Originally Posted by freetime
Catamaran from 36-45 feet.
1.Nautitech 2 steeringpositions
2.Lagoon 380,420/FP 35 Mahé One steeringposition
3.Lagoon 440 One steeringposition on roof.
What is best? on a atlantic cross and just cruising around. For me it looks like nr.1 is best.
Nr 3. sitting on the roof alone in a storm?!
Nr 2? Good? looks nice...
People have very strong opinions on this, so I expect you'll get a lot of opinions.
One way to think about it, is to decompose the question. The helm is used in multiple circumstances with different needs.
and close maneuvering. Some claim the twin outboard
helms make it easier to manuever (position #1), others claim that unless you can see all four corners of the boat at the same time, it's no good, that would lead to preference for position #2 or 3. I've found that in short order I can adapt just fine to most helm positions.
(2) cruising - most people use the auto pilot the vast majority of the time. In my opinion, this reduces to where to do you sit while on watch. Personally, if visibility is good, I don't sit at the helm non stop while underway.
(3) performance sailing - I differentiate this from cruising, since the implication is that you'll be hand steering, watching sea and sail closely to optimize performance.
(4) Watch standing. - this could be a forward facing nav table inside or a bench seat with good view (your position #2). Exposure protection is most important to me. The old Privilege
39's had a nice bench across the back, so even though it's helms were of type #1, you could sit facing forward, which protected from the elements.
(5) sail trim - some boats have all sail controls led the helm, so not. that's one concern I have about the 440, is having to run out into the rain for a small sail adjustment.
I've never sailed a 440, so can't give personal experience. I have chartered a number of flybridge powerboats, so can see the attraction of this design. I do prefer a full Bimini
on flybridges, so would be concerned about exposure on the 440.
I've sailed numerous #1 & #2 type boats and enjoy sailing the twin outboard
helms (#1) since it gives more of the feel of sailing a mono, where I can see the sails, have unimpeded view upwind to watch for puffs and sea state. Fun for performance sailing, but irrelevant for cruising.
The various bridgedeck helms (#2) I've sailed are not created equal. Some are really nice and a nice place to stand watch, others have much more restricted view and are not comfortable. Look at a pilothouse trawler
for an idea of a helm designed for long duration watch standing - no sailing cat will match that.
For my next cruising cat, I've pushed the helm position way down on my priority list. With autopilots on most of the time, it's just not that important to me.