of trawlers.

The crappy bridge on the 65 Wifey B, I don't even know how you can stand it! I mean really. It's good of you to make do.
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Old 08-11-2016, 08:34 PM   #136
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I've had all the "world's best ice cream"
Wifey B: There is no such thing as too much ice cream. You guys stop and want beer, we head for the ice cream shop.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:11 PM   #137
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WifeyB,
I one promoted Uniflite to build a FB boat whereas the FB was central in the design.

Wanna hear about it? Of course you do but after you hear you may change your mind. I did promote the FB though.

The idea ...
A 48' flush boat built on the standard Uniflite hull. A great hull that takes more power than average to get along. Maybe more than that. Usually powered by twin 6-71 engines. A wide well proven hull w super stability. With the 48' hull there would be plenty of room below the main deck for all the usual spaces for a 42' boat. And a bit ahead of midships a glorious FB suitable for small parties. The aft deck would have an 18 - 20' "support boat" (Bertram?) and other play boats. Complete w a mast and boom or crane.

I was an extremely low level "engineer", basically a draftsman that "engineered" installation changes like LectraSan, batteries, water tanks and other weighty things that effect lateral trim (list). Most all boats were different because they were ordered different. Custom builds essentially.

Anyway my PT boat look alike flush deck yacht did'nt get much/any support. In the engineering dept we frequently did think tank stuff but on the very conservative brand few if any "ideas" found their way into boats.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:20 PM   #138
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Boats aren't just "survival tools"...


They are compromises designed to be enjoyed.


If every vessel had to meet the stadards of ultimate survivability...they would not get bought by most.


Thus most aren't built that way.


If you want custom...build or commission a boat...don't expect the rest of us to suffer "inferior" boats built for extremes.
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Old 08-11-2016, 09:35 PM   #139
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Wifey B: There is no such thing as too much ice cream. You guys stop and want beer, we head for the ice cream shop.
I prefer Don Julio, Wifey! Chilled, over ice. Smooth. I keep mine aboard.

No doubt ice cream is wonderful. Pumpkin when in season is so good. Point being, as I know you already know, I've seen enough americana. I'm fully saturated with it. Just took my son to the Ohio State Fair. None better. That said, the next chapter is going to be about east coast steaks and seafood and all there is from Key West to Long Island.

Viewing it all from the fly bridge... maybe with a lower helm.... maybe not! 😃
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Old 08-11-2016, 11:56 PM   #140
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After about the third time you wrap a crab pot warp around your shaft. Especially if one of those times happens to pull the shaft out of the boat.

-Chris
Folk pro flybridges make quite thing about that, but I'm with Eric here, and I have a flybridge. However, I have no trouble at all seeing pot floats from the lower help, and that's even with a roll-bar anchor out front. It's just not an issue. At my lower helm one his looking out well to the right of the centre of the bow.
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