MS 390 chair for lower helm

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Lshulan

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
152
Vessel Name
Voyager
Vessel Make
Mainship 390
Mainship 390 - Will be starting the Great American Loop this year and in anticipation of the need to occasionally steer for long periods from the lower helm, would like the option of a chair. Don’t want anything permanent as would only be in the way 95% of the time. Need something high enough to see over panel and front deck. Folding would be idea as storage is an issue. Anyone who has one that they like, appreciate any links.
 
Is there a bulkhead that you could mount a folding seat onto?
 
No, unfortunately no bullhead. Need a folding chair that isn’t attached to anything. Must be high enough as well
 
I found a inexpensive Bar chair that works great on my 1997 MS350. When you don't need it it folds up and can store behind recliner chairs or if you have a couch along the stbd side. Only unstable in the worst sea states but making the loop I think it would be just the thing. Actually we have 2 so first mate can sit and see out also.
 
Picture of the helm area?
 
Mainship 390 - Will be starting the Great American Loop this year and in anticipation of the need to occasionally steer for long periods from the lower helm, would like the option of a chair. Don’t want anything permanent as would only be in the way 95% of the time. Need something high enough to see over panel and front deck. Folding would be idea as storage is an issue. Anyone who has one that they like, appreciate any links.

I found a teak stool (saddle style) at a teak place the works well on my GB. I stow it on the back deck and move it around as needed for guests.
 
I bought a standing desk chair on Amazon for the same reason.

SONGMICS Standing Desk Chair, Adjustable Ergonomic Standing Stool, 23.6-33.3 Inches, Swivel Sitting Balance Chair, Anti-Slip Bottom Pad, Dove Gray UOSC002G01
 
Tall bar stool stool. Or, if you need it to fold for storage, then a tall directors chair.
 
Thanks to all, after looking up the various suggestions, I think a tall director’s chair is the best solution for my boat. I really appreciate everyone’s help on this.
 
We have a lower helm flip up chair in our 390. But I needed a place to sit while wife drives or for her while I drive. We got a tall director chair and just fold it up when not in use. Not good when it's rough. Get a good quality one is my recommendation. Don't go cheap here as it will break from swaying. I got two on craigslist for $80. Look around.

--Kevin
 
Kevin - what is your flip up chair, what is it attached to?
 
Helm chair

It's 'part' of the sofa. Actually a separate part but like a couch end with a flip up seat. I cant get a pic atm as i have the salon taken apart for floor refinishing.

--kevin
 
Thanks. I don’t have the sofa, just two really nice recliners so this wouldn’t work for me, I thought perhaps you had the chair bulkhead mounted or maybe floor mounted. I guess I’ll stick to a high, sturdy director chair. But thanks for the reply
 
At the risk of going off topic a bit, what are your recliners? I’m in a Uniflite 42 with 25 1/2” door clearance to get a recliner through.
 
Starboard bulkhead mounted lower helm seat

I often use the lower station in our Mainship MK1 when cruising especially when weather turns bad.i couldn’t find a chair high enough to see over the bow and didn’t want a fixed mounted helm chair that would take up salon space when at anchor. I made removable helm seat attached to the starboard bulk head using 3/4 dowels that fit into the support receiver holes and the same method for the support leg in the salon floor. The back can be positioned to view the stern when used as an additional seat.
I purchased a “rough “slab” of Sapele ($87.00) and milled wood and finished with polyurethane. I can set up/ take down and stow behind our within 2 minutes.
 

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At the risk of going off topic a bit, what are your recliners? I’m in a Uniflite 42 with 25 1/2” door clearance to get a recliner through.

I’m not at the boat now and in a sling post op from having my left shoulder replaced so getting on to the boat to get some measurements will have to wait a bit. The previous owner bought them and replaced the sofa. They are very nice, look great and make getting into engine room very easy. I don’t know where he got them but they were so nice, he bought a pair for his family room as I remember. They are relatively small so I don’t think you’d have any difficulty getting thru doors. The back lifts off so that might make them even easier to get in. Perhaps if he is reading this post, he can reply with details of purchase. Here’s a picture I have in file
 

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No, unfortunately no bullhead. Need a folding chair that isn’t attached to anything. Must be high enough as well

I also had/ have no bulk head within salon and didn’t want a permanent seat. (Different boat same seating wants.)All the seats,chairs etc I researched would not give me the height to view beyond bow. I settled on 40” from floor plus leaving plenty of head room.Im short 5’7” but 6’ 4” heavy fellows have enough head room.
 

