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Old 11-28-2010, 09:09 PM   #21
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Upper vs Lower Helm

Here is the helm deck of Moonstruck with our deck officers on duty (my 2 grandsons).* Notice how attentive they are.* You can see the set up with 2 comfortable, height adjustable Stidd seats that can*slide back for standing..* There is a chart table at the nav station and full instrumentation at the helm.* It can be opened up fully for fishing or the Bahamas and heated and air conditioned as needed.* The only thing missing is the side door, but it is just a few steps to the rear exit.* Height is good, and you can see all points of the boat.* Works for me.



-- Edited by Moonstruck on Sunday 28th of November 2010 10:11:02 PM
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:14 PM   #22
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

I've seen enough people fall with their chairs in 600-to-1000-foot*cruising ships in dining rooms during "serious" seas.* Bar stools in a 30-to-60-foot-or -whatever*boat?* Hah!* S'pose that's good enough in the marina.*

That's what we need, the captain knocking himself unconscious falling out of his chair!
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Old 11-28-2010, 09:19 PM   #23
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Upper vs Lower Helm

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:

Here is the helm deck of Moonstruck with our deck officers on duty (my 2 grandsons).*
You're giving your Grandsons an*incredible experience, which will benefit their whole lifetime.

*


-- Edited by markpierce on Sunday 28th of November 2010 10:20:06 PM
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:11 PM   #24
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Upper vs Lower Helm

Quote:
markpierce wrote:

I've seen enough people fall with their chairs in 600-to-1000-foot*cruising ships in dining rooms during "serious" seas.* Bar stools in a 30-to-60-foot-or -whatever*boat?* Hah!* S'pose that's good enough in the marina.
Speak for yourself.* If you're dumb enough to sit in a chair when things get rough then you deserve to fall on your head and knock yourself out.* That might be the way you think things work, but it's not the way I think things work.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Sunday 28th of November 2010 11:13:55 PM
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:23 PM   #25
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Quote:
Marin wrote:


markpierce wrote:

I've seen enough people fall with their chairs in 600-to-1000-foot*cruising ships in dining rooms during "serious" seas.* Bar stools in a 30-to-60-foot-or -whatever*boat?* Hah!* S'pose that's good enough in the marina.
Speak for yourself.* If you're dumb enough to sit in a chair when things get rough then you deserve to fall on your head and knock yourself out.* That might be the way you think things work, but it's not the way I think things work.
Marin, I'll give you the benefit of doubt you didn't understand my message.* I thought it was obvious: I was not a supporter of unsecured stools or chairs.

*
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:45 PM   #26
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:
Here is the helm deck of Moonstruck with our deck officers on duty (my 2 grandsons).
I have to show off my grandson too!


*
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:23 AM   #27
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

The fun begins when the fly bridge is totally enclosed and then air cond is pumped in.

A proper designed pilot house would offer the advantages at bridges, scoot under , rather than wait till opening time.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:27 AM   #28
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:

I have to show off my grandson too!



*
Seahorse, I was just showing the helm deck for demonstration purposes.* OK, I guess it was a little sneaky.

One of the great things about boating is that it can be shared with family and friends.* Your grandson will never forget these times.

*
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Old 11-29-2010, 07:08 AM   #29
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Volunteer has a "snack bar" on the salon side that separates the salon and galley, the two movable bar stools are the most sought after seats on the boat when not underway. When the boat is underway and I expect beam rolling I had a bungee under the counter that is connected at both ends of the bar that went around the backs of the stools and kept them from becoming projectiles. We would get caught unaware every so often and the un bungeed stools would topple on a big "tanker" wave. The attraction to the stools as they were on of the three "movable" pieces of furniture on the boat and could be placed in different spots.
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Old 11-29-2010, 08:13 AM   #30
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

When the going gets rough I'm often standing, especially in a troublesome following sea so I can better feel the boat move and adjust the helm accordingly. In a large beam sea I*normally sit since the stabilizers remove most movement and the AP is*in its comfort zone.*

I believe it is called "standing watch" for a reason.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:04 AM   #31
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:Seahorse, I was just showing the helm deck for demonstration purposes.* OK, I guess it was a little sneaky.
Don:* I was just pulling your leg.. It's great to see other Grandpas enjoying the
Grandkids. (And yes, I was showing off.)

*
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:02 AM   #32
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Seahorse, no offense taken.* I should have put a smiley on mine.* The problem with these types of communications is there is no inflection.* Without*connotations it is hard to tell the true meanings of messages.

Things can wind up with a different meaning than they were intended to have.* That being said, isn't it great when grandkids ask to spend time with grand parents?

