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Old 11-05-2009, 10:11   #46
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Covered helm for sure. I've been in some really , really hard rainstorms in Fl and the Carribean, and of course they are usually accompanied by wind gusts etc, so operating from a dry controlled environment is a real plus.....
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:18   #47
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Imaginetofrolic, my bimini sounds like it is set up the way yours was originally - with the s/s supports running through the bimini, albeit attached by multiple fasteners. I have had no difficulties with it structurally; indeed, last summer it easily survived sailing with the full enclosure up in steady winds of 45 knots, with gusts to 54. Yes, it increased windage enormously, but the cockpit was almost bone dry and accordingly, the passage was much more comfortable (and IMO, safe).

I suspect that the side/stern curtains (and the dodger) increase rigidity, but I have no qualms about keeping it up in virtually anything short of a hurricane (or unless anchored, or having to sail to windward in extreme conditions). It should also be noted that even with the side curtains disconnected (they zip in, with snap fasteners only at the bottom edge on the coaming), the bimini is still very taut: the connection to the dodger forward, the sheer number of cross-supports (five) and the turned edges with webbing and zippers as reinforcement all help. It may also be that the relatively narrow width of my cockpit contributes to its solidity - I have a center cockpit with relatively wide side decks/coamings).

In my opinion, the enclosure is not just for cold climates: certainly Bermuda, the Bahamas and areas in the northern Caribbean can all get pretty cool in January; further, the enclosure is screened and the windows can be rolled up to permit the air through, but keep (most of) the mozzies out.

The only thing that can't be done from inside the enclosure is trim the main (although in gale force conditions I tend to sail with only my staysail/storm jib and at most, a triple reefed main sheeted in tight). The sheets for the foresails do enter the cockpit through a reinforced slot in between the bimini and side curtains and, although you are unable to effect 360 degree turns of the winches (the winch handles contact the side curtains), they are still usuable.

Simply put, in my opinion there is much to be said for the flexibility/comfort provided by a bulkhead mounted wheel with an elevated helm seat seat, a dodger with zippered windows and a bimini with detachable side windows/screens.

Brad
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Old 11-05-2009, 13:54   #48
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Southern Star,

Imagine is wood, and the previous owner used wood screws to attatch the frame. After 5 years the wood rotted, and this is what pulled the frame loose. Since then everything is through bolted, and laced JUST IN CASE another problem arises. This way I don't have to take the frame apart to remove the bimini for what ever reason......i2f.
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Old 11-05-2009, 14:37   #49
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Southern Star,

Imagine is wood, and the previous owner used wood screws to attatch the frame. After 5 years the wood rotted, and this is what pulled the frame loose. Since then everything is through bolted, and laced JUST IN CASE another problem arises. This way I don't have to take the frame apart to remove the bimini for what ever reason......i2f.
Got Pics?
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Old 11-05-2009, 14:41   #50
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Would you buy a pickup truck ,which can only be steered from the open box, so you can feel the wind on your ears? Duhhh!!!
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Old 11-05-2009, 15:41   #51
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TROPIC CAT,

What pics would you like? I'll check, and see what we have........i2f
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Old 11-05-2009, 17:38   #52
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Pics of the bimini of course!!
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:37   #53
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I thought maybe you wanted a specific part of the bimini. I don't have anything dedicated to the bimini, but here a couple of pics with the bimini in it.......i2f
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Old 16-05-2009, 18:11   #54
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It seems to me that guys with exposed helms need to justify their purchases.You can say what you like,but for those of us who have sailed both,its a no brainer.1)protection from the elements ie. sun wind and rain/spray 2)less chance of being swept off the deck in rough sea 3)better view point as the helm against or in the cockpit is raised etc etc.
So lets not flog a dead mule...it seems that only the french build these silly Wheels on the stern and alas they are purists!
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Old 17-05-2009, 00:32   #55
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Thank you so much for your thoughts Chris .......................
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Old 19-05-2009, 12:20   #56
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Actually Chris, I don't believe that it is only the French who build them and, even if that were so, I fail to see how it is relevant - especially since the French build more production catamarans than any other country. Again, I prefer my helm location but can see two clear advantages to twin wheels aft: 1. you have an unobstructed view of both the main and foresail; 2. since most cats must be exited from the stern area, docking would be much easier with the aft wheel when cruising short-handed.

Sorry, but to some of us, there is a debate.

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Old 20-05-2009, 23:24   #57
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Actually Chris, I don't believe that it is only the French who build them and, even if that were so, I fail to see how it is relevant - especially since the French build more production catamarans than any other country. Again, I prefer my helm location but can see two clear advantages to twin wheels aft: 1. you have an unobstructed view of both the main and foresail; 2. since most cats must be exited from the stern area, docking would be much easier with the aft wheel when cruising short-handed.

Sorry, but to some of us, there is a debate.

Brad
I agree with Brad. This is a recurrent topic and I think Dave from Maxing Out has commented before since his P-39 went around the world for many years with aft helms. I think he said he had his hands on the helm something like <0.5% of the time, or maybe it was measured in hours over a 10 year period.

Coming from a mono, exposed helm is more the norm. I can understand the logical arguments for the deck house mounted helm, but I have a couple problems with it in practice. (a) I don't plan to steer other than in extreme weather or docking, so what is most important is a place to stand watch. (b) If I'm at the dock, I'm usually concerned about one side and prefer to be in the corner where I can see what's going on. I know the gurus say that you should always be able to see all 4 corners - while you can see over 4 corners (really 3 if you have a genoa out), but you really can't see the corner itself which is what you want for docking. The beauty of a layout like the Privilege 39 is that it's trivially easy to walk side to side from wheel to wheel if you really need to see what's going on on both sides. (c) After chartering half a dozen different models over 14 years, I really don't like to sit up on the raised deckhouse mounted helms. All the minimalist benches are really lame. You have no support, not much of a back, etc for longer watches. You are usually a couple feet higher off the water than the aft deck level helm, which means that any pitching or rolling is amplified. I have yet to see any cat with a serious watch standing (sitting) chair like you'd see on a trawler, fishing boat, etc. Even with the bimini mounted helm, most people standing watch are not sitting in that chair unless you are in a crowded channel.

Fire away.....contrarian force field engaged.
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Old 21-05-2009, 06:20   #58
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There is no doubt helms in the corner are a huge plus when docking. Like every other boat out there there is going to be a compromise, and this one item has it's pluses, and minuses. The only choice being which boat will I settle for, and what will make me happy. This being the one buying a boat.

I would think to build the perfect boat it would have to be loaded down beyond reasoning, and complex. I have learned to live my boats downfalls, and appreciate what it's pluses are......i2f
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Old 21-05-2009, 12:21   #59
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There is no doubt helms in the corner are a huge plus when docking. Like every other boat out there there is going to be a compromise, and this one item has it's pluses, and minuses. The only choice being which boat will I settle for, and what will make me happy. This being the one buying a boat.
You are exactly right, I guess the summary of my position is that within reason, helm position is not a make or break factor in the decision process. I hear so many people dismissing models out of hand because of helm position - I just think there many other issues that have to be folded into the mix that are equal, if not more important.
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Old 21-05-2009, 14:11   #60
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Most of the time you are backing into where ever you will dock, and there is perfect vision doing this. There have been VERY few times I did not have the chance to back. Even coming along side I back into my board, and swing the bow in......i2f
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