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Old 07-28-2016, 01:37 PM   #1
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Temporary/occasional flybridge?

I have decided that I do not really need or want a flybridge most of the time, but occasionally, it would come in handy.
If I should end up purchasing a trawler with a flybridge ..... no problem. I can use it or not, at my discretion.
If I end up with a boat without flybridge, I would like to be able to climb up on the roof of the pilothouse when really needed (eg., coral heads in the Bahamas / rocky passages in Georgian Bay and the North Channel) and still have full control. I know I can use the autopilot remote for steerage, but does anyone have a good suggestion for remote control of the engine and bow thruster?

I have this romantic notion of a very comfortable lounging chair up there, with big umbrella, and me with a tall drink in one hand, non-alcoholic of course, and a control unit in the other. Perhaps even a modern version of the crows nest?

Can it be done, this side of a million dollars?
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:42 PM   #2
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Have seen several cruisers on the pilothouse top in deck chairs presumably with an autopilot remote......if needed engine controls could be added in a variety of ways, but not really needed on a slow boat.

Their smile was the same as everyone else's cruising so it couldn't be a bad thing.
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:57 PM   #3
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Thanks!
Sometimes, I will need the ability to at least stop and reverse in tight passages, so I would prefer to have full engine control up there.
I could, of course, simply (?) add traditional morse/cable engine control, but, by the time I am finished, I may as well have gone the full flybridge route.
What I am hoping for, I guess, is a more modern approach with some sort of electronic wireless remote, which could then also be used on the foredeck, for example.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:34 PM   #4
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My neighbour has a 63' Hatteras that he backs into the slip while standing on the swim platform with a full remote control unit in his hands
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:37 PM   #5
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I believe BandB and Capt Bill have in the past mentioned knoledge of the total control system...maybe Twistedtree too.

Wait for them or try a PM if you need it quick.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
My neighbour has a 63' Hatteras that he backs into the slip while standing on the swim platform with a full remote control unit in his hands
OK, so it IS possible - thanks!
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:46 PM   #7
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psneeld : thanks, I will wait and see if they, or someone else, chimes in with a specific brand or device.
(Wouldn't surprise me if I could do it all from my iPhone, LOL! ..... "There's an app for that!")
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:52 PM   #8
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i walked by this one in the marina the other day......got me to thinking. It's just enough to do and be what you are suggesting.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:54 PM   #9
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Love it!
Looks like a baby's high chair with toy steering wheel!
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Old 07-28-2016, 03:13 PM   #10
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Interesting idea. But the boats we're looking at only have a flybridge and I can see some value in having controls in the salon for those cold rainy days when you have to keep running. In protected waters of course.
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Old 07-28-2016, 07:15 PM   #11
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Sorry folks, I should have done a little more googling before asking here!
I just found two such electronic, wireless remote cotrol systems. The hand-held units can control two engines, rwo thrusters, and two anchors, from anywhere on the boat! I still prefer to put my trust in a mechanical device, but these things would sure help a solo mariner, such as myself. I can imagine how much easier it might be, say, picking up a mooring, standing at the bow, with full control of engines and thrusters.
My primary interest, however, is for a "pseudo flybridge" application.

The two units I found are yachtcontroller.com, and astel-marine.com
No, I didn't get pricing information, but I bet they are not giving them away!
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:33 PM   #12
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I don't have wireless control of the engines but do have a wireless controller for the bow thruster. I love it because it gives me the freedom of being able to stand up while maneuvering in close quarters and not having to fumble around for the helm-mounted thruster controls.
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Old 07-28-2016, 09:57 PM   #13
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I have seen several boats with full engine, gear, and two thruster controls from a little handheld unit. Usually pretty good sized boats but the controllers are available.
No idea how many $ or what the mods. entail.
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:18 AM   #14
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I would loop exit a full handheld control unit that I could use from anywhere on the boat. I have used the flybridge a lot for stern tie anchoring this week. However the flybridge is a long way from where the action is. Not a problem. I was I have lots of hands on board, could be more difficult with just the two of us in some situations if one of us is up on the flybridge.
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Old 07-29-2016, 10:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowGypsy View Post
Love it!
Looks like a baby's high chair with toy steering wheel!
That's funny!
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Old 07-29-2016, 12:47 PM   #16
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A lot of the cost of a remote control will be in how your future vessel is set up regarding steering and engine controls.

If it has a auto pilot that will make installation easier / cheaper
If it has electronic controls that will make installation easier / cheaper
If it has a joystick controller that will make installation easier / cheaper

If these items are in place than there will be less additional cost for actuators.

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Old 07-29-2016, 12:55 PM   #17
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Right! - and most of the boats I have been looking at have only simple mechanical engine controls. I will have an autopilot anyway, so remote steering is easy enough, but I really want remote control of forward/reverse/throttle, and that will require at least basic electronic controls at that level.
And I thought boating was supposed to be an inexpensive hobby! LOL!
(I had that notion knocked out of me some fifty five years ago!)
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Old 07-29-2016, 01:12 PM   #18
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Sometimes I put a deck chair up on the pilothouse when I'm feeling outdoorsy and use my remote AP to steer. Last time I did this I almost ran over a sand bar and spilt my beer trying to hustle back down to the helm, and then the wind blew the chair overboard.

So the moral of the story is, don't do that with alcoholic beverages obviously.

Cost:
Deck chair (actually just a bag chair)-- $10
Raymarine wireless smartcontroller with depth for autopilot-- $487
The ability to say I have a flybridge-- priceless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowGypsy View Post
I have decided that I do not really need or want a flybridge most of the time, but occasionally, it would come in handy.
If I should end up purchasing a trawler with a flybridge ..... no problem. I can use it or not, at my discretion.
If I end up with a boat without flybridge, I would like to be able to climb up on the roof of the pilothouse when really needed (eg., coral heads in the Bahamas / rocky passages in Georgian Bay and the North Channel) and still have full control. I know I can use the autopilot remote for steerage, but does anyone have a good suggestion for remote control of the engine and bow thruster?

I have this romantic notion of a very comfortable lounging chair up there, with big umbrella, and me with a tall drink in one hand, non-alcoholic of course, and a control unit in the other. Perhaps even a modern version of the crows nest?

Can it be done, this side of a million dollars?
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cardude01 View Post
Sometimes I put a deck chair up on the pilothouse when I'm feeling outdoorsy and use my remote AP to steer. Last time I did this I almost ran over a sand bar and spilt my beer trying to hustle back down to the helm, and then the wind blew the chair overboard.

So the moral of the story is, don't do that with alcoholic beverages obviously.

Cost:
Deck chair (actually just a bag chair)-- $10
Raymarine wireless smartcontroller with depth for autopilot-- $487
The ability to say I have a flybridge-- priceless!
Hahaha, nice. Sounds like my kind of day on the water.
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Old 07-29-2016, 02:40 PM   #20
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Probably for safety a wire controlled "engine stop" would be all one would need for most all situations while on the rooftop w an autopilot control. One could scrample down off the rooftop to the helm and restart the engine in a second or so.

Or running my Willard this way sitting on the trunk cabin fwd w the window at the helm open I could reach my normal controls in 2 or 3 seconds. We have never needed anything like this boating in Alaska but in the very near future w temps in the high 80's it may be somewhat attractive. But there's no shade on the trunk cabin or the rooftop so I doubt I'll even think about it much less do it.
I did this on my Albin at times .... it had an AP.
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