Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-12-2015, 16:19   #1
Registered User
 
admiralslater's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Toronto summer rest somewhere else
Boat: Outremer 45/pdq36
Posts: 679
Helm positions

I was looking at the 100% motoring thread as it drifted towards helm positions. I am not keen on the Chris White forward position But I do believe in the direction he takes his designs . From the owners I have talked to, the out board steering on the Catanas and new Outremers works quite well especially as auto helm is so ubiquitous. However the helm position on the Nautitec open40 gives me the willies .I know there are lifelines installed but it is one quick stubble from the wheel to the deep blue sea . Does anyone else feel like that .
__________________

__________________
admiralslater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2015, 17:13   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: Helm positions

I drove a Catana with aft outboard positions. No issues. Great when docking stern to the quay. But I prefer twin stations placed just aft of the bridgedeck - more protection from the elements and closer to the kitchen / nav table.

b.
__________________

__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2015, 06:28   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: Helm positions

The Nautitech 40 also gives me the willies, but it is tremendously improved over the older Nautitech models. Those gave me cold shaking chills.

Check out that helmseat and the fact that one needs to step up onto the narrow stern deck and across the traveller to get in/out of the helms. I consider this the worse helm I have seen on a catamaran.

Comparatively, the Catana and Outremer helms are buried inside the boat.

Mark
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Nautitech helm.jpg
Views:	411
Size:	55.0 KB
ID:	114350  
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2015, 06:30   #4
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: Helm positions

Ive only experienced the L380 and L400 positions which are both comfortable in most conditions. The L400 more so, but less appealing to the eye with a tent on top of the coach roof. Yesterday we were sailing with a decent cross swell on the nose and a few waves broke over the bow and washed maybe 10buckets of water along the windward hull and down the rear steps. Pretty rare that happens but I was glad I wasn't sitting at a helm in that position. We do get the occasional splash from a wave over the bow at our helm and the clear screen is usually always up for better visibility, but we occasionally zip it down if we are getting too wet from squalls
A couple of benefits of the L400 style is that all lines run to the helm and electric winch so there is rarely a need to move from the helm except to stand and take the sheets. Everything is a one man operation, including tacking, reefing and raising sails etc while tending the helm. The double helm seat is nice for sharing with a friend ❤️
The location offers good access to talk with crew in the saloon or cockpit.
If I had to redesign it I would have a hardtop with fixed Perspex sides and sliding opening sections, and probably a bit lower than the current Bimini. I like this feature on other bulkhead helms such as the st Francis 50 or Antares. I'd also add a more cushioned and adjustable double seat.
I quite liked the new outremer 45s bulkhead steering position, but the lack of weather protection and no seat would bother me pretty quickly. Looks and performance wise, I don't think you can beat a flush roof with a low boom and preferably traveler on the coachroof. Any other option is a trade off for comfort/performance.
Often it's said that you do t have to spend much time at the helm and most tasks can be done at inside Nav stations or from other positions, which can be true. But I find often I do want to be at the helm, especially in adverse conditions, so having a protected helm for the worst conditions, with instant access to all controls and lines, is high on my perfect boat priority list.
Lack of weather protection and separation from the cockpit, crew and saloon would count out bridgedeck helms for me. Some go with a fully enclosed bridgedeck Bimini but the windage would count out that option for me also.
All in all its a lot of pros and cons and what ticks most of your boxes. Often the helm position is less important for others than the interior layout or boat performance and they might choose say a catana or outremer based on those preferences, or because they personally prefer the outboard helm to a bulkhead helm and are ok with less weather protection.
I'd be happy enough with any helm position for weekend sailing or tropical weeks or months aboard and I guess I'd put on a raincoat or get a bit wet some days. Also if I typically sailed with a few crew having all lines leading to the helm would be much less of a priority, and I'd probably prefer have the sheets and halyards located elsewhere to keep the crew amused and out from underfoot.
On a side note, I have to say that the raymarine wifi, and I guess other manufacturers have it as well, is absolutely fantastic for keeping an eye on the plotter from anywhere on board using an iPad. This allows you to keep an eye on wind, charts, AIS, radar etc from any comfortable position onboard. We used it a lot crossing the Atlantic, where a 3-4 hr watch at the helm isn't really necessary in settled weather. We use it less so on shorter day sails.
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2015, 07:47   #5
cruiser

Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 285
Re: Helm positions

pre-1993 Catana helm:

__________________
AD28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2015, 17:49   #6
Registered User
 
admiralslater's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Toronto summer rest somewhere else
Boat: Outremer 45/pdq36
Posts: 679
Re: Helm positions

Our Outremer 45 2003 does not have a helm seat just a bar,Last year was our first with it ,not as bad as I thought .I have a tendency l tend to move around a lot which might be why it is not an issue yet
__________________
admiralslater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2015, 23:34   #7
Registered User
 
Barra's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Australia
Boat: between boats
Posts: 808
Re: Helm positions

I agree with you. The nautitec helms that ive seen give other better designed twin aft helms a bit of a bad rap. They might look kinda cool at the dock but once underway you cant see the opposite quarter of the boat since they are so low. That would get very frustrating i reckon.

