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Old 03-12-2019, 07:50 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by O C Diver View Post
I don't have a flybridge, but with regard to docking, my stern docking station is an absolute winner. The station is located on the starboard side, allows me a clear line of sight down the starboard side, and unsurpassed vision on the stern. I normally back in or side tie. The station allows me to deploy a spring line without leaving the station and has easy access to the dock through the transom door and off the swim platform.

Attachment 86111

The station consists of a single lever engine and transmission control, a jog lever which controls the rudder through the autopilot, and the bow thruster control. While not common on boats, it wouldn't be difficult to add to most as the only cables are for engine and transmission controls. The jog lever and bow thruster controls are each a multi conductor single wire.

Attachment 86112

Ted
Ted,

Just LOVE those cockpit control stations.... That's one of my projects. Have the cable to connect to the shifter/throttle control (Glendenning, so dirt simple), and the remote thruster and AP. Just need to buy and mount the control head.

However, just don't need it that often.... even solo.

A question for you...
Is your SOP to stern in?
What is your technique into a slip with a side wind or current pushing you off the dock or out of the slip?
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:04 AM   #82
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As to the OPs original question....

My ideal boat would have an upper and lower station, with helm doors on both sides. I have than excepting a helm door on the port side, which isn't the end of the world.

I operate from the flybridge 95% of the time, except for docking or really short trips or bad weather. I'm working on redoing the flybridge for better rain, cold and wind protection (ref my posting about "adding a hardtop"). I like the idea of Makrolon or EZ 2CY to see thru when raining, and adding a forward extension for rain and sun protection. Then it would be 98% on the flybridge.

A flybridge is a MUST for me, it's so peaceful and quiet up there, and the view is just unsurpassed. I suppose there's some raised pilot house boats that give a 360d view and can open all the windows, which would be a close second.

And, yes, one can certainly dock from the flybridge, especially with a deck hand or no current/wind, and I've done it many times. It's just way easier and easier to see the stern from the lower helm. But I'd never be up there docking where I'd have to hurry down the stair. (And, yes, stairs are a must.... no ladders).

Seems like the vast majority operate from their flybridge, but nothing wrong with other ways.
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:40 AM   #83
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Upper or lower

I have one screw, no thrusters so backing is a challenge anyway, especially in a crosswind. I need excellent visibility which the lower station on my GB 36 doesnít have. The physical layout of my marina requires me to back in so I use the upper station for docking. I also use the upper station for entering a crowded anchorage and for anchoring while my wife is at the bow. However, due to weather and other factors I occasionally use the lower helm.
In your case, you say that you will be going solo a lot, so for what itís worth, Iíll provide the same advice I give all the time; be brutally honest with yourself about how and where you will use the boat most of the time, then buy the boat that best fits that need. If you will be solo frequently, then I wouldnít even consider a boat without a port cabin door. You can make almost any layout work if you have to but since you are shopping, you have the luxury of finding a boat that fits your need. Believe me, solo docking in a current or crosswind and having to leave the helm to run out the starboard door and around to the port side isnít any fun. Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2019, 08:55 AM   #84
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Lower helm for single handing

