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Old 07-05-2014, 23:21   #31
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Mark every time I see that boat of yours I drool +1
The builder was very cooperative, using my suggestions to design the helm's layout.

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Old 06-11-2014, 09:35   #32
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

I saw this today and thought it was slick...

An angled face on a sliding drawer. I'm thinking about something similar behind the ice box on my boat, to store rolled up charts, because of the angle I think it'd be possible to go from ahead of the settee cushions and reach into the far back space that is impossible to use for anything other than catch all bins with lift out lids.

Edit: Further clarification, the bin where you found the 10 year old jar of pickles when you first bought the boat... Grin.

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Old 06-11-2014, 10:14   #33
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
One thing that it often not thought about in nav stations was lightly hinted at in the OP's post #6: the implications of heel.

I've often found that using the nav station when hard pressed is akin to using a self-torture (gym) machine, wrongly.

On one tack you're exercising muscles hitherto unperceived, so as not to accidentally rub against the electrical panel and switch random parts of the boat on or off (not great when running in a gale and you switch off the autopilot)

And on the other you're looking down at the galley from some height, twisting every vertebra as you scrabble for traction with your leeward foot on the wet sole, and hoping not to end up being part of dinner.

A hollow seat is a grand idea, but in truly nasty conditions something better is needed, because it's not just gravity, it's impacts, possibly even knockdowns.

So can I put in a plea for (if applicable) some nifty solution to the first problem, perhaps a perspex standoff over the switchboard (with holes for reaching the switches)?

and for problem 2, on the other tack: ideally a 'cooks belt' for the navigator/typist/clerk, or at LEAST some anchor points in strategic locations so they can at least hook up one or more harness tethers?
Andrew,
Reading your comments above reminded me of some of the times I had to hang on at the nav station while the boat was heeled and going through steep waves. A belt is a good idea and I think a stand -off clear panel is too.

]A fold down arm rest, like seen on captains chairs would also lend some support and security leaving the two hands for instruments etc.
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Old 06-11-2014, 15:37   #34
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

Well, back in post ten I alluded to the lack of need for a "Nav Station". At that time I presented this lack of need as being for those coastal cruising, but I see the traditional nav station is archaic for all. The intimation of a roll top desk full of cubby holes for pens, dividers and note papers of little real use. A laptop by itself is a mobile desk that can be adpated for your lap at the best position for your angle of heel and point of sail,- port, starboard, berth, dinette, your choice. A stable position at your radio and an array of instruments weather protected at your helm is very suitable.

It's true that my plan does not have my radio, radar, GPS and other nav electronics at the same position as my paper chart and my laptop is mobile. Please point out the problem with that.

Let's say I do want to record a fix on a paper chart. If I'm offshore I have the dining table cleared and secure seating at my choce of positions. It's easy enough to have my data, chart, chart plotter, pencil & dividers there.

Nav stations can be "cool" little dens for the masters and commanders,- maybe a place to feel better organized and in charge, but far from a necessity.

Well, not a necessity for me..... 'have them if you like them!
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Old 06-11-2014, 17:24   #35
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

I agree.
A dedicated Nav station has become more of a luxury than necessity, especially since integrated nav aids can efficiently be brought into the cockpit helm station.

My traditional 1980 pilothouse design really focused on an almost ship size Nav Station on the starboard side, which is nice for organizing clearance documents, planning charts, active cruising guides etc…..…. But is mostly used as a serving table if we are eating at the small pilot house table

Now that I am upgrading to 2014 nav electronics to mostly serve the cockpit, I am seriously looking at a more useful and practical solution.

Since I don’t have a top loading freezer/ fridge……the non-traditionalist part of me is tempted to replace the Stbd Table and bench seat with refrigeration storage and counter top.

It is a really hard decision for me, since the beauty and traditional symmetry of the bridge, would appeal to an “old school” buyer when I finally decide to sell her, but as we will be moving back on board after the refit, this would be a practical solution

Opinions please… Your concerns about ruining the resale value or would you make that practical change
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Old 06-11-2014, 17:41   #36
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

Your nav station may be the best part of your boat. I would never give that up.

On TN I have built a LARGE stand-up nav table that will take unfolded charts.
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Old 06-11-2014, 19:06   #37
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
Well, back in post ten I alluded to the lack of need for a "Nav Station". At that time I presented this lack of need as being for those coastal cruising, but I see the traditional nav station is archaic for all. The intimation of a roll top desk full of cubby holes for pens, dividers and note papers of little real use. A laptop by itself is a mobile desk that can be adpated for your lap at the best position for your angle of heel and point of sail,- port, starboard, berth, dinette, your choice. A stable position at your radio and an array of instruments weather protected at your helm is very suitable.

