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Old 12-03-2012, 01:40   #46
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Re: Aft Helms

After the boat show">Miami boat show, I was a bit surprised at the Outremers and Catanas. The aft helms with middle mounted winches ten feet away (I think that was on a Catana) just seem insane to me. A lot of cats are moving to protected helms with hard top biminis and all lines led to helm. Seems like the right idea to me. The Leopards have a sliding roof so you can see your sails directly when you want. On the Catanas, you're just a few feet away from being overboard and control lines are elsewhere. Am I missing something? For all that money and a few extra knots of speed, it just doesn't seem remotely worth it to have totally exposed aft helms.
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Old 12-03-2012, 15:45   #47
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Re: Aft Helms

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Originally Posted by Camp Director G View Post
After the Miami boat show, I was a bit surprised at the Outremers and Catanas. The aft helms with middle mounted winches ten feet away (I think that was on a Catana) just seem insane to me. A lot of cats are moving to protected helms with hard top biminis and all lines led to helm. Seems like the right idea to me. The Leopards have a sliding roof so you can see your sails directly when you want. On the Catanas, you're just a few feet away from being overboard and control lines are elsewhere. Am I missing something? For all that money and a few extra knots of speed, it just doesn't seem remotely worth it to have totally exposed aft helms.

Each to their own CampG - as the dual aft helm owners keep saying dont knock it till youve tried it and ill qualify that by saying dont knock it till youve tried a good set up as there are a few bad ones just like on other helm options.

I dont have a problem being "a few feet away from being overboard" but im probably used to it from racing monos i guess. Some people wont go near the edge of a boat even in a harbour with safety lines all round.

When you say you can see the sails from a single helm you can only see the windward side on one tack - i end up whacking the auto pilot on to walk to the other side and check sail trim on single helm cats but i probably spend more time trimming sails than most - again racing days i guess.

The winches in the cockpit away from the helms work pretty well too. On mine i can reach the headsail winch from standing next to each helm but do have to move 2 steps away to reach the mainsail sheet. When im trimming singlehanded im on autopilot and no more than 2 steps from a helm so works for me. if your trimming in any boat singlehanded you will be on auto even if you are standing in front of the helm.

I reckon its far from "insane" and each to their own

cheers
Barra
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Old 12-03-2012, 16:23   #48
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Re: Aft Helms

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Each to their own CampG - as the dual aft helm owners keep saying dont knock it till youve tried it and ill qualify that by saying dont knock it till youve tried a good set up as there are a few bad ones just like on other helm options.

I dont have a problem being "a few feet away from being overboard"
I am very familiar with your boat (actually, my experience is with the Catana 401, but they are pretty much identical), and I agree with your assessment.

You are nowhere near "a few feet away from being overboard" and your helm setup is reasonable and well-done, regardless of one's preference.

The Nautitech is a completely different story. I can't believe the helms on those. One is literally standing on the first transom step behind a wheel that blocks access to that step. To get behind the wheel, one must do some scary gymnastics that involve mountain climbing moves on narrow, smooth, curved, wet fiberglass surfaces including stepping ONTO the loaded jibsheet winch (unless you have very long legs -then you could probably step over it).

It is like the designer forgot about adding a helm station until the boat was built, and then just cobbled something together over the rudder post at the last minute. There isn't even a seat to sit on. Well, there is a seat - it is a small bicycle-type seat on a thin post that fits into a socket in the transom step. You need to carry it with you when you climb around the wheel and back up onto the boat and back into the cockpit to go to the other side and climb back up over the winch, down the side of the boat and around the other wheel completely blocking the other transom.

Truly the absolute worst helm design ever made on any boat.

Mark
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Old 12-03-2012, 16:43   #49
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Re: Aft Helms

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I am very familiar with your boat (actually, my experience is with the Catana 401, but they are pretty much identical), and I agree with your assessment.

You are nowhere near "a few feet away from being overboard" and your helm setup is reasonable and well-done, regardless of one's preference.

The Nautitech is a completely different story. I can't believe the helms on those. One is literally standing on the first transom step behind a wheel that blocks access to that step. To get behind the wheel, one must do some scary gymnastics that involve mountain climbing moves on narrow, smooth, curved, wet fiberglass surfaces including stepping ONTO the loaded jibsheet winch (unless you have very long legs -then you could probably step over it).

It is like the designer forgot about adding a helm station until the boat was built, and then just cobbled something together over the rudder post at the last minute. There isn't even a seat to sit on. Well, there is a seat - it is a small bicycle-type seat on a thin post that fits into a socket in the transom step. You need to carry it with you when you climb around the wheel and back up onto the boat and back into the cockpit to go to the other side and climb back up over the winch, down the side of the boat and around the other wheel completely blocking the other transom.

Truly the absolute worst helm design ever made on any boat.

Mark
Yeah mate thats what im trying to say there are good designs and bad ones. Just googled the nauti 422 and you are spot on - wudnt go near that with a barge pole and how about that anchor set up!

