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Old 05-06-2016, 21:36   #1
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Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

I like the hard shell cockpit on the 53' Amel Super Maramu. This is the same boat in all the Delos videos.

Are there any other boats that have a nice enclosed and sheltered cockpit for captain, wheel and instruments towards the front of the cockpit? Most all boats seem to have the wheel at the very back and it seems far less protected from the elements. It looks like a good idea to have the helm next to the companionway.

http://a407.idata.over-blog.com/500x...abriolet-6.JPG
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Old 05-06-2016, 23:10   #2
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

Some Camper-Nicholson boats had that in the 1970s, I am not aware if they continued that later. I saw it on one that was about 48-55 feet, as I recall.

I have also seen that design feature in a few "custom" boats too, from a mix of designers. I think most I saw were from the 1980s.

I also like that feature on the Amels.
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Old 05-06-2016, 23:26   #3
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

On the Amel, having the wheel near the compaionway takes up valuable sitting and hanging around space, and isn't the best spot to be while trying to dock a boat. Most of the time when we dock our boat, I lower our sprayhood (dodger) so that I can see better with no blind spots.

Very little time is spent behind a helm these days, most boats are on auto helm/auto pilot 99% of the time. There really is no need to have the helm taking up valuable and limited real estate right in the middle of the cockpit.
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Old 05-06-2016, 23:54   #4
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

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On the Amel, having the wheel near the compaionway takes up valuable sitting and hanging around space, and isn't the best spot to be while trying to dock a boat. Most of the time when we dock our boat, I lower our sprayhood (dodger) so that I can see better with no blind spots.

Very little time is spent behind a helm these days, most boats are on auto helm/auto pilot 99% of the time. There really is no need to have the helm taking up valuable and limited real estate right in the middle of the cockpit.
I don't care if you don't like it. I love it. I'm looking for other boats that might have a similar configuration, not someone telling me my preference is wrong.
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Old 06-06-2016, 00:08   #5
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

Yikes.
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Old 06-06-2016, 00:09   #6
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
I don't care if you don't like it. I love it. I'm looking for other boats that might have a similar configuration, not someone telling me my preference is wrong.
'Just trying to be helpful and open your mind to other possibilities and identify some limitations in the design.

I didn't expect the snarky response, and probably won't bother to respond next time.

"Have a nice Day!"
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Old 06-06-2016, 01:02   #7
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

Not sure what size boat you're looking for, but there are many "Classic Plastics" out there that have their wheel's just aft of the companionway. Typically with the dodger being designed so that you can steer, both when sitting under the dodger, or standing behind it, & looking over the top of it.

Some Cal 40's are setup this way, like Liz Clark's "Swell" www.SwellVoyage.com There are plenty of pics of her setup on that site, plus the Facebook & instagram pages.
Also, some models of Pearson's, as well as Ericson's (like the 39') are put together this way. And many others.

Plus, if it's a feature that you really want, most boats can have their helms/pedestals moved forward. It's not a difficult modification.
Though when doing such, it does often put more size limitations on the wheel. So if you have to go down a lot in terms of wheel size, then you'll likely give up bit of the mechanical advantage built into your steering system.
Albeit, there are "fixes" & ways to remedy such.

And IMO, a forward wheel, setup so that you can steer from underneath of the dodger. Preferably a hard one, with included "windows" so that you can view the sail trim when underneath it.
To me, that's when a dodger earns it's keep.

Some folks consider climbing round the wheel, instead of having a T-shaped cockpit, to be a bit impediment. But I'm definitely not one of them.
My Ranger 33' had a wheel that required you to step up onto the bench seats, in order to climb around it. And I never had anyone, of any age, view it as being a problem.

Plus which, those 8' long seats on each side of the cockpit, were great for stretching out on to take a nap under sail, or to spend a night sleeping under the stars on.
The former, also being a big perk, if you really NEED a nap, but the newby at the wheel also needs the comfort of having an experienced hand close by
--> Which is something that you rarely can do in a T-shaped cockpit, unless it's a Big boat.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:08   #8
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

Linda, have a look at the Atlantis range of aluminium centre-board cruisers designed by Gilbert Caroff. They are designed for long-distance all weather cruising. They have four(!) helm positions - one down below at the chart table which is situated at the front of a low doghouse. The principal outside helm is at the front of the cockpit on the bulkhead, well protected by a spray hood, and all lines are lead to an optionally powered winch on the coaming. There are also two tillers attached directly to the twin rudder posts which serve as emergency steering or for close quarter manoeuvring, or just when you want the fun and feel of hand steering by tiller. The tillers can be folder out of the way to free cockpit space.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:10   #9
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

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Yikes.
haha... I was thinking the same thing.

By the way, and not that the OP is, but for anyone who might be hero-worshiping the unwashed Delo tribe, they might find it interesting to learn that they hate their "rolling" Amel and are currently eying catamarans. Now it's just down to the math; i.e., how many schmaltzy Patreon-focused videos equals a 44' cat?
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:31   #10
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

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Originally Posted by lindabarzini View Post
I don't care if you don't like it. I love it. I'm looking for other boats that might have a similar configuration, not someone telling me my preference is wrong.
He was not attacking you, so no need to fight back, just he was pointing out something you may have missed. Good points I agree with. We all get it wrong now and then, you included I suspect.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:52   #11
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

If you like the Amel, then why not one of those? They are excellent boats, and a real bargain considering the level of equipment and how little preparation needs to be done for real extended cruising.

