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Old 24-07-2011, 19:54   #31
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Wharram custom 44'
Posts: 231
Re: So Why Aren't there More Interior Helms ?

I have a boat that wasn't designed with a pilothouse, but the cockpit was modified into a pilothouse. This modification has proved to be a great addition. The wheel pilot is there and out of the weather. when the heater failed and I ran aground with an approaching northeaster in January, I retreated to the pilothouse and found it was warmer than the rest of the cabin, hot air rises. I could sleep there, but uncomfortably. It has instant access to the deck, if something should imperil the boat. My nav equipment could run there without getting trashed by the weather. I could listen to the radio out of the wind and look at a chart without getting it wet. Out of the wind and weather hypothermia is less of a threat.
When the boat is plodding along, the pilothouse ends up being the place to sit and view, through the portlights, all around, and have a pot of soup or coffee. I like being on deck and the wind and spray, but that environment impedes some of the activities that are essential to properly operating the boat.
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Old 24-07-2011, 20:47   #32
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Wharram custom 44'
Posts: 231
Re: So Why Aren't there More Interior Helms ?

I forgot to add that I have an on deck steering station that is centrally located with access to my main, main traveler, and headsail sheets. I found that some boats that have been modified for singlehanded sailing are congested in the helm area, and if you sail with a crew, they can't all get at things because everything is lead to the helm. Some have a single winch and rope stoppers. Well, it makes sense if you are the only one winching, just choose the one and winch away. If you have a crew, then there is a mess if they need to adjust more than one thing. My inside helm has no engine controls, but the windlass, compass, etc. are duplicated topside. The pilothouse has too much ambient light daytime and the computer displays are not bright enough. We have a separate chartroom on the other side that is much darker, and it has the main nav computer display.
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