Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-11-2007, 07:56   #1
...

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 483
Australian Designed Cats Helm Position

Having looked at many makes of Australian/New Zealand designed and built catamarans, they mostly seem to have the helm position low down against the cabin bulkhead, which appears to me that when helming you either have to stand on something, sticking your head out of the bimini while holding the steering wheel down by your knees, otherwise you sit down and look throught the saloon back and front windows, which to me makes it very difficult to see the sails, the four corners etc,etc, ie uncomforatble and not very practical.
If I am wrong about my assumptions, I would clearly like to be put right by owners/designers etc of the Australian/New Zealand designed catamarans whoi can explain the benefits to me.
Thanking you in anticipation.
__________________

__________________
ireaney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 12:39   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
David M's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay
Boat: research vessel
Posts: 10,153
It will be interesting to hear the responses as I have been wondering the same thing. What are the advantages and disadvantages of placing the helm in the various possible locations?
__________________

__________________
David

Life begins where land ends.
David M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 16:45   #3
Marine Service Provider
 
Factor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia
Boat: Corsair Dash MKII
Posts: 4,088
The ninety percent answer - it doesnt matter where you put them, the boats on autopilot most of the time. The other 10% answer, in the part of the world I am you absolutely need to have sun protection at the helm if you are steering, that may be less of an issue for other people in other places.
__________________
Factor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2007, 23:43   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
44'cruisingcat's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7,459
Images: 69
Helm positions can be tricky on cats. I think that the best solution is to have two, one for each tack, looking down each side of the boat. (Which is my intention) Another option is to have one or two raised positions overlooking the cabin top. As factor said, at least 90% of the time I plan to have the autopilot steering (unless I am racing)
__________________
44'cruisingcat is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2007, 03:06   #5
...

Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 483
Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor View Post
The ninety percent answer - it doesnt matter where you put them, the boats on autopilot most of the time. The other 10% answer, in the part of the world I am you absolutely need to have sun protection at the helm if you are steering, that may be less of an issue for other people in other places.
Yes, I fully understand and agree that the autopilot could and maybe is used 90% of the time, but when you compare the helm position of the OZ/NZ boats to the French/SA/UK/USA built cats which enable the helmsman to either sit or stand with a comfortable and good viewing position and in most cases (unless you have a Catana or Nautitech where they are positioned out on the hulls) they can or are protected from a bimini, they are different as per my original posting and just wondered as to the reasoning - I am not being critical just curiousand interested.
__________________
ireaney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2007, 04:13   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Boat: Seawind 1000, 10 m catamaran - Serrano
Posts: 34
I guess its partly what you're used to. I sail a Seawind 1000, I love the sheltered helm position, and I look at the Euro cats (and a few Aussie cats) with high exposed helm positions and think "I don't want that". I sometimes sit out to the side, like the mono guys do, if its good weather, and can still helm just fine. Otherwise, I'm out of the sun and out of the wind at the normal helm position. Aussie cats generally have excellent forward visibility through the saloon windows, which is a big factor. And the Seawinds have twin wheels, so I just swap sides when I need to. I sail in Bass Strait and I wouldn't want to be sitting up high with my head sticking out of the bimini when it cuts up bad!!
__________________
Serrano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2007, 05:51   #7
Registered User
 
Sunspot Baby's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: New Bern, NC
Boat: Prout Manta 38' Catamaran - Sunspot Baby
Posts: 1,521
Images: 14
I drive a cat and while in the market looked at a ton of different helm positions and liked few of them. As cats have morphed into high bridge decks with main saloon at the same level as the cockpit, the deck house has increasingly become a barrier to visibility forward.

Twin helms on Privileges address this fairly well.

Manta and some other offer a raised helm bench/seat that requires climbing up and down if you are doing some vigorous sailing (tacking in close quarters short handed), but cruising is fairly easy.

Our Prout has a lower profile and we have a hard dodger. The up side is we have nice weather shelter, but the down side is that I either have to stand to see over the deck house or mount a helm chair, which I dislike when sailing actively. Anything that clutters up the cockpit is on my list of "don't likes."

The hard dodger makes it hard to feel the wind and although there are windows above it is hard to get a good view of sail trim.

There are some cats with the helm forward, which is great for visibility but offers no weather protection.

George
__________________
She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
Sunspot Baby, sure had a real good time
Bob Seger
Sunspot Baby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2008, 10:19   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern California
Boat: Currently between boats; last owned/lived aboard my Lagoon 410.
Posts: 6
Lagoon 41 Helm Position

I lived aboard my Lagoon 41 in the eastern Caribeean for a year. I found the single cockpit helm location to be excellent. Great visibility and protection from weather with the dodger zipped up and under the bimini. If the weather was good, you could unzip the dodger and feel the wonderful breeze. On autopilot, the helm was a great "two seater" place to sit either solo or with a companion and watch the waves go by.
__________________
EdKangeter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2008, 02:54   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Australia
Boat: Lightwave Catamaran 45ft MUSCAT
Posts: 23

Check out Lightwaveyachts.com
An aussi-made cat with a raised helm position that offers seating for two visibility over both hulls, back and front as well as protection from the elements. On the 38 that I have presently it has clears alround - zipp off easily. On the new 45 that they are building for us we get a forward opening hardened glass window and removable clears for the sides.
Nils
__________________
nils is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2008, 09:19   #10
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
My helm is just a wee bit strbrd of the mast. When docking I would love better visibility. I try to dock stern in which gives fantastic visibility. If I do come bow in I can see my strbrd bow through the house. For the port bow my wife uses her hands as an indication of distance. Once again everything is a compromise....
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Gtown driver.JPG
Views:	161
Size:	336.1 KB
ID:	2943  
__________________
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2008, 04:38   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: wollongong
Boat: fusion 40 shellac
Posts: 2
I own a fusion 40 with steering positions out were they SHOUD BE and those members are are right. I still use the autopilot 90 percent of the time, but when things get tuff you have the option to see you sail trim and more importantly when the **** hits the fan, smoke the main sheet, kit sheet, you can do what you have to. When getting long side no guess work, take a line to the cleet, put a fender over, there are many things. On SHELLAC for me it is all about saftey saftey saftey. All I can if you WANTa power cat 'buy one'.
__________________
bruce allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2008, 06:26   #12
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
I would think that under different conditions the steering position SHOULD BE in different positions. Of course that is just my humble opinion.....
__________________

__________________
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Australia, helm

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
boats designed for liveaboard ? Aquah0lic Liveaboard's Forum 17 18-08-2007 23:00
Mounting instruments at helm Biermann Construction, Maintenance & Refit 4 20-01-2007 13:30
Computer Designed for boats - interest? Doghouse Marine Electronics 6 08-08-2006 15:33
Windvane or auto-helm? kingfish General Sailing Forum 8 27-08-2004 10:15
Available - CREW Position Pisces Crew Archives 0 09-03-2003 22:09



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:16.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.