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Old 18-11-2016, 21:24   #1
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Rapier 550 helm station

This is magnificent boat, in my opinion.
There are only three things I don't like about it - too sporty (too small inside), doesn't have flybridge (unfortunately, I became addicted to one) and "a little" too expensive.
But I absolutely love idea of "indoor" helm station. Be inside during the rain, bad weather, hot weather and still have full (almost) control of the boat during both sailing and motoring -that's nice. What do you think?

Some "true sailors" won't like this, I'm sure. But let's put emotions aside.
Let's also put aside "electronic crew member" (as per video) - that would be difficult to duplicate.

Here's question - how hard to create similar helm station on existing catamaran? Let say there is Sanya 57 with helm station on flybridge. Create second helm station inside. Reroute all the lines inside saloon, mount reversible winches by helm station (away from weather), buttons to operate them, second steering wheel (as the one on Rapier). Do you think this is doable at all?


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Old 18-11-2016, 21:43   #2
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

Different strokes for different folks I guess... There's no way I'd want all those ropes/clutches/winches in the middle of my saloon.


I like to be able to see what's going on with the sails when I'm winching on halyards, reefing lines etc.
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Old 18-11-2016, 21:46   #3
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

You see - I'm not "true sailor" by any means, so no emotional attachment... Regarding the sails - there could be couple cameras to monitor them...Ops, I know, I know, this is disgusting!
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Old 19-11-2016, 09:36   #4
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

Broad blue seem to realise they are unlikely to tempt sailors to the 550 - its aimed at motor boaters who might be tempted to the luxury sailing market if it could be fast, easy and push button like a motor is. To sail completely from inside like they can on the 550 is not easily replicated - there are lots of electronics to sense wind pressure on the sails and reversing winches tied in through a brain to allow reefing etc to be done automatically. Its not a case of having "almost" full control from inside - you do have full full control because there is no outside helm or cockpit - you can put the emergency tiller in outside and steer in the wind but you can do little else from there - its all done inside in the warm and dry with no fuss or hassle.
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Old 19-11-2016, 10:20   #5
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

My biggest concern would be the disconnect from what is happening outside.

For the record, I like the interior helm station as designed on Chris Whites Atlantic cats. I am not sure about the sail plan and if they are over powered having two of them capsize now.

The Rapier interior helm seems to rely too much on gadgets, sophisticated gadget to be sure, but gadgets all the same. Camera to watch sails? Not sure that idea works for me.
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Old 19-11-2016, 11:29   #6
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

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Originally Posted by Snowgoose35 View Post
To sail completely from inside like they can on the 550 is not easily replicated - there are lots of electronics to sense wind pressure on the sails and reversing winches tied in through a brain to allow reefing etc to be done automatically. Its not a case of having "almost" full control from inside - you do have full full control because there is no outside helm or cockpit - you can put the emergency tiller in outside and steer in the wind but you can do little else from there - its all done inside in the warm and dry with no fuss or hassle.
I thought most of electronics is related to "electronic crew member". It's safety feature that automatically depowers the boat in emergency situation, UNLESS it's done manually earlier. Other than that, sails are controlled "manually" - by buttons on the helm station or (same buttons) by the tiller. Am I wrong?
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Old 19-11-2016, 12:13   #7
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

I'm not a traditionalist and appreciate being able to get out of the elements. But I think the design inherently tempts fate by encouraging you to get lax and lose situational awareness.
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Old 19-11-2016, 13:21   #8
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

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Originally Posted by Snowgoose35 View Post
you can put the emergency tiller in outside and steer in the wind but you can do little else from there - its all done inside in the warm and dry with no fuss or hassle.
I got the impression that there were winch controls outside as well.
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Old 19-11-2016, 13:36   #9
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

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I got the impression that there were winch controls outside as well.
That's correct. I also would like to point out that in my scenario there would be second helm station on the flybridge for good weather sailing or when visual control of sails would be absolutely necessary.
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Old 21-11-2016, 01:03   #10
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

That is a pretty innovative helm setup ........ but as the commentator says you get used to it ! ..... all those electrics

This is the most innovative helm set up I have seen on a cat. It is the Balance 526. Great all round yacht and this one REALLY sails! I put this at the top of the performance cruising cats in the 45 to 55 foot range!



Big positives are being able to see both bows and sterns from both helm positions and being able to have a great sailing helm irrespective of the weather. How many cats of this size can see you see all four points of the boat from the helm ...... I reckon you can count them on one hand
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Old 21-11-2016, 02:57   #11
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

Also noticed that the Broadblue has an in boom furler (seems to be carbon) and I sure would not want to reef that main blind into the boom having to rely entirely on the electrics (and the load trip switches) if it gets jammed. You might be able to see it through the coach roof at the time you are reefing but I doubt the visibility will be good enough to monitor it properly and or safely

That said ...... they probably have some way of monitoring this

Interesting to know if it is pre programmed to reef the main if the average wind speed gets to a certain level?

I just find all this new tech interesting ...... but not for me ...... to much $$$ for me and just more to potentially go wrong, go wrong, go wrong
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Old 21-11-2016, 03:59   #12
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

Actually there's good explanation in this video why inside helm station is good. That's exactly my thinking!
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Old 21-11-2016, 08:16   #13
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

I love the fact that someone is pushing the boundaries with this boat ,It should be remembered that the boat is built in the Uk which has ,how shall I put it" has generally crap weather for sailing" so their design criteria is quite different.There are lots of pilot house boats from there . Being a northern sailor I see the advantages of inside steering.Having electric winches is not particularly high tech any more . I would want to see the sails and be more connected but that is a personal preference.
It is a smart looking boat which has dealt with the line of sight issues for docking etc. in a new way and has not had to put on a hideous fly bridge to do it .
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Old 21-11-2016, 15:48   #14
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

So, back to my original question - how hard is placing of second steering wheel in the saloon? What kind of system would be used to transfer motion from this wheel to the rudders? With small steering wheel, like on Rapier 550, booster would be needed, am I right? The rest (moving winches/clutches inside and routing all ropes to them - pretty straight forward, I guess).
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Old 22-11-2016, 12:39   #15
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Re: Rapier 550 helm station

[QUOTE=ranchero76;2262716]So, back to my original question - how hard is placing of second steering wheel in the saloon? What kind of system would be used to transfer motion from this wheel to the rudders? With small steering wheel, like on Rapier 550, booster would be needed, am I right? The rest (moving winches/clutches inside and routing all ropes to them - pretty straight forward, I guess).[/QUOTE

Fair statement Ranchero76 . I would think that fly by wire would be the most simple then it could just send a signal to what ever motor, pump or ram that moves the rudders. hydraulic should be doable as well. I would be willing to bet that there was not much on the other side of that wheel in the video
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