It's true that my plan does not have my radio, radar, GPS and other nav electronics at the same position as my paper chart and my laptop is mobile. Please point out the problem with that.

Let's say I do want to record a fix on a paper chart. If I'm offshore I have the dining table cleared and secure seating at my choce of positions. It's easy enough to have my data, chart, chart plotter, pencil & dividers there.

Nav stations can be "cool" little dens for the masters and commanders,- maybe a place to feel better organized and in charge, but far from a necessity.

Well, not a necessity for me..... 'have them if you like them!
First, I have read many of your posts on this forum and always consider you a very wise man. So your position on this issue is one that caused me to think about this from your stated position, which differs from mine. I think a good way to learn is by listening to the opinions of people we respect, but also by hearing things from a different POV.

I have considered your POV, and now respectfully share mine:

1. My position is formed by considering the type of boat I would like to have (40-45 foot cruiser) and my intended use (long distance voyaging). My view is that a dedicated navigation station (the seat + chart table/desk) is a very good thing to have on yachts that are intended to go long distances (blue water voyaging). From my perspective it lends itself to focus, organization, and efficiency with ready and easy access to the tools and multiple instruments one uses for navigation.

You did mention earlier statements about the lack of need for the nav station (chart table etc.) for a coastal cruiser or bay sailor. I can agree to that and would add boats that are used in familiar waters of any kind (e.g. even larger boats that are only used for day sailing). Most of the SF Bay sailing navigation I did was by eyeball (seldom needing to look at charts) as local sailors know the landmarks which are visible and the hazards are mostly other boats or ships. So I think a chart plotter or GPS/Plotter (or iPad with nav/GPS) would do for that in areas where one has some familiarity with the waters and hazards.

2. While a chart plotter may take the place of paper charts on many yachts, I also see the usefulness of having a good place to keep large scale paper charts handy, and I would want them for areas I intend to cruise or for long voyages to unfamiliar areas. Handy meaning close to the other tools and instruments. And I like the idea of having a chart table large enough to lay out a full sized chart.

3. While many areas of a boat may be "multi-use" (such as the saloon table may be lowered for more berths or used for eating meals), I think a dedicated navigation station provides an area for better focus, something very important in many instances where navigation decisions need to be made. I suppose I mean that taking that seat at the station is something I consider a physical and mental step to focusing the mind on that task.

Having written that, I am reminded of my past need to do math and consult celestial almanacs and perform calculations (in a otherwise dark boat that was under way offshore) and/or keep a DR track on a chart while sailing off an unseen and unfamiliar coast or between islands, something that may be obsolete or unnecessary in today's pushbutton navigation world.

And I suppose my years of admiring the big boat installations of SSB, Weather fax, Radar, SatNav, and assorted tech as influenced me too. Of course, today's integrated electronics may reduce the need for some of those things and some are now obsolete.

4. As I look at many boats today, on the smaller boats there is no dedicated nav station or a very small nav table or perhaps none at all. On the larger boats, where I see a nice nav station, I see something that does appeal to me. Perhaps that is my sentimental attachment to the traditional, perhaps it is my thinking that some tasks are better performed in dedicated spaces with a lack of distractions and a setup that promotes efficiency (e.g. seeing the nav instruments, radios, radar, etc.).

My preference would be to have a nicely designed dedicated nav station with comfortable and secure seating on my yacht.

That said, as I hope to have a 40-45 foot boat in the future, and I do recognize the nice developments in tablet computers (iPads) and interconnectivity of nav instruments and plotters and such, I can also envision having an iPad in my master cabin, showing the relevant course and nav data at the side of my bunk. I would also want a similar display (or chart plotter) at the helm too.

I will post a photo of a boat that had a Nav Station I found appealing. Notice the laptop is there too.
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Old 06-11-2014, 19:16   #38
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

Ahoy Pelagic!

Thanks for posting those photos of your boat's interior. It is very nice looking boat interior and one I find appealing.

I just finished typing a detailed post on my POV on having a dedicated nav station and a chart table.

Then I read your post with questions about whether to install a freezer in place of your starboard side chart table and bench seat.

While I do prefer to see a nav table, it appears your port side control station has a nice large flat surface where a chart could be laid out for plotting. So, given that, and the utility of having a freezer on a live aboard boat (I assume you either live aboard or travel extensively on your boat) I would consider the modification that adds a freezer to be a good mod, since there is adequate seating in your saloon settee area for the admiral or off duty crew. I would consider it an enhancement.

