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Old 01-10-2012, 14:41   #16
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Re: Dual helms side by side

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Every advantage on a boat has corresponding disadvantages.
* less feel on the rudder
* less mechanical advantage over the rudder
* requires more powerful autopilot
* usually, engine controls are available only on one wheel
* question of how to make instrumentation (radar, chatplotter) available to both wheels
* greater expense and complexity
* less protection by spray dodger when motoring.
*Twice as many parts to break...
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Old 01-10-2012, 18:14   #17
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Re: Dual helms side by side

Bash touched on this - do you have two chartplotters (+maps), speed and wind instruments, one for each helm? Recently sailed a new boat with dual helms - it wasn't clear where to mount the instruments. I like having the instruments nearby.
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Old 02-10-2012, 00:43   #18
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Re: Dual helms side by side

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*Twice as many parts to break...
Thanks for the disadvantages ... at least I can now weigh them up against the advantages.
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Old 02-10-2012, 01:48   #19
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Re: Dual helms side by side

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*Twice as many parts to break...
But if one breaks, there is another already in place to steer with.

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Old 02-10-2012, 01:50   #20
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Re: Dual helms side by side

Now that is a positive way to look at it.
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Old 02-10-2012, 02:48   #21
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Re: Dual helms side by side

I have dual helms now, my previous boat had 1, so I think I am competent to comment. Dual helms open up the cockpit and are great while under sail when you have a beamy boat. Capri is just over 13 feet. I have dual wind and log/echo instruments and dual compass. The lack of a dual chartplotter is not an issue. When on deepwater, you don't use the chart plotter - you sail by compass. When in low water, it's not a major problem to take a step sideways every now and then to look at the plotter. Don't forget, if you're weaving your way through shoals, you're not heeling, so then you can stand at the helm with the plotter.
The only time it is a disadvantage is when docking. With engine controls on one side only - that's the side you're on while docking. But you get used to that fairly quickly

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Old 02-10-2012, 03:18   #22
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Re: Dual helms side by side

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I have dual helms now, my previous boat had 1, so I think I am competent to comment. Dual helms open up the cockpit and are great while under sail when you have a beamy boat. Capri is just over 13 feet. I have dual wind and log/echo instruments and dual compass. The lack of a dual chartplotter is not an issue. When on deepwater, you don't use the chart plotter - you sail by compass. When in low water, it's not a major problem to take a step sideways every now and then to look at the plotter. Don't forget, if you're weaving your way through shoals, you're not heeling, so then you can stand at the helm with the plotter.
The only time it is a disadvantage is when docking. With engine controls on one side only - that's the side you're on while docking. But you get used to that fairly quickly

Thanks for the info ... and as you say, you speak from experience, having owned both. At this stage it seems to me that (for me anyway) the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:19   #23
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Part of what makes sailing fun is the details. Having two helms would seem to be like having your cake and eating it to.

From a guy that loves healing on an 8' beam, I would think a wide beam sailboat with one helm would leave one reaching to control surfaces. A wide trihull boat would seem OK with one helm, but a wide monohull sailboat with helm in the center would seem not as comfortable as two helms. Zero experience, just thinking out loud. Also the larger the sailboat, and the larger the crew, would seem good to have two balanced helms.
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Old 02-10-2012, 03:27   #24
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Re: Dual helms side by side

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Part of what makes sailing fun is the details. Having two helms would seem to be like having your cake and eating it to.

From a guy that loves healing on an 8' beam, I would think a wide beam sailboat with one helm would leave one reaching to control surfaces. A wide trihull boat would seem OK with one helm, but a wide monohull sailboat with helm in the center would seem not as comfortable as two helms. Zero experience, just thinking out loud. Also the larger the sailboat, and the larger the crew, would seem good to have two balanced helms.
It will just be the two of us, so I would also want to be able to sail from the cockpit.
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Old 28-10-2012, 05:10   #25
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Re: Dual helms side by side

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The worst place from which to steer a boat is from its centerline...
From a technical perspective, I agree. But it's the best place to be if you get sea-sick
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