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Old 09-04-2009, 01:28   #1
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Multi hull Fly Bridges

I retire at the end of this year and then I will decide weather to change to multi hull or stay with a mono hull.

A lot of the new cat's are coming out with fly bridges and for me personally I think it would be a hindrance as you would tend to be left out of a lot of what is going on ,, The way I see it when you are all on one level you are out of the weather and are not Left out of the conversation because when it started to get a bit rough most would go down below and for me personally I don't like the idea of having all the winches upstairs.

Interested in others thoughts on this
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:32   #2
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Not to mention the massive additional windage and the removal of the boom ever higher - I see no real use for them.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:21   #3
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I agree with Factor: by moving both the sailplan's center of effort and the center of gravity higher (aggravated by crew weight aloft), one reduces lateral stability and increases the risk of capsize. For those prepared to compromise on safety and performance, however, they do increase space and would provide for decent visibility in calm conditions.

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Old 09-04-2009, 06:28   #4
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Just one word descibes them


UGLY
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Old 09-04-2009, 08:44   #5
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Benefits: 360 degree visibility, no blind spot like you have on many traditional cat layouts.

Downside: Higher boom/less sail area for a given mast height resulting in a higher center of effort. Ugly?...depending on your tastes. Isolation from others. Greater exposure in rough conditions. Greater windage.

Anything else to add to the list?

To me it seems a flybridge layout would be ideally suited for for an area with relatively low winds, calm seas and a warm climate where you have plenty of time to get to your destination. For crossing oceans I would be more inclined to go with a more traditional layout that has less exposure that is better suited to extreme weather conditions.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:29   #6
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What blind spot are you referring too? Searunner trimarans have center cockpits with 360 degree visibility. Add a dodger and you have weather protection. All winches, including those on the mast, are right there at your immediate access. Add a multifunction display, protected by the dodger, and you don't need to duck below to check your radar, charted position, depth, AIS, or other important information. The only thing missing is, perhaps, a toilet seat leading through the underwing, but that's probably overkill.
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Old 09-04-2009, 09:50   #7
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The catamarans with the "blind spots" you are talking about are because they made main bridgedeck cabin top so very high that it was almost impossible to see over. Hence they moved the helm up high. It also serves for a crewed charter well as you can have all of the control lines above the paying passangers. There are many catamarans where they have full 360 degree view without that flybridge helm, mine is one. I know the delivery captains who had to deliver the flybridge cats to the charter locations and they didn't like them because if you actually needed something and became disabled, or even lost overboard, your crew may not find out immediately. Also, the center of motion up high is going to be greater, so your going to be less comfortable. Every single vessel in which this was done was done so on a catamaran for which 95% of their use is charter. More accomodations were needed below to be able to have 4 couples as comfortable as possible. Hence a large square heavy boat with relatively little sail. They have other disadvantages too, almost every one of them wouldn't be able to withstand a midhull breach without sinking sideways because of their weight, open accomodations below extending to the bows and resultant lack of structural bouyancy.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:21   #8
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Good thread Kiwi.
I'm also not a fan of flybridges:
1. As often as I have to run inside the cabin to grab something or to see nav info on the laptop I would not like to run back and forth to a bridge. Also we salmon fish from our boat often short handed. Juggling the helm, throttles, downriggers, poles etc from a bridge without a crew of 3 or more would be unrealistic.
2. Handling the mainsail would be a real pain with the boom that high.
3. Exposure to the wind, cold etc. (at least where we sail on the Central Coast of Ca) would be very uncomfortable.

Some of the Cats I have seen have joystick helms inside which is pretty cool but that is still not a substitute for a good outside helm. A flybridge on a charterboat might be fun for a short time in the tropics but I wouldn't own one for all round sailing and cruising.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:47   #9
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If you are deciding between a monohull or multihull, that debate has raged here ad nauseam. If you are deciding between a multihull with a flybridge and one where the helm is in the cockpit, I think that is a great discussion.

I wonder if some who might chime in against the flybridge on a sailing cruiser might be of the monohull proponents. Just wanted to separate the issue

Also, as schoonerdog points out there are multihulls without a 360 view, and those with a raised helmstation that do have a 360 view. Huge difference, and again, a seperate debate.

I've chartered catamarans with a flying bridge (Lagoon 440, for example) and those with the helm in the cockpit (Island Spirit 400, for example).

A center, raised flybridge offers a unique perspective when sailing. Maybe comparable to the difference you would experience if you drove a small car all your life, then hopped into a truck or large SUV. Have any of the naysayers actually sat in a centered flybridge? The feeling is striking, and noticeable immediately. Might not be for everyone, but I personally love the feeling of being 'up' and above it all.

KIWI: despite what people say here, you should try it out yourself and see if you like it or not.

As David M points out, isolation from others is a factor. In a daysail with a small group, the group may tend towards the salon or cockpit, you would need to go down the steps in order to interact with them. On the other hand, take a look at the attached picture of the Lagoon flybridge. There's seating for six up there! One or more of the guests can come join you up there for a great view. The 'isolation' can even be be a favorable factor. In a large group charter situation, for example, I find that the flybridge is an advantage as it gives you a whole new 'area' to be in.

