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Old 11-01-2016, 05:05   #1
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why flybridge cover / canopy

Hi, we are looking at flybridge boats for sale in the USA east coast / florida and noticed that most have full enclosed flybridges... why is this ???
the weather is much better there than here in the UK and never see any flybridge canopys just bimini shades
thanks
heather and steve
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:15   #2
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

In Florida and the southern portion of the east coast, it's not uncommon to keep the bridge enclosed and AC (aircon) running up there.

In South Florida -- Ft. Lauderdale/Miami, etc. -- it's also not uncommon for afternoon showers to come through. Rains hard for a bit, stops, humidity disappears, all better.

And then some folks prefer shade when they can get it, to mitigate potential issues to with skin cancer.


Where we are, sometimes significant snow load in winter can be an issue; actual hardtops are better for that. And then hardtops also provide much better attachment points for enclosure side panels. In our case, we can open a single "window" in front and all the "windows" in all our side panels, so a good breeze is easy enough to find. Running in the rain can be a pain, so all those "windows" can be closed so we stay dry (as do the helm instruments) and we can see what we're doing.

Some American-ese: the bimini is the soft top (as you know), and the soft sides are "the enclosure" (panels, usually). Sometimes the full enclosure is actually structural, so you might see listing that say "hard enclosure" or they might describe the "window" panels as plexiglass or even real glass.


-Chris
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Old 11-01-2016, 05:46   #3
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Thanks Chris, that helps a lot and we like the idea of enclosed, would like to do that on our boat here in the UK but never seen one done.
steve
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:22   #4
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Heather & Steve.
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:40   #5
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Quote:
Originally Posted by heathernsteve View Post
Thanks Chris, that helps a lot and we like the idea of enclosed, would like to do that on our boat here in the UK but never seen one done.
steve

If you find something you like but with only a hardtop or soft bimini, it's usually very easy to find a local canvas maker who can build you the rest of the enclosure, often with some degree of customization. IOW, if you're not thrilled with the current enclosure you might see on candidate boats as you're shopping, you can consider just changing it.

In these cases, you typically get a choice of fabrics (usually Sunbrella or Stamoid) and colors, choice of clears (rigid or flexible, coated or not, several brands) number and placement of opening windows (aka "Smilies"), etc.

Our OEM enclosure could have been better designed. When it came time for replacement, a local guy re-did all our front/side/rear panels, mostly to my specs but with some great design input from him, too. The final version included"
- my choice of thread (Tenara),
- rigid Makrolon on the front three panels,
- roll-up clears for all the Smilies,
- 4 additional Smilies (compared to the OEM version)
- appropriate zippers (mixture of straight YKK for structural connections, coil zippers for Smilies),
- structural zippers over-covered with fabric secured with Velcro)
As it turned out, his price was competitive what an OEM replacement anyway.... and we ended up with a more useful enclosure.

-Chris
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:38   #6
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Quote:
Originally Posted by heathernsteve View Post
Hi, we are looking at flybridge boats for sale in the USA east coast / florida and noticed that most have full enclosed flybridges... why is this ???
the weather is much better there than here in the UK and never see any flybridge canopys just bimini shades
thanks
heather and steve
===

The south east gets quite a bit of rain in the summer, and the north east gets a lot of cool, windy weather. Either way the full enclosure is nice to have although we rarely put up our rear panels.
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Old 11-01-2016, 21:59   #7
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

The real reason is that the owners desire the features of a pilot house boat, but do not know it. They spend the rest of their lives trying to create a pilot house out of their fly bridge using plastic and snaps, yet are never really satisfied. Kind of like in the movie Close Encounters where he's making a mesa out of mashed potatoes but doesn't know why.

Silly, but true.
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Old 11-01-2016, 22:08   #8
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

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Originally Posted by SeaSon View Post
The real reason is that the owners desire the features of a pilot house boat, but do not know it. They spend the rest of their lives trying to create a pilot house out of their fly bridge using plastic and snaps, yet are never really satisfied. Kind of like in the movie Close Encounters where he's making a mesa out of mashed potatoes but doesn't know why.

Silly, but true.
:bigg rin:
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Old 11-01-2016, 22:13   #9
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

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Originally Posted by SeaSon View Post
The real reason is that the owners desire the features of a pilot house boat, but do not know it. They spend the rest of their lives trying to create a pilot house out of their fly bridge using plastic and snaps, yet are never really satisfied. Kind of like in the movie Close Encounters where he's making a mesa out of mashed potatoes but doesn't know why.

Silly, but true.
===

It sounds to me like you've got fly bridge envy.

Not to worry, they'll have a cure someday.
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Old 11-01-2016, 23:17   #10
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

I prefer driving from the flybridge, but when the lightning starts hitting nearby its time to come downstairs.
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Old 12-01-2016, 04:34   #11
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

yes most of our cruising is done from the flybridge unless it gets rough then we drive from below.
that just made me think,...... we have had several rough trips in the north sea or channel island and the sea has chucked some large amounts of water over the flybridge.... wonder if a enclosed flybridge would take that sort of battering..
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Old 12-01-2016, 05:59   #12
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Quote:
Originally Posted by heathernsteve View Post
that just made me think,...... we have had several rough trips in the north sea or channel island and the sea has chucked some large amounts of water over the flybridge.... wonder if a enclosed flybridge would take that sort of battering..


Our hasn't had a problem. Can't say we've had large amount of water directly on the bridge enclosure, though. Think that kind of splash would need at least 8-10' seas and we don't usually have those around here.

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Old 12-01-2016, 05:59   #13
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaSon View Post
The real reason is that the owners desire the features of a pilot house boat, but do not know it. They spend the rest of their lives trying to create a pilot house out of their fly bridge using plastic and snaps, yet are never really satisfied. Kind of like in the movie Close Encounters where he's making a mesa out of mashed potatoes but doesn't know why.

Silly, but true.

Horse hockey. Whatever would make you think that? A pilot house would be a big waste of internal space in our boat...

-Chris
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:17   #14
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Living in S Florida the Bimini/hardtop arrangement with detachable sides is the perfect arrangement for our inclement weather.


A pilot house doesn't suit us. Too hot.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:21   #15
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Re: why flybridge cover / canopy

Quote:
Originally Posted by heathernsteve View Post
yes most of our cruising is done from the flybridge unless it gets rough then we drive from below.
that just made me think,...... we have had several rough trips in the north sea or channel island and the sea has chucked some large amounts of water over the flybridge.... wonder if a enclosed flybridge would take that sort of battering..
===

We've been in 8 to 10 ft seas between islands in the Carib. There is heavy spray over the fly bridge in those conditions but inside the enclosure stays dry. The only time we ever run from the lower helm station is in thunderstorms or on very hot, windless days when we need air conditioning.
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