It's a shame that Kenomac's comment was taken so dismissively. He made a valuable point, which maybe I can express a little differently.

He correctly points out that the wheel on most cruising sailboats is used very rarely -- only getting in and out of docks, for keen sailors - getting the boat going just right after a tack when hard on the wind, and maybe going downwind in really rough weather offshore when you don't trust the pilot. That accounts for maybe 1% of most people's time in the boat. The rest of the time the wheel is doing nothing.

Friends of mine building a very expensive custom 49' boat have specified no wheel at all -- rather, a tiller which folds away when not in use. A brilliant idea.

For those times you do need the wheel, the key thing is being able to see out, and being able to see the sails. Not being out of the weather, because only in rare situations will you be at the wheel for more than a few minutes at a time.

The hard dodger like the Amel has is a great feature, shared with a lot of boats made in or intended for use in higher latitudes. Many Hallberg Rassys have them. I think actually most cruising boats should have at least a fixed windshield to protect you from water coming off the bow in rough weather, and to give you a place to get out of the wind. But you might consider whether you really want to have a wheel there. Once you retreat under the hard dodger to get out of the weather, the boat will be on autopilot and the wheel will just be in the way. What you really need there is an autopilot control, and this is easy to arrange, together with chart plotter and instruments.


Notice that even pilothouse boats nowadays -- which are intended to be run mostly from inside the pilothouse -- don't usually have wheels in the pilothouses anymore. In former days, these boats used hydraulic steering so that there could be a wheel in the pilothouse in addition to the one out in the cockpit, but this has become rare in the last years. Instead, the only wheel is out in the cockpit, and you have an autopilot control in the pilothouse, sometimes with a joystick for manual steering. Modern autopilots let you steer with a knob or joystick in Non Followup Mode, a function which has trickled down to us from big ships' autopilots.

You can do this from under the hard dodger, too, if you put a pilot control there, for any manual steering you might want to do from under there. But then the wheel in its normal place is available for docking and fine sail trimming, which you really don't want to be doing from under the dodger where you can't see anything, and can't reach out to grab dock lines, operate winches, etc.


By the way, I recently steered a boat with dual wheels for the first time and really liked the fact that you can see much better around the mast and under the headsail from the offset position, and can see the dock much better.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:30   #12
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

I like the twin wheels too. Apart from the better visibility you are part of the social scene in the cockpit. With the Amel wheel you have your back to everyone, which I suspect I wouldn't like. It's a continual statement of dismissal to the crew.
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:37   #13
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

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I like the twin wheels too. Apart from the better visibility you are part of the social scene in the cockpit. With the Amel wheel you have your back to everyone, which I suspect I wouldn't like. It's a continual statement of dismissal to the crew.
Yes. I have a similar disadvantage in my boat. If you stand or sit behind the wheel, you are separated from everyone else in the cockpit by the wheel and binnacle. It is really awkward getting around the wheel to pass back and forth. Also it is hard to see around the mast and associated rigging. It's really not a good arrangement. Just since trying it last week, I realize how vastly superior twin wheels would be. Or no wheel at all.

Only problems with the tiller arrangement on a large cruising boat are (a) won't work with a center cockpit because no access to the rudder post; (b) how do you get a plotter in easy view, for close pilotage? There's no binnacle. Otherwise, it's brill. Plus you feel the rudder much better through a tiller.
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:48   #14
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

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Yes. I have a similar disadvantage in my boat. If you stand or sit behind the wheel, you are separated from everyone else in the cockpit by the wheel and binnacle. It is really awkward getting around the wheel to pass back and forth. Also it is hard to see around the mast and associated rigging. It's really not a good arrangement. Just since trying it last week, I realize how vastly superior twin wheels would be. Or no wheel at all.

Only problems with the tiller arrangement on a large cruising boat are (a) won't work with a center cockpit because no access to the rudder post; (b) how do you get a plotter in easy view, for close pilotage? There's no binnacle. Otherwise, it's brill. Plus you feel the rudder much better through a tiller.
Getting around the wheels is another big advantage.

For a tiller to work on a heavy boat it will have to be a well balanced spade. On mine with a skeg rudder, the emergency tiller, which has a rather long extension of about 2m cannot be used by hand alone, except for when you are going really slowly - under walking speeds and with no heel.

For seeing around the mast you can remove the hanked rope clutter with halyard tensioner tracks. I don't have them, but I think they are great.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:09   #15
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Re: Cockpits like Amel Super Maramu

To answer the person's original question, the Beneteau 57 had a bulkhead mounted wheel in its earlier run but switched back to the rear mounted wheel. Double wheels are ok but they do take up lots of space add complexity and as others have said you are not at the wheel very often. Tillers are great, always liked them for their simplicity. The seat in the Super Amel does rotate so no problem with visiting others in cockpit.
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