With regards to David M's point about exposure to extreme weather conditions goes, enlarge the attached picture of the Lagoon 440 with the flybridge vs the Lagoon 420 with the raised helm in the cockpit for example. In the 420, are you getting any more protection from the seas or winds? I don't think so. If you were completely down in the cockpit (unraised helm) would you get more protection? Maybe your knees down would... If you wanted protection when making passage you would fashion a dodger, which is possible in either instance. (Although probably easier to fashion one around the cockpit bimini)

There is one member on CF who sails a flybridge and who claims that the exposure is actually less in rough conditions, I will PM him and try to get him to chime in on this.

Also when comparing these two pictures, for example: With regards to these comments:

Quote:
Southern Star: I agree with Factor: by moving both the sailplan's center of effort and the center of gravity higher (aggravated by crew weight aloft), one reduces lateral stability and increases the risk of capsize.
How much really is the boom raised in order to accomodate the flybridge? Visually, not much. How much affect does this have on windage, lateral stability and increased the risk of capsize? I can't say, I'm not a ship builder. Certainly many of these catamarans have made successful crossings for delivery, and many are also employed in circumnavigations. I would be interested in anyone's experiences.

Quote:
schoonerdog: I know the delivery captains who had to deliver the flybridge cats to the charter locations and they didn't like them because if you actually needed something and became disabled, or even lost overboard, your crew may not find out immediately.
With regards to safety, this is a terrible point. Would you rely on someone 'noticing' you falling overboard? I don't think this is the way to mitigate an MOB. There should be a way to communicate to the cockpit or salon however if you need something. Not too much different though, when you are single handing and your crew is below, in other setups.

Quote:
schoonerdog: Also, the center of motion up high is going to be greater, so your going to be less comfortable.
I don't think anyone can argue this. I guess you would have to weigh being more uncomfortable at a higher center of motion in a storm vs. being more comfortable (IMO) with a spacious flybridge when it is calm.

To those who say flybridges are ugly, well, as David M says, depends on your tastes. I've included a few pictures here. To me, personally, ugly is the last thing that comes to mind.

Anyway, all that to say, I absolutely love a flybridge on cruising catamarans. So much so, in fact, it is one of the primary factors in my charter and purchase decisions.
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Old 09-04-2009, 14:05   #10
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A flybridge would be fun on a charter yacht as long as there was good protection from the sun and boom.

I would not have a flybridge on an offshore catamaran if the only steering station was on the flybridge. That would be a bad place to be in a real storm that lasts several days. I also would not like to be on the flybridge in an electrical storm. I am afraid of lightning.
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Old 09-04-2009, 14:40   #11
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My one and only time on a Multihull was when we were line handeling a boat through the Panama Canal.

See the photo below Nigel-No-Friends sitting in his little tower and us in the cockpit below could only fondle his legs. It may have turned Nicolle on, but hairy, how can women do it?

To speak to the helmsman you had to walk around the side like the bloke with his back turned.

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Old 09-04-2009, 14:59   #12
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The Catana 50 has a huge blind spot. I got to sail onboard one and I found myself quite frequently leaving the helm chair to get a look forward and to leeward. (It's a great boat though)
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:15   #13
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You know, looking at the sail area for the lagoon 440 for instance, it's roughly the equalivalent of my boat. It appears that the boom and sail area extends further aft to compensate for the boom being I'd guess around four feet higher?

Helm Up Pro - I'd also think that being higher you could tend to avoid bow wave splash more. Take that versus having a bulkhead which allows me to duck when I see a nasty gust coming at me with a lot of spray. Either way I wouldn't consider it a show stopper.

Helm Up Pro - You could also move the sail controls to a smaller area and therefore be able to handle the lines a bit more easily I'd imagine. That's a definite plus. And you don't have the sheets in places where people can easily grab them which will save fingers (just the other day a fellow I know grabbed the mainsheet to keep his balance and popped off his finger).

Helm Up Pro- The biggest plus in my mind would be the ability to spot coral heads more easily from above.

Helm Up Con - For communication though, you really can't argue that communication is less being at a level above the heads of everyone else. In a storm I can simply look at the "crew" sitting on the settee inside and talk loudly if I need something. They can also see me starting to get frantic if conditions worsen by simply looking out the window. I'm constantly visible, and capable of seeing everything around me instantly both inside the boat and they can see me outside. No question communication would be worse. However you could have some sort of intercom going below (like the big power boats do) and help alleviate that issue.

The main problem I have with these boats is that most of them have hollowed out their entire insides to maximize forward accomodations. This means that a blown throughhull would could fill and sink the boat. I just don't see the point of getting a multi if you are going to be foregoing the possibility of enough structural bouyancy to save the boat in the event of a breach. But again, that's not do to the raised helm, but the typical charter boat build philosophy of squeezing the maximum accomodations into the smallest boat possible. In a bad storm I want to know that I've got enough water tight compartments that I really can be a bit reassured that the boat sinking is not a big concern.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:48   #14
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I understand Lagoon now includes a second set of engine controls inside at the nav station as a standard feature (used to be an option). Using the autopilot remote to steer, you can at least power through bad weather while protected.

I see the flybridge as a charter boat feature, nice if you sail in constant sunshine but not suited to my use.

Cheers.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sail Warehouse View Post
Also we salmon fish from our boat often short handed. Juggling the helm, throttles, downriggers, poles etc from a bridge without a crew of 3 or more would be unrealistic.
Check your mail, I'd like to discuss this with you. This thread probably isn't the right place.
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