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Old 04-11-2013, 11:42 AM   #1
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Folding Helm Seat, lower station

I know this has been covered before, but search does not come up with what I am looking for. I would like to build a folding helm seat for the lower station. As it is now, I either stand or sit on the gallley counter. I want to mount it on the end of the galley base cabinet and to fold down out of the way so we can still go in and out the side cabin door, but would like it substantial enough to be comfortable for operating below for hours. Anyone have pics of what they've done? Thanks
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:54 AM   #2
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I know this has been covered before, but search does not come up with what I am looking for. I would like to build a folding helm seat for the lower station. As it is now, I either stand or sit on the gallley counter. I want to mount it on the end of the galley base cabinet and to fold down out of the way so we can still go in and out the side cabin door, but would like it substantial enough to be comfortable for operating below for hours. Anyone have pics of what they've done? Thanks
I use a tall wooden director's chair that folds up. I can put it out of the way in the bilge when I don't need it. I've only used it a couple times because it's not very comfortable and it's not fastened down. I would stand up for rough seas.

I can't show you anything, but you might start out by looking at commercially available folding seats and trying to copy the design.

Remember to account not only for the weight of the person sitting in the chai, but the side to side forces you would encounter in rough water.
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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I don't know the layout of your boat, but perhaps something like this would work (or at least give you some ideas). The link includes directions and several photos of the project in progress: http://www.nentoa.org/ideas/whj_helm_seat.html

Here are pics of the finished seat:


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Old 04-12-2013, 12:50 AM   #4
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Thanks Carolena, that gives me some ideas. I like that it folds down and out of the way. I am going down to the boat this weekend for some measuring and head scratching.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Simmons View Post
I know this has been covered before, but search does not come up with what I am looking for. I would like to build a folding helm seat for the lower station. As it is now, I either stand or sit on the gallley counter. I want to mount it on the end of the galley base cabinet and to fold down out of the way so we can still go in and out the side cabin door, but would like it substantial enough to be comfortable for operating below for hours. Anyone have pics of what they've done? Thanks
Max, you could have been describing my set-up there, but I have never though to take pics of it, as it is a very functional, albeit not very sexy arrangement, but if I'm down at the boat this weekend, and I probably will be, I will take picss of it, because it does seem to be exactly the type of adaptation you are talking about. it is great to be able to sit down at the helm for longer stints, especially as we drive from there the bulk of the time, but no room to mount a really well-padded permanent helm seat, or access/egress in and out of the pilot door would be tricky, to say the least. Watch this space....
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:02 AM   #6
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My IG has exactly that, factory fitted. The backrest stays where it is, the hinged base can drop 90 degrees from horizontal, it has 2 support brackets, hinged on the vertical, which rotate in/out 90deg. for support, or not, like a "Pembroke" type antique table with drop down side extensions, if that helps. There is a footrest on the helm bulkhead. Helm door is adjacent.
Could well be copied from a GB.Like Peter, no pics, will try to get some.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:29 AM   #7
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I'm interested in the folding design as well.
Mine is fixed in place but fairly small to allow standing room in front but there isn't quite enough room to either sit or stand comfortably.

I am also considering adding a seat belt for rough water. I haven't seen one on a boat before, but I'm not sure why. I would not want to be thrown out of position at a time when absolute control is required.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:39 AM   #8
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I'm interested in the folding design as well.
Mine is fixed in place but fairly small to allow standing room in front but there isn't quite enough room to either sit or stand comfortably.

I am also considering adding a seat belt for rough water. I haven't seen one on a boat before, but I'm not sure why. I would not want to be thrown out of position at a time when absolute control is required.
The Dashew's vessel, Windhorse has seatbelts fitted, for exactly that reason. But they go open ocean all the time.
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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My IG has exactly that, factory fitted.
My IG is also factory made. It sits atop the refrigerator and the whole seat is hinged so that it can rotate forward where the back of the seat rests on the helm. This creates more counter space when at anchor or in the slip.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:01 AM   #10
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^^^^^^ Pretty cool Walt! I like it.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:12 AM   #11
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............I am also considering adding a seat belt for rough water. I haven't seen one on a boat before, but I'm not sure why. I would not want to be thrown out of position at a time when absolute control is required.
That's an interesting thought. I was going to suggest arms on the chair for the same reason.

In any event, a seat should take into account the lateral force that could happen in rough seas. A normal chair or seat intended for a home or business would only take into account vertical loads. Put a 250 lb. person on the top of a three foot post and send him out to sea and there could be quite a horizontal load on the seat.

My Camano came with a floor socket for a lower helm seat but I was never able to trace the manufacturer or seat. It had a 3" or so post. I removed it and filled the hole when I redid the floor.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:24 AM   #12
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My IG is also factory made. It sits atop the refrigerator and the whole seat is hinged so that it can rotate forward where the back of the seat rests on the helm. This creates more counter space when at anchor or in the slip.
That is exactly the way the seat works on our Nordic Tug. The bench on the helm side slides back to give tons of standing room and room to go through the pilot house door, but it also slides forward so you can reach the wheel from the seat. My favorite position is with the seat back, feet up on the helm, and the autopilot remote in hand. The folding seat in the pictures I posted was made by the owner because even when slid forward the seat is still a bit of a distance from the wheel, and quite a bit higher. We do have fold down foot rests. The same seat is on the other side of the pilot house for passengers, but that one is fixed and doesn't adjust forward.
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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Hmmm, I like it Walt; Looks like I've got another project on the list.
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:09 PM   #14
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I am also considering adding a seat belt for rough water. I haven't seen one on a boat before, but I'm not sure why.
The small boats used by the Coast Guard and most other Law Enforcement and First Responders have seat belts. In heavy weather, the CG crews wear helmets, too. And need them.

Keep those ideas for helm seats coming, I'm looking at the same issues as the OP.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:17 PM   #15
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I thought of a seat belt too. Could be just an eye bolt fixed to the side of the cabin just left of the helm seat. When it gets rough it's hard to stay in the seat so I usually stand but that gets old after over an hour. I had the thought ther'e must be something unsafe about the idea.
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Old 04-12-2013, 10:33 PM   #16
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I am also considering adding a seat belt for rough water. I haven't seen one on a boat before, but I'm not sure why. I would not want to be thrown out of position at a time when absolute control is required.
In that weather you will almost certainly be standing not sitting, and won`t need a belt.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:39 PM   #17
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The Coot has a folding-leaf bench seat (can sit two) for the helmsman and a cuddling assistant.

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Old 04-13-2013, 07:30 AM   #18
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Helm seat down:


Helm seat up. There is an identical folding seat on the port side.



And a bench behind:
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:34 AM   #19
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In that weather you will almost certainly be standing not sitting, and won`t need a belt.
Standing for hours on end gets a bit trying. What I currently do after a while is sit at 45 degrees with my foot stretched out against the bulkhead, wedging myself into the corner. Not the most comfortable but it keeps me in my place.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:45 AM   #20
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Dave,
I like your seat a lot ..... and the fact that it seats two .... and the rest of the layout that I can see. Great boats those Roughrider's. We had an Albin 25 that had a bench seat for two and have missed it ever since. I love your glossy white overhead too. Never seen a FG boat that had an overhead looking that good ... and nautical too. I'm going to get my adobe flash player installed so I can look at your other pics as well. Thanks for posting.
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