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Old 17-07-2011, 12:17   #1
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So Why Aren't there More Interior Helms ?

It seems that there are 4 basic helm positions. We have the totally exposed aft helms as in the Catanas. Then there are the flybridge design like the Lagoons. the 3rd configuration is some sort of protected or semi-protected helm under the bimini like most of the rest. The fourth would be inside protected and dry. I'm not talking about the forward cockpit like the Atlantics and Gunboats but more like a Mainecat with all ropes and essential hardware running inside to the helm. Other than loosing some space in the salon is there some issue I'm not getting? BOB
PS. That post on an earlier thread with a pic of a custom cat with this got me focused on this idea. Where is that pic?
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Old 17-07-2011, 15:01   #2
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

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It seems that there are 4 basic helm positions. We have the totally exposed aft helms as in the Catanas. Then there are the flybridge design like the Lagoons. the 3rd configuration is some sort of protected or semi-protected helm under the bimini like most of the rest. The fourth would be inside protected and dry. I'm not talking about the forward cockpit like the Atlantics and Gunboats but more like a Mainecat with all ropes and essential hardware running inside to the helm. Other than loosing some space in the salon is there some issue I'm not getting? BOB
PS. That post on an earlier thread with a pic of a custom cat with this got me focused on this idea. Where is that pic?
The enclosed interior helm is probably one of the most dangerous design innovations of recent times. With the skipper so well protected from the elements , they are divorced from the tell tale signs of sudden weather changes. The thunderstorm down burst for instance where the first signs are a sudden cool draft before the obligatory high strength blast. Remember "Anna". I'm sure Peter Johnson or Chris white will disagree, but hey, this is the Internet.

Also is it a sail boat or a motor boat. Pretty difficult to see the tell tales from inside. Ok put in a window into the cealing you say, then the boat is a hot house in the tropics.
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Old 17-07-2011, 18:36   #3
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

I don't believe fully enclosed is bad for those reasons.

I think fully enclosed is possibly disappointing because of 1) all the glass as safety in a rolly polly situation 2) seasickness 3) windage 4) on smaller boat less optimal use of space. 5) very difficult to have a good view or single hand when getting in and out while docking. 6) not being akeen to what is going on totally around you and listening.

Now that doesn't mean its bad, just compromising. IN the PNW they are highly desirable for cruising. I'm looking for one, but its not my only desirable boat.
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Old 17-07-2011, 19:05   #4
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

Salty, I think you misunderstood. I'm not talking about a pilot house or any additional structure. I want the helm in the salon that is already there. So, no more windage, glass, weight et cetera. It should even save a little weight because now you only have one helm, wheel, seat, instruments. BOB
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Old 17-07-2011, 20:03   #5
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

As far as them as second steering stations, I would guess that you don't see them much on production boats because of the added cost and space required.
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Old 17-07-2011, 20:09   #6
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

I've seen a few interesting boats with helms in the salon as you said. But most if not all have steps or ladder making it difficult to get inside and out, visability is horrible, and it just is plain "in the way" and looks strange. Not a comfortable steering location for either crew or cappy.
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Old 17-07-2011, 20:37   #7
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

Sand Crab,,,if you buy a boat you can always add a second steering station later,,,,just post a photo on CF and ask if you can extend the hull to accommodate a second steering station,,,,,,also ask about the added weight,,,,don't forget to ask about the added windage and how that will effect the sailing ability,,,,also you might want to ask if you change the color of the carpet in the new helm station if it will look good,,,by the way did you get the new business started and get approved for a new loan yet????? is it a power or sail yacht,,,,,you might be able to get one that does both at once,,,hey buddy will it make a difference in sailing ability if you are using the outside steering station compared to the inside steering station???will fuel economy be affected this way,,,just post a photo when you are 99 percent sure it is the boat you want and we can see about adding the second steering station in for you,,,,,,what color do you want the steering wheel to be?????

hope you had a good time hiking,,,last time I was hiking in NY we got about 3 feet from a bear,,,,,we got lucky
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Old 17-07-2011, 21:04   #8
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

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I don't believe fully enclosed is bad for those reasons.

I think fully enclosed is possibly disappointing because of 1) all the glass as safety in a rolly polly situation 2) seasickness 3) windage 4) on smaller boat less optimal use of space. 5) very difficult to have a good view or single hand when getting in and out while docking. 6) not being akeen to what is going on totally around you and listening.

