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Old 18-10-2016, 20:15   #16
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

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Originally Posted by Waveda View Post
Peter, thank you for your writeup on the 40. May i ask you what you liked or disliked about the rest of the boat? Did it sail "tight" with little creaking for example? Lastly, if I am not mistaken, the helms position is the same as the Catana, or am i missing something? many thanks
No the open40 aft helm set up is NOT the same as on the catanas. On the open 40 the helm is set down into the hull whereas on the catanas they are typically set on top of the hulls. This removes all of the visibility issues the Op mentioned.

I can see all four corners of the boat when docking, sailing etc without obstructions. this is important obviously and the main flaw i see with the open 40 design.

I can dock, med moor, pick up lazy lines, buoys etc all single handed with this set up. Just add a winch button at the helm (or even better go a handheld remote one then you can use either helm)
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Old 18-10-2016, 20:26   #17
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

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Originally Posted by Mark424 View Post
Everyone has different priorities, many many Catanas have made safe passages w/ this same helm position, so would imagine people found a way to be safe.

Just want to point out that "on passage", 99.9% of the time you'll be on autopilot. When you do your safety check at intervals you'll need to move around the boat to get a clear view regardless of the helm position. Raised helms on the house have an even more obstructed view by the headsail.

You need a clear view from both interior and cockpit locations where you'll actually be spending most of your time so you can just lift your head up and look around. The most important thing for safety is the person on watch is rested and alert - sitting glued to the helm day after day, wherever located, is not helpful in that regard.
Fully agree with all this (except that catana helm is different as i just posted). Its real world experience watch keeping vs the paper sailor.

Had to recently avoid collision with a lagoon 450 as I only realised with maybe 30 seconds to go the crew on flybridge watch had no view of me whatsoever past their genoa. Boy did they get a surprise when i popped out only 2 boat lengths away as we were the only boats within the horizon!
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Old 18-10-2016, 21:01   #18
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

I would like to add to Barras comment, that on the Catanas there is a gap between the bimini and the coachroof that makes a 360 from either helmsation possible, exepct when a foresail is raised. Exactly as on a monohull with twin stations. Personnaly I would not like to have any other arrangement since very good view on sails, easy docking and an open cockpit with all lines in reach. It's not an unsafe set up and very easy to singel handle. Greatings.
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Old 19-10-2016, 01:10   #19
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

Thanks to all the folk who have added to this thread and the OP .... I have found this most interesting and informative as I have never had the opportunity to sail a cat with this helm set up.

My other concern was the continual exposure to the sun as I really enjoy the sailing side of things
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Old 19-10-2016, 10:21   #20
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

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Originally Posted by Waveda View Post
Peter, thank you for your writeup on the 40. May i ask you what you liked or disliked about the rest of the boat? Did it sail "tight" with little creaking for example? Lastly, if I am not mistaken, the helms position is the same as the Catana, or am i missing something? many thanks
This is the 3rd one I have sailed; the other 2 were just for a few hours on test sails with someone else skippering. The other 2 were pretty quiet but this one was actually fairly noisy in 2 ways:

1. Walking on the floor in the galley caused a creaking that we were unable to trace
2. The rigging was very creaky under sail. However, this was a charter boat at the end of a season so I put this down to overdue maintenance.

Other than that she sailed very well, though the fixed props on this example caused an annoying vibration and lost us speed. You can lock the props to get rid of the vibration but then you lose more speed.

In terms of performance, this was my first time chartering a cat after many years of monohull sailing so I can't compare to other cats. Also, we are cruisers, we aren't that interested in performance. When we think of making good time, the emphasis is on "good" rather than "time".

Our sail plan was square top main, self tacking jib, screecher. Conditions were Ionian like ie mostly light airs

Screecher was fantastic and we had 6 knots in 8 knots of breeze on a reach.

Couldn't make much progress at less than 50 degrees upwind but that is fine; we are cruisers and happy to follow the wind.

Had one lumpier passage, 20 - 25 knots wind with 2-3m swell. Had the sea on the aft quarter, 2 reefs in main (we were being overcautious) and reduced jib size when gusts got to 25kn+. Very comfortable, felt extremely secure and made 8 - 9 knots. Boat manual recommends 1st reef at 28 knots (though I hadn't read that at the time of the passage) so you could get much better performance, on test sail we did 10kn in 18kn wind with full main and gennaker.

Other Pros
Outside relaxing space superb, two full length reclining areas, great for a couple.
Davits work very well, using electric winch for outboard end of dinghy and manual for light end
33kg Rocna anchor fantastic (don't know if this is standard)
Boom height great, very easy to work on
Engines very easy to work on, changed impella while underway no problem
She felt great, we just enjoyed living on and sailing her. I can only say this of a small percentage of the charter boats I have used over the years.
Foredeck cushions v comfy, spent a lot of time up there underway

Other Cons
Anchor chain piled up in locker and caused chain to jump off windlass a couple of times; a simple post fitted in the locker would fix this, not a biggie
Heads are very small, sitting on the "throne" there was very little room to move; I am 80kg, for someone larger this would be an issue.
In heads, taps are on the right of the sink which is the wrong side for a right handed person
Aft cabins have no overhead hatch
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Old 19-10-2016, 11:12   #21
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

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Originally Posted by Peter Dunham View Post
Heads are very small, sitting on the "throne" there was very little room to move; I am 80kg, for someone larger this would be an issue.
In heads, taps are on the right of the sink which is the wrong side for a right handed person
What was the layout? 4 doubles and 4 heads or the 4 doubles and 2 heads?

Thanks,

G
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Old 19-10-2016, 11:51   #22
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

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What was the layout? 4 doubles and 4 heads or the 4 doubles and 2 heads?

Thanks,

G
4 doubles, 2 heads
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Old 19-10-2016, 19:08   #23
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

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Originally Posted by Lambretta View Post
Thanks to all the folk who have added to this thread and the OP .... I have found this most interesting and informative as I have never had the opportunity to sail a cat with this helm set up.

My other concern was the continual exposure to the sun as I really enjoy the sailing side of things
Yes the sun exposure is my wifes main concern being far fairer than me. After a season in Turkey we added a bimini to one helm for her. Works pretty well with no real drawbacks and I made sure I still have good sail visibility when i use that helm sitting or standing.

Personally i just wear a hat though and still prefer standing at the exposed helm while hand steering when the winds up. You just get a "feel" for the boat that is missing on most cats
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Old 20-10-2016, 02:51   #24
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

Peter, thank you for comments.
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Old 20-10-2016, 15:25   #25
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Re: Nautitech Open40 Helm Position

The helm position was the main drawback of the 40 for me. It is set down from deck level and I felt very exposed and remote. I am not a fan of having to go up or down to helm as it isolates the helm from other duties/responding to issues. It is, of course, a personal thing and it helped with interior volume. The position is better on the 46. I would like to see a lot less friction in the lines. It did not help that I was recovering from a knee operation which highlighted the restriction created by the helm position.
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