Some might get the heebie jeebies from the seemingly transparent nature of whats keeping you out of the water too ie the safety lines seem almost invisible in a storm and on the nautitec again that is much worse.

The admiral certainly had that for the first few times offshore but you do get over it.

Likewise you can feel pretty exposed on offshore raceboats with the low profile topsides etc once the weather is up, which is maybe why Ive got a slightly different take on the exposure thing which is that it encourages you to use a harness and clip on if the weather demands it. Something you should be doing in any helm set up if short handed offshore in a storm IMHO.

The more central helms kinda give you a false sense of security since if you do get hit by a rougue wave any of the helms are pretty much equally dangerous in terms of potentially being swept overboard in reality (except the chris white etc types) its just that you might bash into more stuff on the way over maybe.

Its a personal thing but I eventually came to the conclusion that I preferred the catana style set up based on a preference for maximising the sailing enjoyment. I thought I would have gone for a bulkhead helm initially since the layout makes alot of sense for cruising but after sailing quite a few I found that I really missed the helm feedback and the feel for the boat under sail from an aft position. Its simply the best spot from which to helm a cat under sail hands down.

The bulkhead options are better protected and some people may feel safer but to me they felt like I was driving a motorhome not a boat. Bridgedeck complete non starter with the extra windage, boom height and mast height needed to manage it.
__________________
Barra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-12-2015, 05:38   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Winters cruising; summers Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Catana 471
Posts: 1,239
Re: Helm positions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barra View Post
....felt like I was driving a motorhome not a boat.
HA! Those are almost exactly the words my Admiral used.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Helm.jpg
Views:	335
Size:	388.0 KB
ID:	115086  
__________________
2Hulls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-12-2015, 00:45   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Singapore
Boat: Nautitech 40 (2005)
Posts: 100
Images: 3
Re: Helm positions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barra View Post
I agree with you. The nautitec helms that ive seen give other better designed twin aft helms a bit of a bad rap. They might look kinda cool at the dock but once underway you cant see the opposite quarter of the boat since they are so low. That would get very frustrating i reckon.

Some might get the heebie jeebies from the seemingly transparent nature of whats keeping you out of the water too ie the safety lines seem almost invisible in a storm and on the nautitec again that is much worse.

The admiral certainly had that for the first few times offshore but you do get over it.

Likewise you can feel pretty exposed on offshore raceboats with the low profile topsides etc once the weather is up, which is maybe why Ive got a slightly different take on the exposure thing which is that it encourages you to use a harness and clip on if the weather demands it. Something you should be doing in any helm set up if short handed offshore in a storm IMHO.

The more central helms kinda give you a false sense of security since if you do get hit by a rougue wave any of the helms are pretty much equally dangerous in terms of potentially being swept overboard in reality (except the chris white etc types) its just that you might bash into more stuff on the way over maybe.

Its a personal thing but I eventually came to the conclusion that I preferred the catana style set up based on a preference for maximising the sailing enjoyment. I thought I would have gone for a bulkhead helm initially since the layout makes alot of sense for cruising but after sailing quite a few I found that I really missed the helm feedback and the feel for the boat under sail from an aft position. Its simply the best spot from which to helm a cat under sail hands down.

The bulkhead options are better protected and some people may feel safer but to me they felt like I was driving a motorhome not a boat. Bridgedeck complete non starter with the extra windage, boom height and mast height needed to manage it.
I know I'm going to regret getting involved, but oh well..

I'm quoting Barra because he gives a sensible comparison with many equivalent monohulls, in terms of exposure, height above water level, and risk of tipping backwards off the transom. You only need to thumb through a few yachting magazines to see how exposed most modern monohull helms are, even more so now that there's a trend of easy access to bathing platforms and so forth.

I'm attaching a couple of still shots (taken from a video of my wife helming) and if you look at the first one (closer) and imagine this is a 40ft monohull, you would surely not cry "ridiculous!". but the 2nd photo, from further away, certainly looks more exposed and those of you bothering to read this will say "yes, that's what we mean!" but the position is the same and the physical risk / exposure is no different. Certainly any monohull sailor, familiar with typical aft-cockpit designs, would not find this dangerous.

As for Barra's comment on visibility, I admit that care is required to hop up to deck level regularly to check the opposite bow. This 'hop' can be achieved without leaving the wheel. Anyhow, mine is a (now) old Nautitech 40, so this is historical in a sense.

I just get a bit defensive, not on my account (I found the perfect design for my needs) but on behalf of Nautitech who are repeatedly ridiculed for a design which was innovative at the time and they have remained loyal to the concept and no doubt improved it along the way.

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4482.PNG
Views:	378
Size:	264.8 KB
ID:	115126

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_4483.PNG
Views:	380
Size:	271.2 KB
ID:	115127
__________________
chris in SG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-12-2015, 17:19   #10
Registered User
 
Barra's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Australia
Boat: between boats
Posts: 808
Re: Helm positions

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris in SG View Post

I just get a bit defensive, not on my account (I found the perfect design for my needs) but on behalf of Nautitech who are repeatedly ridiculed for a design which was innovative at the time and they have remained loyal to the concept and no doubt improved it along the way.

