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Old 01-14-2021, 06:05 PM   #1
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Helm Height

Curious what height folks like their helm to be in a standing position. I have a 40 motorsailor and am considering doing some steering changes.
My helm is 28 and the top of the wheel comes to just below my sternum. This makes me have to lean over considerably to grab the lower portion of the wheel. Which means Im not looking where I am going for an instant. I was thinking about raising it six or 7 inches. Visibility will be effected but just for stuff on top of the helm station
Top of the wheel would be about armpit high.
I think physically I will have more command at this height. Any opinions. Ha!
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:09 PM   #2
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I think I'd find that uncomfortably high, as it would be hard to use a single hand on top of the wheel for small adjustments. I'd have to measure my wheel to be sure, but I think it's 24". Mine is also around sternum height when standing. Personally, I rarely reach for the lower part of the wheel, and if I do, my hand is usually not all the way out at the edge.



As far as height goes, my shoulders and head are only about 2 inches lower when sitting vs standing at my helm, so wheel reach is good for either.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:42 PM   #3
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It is the rare instance that I need to grab near the bottom of my wheel or any boat I have steered.


I think sternum high might be perfect or in other words where my arms comfortably fall with elbows bent and hands resting on top of the wheel.
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Old 01-14-2021, 06:54 PM   #4
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My upper helm wheel (6 spoke SS destroyer style) is 28 inches too. Hydraulic so not much resistance. 5 turns lock to lock. Only time there is a lot of wheel turning going on is docking. Ill reach down a side about halfway between the hub and the rim and spin the wheel. Never the bottom of the wheel unless I'm sitting and steering with my feet.
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Old 01-14-2021, 07:35 PM   #5
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One of the first things I did to Willy was raise the helm about 3”.
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Old 01-14-2021, 08:42 PM   #6
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Builder's height works for 5'8" me.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:14 PM   #7
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Builder's height works for 5'8" me.
Good to see a picture. I'd say mine is at a similar height or a hair higher. Looks like exactly the same wheel as well.
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Old 01-14-2021, 09:19 PM   #8
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Mark,
What percentage of the time at the helm do you stand?

Probably about 5%?
I always thought you were taller.
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Old 01-14-2021, 10:21 PM   #9
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Is the wheel hard to turn? As previously mentioned, I just used a couple of fingers on a spoke, pretty close to the hub if I needed to go hard over quickly. As Psneeld said, I also liked having the top of the wheel come to hand comfortably. My wife is about 8 inches shorter than I and was equally comfortable with the wheel position. Unlike me she much prefers piloting with the wheel rather than the autopilot remote.

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Old 01-14-2021, 10:44 PM   #10
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Mark,
What percentage of the time at the helm do you stand?

Probably about 5%?
I always thought you were taller.
Stand about one-fourth of the time. Often cruise with autopilot. Even then, strolling in the pilothouse looking.

Never tall. Always second shortest at school. Meanwhile, I'm shrinking.
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Old 01-15-2021, 12:05 AM   #11
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Don't think I've ever grabbed the bottom half of the wheel. For more than modest adjustments, I push the port or starboard putton on the autopilot and it moves the rudder faster than I can crank it over.

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Old 01-15-2021, 06:23 AM   #12
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"Which means I’m not looking where I am going for an instant."

SO? What is the danger? Docking ?

At 6 mph the vessel will travel about 9 feet in one second.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Mark,
What percentage of the time at the helm do you stand?

Probably about 5%?
I always thought you were taller.
He sounds taller on the phone?
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:26 AM   #14
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I have a folding booster step for cruising. I fold it away prior to docking maneuvers.
Top of my wheel is about sternum and I am 5'7" so I guess that is about right.
(step folded away.)
With step extended, the top of the 24" destroyer type wheel is about waist high. Much easier to see the foredeck.
(I was supposed to be 6' tall but, i settled in shipping.)
I am still hoping to find an old fashion wood helm wheel.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:35 AM   #15
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Touch the wheel? Perish the thought.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:14 AM   #16
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You can come over on Saturday and measure until your heart is content...
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:15 AM   #17
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The top of my wheel is at 48". My helm seat is at 33". Top of Instrumentation at the center of my console is 61.5". This allows a 5'6" person to see the bow of the boat and beyond while standing. I can email or PM the design layout and measurements if you like. I'm having a particularly difficult time attaching photos to this post.
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Old 01-15-2021, 10:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
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The top of my wheel is at 48". My helm seat is at 33". Top of Instrumentation at the center of my console is 61.5". This allows a 5'6" person to see the bow of the boat and beyond while standing. I can email or PM the design layout and measurements if you like. I'm having a particularly difficult time attaching photos to this post.

Good thought on providing measurements. I'll be at the boat tonight or tomorrow, so I'll pull out the tape measure while I'm there.
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Old 01-15-2021, 11:45 AM   #19
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The only time I use the bottom of the wheel is as a foot rest. Try adding a speed knob is you need fast turning.
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Old 01-15-2021, 01:06 PM   #20
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Thanks Irene!
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