Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-30-2020, 10:57 PM   #1
Veteran Member
City: Portland
Vessel Name: TBD
Vessel Model: TBD
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 33
Port-side lower helm

Hey all - looking at a 42' Uniflite with lower helm and optional slider ... I'm a bit new to the "bigger boat" world and curious if there are issues to a port-side lower helm. Seems like it could be a docking inconvenience/disadvantage since almost all of the lower helms I see are starboard. The boat is a good fit for us otherwise, but would be our first big boat, and don't want to make a misstep if I can avoid it. Appreciate the feedback.


JohnO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2020, 11:20 PM   #2
Senior Member
Sabre602's Avatar
City: NW Washington State
Vessel Name: Kingfisher
Vessel Model: 37' converted gillnetter/crabber
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 426
Whether the helm is port, midships or starboard is utterly immaterial. What difference could there possibly be? Every slip has one boat that ties starboard side and one that's port side tied. There are certainly owners who prefer to tie on the same side as the helm, and may express some preference when selecting a slip in the marina, but the slips are equally divided so neither side has an advantage. After becoming comfortable with the boat it doesn't matter anyway.

Anson & Donna

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~The Dalai Lama
Sabre602 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2020, 11:28 PM   #3
C lectric's Avatar
City: Gibsons, B.C.
Vessel Name: Island Pride
Vessel Model: xxxx
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,210
I have a Prt side helm. No big deal. You simply learn to operate from the other side. And for the docking you will have to learn to do both side dockings regularily. The only time you will be docking the same way is in your own slip. NO big deal.

The only real question is the objection that if you and another boat are on conflicting courses and you are in the give way position then the port side helm is a bit of a liability as you may not see the other vessel quite as easily.

However, I have had my port side helm for a lot of years and as far as I can tell if you pay attention it really is not a problem.

Not only Uniflites are this way but some older Tollycrafts and fishing boats which is the basis for mine.

Almost forgot I have also known more than just a few with Uniflites and they never had problems as far as I know.
C lectric is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2020, 11:46 PM   #4
AlaskaProf's Avatar
City: Tacoma, WA & Ashland, OR
Vessel Name: SEEADLER
Vessel Model: RAWSON 41
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,399
Port v. Starboard isn't the issue. Either work equally well IF the other features of the boat are aligned to favor the same side. I.e.:

My boat has starboard helm--cabin door is on the right. The bridge helm is centered, of course, but one can only descend on the starboard side. The gates in my rail are on the right. My shore power inlet? Right. Pump guessed it. Fuel, water...yup, right.

Not to say I can only dock to starboard, back-in to left is satisfactory, but once one arrives, your access and services need to face the dock, and that's the side on which you want the helm.
AlaskaProf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2020, 12:24 AM   #5
Veteran Member
Bill V's Avatar
City: Lynden
Vessel Name: Joint Venture
Vessel Model: 1978 GlasPly 2800 mid cabin
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 39
My boat originally had a center helm on the bridge and a starboard helm in the cabin. In 16 years of ownership I used the lower helm once. Decided it was useless for me, couldn't see the water very well and a year later removed it during a cabin remodel. Never have wished it was back, run from the upper helm now or we stay in harbor if weather too bad. I like the ability to see the water and what is in front of me too much.
"Joint Venture" 1978 midcabin 2800, twin 2017 Vortec roller cam "bullet proof" 383/6.3L full roller 350hp engines
Bill V is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2020, 01:23 AM   #6
Veteran Member
City: Portland
Vessel Name: TBD
Vessel Model: TBD
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 33
Thanks for the great feedback everybody - really appreciate it!
JohnO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2020, 08:47 AM   #7
TF Site Team
Bacchus's Avatar
City: Seneca Lake NY
Vessel Name: Bacchus
Vessel Model: MS 34 HT Trawler
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 4,508
Only reason to be an advantage or disadvantage is IF a single, prop walk may favor docking one side or the other. If it backs to port I can see where port side door could be a plus.

2008 MS 34 HT Trawler
Bacchus is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Trawler Port Captains
Port Captains are TF volunteers who can serve as local guides or assist with local arrangements and information. Search below to locate Port Captains near your destination. To learn more about this program read here: TF Port Captain Program

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012