Of course that same space could possibly be used for a washer/dryer with folding table on top, if you don't already have one aboard. Even the Dashew FPB has a w/d up in the pilothouse/saloon area, and MS Dashew is shown on their site doing laundry while looking out the pilothouse while cruising. She liked that there.

I have never seen your type of boat, and would enjoy seeing more, if you have more photos online I can see. While it is larger than what I may ever get, I do enjoy seeing the designs of boats like yours (and I like pilothouse boats).
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Old 06-11-2014, 20:42   #39
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

Wanted to add that, in port, TN's huge nav table is extra counter space for the galley. But this surface is often used as a workbench and staging area. The galley's horizontal surfaces are mostly otherwise occupied by double sinks, stove top, top loading reefer/freezer hatches...
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Old 06-11-2014, 22:47   #40
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Your nav station may be the best part of your boat. I would never give that up.

On TN I have built a LARGE stand-up nav table that will take unfolded charts.
Hi TN.

That is my dilemma, the old salt in me loves that traditional Nav space but together with Hudson’s practical analysis, it was actually your idea of a standup nav station that made me think of putting a well insulated freezer/fridge in its place and remove that useless Nav Bench seat which was never very comfortable to sit at.

I could still easily lay out a full size chart on top if needed, but that is becoming so rare an event these days, I wonder if I still would?

Don’t know how others use their paper charts, but I only use them to prepare a passage plan with parallel index danger offsets for radar work and transfer those waypoints and PI’s to the Plotter. These days, the charts remain dry and clean in a safe place in case needed for an emergency.

Everything I now need can go on the Port Console as the old gauges for shaft gen and battery banks are now on smart Victron monitors and the old Radar Display will now be a MFD in the cockpit station along with the autopilot.

The Old Consoles and equipment are removed together with lots of old disused wiring. I have been stuck on how to use all the extra space that is now available.

Here is a quick First sketch of putting a Refer Space on the Stbd Side

I will go down and measure out the real space available and check the table ergonomics….. It will be a big decision for me to tear out that original nav station table
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:35   #41
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
..................................
From my perspective it lends itself to focus, organization, and efficiency with ready and easy access to the tools and multiple instruments one uses for navigation.

While a chart plotter may take the place of paper charts on many yachts, I also see the usefulness of having a good place to keep large scale paper charts handy, and I would want them for areas I intend to cruise or for long voyages to unfamiliar areas. Handy meaning close to the other tools and instruments. And I like the idea of having a chart table large enough to lay out a full sized chart.

I think a dedicated navigation station provides an area for better focus, ............. any instances where navigation decisions need to be made. I suppose I mean that taking that seat at the station is something I consider a physical and mental step to focusing the mind on that task.

Having written that, I am reminded of my past need to do math and consult celestial almanacs and perform calculations (in a otherwise dark boat that was under way offshore) and/or keep a DR track on a chart while sailing off an unseen and unfamiliar coast or between islands, something that may be obsolete or unnecessary in today's pushbutton navigation world.
Steady Hand, Your points are compelling and well understood. I need to reply first in pointing out my own error in describing my use of a "Chart Plotter". This term does not mean the same thing today as it did forty years ago. When I referred to my chart plotter I was speaking of my clear plastic rectangle of parallel lines with a protracter in the center for use in plotting lines of position or bearings on a paper chart. I've never owned one of those electronic devices known as chart plotters, but I'm sure they are great tools.

I do understand your placement of importance on access to tools & reference materials, a large flat surface, good lighting, but I still think this can be had easily on the same surface that is my dining table.

The point of having a location that provides a mind set for serious focus on the task is a concept that may be required by some more than others. Some may find no distraction making important decisions at the same location where they party at other times.

Actually, my only disagreements with your thoughts would cause me to more likely turn to the accepting the dedicated Nav Station. This is your idea that navigation is more casual during coastal cruising than long offshore passages. When I am moving about the rock and fog on the coast of Maine or approaching an inlet among reefs and coral heads in the Bahamas, good navigation decisions must be made quickly and very accurately. On a long offshore passage there is no need to rush your navigation decisions and a mile or two variance has little meaning. For coastal crusiers 500 feet or less can cause you to lose everything.

....,but then I realize my non-specific "nav station" can not be a seat at a table down below. Coastal cruising requires us to be able to make navigation decisions within the reach of the helm. This makes Pelagic's nav station in the wheel house look so appealing to me.

The bottomline for us is my navigation work below at various possible positions while ofshore and all the navigation and istruments at the helm while near shore.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:06   #42
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

Ahoy Hudson Force!

You wrote: "....,but then I realize my non-specific "nav station" can not be a seat at a table down below. Coastal cruising requires us to be able to make navigation decisions within the reach of the helm. This makes Pelagic's nav station in the wheel house look so appealing to me.

