If you are deciding between a monohull
, 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:
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.
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.
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