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Old 20-03-2014, 17:14   #46
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Re: helm location

Barra,

"You dont see post after post on the mono forum about how those sailors feel exposed in bad weather due to their aft helms and wishing they had a center cockpit. So what is it about (some) cat sailors that feel the need to be more sheltered than mono sailors???"

Ok, I admit it. I'm not one of those tough monohullers who needs to hang onto the wheel, not just for steering, in rough conditions and being really, REALLY, careful moving around the boat, day after day. And I kind of enjoy being in the cockpit feeling safe not needing a safety harness and full wet weather gear like I used to use when sailing on friends mono's in the Coral Sea. And being able to look ahead to weather to steer around the breakers without copping face full after face full of sea.

Yep, I'm spoiled now, getting older, and wanting a cat.
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Old 20-03-2014, 18:43   #47
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Re: helm location

Hmm except there ARE disadvantages to NOT having aft helms mainly in the sailing departments but quite a few others also (more cockpit spac, manourvering in tight areas, steering redundancy, direct steering and "feel" etc etc). Yes exposure to weather is a disadvantage against them and thats one of the tradeoffs we are talking about.

I just think the advantage of not being as exposed to the odd bit of inclement weather is much overrated vs being able to sail your boat to the best of its abilities from the helm. Thats just my view of course but if you include the mono brigade i think im in the vast majority of sailors and the cat sailors hiding behind their bulkheads or riding the elephant back on their flybridge just overstate this downside....
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:05   #48
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Re: helm location

Maybe the exposed helms would be considered ok on a weekend or coastal cruiser but on a full time live aboard cruiser wouldn't you want the comfort of more protected helms?


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Old 20-03-2014, 19:06   #49
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Re: helm location

I agree my experience of hand steering for 2 days was an extreme case, and I agree that most things on boats are matters of compromise and/or deciding on priorities.
Some would prefer to have more protection from the elements as a priority while others like to be out in it and tweak the sails. Vive la difference!
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:09   #50
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Re: helm location

Scarlet,

There is a good chance that you have already heard my opinion since I was on the Lagoon 450 in Miami most of the show.

Our 450 is in the Caribbean but we're still filling the cruising kitty so we only break away to use it for two or three weeks at a time. We definitely prefer the raised helm. It is the social center when we are underway. Everyone we have had with us loves it as well. We have the enclosure for the helm but we have never seen the need to install it.

On the few occasions where we were faced with sailing through a squall line I reefed the sails and went below to the nav station and had nearly 360 degree field of view while monitoring our track on the plotter or an iPad linked to the plotter. And with the remote I can make heading changes from anywhere on the boat.

While I understand other preferences, we're sticking with our flybridge.

Our previous catamaran had a bulkhead mounted helm with a seat that could accommodate two people. In smooth conditions our guests would climb onto the hard cockpit cover so that they had decent visibility. In rougher weather they sat in the cockpit with limited visibility which was ultimately a contributing factor to their eventual seasickness.

Your choice should be based on your preferences. Everyone has their own preferences, experience, and intended use. I'd estimate that at least 80% of our time on our boat will be while anchored. We don't have any interest in going anywhere cold (been there, done that, have the mukluks).

At 6'2" I can manage the high boom but we are looking into getting a hard bimini that can be walked on. I want more shade and might as well make it a platform for a few more solar panels while I'm at it.


Lucky Larry
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:13   #51
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Re: helm location

If it turned out that squall had a lot more wind than you expected, how long would it take you to make it from the salon to the main sheet, in case it had to be released?


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Old 20-03-2014, 19:15   #52
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Re: helm location

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
Maybe the exposed helms would be considered ok on a weekend or coastal cruiser but on a full time live aboard cruiser wouldn't you want the comfort of more protected helms?


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I honestly don't know... What I can tell you... is that my last 2 cars have been convertibles... and any chance I get.. my top is down. The sun... and the wind? Well... they are just so darn therapeutic! But.. I haven't been on the ocean.. on a cat.. in inclimate weather... I'm not sure how I would do...
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:20   #53
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Re: helm location

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
Maybe the exposed helms would be considered ok on a weekend or coastal cruiser but on a full time live aboard cruiser wouldn't you want the comfort of more protected helms?


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hahah mate i thought you were the one arguing for more hardship/keep it simple when world cruising on a 30 footer on the outremer post!

Like others said the autopilot is used by most skippers on all walks of boat. I have excellent watch keeping from the cockpit or saloon if i want to be out of the weather BUT when i want to sail i have the best possible layout for that (other than maybe the new outremer tillers)
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:22   #54
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Re: helm location

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Larry View Post
Scarlet,

There is a good chance that you have already heard my opinion since I was on the Lagoon 450 in Miami most of the show.

Our 450 is in the Caribbean but we're still filling the cruising kitty so we only break away to use it for two or three weeks at a time. We definitely prefer the raised helm. It is the social center when we are underway. Everyone we have had with us loves it as well. We have the enclosure for the helm but we have never seen the need to install it.

On the few occasions where we were faced with sailing through a squall line I reefed the sails and went below to the nav station and had nearly 360 degree field of view while monitoring our track on the plotter or an iPad linked to the plotter. And with the remote I can make heading changes from anywhere on the boat.

