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Old 29-06-2008, 13:08   #1
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Steeringposition? On a multi....

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...
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Old 29-06-2008, 13:17   #2
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I'd go for a hand held remote. Manual back-up of course but why stand outside?
Joining the guests on the 'wherever' and keeping a general lookout is more sociable surely.
A nice place to stand in the cockpit with a bracket for the remote and GPS Chart in sight, positioned for either tack but that's only going to be used inshore and thats the time to get the guests doing the steering while I do the navigating.
The charter boats seem to mimic the game fishing power boats. Or are they pretending they are so rich they don't want to mix with the man who does things with the sails!
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Old 29-06-2008, 14:16   #3
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I like to be able to see the sails properly when sailing, which is often difficult with one one wheel. Very definitely I like to be able to see the gunwale as I come alongside. It's totally impossible with one wheel to see both gunwales properly.

I don't like the high steering positions. Not just because of the bouncy motion when sitting there, but also the difficulty of getting to the helm in the first place. Same with the wheel right aft solution.

You also have to consider that two wheels will probably result in more friction and a heavier helm. Also whether it is a tiller bar/hydraulic/all wire system???

Main problem is that most production catamarans these days aren't designed for sailors but for chartering.

Me I prefer tillers. I also prefer catamarans under 35ft which suit tiller steering well. But then I like sailing, that's why I have a catamaran

Hope this helps

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Old 29-06-2008, 15:13   #4
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That´s true about see the sails and gunwale. Nautitech!
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Old 29-06-2008, 16:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetime View Post
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.

(1) docking 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.
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Old 29-06-2008, 16:59   #6
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Just to clarify. The boats to avoid are the ones with one wheel in one corner. Clearly such a boat should have a wheel in both aft corners and the only reason for not doing so is to save money. If the builder saves money on the steering system, one of the most important things on a sailing boat, where else has he cut corners??

I agree that a remote control autopilot is fantastic. One of the great advantages of catamarans is to be able to sit below and be on watch with all round visibility. Being able to steer at the same time is a huge advantage.

Currently I own two catamarans. My 25ft Merlin is tiller steered. My 34ft Romany has both a wheel (for motoring and passagemaking) and tillers (for performance sailing.) Possibly the best of both worlds.

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Old 29-06-2008, 17:16   #7
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For sailing in cooler climates, I like the Chris White approach with an inside helm.

My present boat a Tobago has only one helm, stbd. side behind the main saloon bulkhead. I find this works fine for all harbour manouvres, I just stand up on the side deck and can see all 4 corners just fine.

I think minimising exposure on a cruiser needs to be high on the list, all other variations are just options that you can learn to live with...

regards

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Old 30-06-2008, 08:20   #8
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My Maine Cat has the helm inside the bridgedeck enclosure, so I can socialize AND be at the helm, see all the nav instruments, etc. I can also see all four corners of the boat. It is good for docking overall, but the last few feet it would be nice to be able to see the distance between the dock and the boat. I have a genetic defect that gives me no depth perception, so this is a bit more of a challenge for me. When I have crew, I ask them to call out distance from the dock (to the side), and that works well. When alone, I leave the wheel quickly if I am unsure, then return, and in general just approach the dock very slowly until I touch. The wonderful ability of a two engine cat to control docking makes this much easier than it was on a monohull.

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Old 30-06-2008, 08:35   #9
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I don't like the nautitech design be cause it puts you to far on the back hull makes me think i'm going to fall off in a storm. I do like the boats that have a raised helm station, it gives you a better veiw of everything around you and it offers better access to the sails, lines, shrouds and all other deck items on the roof.
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Old 30-06-2008, 08:43   #10
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I don't like the nautitech design be cause it puts you to far on the back hull makes me think i'm going to fall off in a storm.
Yes, thats true...
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Old 30-06-2008, 08:48   #11
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The best compromisse between...

Nautitech 40 and 44 (I like the interior)
Lagoon 380-420, i don´t want to be alone on the roof 440!
F-P 36 or 40

And for med it´s a cruiser, but some biscaya and atlantic is in my plans.

And i would like one hull with bedroom and a bathroom.

Washermachine, generator, computer, tv, navigation, radar, internet, small rib/sib, maybe a laser dingy or simular,
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Old 30-06-2008, 09:10   #12
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Try to find a grainger cat, they usualy sell for less than an lagoon or similar makes, Grainger has a good reputation and are built in AUSTRALIA in near perfect conditions. Also there are good used owner version mantas and other cats out there that have good reputations but are cheaper than a lagoon 380&420.
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Old 30-06-2008, 10:36   #13
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One you didn't list......Chris White's Atlantics


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Old 30-06-2008, 12:44   #14
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OOOOHHH, AAAHHHH I like
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Old 30-06-2008, 14:27   #15
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Thanks,
I will take a look at a Grainger.

Chris White Designs

Nice...i will take a closer look at the grainger and chris....
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