Attachment 115126

Attachment 115127
Chris

On your last point I couldnt agree more. One of the things that concerns me is the way the dominant demands of the charter market dictate far too much on the boat design at the high volume end of the cat market and their demands are often at odds with those of us that want to sail our boats or even be safe in extreme conditions on some recent designs IMHO.

Then the marketing machine gets involved and tell those that are looking to buy new that charter design cats can "do it all" and at a lower price. Its just their job and basic economics to get volume up even further. New buyers often dont know any different and are instead wowed by dockside appeal etc and so the "market" dictates poorer and poorer sailing designs being built in too many cases.

Then they start motoring everywhere and we get that other record breaking thread

The knocking of cats like nautitech is just an extension of that at times I reckon so dont be too sensitive - its not always knowledgeable criticism.

I wonder what will happen now that bavaria is involved though as their mono designs are clearly of that charter boat ilk too with huge beams to squeeze in another few berths etc. Clearly the focus for them will be to come up with designs that charter companies put in some big orders for so they can scale up.

Could be that nautitechs of today and earlier will become sought after vs their more modern charter based equivalents. A bit like earlier catanas.
__________________
Barra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16-12-2015, 18:57   #11
smj
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Boat: Searunner 38 catamaran
Posts: 3,654
Re: Helm positions

I think the aft helms on the Catana and Nautitech would probably be the ultimate for actually sailing the boat but for cruising maybe not so. I couldn't imagine spending much time out there on a really sunny day, a day of constant rain or in rough weather.
Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByCruisers Sailing Forum1450317280.041275.jpg
Views:	361
Size:	74.5 KB
ID:	115157
I couldn't feel secure helming this boat in rough weather, but that's just me and I'm sure many love them as they do have some great attributes.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
smj is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 16-12-2015, 19:21   #12
Registered User
 
Barra's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Western Australia
Boat: between boats
Posts: 808
Re: Helm positions

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
I think the aft helms on the Catana and Nautitech would probably be the ultimate for actually sailing the boat but for cruising maybe not so. I couldn't imagine spending much time out there on a really sunny day, a day of constant rain or in rough weather.
Attachment 115157
I couldn't feel secure helming this boat in rough weather, but that's just me and I'm sure many love them as they do have some great attributes.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Yep the aft helms are a compromise just like everything on a boat and it comes down to personal preferences.

The exposure issue has been brought up often but its not as bad as you might imagine since the AP lets you move watch keeping to other parts of the boat if you choose to. Rarely you might need to be at the helm when the weather says you would rather not be but from experience its much more rare than you would initially think.

On the perceived safety thing thats personal too but if my non sailing wife can get used to it in a few trips then so can most people I guarantee (after all shes the reason we have a cat as she freaked out when our last boat heeled past 12 or so degrees )
__________________
Barra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 07:28   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Singapore
Boat: Nautitech 40 (2005)
Posts: 100
Images: 3
Re: Helm positions

I'm sure most opinions about helm position are formed by past experience. This photo is me helming my last boat, also 40ft and exposed to sun, rain and rather close to 'green' water. That was a Cheoy Lee Offshore 40 and the previous owner sailed her from Hawaii to Alaska, then Mexico and New Zealand, all without a dodger or bimini.

I hope I never lose the desire to put the autopilot on stand-by and hand steer when the conditions are right..
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	wcday2-292.jpg
Views:	250
Size:	419.0 KB
ID:	115173  
__________________
chris in SG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 14:31   #14
Registered User
 
admiralslater's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Toronto summer rest somewhere else
Boat: Outremer 45/pdq36
Posts: 679
Re: Helm positions

in the OP I was really thinking of the lack of structure behind the helm not the fact that they are aft and out board .The Catana has a solid seat and though not the same so does the Outemer(new style). I like the out board style
__________________
admiralslater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-12-2015, 19:20   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Singapore
Boat: Nautitech 40 (2005)
Posts: 100
Images: 3
Re: Helm positions

Quote:
Originally Posted by admiralslater View Post
in the OP I was really thinking of the lack of structure behind the helm not the fact that they are aft and out board .The Catana has a solid seat and though not the same so does the Outemer(new style). I like the out board style
Yes, point taken, I was getting side-tracked. My original point (in relation to common monohull designs) is better illustrated by these - particularly the Oceanis:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	jeanneau-so-509-e7.jpg
Views:	274
Size:	246.2 KB
ID:	115213   Click image for larger version

Name:	beneteau-oceanis-45_5.jpg
Views:	234
Size:	81.1 KB
ID:	115214  

__________________

__________________
chris in SG is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
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
For Fun: Helm Steer or Helm Tiller ? GaryMayo General Sailing Forum 57 15-05-2016 10:15
Crew Positions: Site Sticky? dacust Forum Tech Support & Site Help 2 11-02-2009 06:32
OceanLED Sales Positions GordMay Boat Ownership & Making a Living 0 14-07-2007 03:26
Available - Retired firefighter seeking crew positions Cliff Crew Archives 0 02-02-2005 21:39



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:34.


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.