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Old 26-05-2013, 21:53   #1
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Yanking a lower helm

Been looking at used vessels for our retirement liveaboard. Since it's to be the 'Home', space is very important. We've been looking at aft cabins in the 44'-52' range, 1987 to 1992ish. Really like the '87s to '89s best, because of the gorgeous teak interiors. Lots of character, just like buying the nice, older home and turning it into a show place versus some new cookie-cutter tract home. Anyway, lots of really nice vessels like we want have a lower helm. And it is sitting right on the cabinet where we want to have a breakfast bar!! So, I'd drop everything into the bottom of the cabinet and mount a nice countertop in it's place, or even take it all out completely and have the extra space for storage underneath the new breakfast bar. Does anyone out there know someone who's done this? Roughly how much to have it done? I'm pretty handy, I think I could do it myself, but I'd want to ask a professional about stuffing it into the bottom of the cabinet versus disconnecting all of the mechanical and electrical components completely for total removal. Would really appreciate any help and suggestions.
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Old 26-05-2013, 21:57   #2
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Re: Yanking a lower helm

Most people would like a second helm, you want a bar. different strokes.
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Old 26-05-2013, 23:25   #3
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Re: Yanking a lower helm

Not sure if your talking about a powerboat or motorsailer but lower helms are for getting out of the weather.

On some sailboats though, owners do enclose their complete cockpits with canvas. And powerboats the bridge is completely enclosed.
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Old 26-05-2013, 23:36   #4
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Cool Re: Yanking a lower helm

Thanks delmarry, should have clarified that originally..... Looking at powerboats, upper helm completely enclosed, so don't need a lower helm.
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Old 26-05-2013, 23:43   #5
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Re: Yanking a lower helm

As a note* With just an upper helm (bridge deck), docking single handed may be a bit chaotic, unless someones on the dock helping with the lines.
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Old 26-05-2013, 23:49   #6
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Re: Yanking a lower helm

I love my lower helm when the lightning is crackling around the boat.
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Old 27-05-2013, 03:00   #7
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Re: Yanking a lower helm

I would also encourage you to keep the lower helm position, I've spent a fair bit of time on my mates' 55' power cat and I think life would be a bit difficult without the lower helm position.Just think of how long it would take to move from the bridge to the bow if you had to in a hurry.

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Old 27-05-2013, 05:30   #8
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Re: Yanking a lower helm

I do not think there is a simple answer to your question and a lot would depend on the make model of the boat you get. Things change is the steering is hydraulic or cable, same with controls. Electrical would not be too difficult as you could terminate most wiring fairly easy. Most lower helms also include some systems wiring and even main or sub electrical panels. So it is really impossible to answer your question without knowing more. I will say it would be easier with cable controls and hydraulic steering. You will just have to look at each case on its own. Also keep in mind if you remove the lower helm it could effect the resale value of the boat as well. So lots to think about on this one. Nothing is as easy as it seems with a boat!
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Old 27-05-2013, 05:48   #9
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We have a 32 aft cabin with a lower helm. We've owned the boat for three years now and never used the lower helm a single time. Compared to the visibility from upstairs, I can't imagine why you'd use the lower unless the weather forced you under cover. That said, I agree with the other posters - (1) I think pulling it out would be drastically complicated and asking for problems; (2) lots of people consider it a great asset, if you ever plan to sell that boat; and (3) we're trapped on an inland lake at a marina right now and we don't challenge the weather, but someday we'll be out there and I'll bet we use the lower helm.
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Old 27-05-2013, 08:52   #10
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Re: Yanking a lower helm

I think if you tried to use the upper helm in bad weather/large waves you'd spend more time holding on then you would controlling the boat.
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