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Old 20-11-2014, 14:21   #31
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

This is all great feedback, guys!

Yes the Faraday cage has to be executed properly with, as has been pointed out, fast disconnects that stay inside the box. Yes, it will not be a sure thing, because lightning strikes are capricious at best, but it certainly has to be better than nothing.

And yes, it is not always possible to know that lightning is upon you, but often it is. If the disconnect system works well and in not too much of a PITA, then it would be good practice at anchor to disconnect before bedtime. I'll just have to see how well the disconnect system can be made to work, it is just in planning stage at this point, hence my post about where things go.

Bear in mind it is just part of a system that aims to get the bulk of the strike current off the boat to ground so that sideflash is eliminated or minimised. That's the hypothesis, anyway.
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Old 20-11-2014, 15:40   #32
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

Comfort. If the helm is not the most comfortable seat on the boat, there is something wrong with the helm. I spend most of my hours there, even on
passage. Nice view.



Theft, lightening etc. Can't worry about everything. I've never had anything disappear from the boat, not in 30 years. Just lucky? Or perhaps all of my stuff is obsolete.

I've heard people say their GPS or some other electronic bit when out, so they canceled the trip. I wouldn't admit to such dependance in public, ever. Certainly, there is some manner of back-up, and that should be good enough. In this day, nav station are just an affectation, for most people.
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Old 20-11-2014, 17:29   #33
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

I have my chartplotter mounted to the helm on a ball mount I purchased off Ebay. The mount is an after market unit that connects to the original release mechanism of the plotter. This is a perfect solution because it allows the plotter to be rotated 360 degrees and at any desired screen angle. It also allows it to be disconnected and stored below when the boat is unattended. Wind, Log, Speed and Depth instruments are in a binnacle mounted forward of the companion way hatch and can be seen from anywhere rearwards. I find this setup just about perfect.

On the dislike side the radar display and VHF radio is at the nav station which is all but useless but that's nothing compared to the engine panel residing in the cabin which just strikes my as an outright stupid idea.
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Old 20-11-2014, 19:20   #34
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

My GPS and depth sounder are mounted on the cabin sides next to the hatch. I steer when hand steering from in front of the wheel, sitting or standing. Far easier moving about the cockpit that way. Docking is easier too. But I'm weird.
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Old 20-11-2014, 21:04   #35
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

My chartplotter is mounted in the saloon, on the mast cutaway. It's visible from the saloon seating, and also easily visible from both helm stations. Other nav instruments are mounted in the cockpit, again, visible from both helms
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Old 20-11-2014, 21:35   #36
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

On our L450 cat with fly bridge we have a Raymarine e plotter, 2 i70 instruments, and 1 autopilot control head on the fly bridge and inside at the Navstation. On long passages we usually run the night watches (single person) from inside unless the weather is so nice that you want to be outside. But with any kind of swell and wind we prefer to stay inside. Vision is good, but not perfect. So every 10-15 minutes a quick peek outside to check for lights that did not show up in Radar or AIS.

AIS collision vectors are the only thing that make my wife feel comfortable with big ships. Another lights closing in and she wakes me up. On long passages it is luckily mostly the big guys with AIS the you meet. It is ice to know at 15 miles out that they will clear behind you by 1 mile.

You definitely want to be able to watch squalls on your Radar at night so you can try to avoid them or prepare your sails.

For safety and comfort I would go with a full set of instruments at both locations.


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Old 20-11-2014, 21:50   #37
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

FWIW.
We found that preserving night vision leads to drowsyness. We found that we had perfect vision but we caught ourselves nodding off.

Now, we leave (LED) lights on all night, we watch movies, we have all the screens on, make tea, and jump up to peep around and we are active, and alert enough to KNOW that night vision is impaired, alert enough to call the off watch person to come and see for the on watch person. (In the last 3 years its happened 3 times)

We used to have red lights, and dimmed everything but find this better. We take the wheel off after leaving the anchorage or dock, and it stays off for the next 20 days or however long the passage is. The AP steers the boat in all conditions.

Our displays are all below at the nav center except for the AP (which is usually left on SOG) The wind, and the compass.

We are center cockpit. We would not feel comfortable in an aft cockpit boat with an array of pods and screens at the back, needing to exit the safety of the interior for a look at them.
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Old 21-11-2014, 07:24   #38
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
What system allows one MFD to display radar, charts and AIS, and allow multiple screens, like two screens? I don't mind having these on separate pages, but do not want separate screens for each function
Will a Garmin 741 do this? or any Garmin? I can get a good discount on Garmin is why I ask.
All the full size Garmin Chartplotters will do this. Series 4000 and up. Separate pages, or overlays, or split screen. I don't know about the little ones.

Given this was a question about a multihull and most of them have the helm on the bulkhead, placing your chartplotter at the helm will probably also give you a view of it from a large part of the cockpit.

