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Old 12-01-2017, 04:40 PM   #61
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My AT, as do all others, have a port and starboard pilot house doors with a window that slides up and down. There are plenty of ATs out there with fly bridges, not mine.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:41 PM   #62
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Hi,

I think the side of the door can be partially replaced by a wireless remote-controlled bow and stern strusters, I mean you get the time to twist the rear door and can keep the boat attached to the berth, exaple single hand sail.

Maybe more invest and this system Yacht Controller - Wireless Remote Control of Your Yacht

NBs
I had a Yacht Controller on our previous boat. It controlled the engines, thruster, and anchor windlas. I run solo a lot, so it made tieing up the boat and other tight maneuvers much easier. Using it for anchor deployment and retrieval was also a benefit.
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Old 12-01-2017, 04:59 PM   #63
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the Yacht Controller looks expensive.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:11 PM   #64
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We seldom use our flybridge, much too uncomfortable when we are rolling in a beam sea. Lower helm, stbd. side door works for us.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:45 PM   #65
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Do you prefer blonds or brunettes? Steak or lobster?

I have upper and lower (not true pilothouse) helms. Lower has poor forward and aft visibility. I've used it a couple of times just to prove the controls work. Upper has unrestrcited 360 sight lines.

I boat in a sub-tropical climate. F/B is open with a bimini - despise oxygen tents. Deck access from F/B has steps, not a ladder. Single handing is easy.

I have no mission critical requirements.

Yep - I rock'n'roll sometimes with a beam sea. Catch some rain on the F/B with a storm.
I guess, as a former blow boater, I'm used to it. Actually, I kind of like the weather - Type II fun.

Figure out what's important to you (and significant others) that will max your use and enjoyment of the boat.

But, I would caution, forget the idea of "adding a door" or other such mods. Yeah, it can be done. Sufficient infusions of time and money can probably turn a goat into a cow. Likely, though, it's not worth it and you probably will not enjoy the end result.

Buy the boat that satisfies your needs right out of the chute - there's plenty out there.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:54 PM   #66
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As time goes by I find the need for both lower helm and door. The knees, shoulders and back are going south so the bridge gets used mostly when at anchor.
On a long solo run the side door is a must have. I told you things are going south.
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:25 PM   #67
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Ahoy Y'all. Still trawler shopping for something in the 40'-44' range.
Question # 1: I've been pretty sure that one feature I definitely want is an inside helm. But I've seen a bunch of boats that were gorgeous, that we would have bought in a minute, except that they had no inside helm.
Question # 2:. Of the boats we've found that had an inside helm, some had an entry door right next to the helm station. Others did not. Any thoughts about how important that side entrance is?
Well, Scott, I think if you added up the votes, the answer is yes on both counts. Better to have both than not, essentially, and I totally endorse that also.

To my mind, the only sort of boat that one might argue only needs the upper helm, is if it is one not likely to be taken that far off shore. So no long cruises through mucky weather - day sailing mainly. Also, access up there must be quick and easy, and the boat ideally be able to go faster than most of ours on here. Why? Because those boats feel so much smoother on the semi-plane, they are not affected nearly as much by waves and wakes, as they skim over them, rather than roll with them. But even so, come getting caught out in mucky weather, and they would long for a lower helm.

The down side to this type is the folk up on the flybridge seem blissfully aware of the havoc they can often create behind them, because it all feels so smooth to them. So, unless they've travelled previously in slower boats, and been rocked violently by passing semi-planers, (full planers of smaller size not so much), they probably don't even realise what they are leaving behind them. This is not a dig at anyone, but just an observed fact, as I'm sure it is usually unintentional. We have on occasions been rocked so badly by a wake I hate to think what might have happened if we had been up top at the time. Worse still, if in transition from up to down or vice versa, and not seen it coming in time to take the evasive action we usually resort to. However, something to be remembered is in a seaway, they are coming at you all the time, not just in groups of 3-4 like wakes.
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:09 AM   #68
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My AT, as do all others, have a port and starboard pilot house doors with a window that slides up and down. There are plenty of ATs out there with fly bridges, not mine.

Hi,

With a slight change and a movable bench, you could have ... see what a surprise I have in my Fux.

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NBs
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Old 12-02-2017, 12:16 AM   #69
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I had a Yacht Controller on our previous boat. It controlled the engines, thruster, and anchor windlas. I run solo a lot, so it made tieing up the boat and other tight maneuvers much easier. Using it for anchor deployment and retrieval was also a benefit.
I believe this, I asked the bid from yatch control the importer here in my NT and it was unfortunately so expensive here, about $ +8,000 installed, it was for me too much money vs. potential benefits.

If you have extra cash, then surely the Yacht control fine device will be used in many situations and will make the single hand operation really easy.

