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Old 28-06-2015, 19:04   #16
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

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One each side might be good
One for you and one for your wife? The one for your wife should have the engine start button on her side.
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Old 28-06-2015, 19:08   #17
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

Which America do you drive in? There are several... and some drive on the left.
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Old 28-06-2015, 19:14   #18
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

To starboard should give better visibility to the "danger" zone where boats expect you to avoid them. Otherwise, having propwalk on the same side as your helm has definite advantage when docking as it "sucks" one toward dock. Fortunately, my boat has starboard propwalk.
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Old 28-06-2015, 20:10   #19
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

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Which America do you drive in? There are several... and some drive on the left.
North America. That is both Canada and USA. I try to drive on the right hand side as much as possible and I've managed OK so far many times. I have family in both "Americas" in Ontario and Oregon. I warn you now I'll be driving around Utah / Arizona looking at canyons in September. Sort of cruising inland.
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Old 28-06-2015, 20:31   #20
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

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Just like cars. It's what you are used to. USA cars left hand drive. Where I live and many other countries right hand drive. I don't worry as I have a tiller and change sides when I change tacks. I do have to be extra careful when I drive cars in America.
Graham, I agree one gets used to it but if you're driving a left hand drive car on the right hand side of the road as you do in USA with rules of road, right of way etc designed to accommodate left hand vehicles on right hand side then that's cool. But if you drive a left hand drive car on roads and road rules designed for the left hand side of the road (like in Aus) then it's weird

When it comes to boating the 'rules of the road' are international. I see it here I Aus when traveling along a seaway. I often see people (obviously inexperienced) steering down the seaway keeping left because in Aus we keep left on the road. On the seaway you're supposed to keep right with oncoming traffic passing to your port side.

So hence my question about port vs starboard helm position on a catamaran. My way of thinking (remember I've been doing the catamaran sailing thing for 5 mins) is that in congested waterways like seaways, harbours etc if you're keeping right (international rule) and traffic moving in opposite direction is to your left then on a vessel as wide as a catamaran it may be an advantage to have the helm position on the port side, that way making visibility to judge oncoming 'traffic' easier.
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Old 28-06-2015, 23:54   #21
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

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Graham, I agree one gets used to it but if you're driving a left hand drive car on the right hand side of the road as you do in USA with rules of road, right of way etc designed to accommodate left hand vehicles on right hand side then that's cool. But if you drive a left hand drive car on roads and road rules designed for the left hand side of the road (like in Aus) then it's weird

When it comes to boating the 'rules of the road' are international. I see it here I Aus when traveling along a seaway. I often see people (obviously inexperienced) steering down the seaway keeping left because in Aus we keep left on the road. On the seaway you're supposed to keep right with oncoming traffic passing to your port side.

So hence my question about port vs starboard helm position on a catamaran. My way of thinking (remember I've been doing the catamaran sailing thing for 5 mins) is that in congested waterways like seaways, harbours etc if you're keeping right (international rule) and traffic moving in opposite direction is to your left then on a vessel as wide as a catamaran it may be an advantage to have the helm position on the port side, that way making visibility to judge oncoming 'traffic' easier.
Not quite international as I understand: I'm sure I'll be corrected if Im wrong.
The world is divided into zones A and B. A is most of the world except America (North and South). America is zone B. On entering a harbour (following the direction of a flood tide). In zone A; New Zealand / Australia Europe etc we keep the red buoy to port. That is red to red. In zone B; the Americas, the rule is red right returning (home) so it is the other way around.
(I just googled that to confirm it was as I thought) I think there are other differences in the shapes of buoys and markers that I haven't learned

I seem to remember that many years ago NZ (Aus?) followed the American system but we changed to the international standard at some point. America being very large presumably didn't want to change all the millions of buoys.

It is annoying when, especially motorboat drivers in NZ and Aus think they are on the road and keep left. I understand keep right on the water is international. And in the air when planes are heading towards one another each goes right.

Incidentally I once had the privilege of being shown over the US Pintado a nuclear submarine. They had 2 helms like aircraft control columns with the helmsmen sitting on sort of bar stool chairs and the navigator standing behind them giving orders. One helmsman only did up and down the other did left and right. The orders were left or right as the helmsmen could react more quickly without mistakes than to port and stbd. But nuclear submarines don't give way to anyone. Must be weird helming a vessel at 30+ knots underwater not seeing where you're going

Ive never helmed a wide multihull though you would need to look out to Stbd to see the boats you need to give way to, and you also need to see the boats on your left that are giving way to you and may require sea room.
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Old 29-06-2015, 01:52   #22
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

IALA buoyage areas don't change the rules about vessels passing port to port, just the colour of the marks.
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Old 29-06-2015, 06:27   #23
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

Thanks GrahamHO, my experience is limited (very limited) to boating small power boats out of local harbours so zone A/B is is double Dutch to me but I'm sure that will be covered in some international pilotage handbook? It would definitely be something that I would study if I was to find myself undertaking a boating trip in foreign ports.

So, it would appear that the positioning of the helm station is purely a matter of choice and has nothing to do with which side is better for helming or where the boat will primarily operate.
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Old 29-06-2015, 06:47   #24
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

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So, it would appear that the positioning of the helm station is purely a matter of choice and has nothing to do with which side is better for helming or where the boat will primarily operate.
That is correct. It is easy to make arguments about why a helm would be on one side or the other, but the reality is that it is a matter of manufacturer/design choice.

A good helm, rig and sail plan design has visibility regardless of helm placement. I have trouble picturing one that is so bad (and a helmsman so inattentive) that one does not see an approaching starboard boat. Generally, these things do not just suddenly jump up out of nowhere. Similarly, a starboard helm could prevent one from seeing that they are about to t-bone a port helm boat that doesn't see them. If this happens, the starboard mounted helmsman is an idiot. So is the port one.

Standing firm on Colregs is just silly.

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Old 29-06-2015, 13:54   #25
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

..or...

Catana:


Nautitech:


Article about cats' helms:
from The Multihull Company
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Old 29-06-2015, 14:02   #26
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

Ours is port side. I think starboard would be better for visibility as mentioned above but it's not a deal breaker. I doubt I'd choose a cat based in the side the helm is located.
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Old 29-06-2015, 14:47   #27
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

It looks like Catana has taken a step backwards with their helm setup. The Nautitech helm is simply dangerous.

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Old 29-06-2015, 15:16   #28
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

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It looks like Catana has taken a step backwards with their helm setup. The Nautitech helm is simply dangerous.

Mark
Delivered a Nautitec 44 years ago and really did not like the helm position, yes it felt dangerous, and a number of other features of the boat.
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Old 29-06-2015, 15:17   #29
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Re: Helm station. port or starboard

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It looks like Catana has taken a step backwards with their helm setup. The Nautitech helm is simply dangerous.

I'm not a fan either, but unless you can cite any sort of hard data to back your claim, you're just speculating.
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Old 29-06-2015, 15:34   #30
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Helm station. port or starboard

OK, it is my opinion that steering while standing on a stern step outside of the cockpit with a folding seat that only accommodates one butt cheek and the only way to get back to the safety of the cockpit is to either climb over the traveler or step up onto the edge of the stern and through a 12" gap between the wheel and the bimini post...

is simply dangerous.

Some things are obvious without "hard data".

Mark
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