Now that doesn't mean its bad, just compromising. IN the PNW they are highly desirable for cruising. I'm looking for one, but its not my only desirable boat.
1) No glass
2) Seasickness???? (Nope)
3) Windage? No more than flybridges, etc
4) Optimal use of space? Keeps the Skipper and the Admiral together rain or shine
5) View? All 4 corners AND all on one level! No 'climbing up or down' to/from the wheel while maneuvering!
6) Well, you DO have to kinda stay awake.....
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Old 17-07-2011, 21:21   #9
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

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Salty, I think you misunderstood. I'm not talking about a pilot house or any additional structure. I want the helm in the salon that is already there. So, no more windage, glass, weight et cetera. It should even save a little weight because now you only have one helm, wheel, seat, instruments. BOB
How do you see? Steering by chartplotter?

Get a autopilot with a remote.
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Old 17-07-2011, 23:09   #10
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

Fashion and cost in a competitive market would be my answer. If one mob did it, and it sold, then the others would surely follow. Which is the real problem with production boats these days; they're all out of the same hull and deck molds and the molds are the most expensive element in the business so change comes with risk and at a price. Thus producers choose to use flashier marketing of the product they have rather than seek to accommodate variety. And, as always, the customers come to reflect the market.

In times gone by, all owners would be able to tweak designs to custom fit their views of how things should be set up; all boats would be a bit different and reflect their owners' experiences and preferences.

The modern industry also knows that the vast majority of boaters only ever go bay sailing in sunny, benign conditions and the problems with an exposed aft helm are never really an issue.

But there is absolutely nothing wrong with a (repeater) internal helm position and, on balance, it's also a good safety measure. The main cause of problems at sea in heavy conditions in my view arises from discomfort and consequent exhaustion. You won't see too many helsmen of vessels that go to sea day or night in almost any conditions - like professional fishermen, for example - sitting in wet weather gear at an exposed helm. Long distance cruisers are effectively in the same camp, and warm and dry helm stations are thus also desirable.

But i'd never want just an internal helm - most of the fun in boating is still had on deck and that's where the primary helm should be.
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Old 18-07-2011, 00:02   #11
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Re: So how come there aren't more interior helms?

The Prout 46 has an inside steering/second helm option (see photo). The visibility from the inside helm is remarkably good (even aft). There are full throttle controls and steering is by the autopilot wheel. It comes in REAL handy motoring the ICW on freezing cold days with the heater on, brutally hot days with the A/C on, and bug infested days with the hatches screened. Other than that it is rarely used except as a comfortable nav station and coffee table.
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Old 18-07-2011, 03:42   #12
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Re: So Why Aren't there More Interior Helms ?

It's a dilemma, no doubt about it. I have a love/hate relationship with the exposed helm stations on my Catana. I love them on a sunny day, when the wind is 15 to 20kts and I can see everything while I'm dialing in the sail trim. I hate them when it's blowing 35kts in 12 foot seas going to weather, and I'm getting saturated with spray every 30 seconds (although if I stand under the bimini, I can steer with 1 hand on the wheel and stay mostly out of the weather). If I could get a Catana with a covered helm, I would, no question.

I can't imagine a helm station in the salon though, seems a bit overkill! There are a lot of cats with the helm in the cockpit where you look through the salon windows. That seems like a good idea, and keeps the helmsperson in contact with everyone.

It's all a compromise as we know, but I will say that all the threads that I read where people defended exposed helms by saying you just put it on autopilot and use the remote control are pretty misleading. In my experience, when it gets really nasty, it's often necessary to hand steer! The AP works great when it's calm though. :-)
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Old 18-07-2011, 04:25   #13
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Re: So Why Aren't there More Interior Helms ?

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...where people defended exposed helms by saying you just put it on autopilot and use the remote control are pretty misleading. In my experience, when it gets really nasty, it's often necessary to hand steer!
Agreed. And further, the autopilot is no use at all when negotiating a busy waterway, especially at night.
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Old 18-07-2011, 04:53   #14
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Re: So Why Aren't there More Interior Helms ?

One of the primary determinants in buying my boat was the helm possition; protected from the sun by a hard top and spray by removable Stayglass panels, but on-deck and with an unobstructed 360 degree view.

* I bought a boat to be outside. I do sail all year, including below freezing, and I conside the protection very adequate. There should be very few buyers that sail enough in the cold to care about this.
* Being that isolated from the weather--and the visibility from the table in the salon is nearly as good and I will sit there on watch under certain conditions--is not accepatable in any lively weather. Unless I really wanted to take the sails down an buy a trawler.
* Having twin stations and an interior station must remove all helm feel. Yuck. Might as well be driving a trawler.
* Kind of hard to hear, particularly with engines on.

But there are people that don't really like sailing and that try to solve non-existant problems. Let them.
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Old 18-07-2011, 15:24   #15
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Re: So Why Aren't there More Interior Helms ?

Put out a sea anchor and watch a movie
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