Here in South West Florida, we use the flybridge when the weather is nice, but more often use the lower helm for the comfort of heat / A/C and access to dock lines, etc. I cannot imagine docking single handedly from the flybridge. On our boat, I can stand in the starboard companion way outside the helm door and reach throttle and thrusters with my left hand, then step off for lines once weíre positioned in the slip. I canít see us ever owning a boat without that side door
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:37 AM   #85
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In your case, you say that you will be going solo a lot, so for what it’s worth, I’ll provide the same advice I give all the time; be brutally honest with yourself about how and where you will use the boat most of the time, then buy the boat that best fits that need.
Wise words, to which I would add being brutally honest about the capabilities of you and your crew. This includes physical size, coordination, agility and strength as well as situational awareness, communication skills, learning skills and peripheral vision. Recognizing these things helps inform you of what boat ergonomics need to be. Since we were (and to a large degree still are) lacking in most of the aforementioned metrics, it was essential to find a boat whose ergonomic design mitigated those weaknesses as much as possible. For instance, as a starting point one of the very first things I'd do when evaluating a boat was to go to the helms, put my hands on the shifters and look around.
Then, evaluate what was involved in getting from one point to another anywhere on the boat. And so on...
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Old 03-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Wise words, to which I would add being brutally honest about the capabilities of you and your crew. This includes physical size, coordination, agility and strength as well as situational awareness, communication skills, learning skills and peripheral vision. Recognizing these things helps inform you of what boat ergonomics need to be. Since we were (and to a large degree still are) lacking in most of the aforementioned metrics, it was essential to find a boat whose ergonomic design mitigated those weaknesses as much as possible. For instance, as a starting point one of the very first things I'd do when evaluating a boat was to go to the helms, put my hands on the shifters and look around.
Then, evaluate what was involved in getting from one point to another anywhere on the boat. And so on...
That would be true regardless of what the boat has or does not have. The capabilities of a crew can be changed by training, which is a necessity of any boating activity. Unless one is handicapped, the vast majority of us can be trained to run ANY boat. So, I could go back to the OPs original question, which is more important.... how do you use the flybridge, side doors, etc and what value are they for the mission. While training is important, it's secondary to choosing a boat.
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:16 AM   #87
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I disagree that all boaters can be changed by training. Even if the captain gets better through whatever means, if he/she depends on a crew that chooses not to improve.... a wall has been hit until the captain can basically solo.


Having instructed hundreds of boaters...some are just never operators and a great many more are just never comfortable unless they jump in with 2 feet and most never do. Then there are physical limitations aggravated by bad boat design or forcing oneself to do things outside their capabilities for obtuse reasons.


Even the limited visibility argument is dependent on a skippers abilities. If you cant see your stern, but have great boathandling capabilities...some skippers can walk around their whole boat no matter where windos or doors are.


Like all endeavors in life...beginners need the most they can get gong for them right up front...as one gains experience and talent....reaching further past some limitations is possible. BUT....some never progress as they let fear or lack of pressing forward in any way keep them from ever being able to manage any boat in less than perfect conditions.
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Old 03-12-2019, 12:48 PM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seevee View Post
Ted,

A question for you...
Is your SOP to stern in?
What is your technique into a slip with a side wind or current pushing you off the dock or out of the slip?
In a slip, I prefer stern in for the following:

I have a long anchor pulpit that would either hang over the dock or have my stern sticking way out.

Because of high sides, exiting to a floating dock is much easier off the swim platform.

Many fixed docks don't have long enough finger piers to access the pilot house doors when bow in.

Have the best visibility for docking at the stern docking station.

Feel in many situations it's easier and safer to leave bow first.


Regarding cross wind of current:
I'm single screw with a large foil rudder that swings 40 degrees. The boat turns on a dime because of the ability to throw a lot of water with the 28" propeller, at the large sharply turned rudder. I can move the boat sideways with very little forward motion by having the rudder hard over, transmission in forwad, and pushing the bow in the same direction with the bow thruster. So, once I'm backing in, the rudder is hard over and I'm ready with the bow thruster to offset the wind or current push.

All that said, if I don't like the amount of current (Fort Pierce city marina comes to mind), I'll go anchor or drift till conditions improve. Have nothing to prove to anyone.

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Old 03-13-2019, 06:11 AM   #89
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Yacht Controller

When docking solo I find the use of my Yacht Controller extremely valuable. It is a wireless controller I wear around my neck that allows control of both engines (forward & reverse) as well as thruster control.

From any position on the vessel I can dock and handle the necessary lines.

After tying up I can do final adjustment on the dick as well.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:54 AM   #90
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After tying up I can do final adjustment on the dick as well.
Great introductory post and welcome! Even if it is a bit kinky!
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:57 AM   #91
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We toured many configs before buying and settled on 42 raised pilot house glass all around portugese bridge no flybridge one helm. Easy access all around deck level no stairs. No canvas.
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