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We full time liveaboard our Mainship 390.

I have often thought of getting a "TALL Directors Chair" for this purpose.

I googled the above string of text and lots of tall folding chairs came up.

This is the one we would buy if needed:

https://www.displays2go.com/P-7823/Tall-Metal-Folding-Directors-Chair-Black-Canvas-Seat-Aluminum-Frame

I suspect it would safe in calm seas. Adding something to grab in addition to the steering wheel might be a good idea in the event you get waked. In heavier seas, one would have to stand... obviously.

The reality is, we never operate from the lower helm. So, we have not made the investment.

I'd be curious to hear back from you on how your solution works out for you.

Ray
 
We cruised full time for six years aboard our DeFever 50 through Canada to/from Caribbean, following the sun. Had some very cold days (breaking thru ice in ICW in Jacksonville, FL) but only used our expensive helm chair we added TWICE...both times we came inside the salon due to lightening....Don't waste your $$ or fret....
 
So I’m guessing now the question should have been: if you had a suitable chair that didn’t take up room when not in use (directors chair, folding, etc), how much use was it, how often did you wind up steering from lower helm for long periods of time?
 
We cruised full time for six years aboard our DeFever 50 through Canada to/from Caribbean, following the sun. Had some very cold days (breaking thru ice in ICW in Jacksonville, FL) but only used our expensive helm chair we added TWICE...both times we came inside the salon due to lightening....Don't waste your $$ or fret....

We have some members in our YC who like to do the" Viking Flybridge" in any weather and that's fine. But when slogging Down Bay thru Susuin Bay with 30kts of wind on the nose and temps in the 50s, well the inside helm with the stereo on and a cuppa hot coffee is more my cuppa tea. Each to his own. This is not meant to demean those who like the outside all the time but there is a time for some of us that the inside is just a lot better.
 
I’m glad to hear both sides of this discussion since I don’t have first hand experience in long cruises other than when we brought our Mainship back from Canada and once before bringing our new catamaran up from Annapolis to NJ (our cat only had the single semi enclosed helm so no choices there). I’ll say that when crossing Lake Ontario if the weather got bad part way across, we would have gladly gone down to our lower helm with windshield wipers (none on the eisenglass on the flybridge) and and comfort but fortunately the weather was perfect and we love to pilot topsides. But doing the great loop involves many open areas and I can’t imagine we will be lucky over 6,000 miles. So please respond with your views for doing long distance cruising.
 
I’m not at the boat now and in a sling post op from having my left shoulder replaced so getting on to the boat to get some measurements will have to wait a bit. The previous owner bought them and replaced the sofa. They are very nice, look great and make getting into engine room very easy. I don’t know where he got them but they were so nice, he bought a pair for his family room as I remember. They are relatively small so I don’t think you’d have any difficulty getting thru doors. The back lifts off so that might make them even easier to get in. Perhaps if he is reading this post, he can reply with details of purchase. Here’s a picture I have in file
Made by Palliser Furniture out of Winnipeg Manitoba, but available at good furniture stores throughout the US of A https://www.palliser.com/product/banff;id=BDE613;cat=Chairs
 
Go to Amazon and buy a Tall folding director's chair. Works very well. Folds up and stores.
 
Mainship 390 - Will be starting the Great American Loop this year and in anticipation of the need to occasionally steer for long periods from the lower helm, would like the option of a chair. Don’t want anything permanent as would only be in the way 95% of the time. Need something high enough to see over panel and front deck. Folding would be idea as storage is an issue. Anyone who has one that they like, appreciate any links.

So, in SoCal there are a lot of teak stores. They almost always have shorter and taller teak saddle stools. We have a tall one that works well in a seaway at the lower helm. The saddle lets you ride the swell a bit. They don't fold, but we leave it on the back deck for other uses as well. I think a tall director's chair will work well, but likely take up more room than the single teak stool is, any event. Works well for us, and not in the way.
 

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