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Old 04-08-2017, 10:27 AM   #41
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Yes you do and it's cleaner than our dinning room at home.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:28 AM   #42
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Visibility?...I would compare it to a road vehicle. Over the years I have never had one I could see all four corners. Still manage to parallel park just fine. You get a feel for it. Like how far the swim platform sticks out etc. You could always put up tall orange plastic poles all the way around to assist you if its that bad ��
One word: Cameras.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:46 AM   #43
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Silly I know, but I very much enjoy sitting at the upper helm while at anchor or the dock and the wind, sleet and rain are pelting the vessel. Of course it helps that it is fully enclosed.
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:52 AM   #44
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I live in south Florida so to me an enclosed bridge is like driving from below. I want the fresh air, the smell is salt water, the feeling of being out doors.
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:40 AM   #45
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I live in south Florida so to me an enclosed bridge is like driving from below. I want the fresh air, the smell is salt water, the feeling of being out doors.
We enclose only in very cold weather. We do have a hardtop and wear sunscreen and try to protect ourselves but we also love the outdoors and the fresh air, especially when cruising. Even at marinas, we'll often be on the bridge until 9 o'clock. At 9, we take it inside as a courtesy to others at the marina
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Old 04-08-2017, 11:43 AM   #46
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I think the difference is in the length of the passage. When we took our first boat (sedan set up w/ flybridge) down the ICW I used the lower stations exclusively. We now have a pilot house w/ flybridge. Still use lower station exclusively. A few hours with the wind, noise, sun, etc. becomes fatiguing. Offshore, forget any upper helm except maybe the perfect trip to Bahamas, again 60-70-90 hrs offshore forget it.

So depends on your type of cruising. Short trips = great. Entertaining =great.
Scott has summarized my position. Can't imagine doing a 10 hour run or an overnight passage from the flybridge. Too many trips to the galley, head, and engine room checks.

At night, we rarely go out onto the deck and definitely not the flybridge. When necessary we do with PDFs in place and the second person well aware of the outside excursion.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:14 PM   #47
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Lower helm is great if you can stand the engine noise. Upper helm is ok if your'e not in a beam sea. They each have the good and bad points. If there was only one helm I would choose lower. Warmer and drier.

Or you select a boat that is quiet under way. :-)

I am in the upper left hand corner of the continental US so my weather and cruising grounds are entirely different from the OP.

I have both a FB and a PH. I have driven the boat from the FB only a handful of times in the year that we have owned the boat. Most of the time the weather is a bit chill to drive from the FB (that is one of the reasons I gave up sailing after all). When it isn't cold, those two days a year are too hot more my PNW blood and it isn't comfortable sitting in the sun trying to grow more skin cancer.

Most flybridges here in the PNW eventually get equipped with an oxygen tent to make them warmer and dryer and provide some shade. This helps with the cold but also dramatically increases the windage, maintenance, expense just so they can drive from a FB that often doesn't have the same Nav suite suite available, is further from the decks, rolls more in a sea, is further from hot coffee, a cold drink, or the head.

So, I'm not a real fan of FBs but admit that on those half dozen occasions we have used it, it was nice to have. However, you are on the opposite corner of the continental US. Your experience would be entirely different than mine. So I strongly suggest you don't read any of the above, it would be just a waste of your time. ;-)
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:28 PM   #48
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Pure personal opinion here but the only time I have used the inside helm was when the FB helm decided it was time to drain it's fluid coming across the Albemarle. I really enjoy being outside. My best electronics are up there but I do have inside read outs. I love the visibility, the dog likes the breeze and my wife enjoys looking around camera in hand. For me, docking is much easier being able to see both ends from one spot. It is also much easier to communicate (as well as eye contact) with dock hands and my wife when you can see who you are talking to.
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:45 PM   #49
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Pure personal opinion here but the only time I have used the inside helm was when the FB helm decided it was time to drain it's fluid coming across the Albemarle. I really enjoy being outside. My best electronics are up there but I do have inside read outs. I love the visibility, the dog likes the breeze and my wife enjoys looking around camera in hand. For me, docking is much easier being able to see both ends form one spot. It is also much easier to communicate (as well as eye contact) with dock hands and my wife when you can see who you are talking to.
Couldn't have said it better! Will add though... warm, dry climate does help a bunch! PNW sounds not correct area for much "bridge-play".
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:52 PM   #50
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So you dudes from the PNW, how many days a year can you boat in over 75 degree weather, five or six?
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:12 PM   #51
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So you dudes from the PNW, how many days a year can you boat in over 75 degree weather, five or six?
It rarely gets above freezing. No reason for anymore people to check it out. And OMG the logs, rocks and unmarked channels.
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Old 04-08-2017, 04:48 PM   #52
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Sunchaser