Even though the autopilot steers almost all the time for us offshore, we still go to the helm every 10 to 15 minutes for a horizon check, and to check AIS and radar (if the visibility is suspect). The action of going to the helm is part of our procedure to make sure we stay aware.

To answer the original question, in my opinion definitely at the helm, and optionally at the nav station. For the occasional times when there is a lot going on, e.g. entering a harbor at night, you want the information (AIS, radar, charts) right with you at the helm.

Also, if you are installing backup systems, e.g. a backup autopilot, think about not installing or connecting it. If the electronics is connected (even just the ground) you run the risk of losing your backup unit with a lightning strike. This is from personal experience. We now keep the backup autopilot electronics wrapped in tin foil in their boxes. It would only take me around 20 minutes to swap out the old ones and install the new ones, if we lost the primary.

Mark.
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Old 21-11-2014, 07:47   #39
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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Originally Posted by mark_morwood View Post
Given this was a question about a multihull
Was the OP clear on that? I couldn't tell.

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Old 21-11-2014, 07:50   #40
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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If you had your choice, where would you place your instrument screens? At the helm position or at a forward facing nav station in saloon, and why?

I am considering this choice taking into consideration preserving night vision on passages where, for example, spotting local unlit fishing boats would be a navigation hazard. The current trend seems to be to have the multifunction screen(s) up at the helm steering but surely that would ruin your night vision?

Could I please get some feedback on keeping the helm position "dark" with just wind & engine dials and depth sounder, and then putting all other screens at the forward facing nav station such as multifunction screen, radar, AIS, computer(s) etc. We will be able to see the nav station from the helm seat by just bending over and looking through the saloon.

Given that screens can be repeated onto iPad (not sure about radar though?) and used at helm, why would you put screens at helm where they are vulnerable to theft and/or vandalism?
Whatever the solution, it still requires the same bridge management to maintain good night vision and a proper lookout.

IF in busy congested waters at night with many course changes you need the watch keeper to positioning a lookout forward of the helm and displays to maintain good night vision and communications with navigator

IF you are standing a solitary night watch in open ocean, you are on autopilot and still forward of the instruments for the most of the time, preserving your night vision.

As Mark said, the night palettes are soft and eye friendly when you need to glance at them for an instrument check

With the new systems being able to wirelessly network with other devices for planning and control, there is a lot more piloting advantages to putting the MFD at the helm station, which is the direction I am going with my new electronics
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Old 21-11-2014, 07:54   #41
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
I steer when hand steering from in front of the wheel, sitting or standing. Far easier moving about the cockpit that way. Docking is easier too. But I'm weird.
Then we both are, I've come to steer from the front especially when docking and anchoring now, doing it by myself, it makes getting to the dock lines or up to the anchor a whole lot faster and easier. Way my throttle is mounted though means it's easier to use my foot to operate it doing this though, and that may be a little weird, who knows.

When I had my Son on board to do the running around, I could sit behind the wheel, I think standing in front comes from not having crew
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Old 21-11-2014, 15:13   #42
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

Thanks everyone, this has been very helpful in helping us plan the location and layout of the electronics for the boat, which is a FreeFlow 46 catamaran FreeFlow Catamarans

We have the scope to setup the boat as we wish, being a semi-custom design built in production facility, in my opinion the best of both worlds. This gets us the flexibility of layout & equipment options, but without the cost & QA & resell risks of custom build

We will have helm position to starboard bulkhead to open up the cockpit as it will retain the daybed, and drop the BBQ/sink structure on the cockpit transom.

Thanks again for everyone's input
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Old 22-11-2014, 04:44   #43
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

We have two chart plotters (one older and one dual radar plotter) set to different scales at the helm. Both have good night-time modes. Very handy to not have to zoom in and out. Also have full charts on laptop at the nav station with AIS - visible from the helm with a turn of the head. Covers all bases and makes log taking & planning easy and also keeps the Admiral clued in about exactly where we are at. Peace of mind with double checking.


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Old 22-11-2014, 04:49   #44
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

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We have two chart plotters (one older and one dual radar plotter) set to different scales at the helm. Both have good night-time modes. Very handy to not have to zoom in and out. Also have full charts on laptop at the nav station with AIS - visible from the helm with a turn of the head. Covers all bases and makes log taking & planning easy and also keeps the Admiral clued in about exactly where we are at. Peace of mind with double checking.
...
Sounds like a ton of power consumption.
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Old 22-11-2014, 13:51   #45
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Re: Should screens be at helm or forward facing nav station?

Might be too much draw for some I guess, but the screens aren't huge. We've got 6 solar panels plus wind genny. Fully self sufficient for power without turning on the diesel. It's also very handy for other crew to be able to see a chartplotter without leaning over the helm, especially on long passages. So one of ours is offset to the side a couple of feet.


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