Back to the subject at hand.* I love sitting up on a fly bridge, but as we get a little older, we need to be available for qucker access, and the sun has taken its toll after 40 years of boating.* At this stage a pilot house just makes more sense.* As FF said, getting under most bridges without having them raised is a big plus.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:35 AM   #33
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Having a fly bridge and/or using it might be a health/safety issue.* Being a live aboard and/or older with sun damaged skin our doctors have advised to stay out of the sun as much as possible.* Several of our neighbors have had spots removed and we have several that are check each year.* Also as you get older climbing ladders/step stairs becomes an issue, using the lower helm keeps you close to the people/boat/dock, and prevents people climbing around on the boat.* If we had a command bridge we could/would not use it.* Besides the pilot house is air conditioned and heated.**
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Old 11-29-2010, 11:00 AM   #34
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:I love sitting up on a fly bridge, but as we get a little older, we need to be available for qucker access,
That is my prime reason for not having a flybridge although I loved them years
ago. I don't miss all the canvas either.


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Old 11-29-2010, 02:46 PM   #35
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Upper vs Lower Helm

This is such an interesting discussion!

We have had our boat just under three months and have put a little over 30 hours on it.* We fully expected to do most of our driving from the flybridge as we imagined the visibility from the lower helm would be poor.* We were pleasantly surprised that the lower helm visibility is fine and we have driven from down there quite a bit.* It mostly has depended how far we have to go.* Short trips we usually stay up top; longer trips we are below where we can keep an eye and ear on things and we are closer to all the "amenities."*

We have struggled with seating at the lower helm.* Our galley is down and our saloon has an L shaped settee with a movable, adjustable height table.* It has rubber feet and has yet to slide from where we place it.* It finally occurred to us to place it as our "helmseat" and it makes a nice bench with plenty of room for both of us.**A backrest would be nice but it isn't half bad.* We tend to move around a lot on watch anyway, standing to look out all the ports frequently and that type of thing, so it is okay so far.* The upper helm is more comfortable for the driver as there is a very nice helmsman's chair, though*the other seating with backrests faces sideways.*

I am glad to have both, personally!

-- Edited by Pineapple Girl on Monday 29th of November 2010 03:49:25 PM
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:03 PM   #36
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

We love running the boat from the fly bridge. Its much better visibility. You can spot objects and grass clumps in the water much much better from that vantage point. It also affords more 360 deg visibility too as the cabin house is not surrounding you.
We do run the boat from the main salon when the weather is bad and cold. Another advantage of running from down below is when you anticipate a lot of roll in the sea, since you are located closer to the center of gravity in the boat.

I'm in the process of putting in all new electronics so that I have the same capability in both steering stations. I dont have this now.

I installed a stereo system that has a remote control capability mounted on the fly bridge. This allows me to volume control and mute which I consider an essential safety feature. Allows me to correctly use and hear the VHF radio and especially for docking to communicate to the deck hands.

If you use VHF radios that have remote mics, you can have dual VHF radios at each location as well....one on Ch 16 and one on 13 for example.
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Old 11-29-2010, 03:29 PM   #37
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

Having had a boat that had no flybridge for 22 years, we now enjoy the ability to chose which helm to use based upon weather and visibility. With only a lower helm on the old boat, the person at the helm always felt confined and isolated from, and not in touch with, guests and crew who tended to congregate in the cockpit or the aft end of the wheelhouse. And visibility for the things in the water that might go bump is definitely better from the bridge, as well as added square footage of living/entertaining space. When our mobility decreases with age/health we may have to use the lower helm more or go back to a no flybridge boat but, until then, we are enjoying what we have.
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:18 PM   #38
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

In the three years we've had the boat, Ive only used the lower station twice. However, I like having the option, and I expect to use it more often in the coming years. Because of the way I have the sofa, there is no way to put seating in for the lower station, and standing for hours on end can get tiring.
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Old 11-29-2010, 09:24 PM   #39
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Upper vs Lower Helm

Personally, I overheat easily, therefore the flybridge would never be my choice, except on a seventy degree, overcast day. I enjoy the shade, the proximity to the refrigerator, and full electronics.*

If, however, I didn't have two forward facing seats in the pilothouse, I would likely insist on a hard topped bimini topside, so myself and the admiral could both look ahead. Fortunately, as we began our search for the perfect boat, we discovered that most boats did not offer two seats facing forward with equal visibility. That became one of our primary criteria. Why should the admiral sit at the dinette, with no forward visibility?


On that rare, perfect northwest day, we will go topside and let the wind hit us in the face. Ahhh...!!!! Not only do we enjoy those particularly fine rides, but you can't beat the view from topside when entering unfamiliar or particularly tight mooring quarters. Being able to see both ends of the boat without moving is really nice.


Bottom line is that it is really nice to have the option of flybridge or pilothouse.


-- Edited by Carey on Monday 29th of November 2010 10:27:06 PM
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:05 PM   #40
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RE: Upper vs Lower Helm

We love the flybridge and upper helm.* It was on our short list of requirements when looking for this boat.* When we were negotiating for our boat, there was another Westcoast 46 next to her with a radar arch, hardtop and full canvas.* It gave a huge covered area and was warm on a mid March day.

My wife lobbied hard for adding the same setup and she was right.* It adds a lot of usable space in Northwest spring and fall weather.* I thought that I would run mainly from the lower helm, but we spend almost all of our time up above.* Attached are before and after pictures.
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