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Old 05-09-2006, 17:53   #1
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Best Bridge Layout?

I recently sailed a 33' Seawind 1000. It had two wheels one on each side of the boat. While at the wheel your forward view was largely blocked by the cabin. I did not care for this too much. So this got me wondering what the best bridge layout would be.
I like the bridge layout on the Lagoon 440 in that it is on top of the cabin and provides 360 degree views. But this forces the main sail much higher and causes concerns with respect to heeling and knock-downs in strong winds. Also, you are exposed to the weather.
It would seem that a compromise between the bridge layout of the Lagoon 440 and those with the wheel behind the cabin might be best. That is a bridge, slightly elevated above the deck cabin, but one with a cover, perhaps a cover with a few windows to allow one to inspect the shape of the sails.

So my question for all is, what is the best bridge layout that you have experienced. Provide pictures or links if you have them.
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Old 06-09-2006, 04:52   #2
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Helm position

Every position has good and bad points, and depends in part on what type of sailing you do.

- I could not see why anybody would have dual helm positions at the extreme stern of the hulls: need to duplicate instruments, poor visibility forward (as you noted), not under bimini so exposed to the elements. BUT having tried it, you do get GREAT view of the sails (better by far than the small window in a bimini), side-to docking is much easier, and you have your face to the cockpit, so you feel more part of whats going on, can keep an eye on sheets and crew etc. And if you are under autopilot for passage-making, the exposure problem is reduced. (Although some helm positions of this type LOOK, to me, positively unsafe - I just cannot imagine having to helm from the 'rear corner' in bad weather when the autopilot has packed up or not up to the job)

- With helm on the saloon bulkhead, where you see OVER the saloon, you get 360 deg. visibility, plus (usually) can see all four corners, are under cover from elements, have one position for instruments, and is probably the best place to be in really bad weather. BUT - your back is to the cockpit, you are higher than the cockpit, you can be a long way from the pontoon when doing side-to mooring, and the view of the sails is poor (through bimini). Again use of autopilot will change the importance of some of this on passage.

- With helm on the saloon bulkhead, where you see THROUGH the saloon: I have never tried it, but visbility must be poor.

440 flybridge approach may be OK for charter-party but I would not entertain it for cruising, for the reasons you state.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:54   #3
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Moby,
For all those reasons you stated for dual helms at the sterns are why I would always opt for that set-up. I can't imagine sailing under a bimini and not have clear sight of the sails! Also, from the center-saloon position, it becomes very difficult to watch the luff of the headsail. As you said, you have a view of the whole boat, which is so much safer in the event of MOB and docking. I have pulled up to docks, singlehanded, and able to toss the bow and stern docking lines from my position at the beam...very difficult if I was stuck in the center of the boat.
A well designed boat will provide some protection from the elements, and a clear view of the boat, maybe not as much as a saloon bulkhead helm, but I think the trade-offs are worth it.
A nice compromise is the dual helms on the saloon bulkhead.
Have you seen the Conser 47?

http://consercatamaran.com/cgi-bin/c...ategory=100001

I like this arrangement.....
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:00   #4
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The conser 47: still looks (from the pictures) like you cannot see to port when on starboard helm (due to saloon roof) and vice-versa

I think there are too many drawbacks to 'helms at the back' and prefer the 'helm-at-the bulkhead, OVER' for 360 view, safety and cover - but there is no 'best' solution, just various sets of compromises.
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby Dick
- but there is no 'best' solution, just various sets of compromises.
....truly the definition of boatdesign!
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:41   #6
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I think a number of Chris White designs have the cockpit forward - I like the idea of that, but haven't sailed in one. Does anyone have any experiences - good or bad - with that layout?

Kevin
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Old 08-09-2006, 06:38   #7
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For me the another big disadvantage with a Flybridge-type steering like on the Lagoon 440 is that you need to climb stairs and you again have "2 decks". The beauty of a catamaran is that the steering and "livingroom" are on the same "floor". So if you sail with small crew you can talk and enjoy sailing together, even if one is maybe just sitting inside...

I like the option of a coverd Bimini with Sprayhood with a part that you can open like on the 380S2:


You can see the sails pretty good and and have a good allround-sight and still have a good weather and sun-protection.


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Old 08-09-2006, 10:56   #8
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looks like you have to duck the boom though....!

Is that the normal standing position?
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman
I think a number of Chris White designs have the cockpit forward - I like the idea of that, but haven't sailed in one. Does anyone have any experiences - good or bad - with that layout?

Kevin
I've talked to a couple of people who have the Atlantic cats. One person had all positives about the design. When I asked about getting wet in heavy seas, he said it stayed pretty dry. The other owner, said he did get wet in the front cockpit, but it took quite a blow and some choppy seas. All in all, the owners were extremely pleased with the boats!
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:41   #10
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I've always felt that the best Bridge designs placed the bridge above the obstruction it was intended to cross. When constructed in the opposite orientation, I've always called them "Tunnels".
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Old 08-09-2006, 14:14   #11
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A friend built a custom design 57' cat 30' beam (Shearwater) with the helm forward. He had an auxlary helm inside the main saloon for nasty weather. Of course with that much room, it was no problem. That still didn't overcome thie need to see around the fores'l, a situation that twin hulls helps if not solves.

I didn't find any cats in my price range with similar layout.

George
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Old 09-09-2006, 08:04   #12
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Good visibility on deck, depends the cabin layout inside. I have a PDQ36, and I can see 360 deg. while standing in the cockpit. This is because of the "galley down" arrangement. The cabin top is lower & steps are not needed to get to the helm. This set-up work well for me, being a singlehander, for visibility, ease of docking, and easy access to all lines. On the other hand, galley down gives less "walk around" space. It's all a compromise, but I'll opt for ease of sailing & docking.

Marc
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Old 09-09-2006, 22:29   #13
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Take a look at the new Lagoon 42'
Notice that the bridge cover has a window so you can see the main sail
http://www.ancasta.co.uk/lagoon/lagoon_420_pictures.asp

The bridge seems to be slightly raised without pushing the main sail higher
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Old 10-09-2006, 23:31   #14
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Its the normal standing position. I am 1,92m and no, it never got me :-)
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