Down south we have a new breed of alligator that has such strong jaws they take big bites out of the hull on boats. These attacks are about 30 per week and the PR of the state tries to suppress this fact of these sinkings and the large gators eating the boaters so carpetbaggers with boats
from the north keep coming. You've been warned.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:06 PM   #53
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Our boat only has a helm on the flybridge. We looked for that specifically when our search was in progress. In place of the down helm is our dinette which we use all the time. As David posted above, in SoCal, a flybridge helm sure is nice!
When shopping for my last boat, a battlewagon sportfisher, I specifically wanted a flybridge helm only layout. That allowed much better use of interior space. During the day, with nice weather, that was the place to be. More often than not, however, the guy at the helm was alone, in the dark and relative cold, while everyone else was inside and warm. In retrospect, it made helm duty relatively less pleasant. With my current boat, I decided I wanted the best of both worlds -- pilot house and flybridge, with a tower thrown in for good measure. Now, during nice days, we drive from the tower and there is usually a group of four or 5 up there (the max it can comfortably accommodate), while at night, etc., we drive from the pilot house which becomes the center of action. As it turns out, the flybridge is now rarely used -- its usually either the tower or the pilothouse.

That said, I think it comes down quite a bit to location and use. In the warmer climates, with mostly day passages, the flybridge would be preferable to a pilot house. The rest of the time, however, I think the pilothouse will be the preferred location.
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:14 PM   #54
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Engine room checks

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Scott has summarized my position. Can't imagine doing a 10 hour run or an overnight passage from the flybridge. Too many trips to the galley, head, and engine room checks.

At night, we rarely go out onto the deck and definitely not the flybridge. When necessary we do with PDFs in place and the second person well aware of the outside excursion.
Marty,

Your comment about engine room checks got me wondering...I check the engine in the morning and typically don't go back down until the next morning. I do have two engine room cameras. Am I being to careless?

Gordon
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Old 04-08-2017, 05:19 PM   #55
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Marty,

Your comment about engine room checks got me wondering...I check the engine in the morning and typically don't go back down until the next morning. I do have two engine room cameras. Am I being to careless?

Gordon



Not careless just not paranoid.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:05 PM   #56
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I agree. A good friend checked his engine room every two hours. It seems he broke an oil hose shortly after checking and seized his engine.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:06 PM   #57
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I added an engine room camera that reduced my visits during the travel day.

Seeing the engine room win eyeball or camera is the best way to head off big issues...how often those visits are is debatetable, I think every hour or so is appropriate.

With the camera...a glance tells me the status of the majority of issues I worry about.
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:19 PM   #58
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Codger,

Are you in Sunroad? I think we saw your boat!
Yes, in deed!
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:21 PM   #59
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I agree. A good friend checked his engine room every two hours. It seems he broke an oil hose shortly after checking and seized his engine.




A simple oil pressure switch that shuts down the engine would be more sensible than checking the engine every 2 hours . I just don't get it I jump in my diesel 4x4 fill up the tank drive 10 hours at engine speeds that are 3 x that my Cummins cruses at then drive another 10 hours without looking under the bonnet .If my oil pressure or any other problem arises my dash lights come on am I missing something ???
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Old 04-08-2017, 06:25 PM   #60
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Not sure why you feel that way...but it doesn't jive with my lifetime of recreational and professionally running boats.

In my mind any auto shutdown of an engine is a bad idea. Just because an engine loses pressure doesn't mean an immediate shutdown is necessary as often there are preceeding indicators and throttling back can give you valuable moments necessary in tough situations.

I even don't like fire systems to auto shutdown.

Regular engine checks on vessels have saved the vessels and countless expensive repairs in my experience.

For every severe example of checking and missing something there is the opposite result. Not a valid excuse in my mind any more than going decades without medical checkups because sometimes they are too late to catch something.
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