NBs
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:03 AM   #70
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That's exactly my thinking. As a soon to be ex-sailor I always set my boats up so I could single-hand them. Knowing I could 'get it don't all by myself in a pinch always gave me great peace of mind.
It's not impossible without a lower helm, with or without side door. There are occasional conditions where I might have to wait it out before docking at a transient marina... but usually it's easy enough. (Note, though: I have stairs from the flybridge, not a ladder.)


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That makes lots of sense to me. It seems to me that being up on a fly bridge in big seas might get really exciting. Not to mention if it raining and cold.
Yeah, long end of the pendulum swing. Usually mitigated by advance weather planning.


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Being able to get from the helm to the anchor quickly is of major importance to me. Not to mention getting to the dock lines as fast as possible when tying up.
As above; not usually a big deal.


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Been thinking about how I could install a heating​ system on a flybridge on whatever boat we buy.
Conceptually trivial, although the details could beat you up a bit. It's not uncommon to have a reverse cycle AC/heat unit servicing the flybridge. Retrofitting could be more difficult for routing ducting and raw water cooling, but usually not impossible. Maybe easier in a model where AC/heat on the bridge was an option offered for the original build.

Or household split systems mounted on a hardtop could maybe work; several threads about those on here, most commonly cited con seems to be exposure to salt air...

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Old 12-02-2017, 02:39 PM   #71
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I would think the simplest way to heat the briddge would be a basic electric heater, since the only time you are up there the engine will be running, so you've got plenty of power available.

You could also just install a vented hatch in the salon roof/bridge floor.
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:04 PM   #72
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Love the lower helm and side door on our Beneteau ST44, especially when the seas are rough. And the door makes it super easy to single hand (and also provides great ventilation on a nice day).

But of course, we are in San Francisco, with weather that practically begs for a lower helm at times.
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:44 PM   #73
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Inside helm is nice to have even in your climate to get out of a shower and to be with others while eating. Space should not be an issue in the size boat you are looking for, either. If I saw a boat that I really liked at a good price, and it had hydraulic steering, I would consider adding a BASIC lower "helm" for those few occasions. Steering, engine/transmission controls, small compass, idiot lights if no alarms above, autopilot shutoff. Nothing more. KISS
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Old 12-02-2017, 03:57 PM   #74
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I see a lot of vessels with a lower helm that has such poor comfort and forward visibility that they are almost useless as a helm. It's obvious the fly was where the boat was designed to be run from.

When shopping for my boat, one had pilothouse doors on both sides and one had it only on the starboard side. I desired both sides but the seller priced that boat out of reach for me and I wound up with one door. Now I realize on a boat the size of mine there would have been no benefit to doors on both sides and more air leakage would have been the result.

It is cold enough up here that only one PH door and a cored cabin are both pluses for heat retention. I am really pleased that I was able to find a PH design in a boat that I could afford, I was almost ready to settle for a NT. NT's are nice, but too much windage, too much power for the speeds that I want to run at, and premium price.
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Old 12-02-2017, 04:43 PM   #75
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... Now I realize on a boat the size of mine there would have been no benefit to doors on both sides and more air leakage would have been the result. ...
Air leakage? Wouldn't be any with rubber seals and securing dog latches.
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:36 PM   #76
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Not that kind of door, it's a slider. Hung from the top on rollers in a grooved bottom rail, someday an upgrade to UHMW over the teak but it is what it is for now. It doesn't leak unless the wind is hard from the starboard side... There is a gap at the back for the latching mechanism to be able to slide the door further back.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:19 PM   #77
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I had exactly the same problem when I closed up the isinglass side curtains during a rainstorm coming into Beaufort, NC. We had to choose between not being able to see a darned thing, or getting soaked and cold. Wasn't a fun few hours!
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:24 PM   #78
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Air leakage? Wouldn't be any with rubber seals and securing dog latches.
That's an awesome boat you have. Looks like the very best of both worlds.
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Old 12-02-2017, 06:31 PM   #79
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A side door becomes more important as the boat gets longer. On a small boat it only saves a few steps of going out the back. And if you have a partner to handle bow chores, it doesn't make a difference at all.

The point someone made about using the lower helm in rough seas is a good one. Rocking is a lot less severe at the lower helm than on the flybridge.
Single handing my Cal 39 down the ICW, there were more than one occasion when it was a Very long run from the helm up to the bow to drop the hook in strong wind and currents. I always prepared the anchor for the drop ahead of time, but I had to run back to the helm and reposition the boat more than once because it drifted off station before I could get up front and met the anchor go. And that was a direct run from the stern to the bow. If you add the distance out through an aft cabin door, around and down a couple of steps, and then finally up to the bow, it could get interesting. It doesn't sound like much, but when seconds count that can add a significant amount of time.
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:52 PM   #80
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Air leakage? Wouldn't be any with rubber seals and securing dog latches.
There's a huge difference between a $200,000+ passagemaker and a $50,000 coastal cruiser. If I had to shell out $200K to enter this game, I and many like me would still be sitting on the shoreline looking at boats longingly. Instead, we're out on the water enjoying them...air leaks and all.
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