While I understand other preferences, we're sticking with our flybridge.

Our previous catamaran had a bulkhead mounted helm with a seat that could accommodate two people. In smooth conditions our guests would climb onto the hard cockpit cover so that they had decent visibility. In rougher weather they sat in the cockpit with limited visibility which was ultimately a contributing factor to their eventual seasickness.

Your choice should be based on your preferences. Everyone has their own preferences, experience, and intended use. I'd estimate that at least 80% of our time on our boat will be while anchored. We don't have any interest in going anywhere cold (been there, done that, have the mukluks).

At 6'2" I can manage the high boom but we are looking into getting a hard bimini that can be walked on. I want more shade and might as well make it a platform for a few more solar panels while I'm at it.


Lucky Larry
I think I DID talk to you at Miami!!! we went back to that darn boat 4 or 5 times!! we were back and forth between the Helia, and the 450! ( we also liked the Leopard) I absolutely LOVED sitting up on the flybridge! and you bring up a good point. When you are sailing (as a guest) in the cockpit... you really can only look out the side. It's weird.. not being able to see where you are going. I guess that's one of the reason I loved the 450.... the whole world is in front of you. But.. I haven't been out on it.. and it just may be way too exposed to the elements!!

HEY!! wanna take us out on your boat?!?!?! I'll bring cookies!! and I make a MEAN Margarita!
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:23   #55
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helm location

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky Larry View Post
Scarlet,


At 6'2" I can manage the high boom but we are looking into getting a hard bimini that can be walked on. I want more shade and might as well make it a platform for a few more solar panels while I'm at it.


Lucky Larry

If you look at the OPs opening post will see that you are 14" taller than he is. You say that you can manage the high boom, how do you think you would go if you were the same height as the OP?
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:26   #56
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Re: helm location

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Originally Posted by Barra View Post
hahah mate i thought you were the one arguing for more hardship/keep it simple when world cruising on a 30 footer on the outremer post!



Like others said the autopilot is used by most skippers on all walks of boat. I have excellent watch keeping from the cockpit or saloon if i want to be out of the weather BUT when i want to sail i have the best possible layout for that (other than maybe the new outremer tillers)

I was just busting your chops as I thought you were more for the creature comforts! I agree, the new Outremer with the choice of the wheel on the bullhead for inclement weather and also the exposed tillers for the joy of sailing is the ultimate.


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Old 20-03-2014, 19:27   #57
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Re: helm location

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Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle View Post
If you look at the OPs opening post will see that you are 14" taller than he is. You say that you can manage the high boom, how do you think you would go if you were the same height as the OP?
... I just wanted to mention that I'm a girl..

carry on!
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:35   #58
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Re: helm location

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
... I just wanted to mention that I'm a girl..



carry on!


Oops, sorry Scarlet my sincere apologies on making an assumption which was obviously an incorrect one.

I will also add that all the crew that I have sailed with on coastal delivery trips which can be up to a week at sea and on a Pacific passage were very happy sitting in the cockpit of cats with bulkhead helms and they could also sit in the shade and look in all directions including forward. On one cat we have two large beanbags that are tied to the nets and the crew love to relax in them while underway as well.
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:39   #59
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Re: helm location

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozbullwinkle View Post
If you look at the OPs opening post will see that you are 14" taller than he is. You say that you can manage the high boom, how do you think you would go if you were the same height as the OP?
Yep I think you are more on the right track here IMHO- the comfort out of the weather is far far less important than ability to manhandle stuff when the sh#t hits the fan (and in scarlets case woman handle) I dont think anyone would argue the 450 has an edge here and in fact it looks downright difficult to manage in rough conditions to me (and i like a bit of an adventure)
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:51   #60
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Re: helm location

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
I honestly don't know... What I can tell you... is that my last 2 cars have been convertibles... and any chance I get.. my top is down. The sun... and the wind? Well... they are just so darn therapeutic! But.. I haven't been on the ocean.. on a cat.. in inclimate weather... I'm not sure how I would do...
This is one of the things that shock new cruisers - it very quickly becomes not fun being exposed to constant wind and sun. Yes, a convertible is nice, as is once in awhile really "sailing" a boat in full environmental exposure.

But rest assured, when you are full-time cruising, there is absolutely nothing therapeutic about constant wind in your face and sun on your head. You will do everything to avoid it for any length of time. Inclemete weather has nothing to do with it - the "good" weather grinds you down.

More cockpit space, and more options for designing and using that space is one advantage of exterior helms, and that is a big advantage for most boats. Barra's cockpit is a superb design that is only possible because there is no helm there.

Another advantage is seeing the sail trim - although to actually trim the sails, one must move into the cockpit, so I don't understand this advantage over already being in the cockpit and needing to move your head outside the bimini to see the trim. On our bulkhead helm boat with a clear hatch overhead, I can see all sail trim for almost all points of sail. There is one particular sail set where I need to cock my head and lean sideways outside the bimini (and get a blast of sun and wind) to see the jib set. But even when in this cocked head leaning position, the ability to actually trim is still within reach without moving from the helm seat.

That is something not possible with most outside stern helms.

Mark
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