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Old 04-06-2018, 08:57 AM   #1
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Stidd vs director's chair

Not a totally fair comparison, but I do see a number of FD 40' ish trawlers with one or the other at the PH helm. I"m looking to buy, so I'm curious.

Can a directors chair be stable with 30 deg rolls and a human in the seat? Or, are these things only for inside passages, YW ads and get stowed for offshore work making one stand for 12 hours straight?
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:15 AM   #2
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I specifically did not want a permanently affixed chair on the lower helm, so I just ordered a Herman Miller Aeron barstool height. Infinitely adjustable and comfortable and more than high enough for my wife and me. I ordered mine with rubber pads instead of rollers and will use tie downs while underway.

Some experience with one was recounted here.

Ideas for moveable helm chair needed
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:34 PM   #3
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I use a draftsman chair. Adjustable from 30” to 36” and stable with a 5 point base. In a heavy seaway I tie the chair to the handholds.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:56 PM   #4
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Obviously your call. I wouldn’t trust a moveable chair.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:01 PM   #5
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We all boat in different sea conditions, so its tough for anyone to advise.


Even with my helm chair fixed, there's times I wish I had a seat belt installed.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:04 PM   #6
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Don't have the problem but I've seen boats where an otherwise movable chair was secured to the sole with some kind of tie down so it can't topple.

A floor mounted H.D. lifting ring bolted down and using a heavy webbing strap or a SS wire and pelican hook should be strong. Maybe a pad eye although that would protrude when not used.

Just some ideas.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:33 PM   #7
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30 degree rolls?
Wow.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:44 PM   #8
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My boat had a directors chair that toppled over with me in it on the first trip in Galveston Bay when I was waked by a go-fast. Threw it away when I got back to the dock. Any chair at the helm should be bolted down or capable of being secured, even for inland waters.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:54 PM   #9
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In the link in post #2, Jeff Siegel describes how he uses a draftsman’s chair . . . and bolts it down.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:03 PM   #10
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We don’t have a lower station so on the flybridge we had a mounted helm seat. Needed another so for our delivery trip home I had a deck chair up there. It slid back and forth continually crossing Lake Ontario. We now have 2 mounted helm seats on the bridge. No loose seats for me. Maybe if you have a really robust tie down that would be ok.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
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We all boat in different sea conditions, so its tough for anyone to advise.


Even with my helm chair fixed, there's times I wish I had a seat belt installed.
Why? I'd much rather jump up, stand on my feet and then brace myself.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:37 PM   #12
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Why? I'd much rather jump up and stand on my feet.

That's all right for an hour or two, but when doing a 12 hour crossing in rough water, it gets a bit tiring. Especially when it too rough to depend on the autopilot to take each swell safely.
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:39 PM   #13
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Why? I'd much rather jump up and stand on my feet.
Because depending on where you boat every so often you may wind up in conditions where it is unsafe to get out of a fixed helm chair. I would never have a helm chair that was not rigidly fixed to the boat and also had good hand holds to secure ones self when it gets unusually rough out
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Old 04-06-2018, 11:59 PM   #14
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Why? I'd much rather jump up, stand on my feet and then brace myself.
I would have not made the crossing of Lake Ontario standing up for the 5 hours of rock and roll. No way my wife would have done it either.
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Old 04-07-2018, 06:53 AM   #15
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The Stidd chair is a rather specialized unit to keep folks spines intact while bouncing from wave to wave at 30K -60K.

The Coasties use them , but sometimes even their crews come back broken

There are many pilot house chair setups that are 1/6-1/10 the price that work fine for most cruisers.

An office chair , secured to the deck should work fine as both pilot house chairs and office chairs would be too uncomfortable in 30deg rolls.

Standing works best for running inlets , a good seat and good autopilot works fine the rest of the time.

A good easy to grab hand hold is a big help in staying in a gyrating chair, when surprised!!
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:16 AM   #16
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Love my office task/architect chair with arms. I too use a strap that runs through a padeye when things get rough. Bought it used for $200. It retailed for over $1500 when new. Easily adjusts in so many ways to fit my 6'4" 275 frame or my wife's dimensions. Also, it is easily moved out of the way when not in use which is important in our 40 footer's PH. I replaced the casters with pads and then put plastic glides over the feet pads. This provided just the right amount of sliding control over the floor of our carpeted PH.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:22 AM   #17
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P. S. Went back and read my post from 2015. I want to report that I have had no problem with the chair swiveling in seas. In fact, I like being able to turn when I want to. Check your used office furniture stores for best deals.

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Old 04-07-2018, 09:39 AM   #18
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My lower helm we also us a Herman miller but this helm is not used much at all and never with 30 rolls
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:18 AM   #19
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Quote:
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We all boat in different sea conditions, so its tough for anyone to advise.


Even with my helm chair fixed, there's times I wish I had a seat belt installed.
More than once I considered a piece of rope and wear a bike helmet too.
You strap yourself in, put the helmet on, it does have a tendency to scare the other passengers. Ah yes, it is good to be the captain.
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:09 AM   #20
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We have a director chair at the lower helm. It has yet to fall over loaded or not. No really big seas because we watch our weather and stay ICWish. When driving below and slammed by a big wake I simply stand up on the deck and sit after it passes.
Now if we were on the loop full time I would want a thru-bolted helm chair of some type.
Lag bolts not good enough.
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