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Old 05-16-2014, 10:25 PM   #41
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Well if your cruising grounds are the Delta and the Petaluma/Napa rivers and you enjoy looking at tules and levee bank rip rap all day, I suppose. Ditto a lot of the ICW. But up on a FB, there's a whole new world out there on the other side! Not to mention less glare off the water (very handy when cruising places like the Bahamas), better view of hazards, birds, etc etc. ...
One step to starboard from the helm onto the deck, results in a wonderful, unobstructed view of the Sonoma County landscape (along the Petaluma River), a beautiful GB42 (with flying bridge unoccupied), and my Sweetie:

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Old 05-16-2014, 10:38 PM   #42
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One step to starboard from the helm onto the deck, results in a wonderful, unobstructed view of the Sonoma County landscape (along the Petaluma River), a beautiful GB42 (with flying bridge unoccupied), and my Sweetie:


Well in the delta y'all have brown water. Here in the Keys and Bahamas we have blue-water which makes for great scenery on a nice sunny day.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:47 PM   #43
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Touche. Yes, our waters tend to be murky and nutrient-rich. After all, it's an estuary.

Al will attest to that:

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Old 05-16-2014, 11:03 PM   #44
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Touche. Yes, our waters tend to be murky and nutrient-rich. After all, it's an estuary.

Al will attest to that:


Good fishing here too.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:05 PM   #45
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I built mine with the lower helm primary, with a primitive flybridge. All the electronics are at the lower station. 95% of cruising is on lower station. Best to keep out of the sun, mostly. Visibility is good even planed out, which is unique on modern boats.

I am around a lot of Carolina boatbuilding, and the lower station is not practical on most modern Carolina boats. With the big hp, the bow rise is such that you can not see over the bow, even when past the "hump". The lower helm is of no use if you cannot see beyond the bow.

When I built mine, I took a typical 35' modified vee carolina bottom and stretched it 3feet. Kept it light, with modest hp, and engine more fwd than most. The vis from the lower station is good even at the hump (abt 12kts). Boat runs very flat through the whole speed range. The mix of compromises works.

My whole focus on a functioning lower station was borne from running a 2mil sportfish in cold weather. The mate and I had to take turns using our hands to melt the ice on the isenglass enclosure, freezing our butts off too. Meanwhile down below, nice heat and creature comforts. To me that was insane. So when I drew out mine, it had a functional lower station. The big gamble was the vis over the bow, and no way to tell of success until sea trial day. Gamble paid off.

Lower stations rock. Done right, that is.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:00 AM   #46
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There is one and only one reason to need to have both upper and lower helm!

Redundancy during special times that may require sudden safety measures!

There is one and only one reason to want to have both upper and lower helm!

Cause Ya Like IT That Way!!

BTW - To those who think a bridge ain't too great - Try it, you'll like it!!

I do bridge piloting 99.5%... But... I have a lower helm to utilize whenever desired or needed. I always start cold engines from lower helm so I can listen closely as they warm up. I also use lower helm whenever working on running engines/transmissions that rest under two huge, hinged hatches in salon sole. And, during that infrequent .05% of the time when weather becomes simply to abysmal to want to stay on bridge for piloting - the salon helm is simply great to stay warm and dry!

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Old 05-17-2014, 12:06 AM   #47
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I'll admit there are those who prefer to helm from high:



Nevertheless,

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Old 05-17-2014, 12:06 AM   #48
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At the risk of starting another controversy, I'll ask anyway. After owning 19 boats in the last 64 years, all with a single helm, is a lower helm station on a motor yacht just a waste of space and money? I just know I'm going to be sorry for asking this...............
My sisters Post doesn't even have a lower helm, or windshield, for that matter. My parent's Mainship lower helm has never been used as far as I know. You'd have to go out and pull the canvas off of the windshield. Of course, why would you without a pilothouse door?

That said, I don't even have an upper helm, nor would I want one with my size boat.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:17 AM   #49
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Barpilot, this thread promises to be a spirited one, I like it

Now if we could only find a way to include anchor selection it would have the makings of an epic thread.
We mostly use our flybridge for anchoring, and at anchor… :so cool:
Hardly ever use it on the move, unless an idyllic day and lots to see. I could easily do without and use that extra surface for solar panels. If you didn't have one, and had a good, well set up lower helm, you wouldn't really miss it most times, in my view.
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Old 05-17-2014, 01:17 AM   #50
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My last boat had only a flybridge helm and I really enjoyed driving from there, so when I ordered my current boat I made sure to have a fully-equipped bridge. But, I planned 5 other helm stations (pilot house, tower, port and starboard wing stations on the portuguese bridge, and cockpit) and find that 95% of my steering is done from the pilothouse. That stat is perhaps a little misleading, because most of the hours are on multi-day, offshore, 24-7 trips. On shorter duration cruises, much more time is spent on the Portuguese bridge. Many days, when the seas are calm and the weather is nice, we are in the tower. To my great surprise, the flybridge gets surprisingly little use. If it's nice, we are in the tower; if not its the PH. And for short periods in congested waters the portuguese bridge can't be beat.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:52 AM   #51
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Sigh……...
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:56 AM   #52
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If you didn't have one, and had a good, well set up lower helm,

Point of order sir. If you do not have 2 helms wouldn't you just have "a" helm?
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:10 AM   #53
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:30 AM   #54
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OK Mr. RT Firefly - Come clean! Do you or do you not!?!? The boating public wants to know!!
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:52 AM   #55
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Pilothouse with all doors open.

With our boating on Lake Michigan, much of the time we just go out on the lake only to return to our home slip. 180 degrees of nothing to avoid for miles and miles and after a few miles it is 360 degrees of freedom, so point the bow to make the wind and sun work exactly as desired. Last boat just had a bridge - gets lonely up there at the wrong times.

Chicago down the river the flybridge is great to judge the bridge clearances. Waiting for bridge tenders or lowering the mast is a no brainer. Some are still pretty close clearance.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:11 AM   #56
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Greetings,
Mr. A. Depends...

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Old 05-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #57
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Greetings,
Mr. A. Depends...

Simply TOOOO Much Info! - RT
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:47 AM   #58
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I hve never owned a vessel with a lower helm. It's always been on my most wanted option list. I now own a Gulfstar 36 dual helm trawler. I'm going to run it from both helms for 2 weeks. I would really like to remove the upper helm which would lower the boat's center of gravity. I need the real estate for a large solar charging system and I would like to have 2 solar water panels to create and circulate hot water. I sure could use the additional room above for my various KVH domes, antennas and NMEA2000 sensors. In addition it would give me a safe place to install the AIR-X wind turbine.
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Old 05-17-2014, 06:23 PM   #59
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Due to the nice weather we enjoy all year long, we use our fly bridge helm more often, than the lower station. Wouldn't bother me not to have a lower helm.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:38 PM   #60
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Point of order sir. If you do not have 2 helms wouldn't you just have "a" helm?
In reply to point of order…what I meant was…if you have a well set up lower helm, emphasis on the well set up, then…you really won't miss not having one upstairs. However, maybe I should add the rider, 'as long as your craft has good rear vision from down below'. I can understand boats with aft cabins like tri-cabin and sun-deck types, might well find close manoeuvring easier from the flybridge helm.
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