On the catanas and outremers there are decades of knowledge gone into em so if you think something looks insane ask what are you missing as campG is rightly doing.
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Old 12-03-2012, 21:28   #50
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Re: Aft Helms

I didn't mean to demean those boats. On the contrary, by all accounts they're good performers and very well liked by some. It just seemed strange to me the positioning of the helm and lack of protection.
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Old 12-03-2012, 22:27   #51
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Re: Aft Helms

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
.....
The Nautitech is a completely different story. I can't believe the helms on those. One is literally standing on the first transom step behind a wheel that blocks access to that step. To get behind the wheel, one must do some scary gymnastics that involve mountain climbing moves on narrow, smooth, curved, wet fiberglass surfaces including stepping ONTO the loaded jibsheet winch (unless you have very long legs -then you could probably step over it).
....

Truly the absolute worst helm design ever made on any boat.

Mark
+1.

Really don't like the Nautitechs helm set-up. The one I delivered had sort of a leaning post arrangement -- like you see on some skiffs. The smallish mounting hardware was screwed into the deck. If it let go you would be gone.

See my related post on the Nautictech 44 at Nautitec Cats ?.
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Old 13-03-2012, 07:02   #52
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Re: Aft Helms

Most of the comments so far would lead one to think that the only way to have visibility while sailing is the aft helm.

I find that we have great visibility of the sails and where are going from the helm station on our Seawind 1160. It has twin helms and I find sitting on the windward side gives great visibility of the mainsail and the jib. Upwind I can see all three sets off tell tails in the jib. If I were back aft the mailsail would block the view.
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Old 13-03-2012, 07:34   #53
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Re: Aft Helms

I am not terribly bothered by them being unsafe - which they are - close to rail and transom steps. For helmsman and friends/kids etc.
I'm not terribly fussed about the exposure - they are exposed.
They are also not central to sail control.
I'd prefer a bulkhead helm. Need to move around no matter what. And having a place that is central, with all instruments, safer for crew - can sleep better knowing someone isn't sleeping on the life-lines (as I do).
Anyway here is a photo of mine - they are for sale - nice helms - 42" - wood and carbon fiber...
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Old 13-03-2012, 07:39   #54
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Re: Aft Helms

Somehow Outremers got into this discussion. I have never seen an Outremer with aft helms. I did see a really old old 40' with tiller steering only. The new 49s have an aft tiller steering option which the reviewers really liked but come equipped with the standard wheel setup as shown. The photographer might have been sitting in one of the tiller chairs. This pic is from the first 49 and doesn't have a helm seat. Most or all of them do now. This is similar to the old setup which had twin helms. BTW Just about all the older cats from Lagoon, Privilege, etc had aft helms especially in the larger models.
AllezCat said something about doing away with the aft helms on his Catana 581 (nice f**king boat) and installing something different. I want to see this.
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Old 13-03-2012, 07:53   #55
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Re: Aft Helms

there you go.
new bulkhead helm.
needs a bit of detail work yet - more photos to come...
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Old 13-03-2012, 15:29   #56
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Re: Aft Helms

Take the canvas dodgers off the vast majority of production monohulls, and their helm positions look pretty exposed too. Funnily enough, it doesn't seem to be such an important issue.
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Old 13-03-2012, 19:07   #57
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Re: Aft Helms

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Take the canvas dodgers off the vast majority of production monohulls, and their helm positions look pretty exposed too. Funnily enough, it doesn't seem to be such an important issue.
That's because us cat sailors are wusses.
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Old 13-03-2012, 19:24   #58
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Re: Aft Helms

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Take the canvas dodgers off the vast majority of production monohulls, and their helm positions look pretty exposed too. Funnily enough, it doesn't seem to be such an important issue.
I used to say that too until I got a boat with an enclosed pilothouse. The protection from sun, wind, noise, spray, rain, etc. makes helming and watch keeping significantly less tiring, and I think contributes to safety greatly because the crew is not squinting, ducking from the spray, or hiding behind the cabin top to get out of the wind. Even in the tropics at night it can be pretty cold in an exposed cockpit--I have noticed a significant number of catamaran sailors seem to go everywhere under autopilot, day or night, with nobody visible on deck. I have asked a couple about that and they say they are watching the radar and the chart plotter--if they're not watching videos--with all that light down below you really can't see much if you look outside anyway. I prefer a dark cockpit so that I have night vision and I like the watch close or on the helm. I suspect a lot of mono sailors also sail "blind" like this at night, trusting the electronics.
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Old 14-03-2012, 07:36   #59
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Re: Aft Helms

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Take the canvas dodgers off the vast majority of production monohulls, and their helm positions look pretty exposed too. Funnily enough, it doesn't seem to be such an important issue.
Have a bulkhead helm on my boat, very similar set-up to most production cats. After a few near drowning experiences at the helm in heavy weather in the Gulf of Mexico I had a dodger made for the helm position -- makes a huge difference.
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Old 14-03-2012, 17:59   #60
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After a long sail overnight in the rain with auto misbehaving, I can't imagine having a helm that was not as sheltered as ours. I'm sure we would be more fatigued if we had aft helms.
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