The bottomline for us is my navigation work below at various possible positions while ofshore and all the navigation and istruments at the helm while near shore."


I understand and agree with you on so many points.

I do think any coastal cruising is more hazardous than open-space deep water voyaging due to increased hazards (shoals, reefs, traffic, etc.).

If I were cruising a hazardous coast like Oregon or Maine (or any others unfamiliar to me) I would want to have a very good watchful eye of my position (depth, hazards, etc.) and having a chart (paper or electronic) would be essential in my boat. I can say the same too for sailing across unfamiliar bays and other protected waters (Chesapeake, etc.) where the seemingly open water course may take my boat over shoals etc.

A waterproof electronic GPS+Plotter at the helm is what I would want then and if in fog or reduced visibility I would even want RADAR too. In fact, I do think they are a great advancement and having them at the helmsman's position is my preference.

I also like the type of inside helm+Nav station as shown in Pelagic's case. This is one of the things I like about most pilothouse boats.

What I would want to avoid is no chart (or GPS+Plotter) near the helm and a need for the helmsman to go below frequently to check position on a chart when encountering reef passes, entrances to harbors, foggy coast, and other hazardous nav situations. This assumes shorthanded or single handing as I expect I would be doing or where the owner/skipper must do the navigation and steering (perhaps due to inexperienced or unskilled crew).

Also, while I prefer to have a paper chart on a nice large chart table in a dedicated nav station, I would choose to have a portable (or at the helm) electronic version over the need to leave the helm during critical navigation situations.

So, I would want both a dedicated nav station below (with chart table and secure comfortable seat) AND a helm station that has GPS, RADAR, and an electronic ChartPlotter (possibly integrated unit). I want it all!

In a pilot house boat, those things can be found in one location. In a more typical boat (non pilot house) they would be separate or sometimes just one or the other. In the more typical boat, I would want both.

It is a good thing there are many boat designs for all of our different preferences!
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:19   #43
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

As far as chart go, it's relatively simple to put many charts into one "book"
We did that flying as of course a nav station in a helicopter isn't happening. I have the whole of Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary in one book of 1 over 250,000 scale maps.
It's called the Australian map fold, here is a description of how.
http://www.ursrucker.com/StudentReso...structions.pdf
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:19   #44
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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...................... I want it all!
.................
It is a good thing there are many boat designs for all of our different preferences!
Yes, 'and it seems we both want much the same thing. I like Pelagic's boat too!
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Old 07-11-2014, 16:40   #45
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Re: Nav Station Design Ideas

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A waterproof electronic GPS+Plotter at the helm is what I would want then and if in fog or reduced visibility I would even want RADAR too. In fact, I do think they are a great advancement and having them at the helmsman's position is my preference.

I also like the type of inside helm+Nav station as shown in Pelagic's case. This is one of the things I like about most pilothouse boats.

What I would want to avoid is no chart (or GPS+Plotter) near the helm and a need for the helmsman to go below frequently to check position on a chart when encountering reef passes, entrances to harbors, foggy coast, and other hazardous nav situations.
Hi Steady Hand
Thanks to you and HF for the kind words about Stargazer and I agree 100% with your above quote.

But to add some personal perspective… Sailboat Pilothouses are a temptingly dangerous place from which to con a vessel and not the answer.

While my step up seating area offers great visibility to the sides as first photo shows, it is NOT suitable for a proper lookout underway (especially sailing). You just don’t have a clear view ahead for debris or appreciate current patterns thru passes.

The sailing photos show the best lookout position to watch the sails and the waters ahead.

I would use my Pilothouse helm station only as a last resort for safety in open ocean storm conditions, or a zero visibility blizzard white out scenario, where you are blind piloting with Radar.

It is great at anchor to enjoy the view, maintain a watch and is what many multihulls do so very well.

Now back to Navigation Station Design:
I love my walk in cockpit but hated not having Radar or ECS at the helm. I did put a Monitor against the aft window to view the laptop display, but like many others, would fold up a paper chart to stick under the Plexiglas, when coming into a new harbor or anchorage….. Always a PITA when the wind/rain and new marks distract you from traffic or the unknowns you should be looking for

Underway on a Sailboat…. I believe your navigation station belongs in the cockpit and on any sailboat… that is just too exposed for paper charts!

This is why I am so sorely tempted to remove the starboard chart table and put in refrigeration.

Since you asked for Photos, the last shows my cabin office which does give me that quiet place to prep and ponder, so another reason why the existing Nav. Table is somewhat redundant. (to me)
Cheers!
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