removing flybridge

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This subject has strong proponents on both sides. Personally, I'd likely NEVER own a boat without a FB. Boating is about being out in nature, enjoying your environment etc. Stuck below at a lower steering station does not do that for me. A FB with a simple Bimini for the sun (NO oxygen tents please) and I'm a happy guy. 95% operation from the bridge, 5% from below... Your mileage may vary..

After 15 years of open-cockpit sailing and 50 years of high-altitude backpacking, I now prefer sheltering in an enclosed pilothouse. I do occasionally sneak out, however.
 

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We would not have this problem if more builders made FB and non FB versions of their boats. Provided there is a good size cockpit,I`m perfectly happy without one.
 
So I’m the guy who removed the FB on Ebbtide. For us the results were 100%

My best advice is to do whatever is best for you and your style of cruising. The rest will take care of it’s self.

Regards,
Bob

Bob
Thanks for chiming in.
Well said and I agree on all counts.
Wasn't sure if you were still hanging out on TF after the sale. I have seen the new owner posts.
Hope your adventure is going well.
Don
 
Something else to consider...
Maybe it's just me but our 85 Mk III seems awfully loud inside the cabin when running ... Enough so that I'd prefer to run it from the flybridge...I think I'd run it for several hours from the inside only and see how you feel about the noise.. And as far as I know ours has the standard insulation - sound proofing in the floor.
 
Something else to consider...
Maybe it's just me but our 85 Mk III seems awfully loud inside the cabin when running ... Enough so that I'd prefer to run it from the flybridge...I think I'd run it for several hours from the inside only and see how you feel about the noise.. And as far as I know ours has the standard insulation - sound proofing in the floor.


I have heard that the MS 34 is noisy. But mine is not. Maybe I have more insulation than normal or maybe the Volvo engine is quieter?
 
That could be Jim.. I have the Perkins T6.354 Range 4 200hp. Shake, rattle and roll !! :)
 
That is a great engine. I would take the noise. The Perkins is bullet proof. Wish I had one.
 
On a previous express style boat about that size, I added a tower (for fish spotting). And the tower was what is called a "full tower", not a marlin tower where one stands on the hard top. Instead, the floor of the tower station is a few feet above the hardtop, so lots of weight added relatively high. I was worried that the ride would be adversely affected, but unless I had a few big guys in the tower in sloppy conditions, there was no problem. Not sure there is any science/truth to it, but the builder told me that if the boat leans OUT in a turn, there is too much weight up top. Otherwise, the ride (at the downstairs helm) would not be adversely affected.

On my current boat, which is semi-custom, with a base design that doesn't have a flybridge, it cost a pretty penny to spec with one. It turns out that I don't use it as much as expected (in part because the pilot house is so comfortable, in part because when the weather is nice I would ordinarily prefer to be in the tower), but I wouldn't be without it. And not just because flybridges are nice for fishing (on most sportfishers, the tower gives a few from the helm to the cockpit, but the geometry of that works only up to about 55 feet, and not at all on a boat like mine that carries a dinghy on a boat deck aft of the flybridge helm.

Bottom line, I wouldn't make the chance for appearance sake, and am skeptical about the handling benefits.
 
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Ive noticed that those who like flying bridges tend to live below the Mason Dixon line.
 
Far enough south and the case should reverse. Its nicer in the airconditioned salon.
 
Thanks to all. Interesting points.

I'm doing a bit of a fall refit before heading south from Chicago. Will keep the flybridge for now. I had considered repainting the upper deck and rebedding everything but think I'll defer that to spring.

I am reinstalling the lower helm seat and putting down a layer of MLV in the main cabin to reduce noise. I have a Cummins BTA that I mostly run slow but at higher speeds the noise is a bit excessive. I'm going to try out using the lower station as my default for a while.

Good points about motion. My boat definitely leans out in turns. It's a bit disconcerting at speed. And it's always felt a little pendulous. But I come to this from a sailing background. Maybe I'll start walking around marinas doing rock tests :).

I also like the cockpit control idea. Don't think I'd want a wheel, but could repurpose the throttle and AP head and add a jog lever.

WRT major mods and resale, I'm not concerned. I bought the boat as an experiment, can make the change at minimal cost, and can revert to original if it doesn't work out.

WRT aesthetics, I don't normally suffer from boat envy, but I had the opportunity to see a MJM 50z recently, at anchor and a couple of times underway. That's a good looking boat... I know I can't turn my old hulk into that, but it got me thinking...
 
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Far enough south and the case should reverse. Its nicer in the airconditioned salon.

I'll say again. One or two open pilothouse doors usually provides more than enough air conditioning here.
 

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My sentiments and experience exactly. Quieter as well.
 
I'm all for knocking off that big forehead. :rofl:


I get seasick on FBs and I never get seasick inside or on-deck. I do like the cockpit steering idea. It was one of the options I was going to build into my big boat if I get to build it. I also like the lower air draft.



Does anyone know if Jeff's specific model has the removable FB? I have seen some boats that have removable FB's for shipping and storage, I ass-u-me. There's a diesel shop not far from me that has three boats on the hard, around the 34-foot size, all with their FBs removed and sitting beside them.
 
I was wondering the same question of what is left as roof once the flybridge is removed. Is there generally a glassed roof under the fly bridge which contains the head liner. Can’t see the factory delivering boats via truck that are not weathertight.
 
Here's a couple of the pictures we took of ours when the bridge was removed. It'll give you a general idea of what a model 1 mainship looks like with no bridge plus what the area under the bridge looks like. The later model III's had a hump on the forward part of the floor for the lower helm engine instruments but the earlier run models were flat everywhere. The only big hole would be the wire/cable chase on the starboard side above the salon bulkhead. It probably wouldn't make a bad looking job, without the bridge.
 

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That answers my question. Thanks. That looks great.
 
I was wondering the same question of what is left as roof once the flybridge is removed. Is there generally a glassed roof under the fly bridge which contains the head liner. Can’t see the factory delivering boats via truck that are not weathertight.
On most boats, the deck of the FB is the roof of the cabin and covers it from side to side and front to back. Once the FB is cut off, it's a matter of cleaning up the deck, making any repairs, filling holes, fiberglassing over it, and finishing it off.
 
On most boats, the deck of the FB is the roof of the cabin and covers it from side to side and front to back. Once the FB is cut off, it's a matter of cleaning up the deck, making any repairs, filling holes, fiberglassing over it, and finishing it off.



Sounds so easy!
 
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