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View Poll Results: Open or Enclosed Flybridge on a 50-80 ft sportfisher?
Open Flybridge 51 64.56%
Enclosed Flybridge 20 25.32%
I would rather have an express 3 3.80%
I like my yacht with a mast 5 6.33%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Open Flybridge vs. Enclosed

 
 
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Open Flybridge vs. Enclosed

I have been looking at a lot of sportfishers lately and I can see positives and negatives to both options. I don't, however, have any experience with either so I was wondering what the knowledgable members of YF prefer.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i'm not into fishing so i'm not sure how an enclosed FB affects the action on a SF.

generally speaking, i prefer an enclosed FB but it depends on how and where you use the boat. While the benefits of a skylounge are obvious, you do loose touch with being on the water when conditions are good which is why most of us have boats. No matter what, soft enclosures are a major pita to maintain, always leak one way or another and take forever to open up.

for shorter fun trips in warm weather, i'd probalby still prefer an open FB for for long runs, you cant' beat a well climate controlled SL
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I absolutely love doing long trips on enclosed bridges for the comfort they provide. For fishing, they are a handicap to a good captain who depends heavily on his vision to spot birds, color changes, bait, etc.. Big fish boat handling is also tougher and borderline dangerous. Many EC bridges have an aft station out back to view the cockpit but you can't see much forward and fishing in a fleet of boats can get hairy.

Many new boats have AC and heat on open bridges now that do a good job of taking the edge off on hot summer days even with an open aft end. The new enclosure materials make squinting through wrinkled curtains a thing of the past too and you can always add a closure on the rear if you get caught in cold weather.
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Old 09-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I absolutely love doing long trips on enclosed bridges for the comfort they provide. For fishing, they are a handicap to a good captain who depends heavily on his vision to spot birds, color changes, bait, etc.. Big fish boat handling is also tougher and borderline dangerous. Many EC bridges have an aft station out back to view the cockpit but you can't see much forward and fishing in a fleet of boats can get hairy.

Many new boats have AC and heat on open bridges now that do a good job of taking the edge off on hot summer days even with an open aft end. The new enclosure materials make squinting through wrinkled curtains a thing of the past too and you can always add a closure on the rear if you get caught in cold weather.
This. Enclosed bridges on a SF are only preferred to me if I'm doing a delivery from NY to FL, other than that, give me an open bridge anyday. Between the better cockpit view, being able to talk to people in the cockpit, better visibility, better looks, etc etc etc.....If you plan on doing any fishing an open FB is the way to go. Every SF with an enclosed bridge, I've never been able to see foward, when using the rear exterior FB controls.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Unless you have a captain, my preference would be an express. When you are constantly checking baits, or you have a 300 pound visitor in your spread, I would much rather be near the action. There are many nice ones out there. My friend in Puerto Rico, runs a charter using a 35' Alura which probably has more room than others of that size. For some reason, marlin seem to like that boat.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I currently have a 52' with open fly bridge. The benefits as others have mentioned above are nice but i can't wait until the day i step up to the 60' range and get an enclosed. On beautiful summer days an open fb is wonderful but there are many days we go out where the protection of a EB is much desired. Even short 30 mile runs at night are nicer in EB.

I also personally think EB look better as well.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Style of boat makes a difference...sportfish vs. coastal cruiser, etc. I've run my wide open bridge trawler from Lauderdale to Michigan and much prefer that experience to being in an enclosed climate controlled echo chamber. If you like being in nature with clear communication fore and aft, a 360 degree visual of the world and warm social nights in a friendly marina there's nothing better. Of course that's at 9 knots...at 15-20 knots with a 20 knot headwind and spray my story would be different.
Regarding the pain of putting up and taking down canvas, just leave it down and run from your comfortable lower station!
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Old 10-02-2011, 02:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Probably the most important question to be answered before responding to the poll would be: Where, and how is the boat to be used?

I have an open bridge but have many friends that have tried EBs only to move back to the open layout. I would not want an EB for fishing, too much disconnect between the cockpit and the bridge. Just go with an open that has a good set of curtains and A/C.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Probably the most important question to be answered before responding to the poll would be: Where, and how is the boat to be used?

I have an open bridge but have many friends that have tried EBs only to move back to the open layout. I would not want an EB for fishing, too much disconnect between the cockpit and the bridge. Just go with an open that has a good set of curtains and A/C.
That might be the most flexible configuration to use. As an example, here is a Sabre 54 FB with optional top and side curtains. One can have a degree of protection if desired and still have excellent visability.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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That might be the most flexible configuration to use. As an example, here is a Sabre 54 FB with optional top and side curtains. One can have a degree of protection if desired and still have excellent visability.
That is considered an open bridge. It's pretty much understood that the sportfishes the poster is talking about are equipped with a 3 sided enclosure.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:10 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Aside from considering where and how you will be using the boat, as abovementioned, the size of vessel would make a difference, in my opinion. Anything up to 50-55ft would be open flybridge for me. Bigger than that, the enclosed bridge would be sizable enough to be really nice, although I'd throw in cockpit/rear fly controls for good measure.

Another factor to consider is that enc bridge boats have more surface area exposed to the wind and have a higher centre of gravity due to the extra weight. Would probably lead to more rocking or rolling while at anchor or slow cruise. An open fly with clears installed would have the same effect, albeit somewhat lesser due to the weight issue. Depends on the amount of wind you get, I suppose.

I have a 40ft open fly with no clears or the like. It's a great place to hang out when at anchor with clear views and full breeze. When it rains, I just don a raincoat and cap, and keep on moving. I can only think of one instance where the weather was so bad, that I wished I had clears or at least a single clear in front of the helm.

Optimally, an open fly with clears is good to protect the flybridge while the boat is not being used, with the clears fully removed when heading out to sea.

Just my $0.02

Puf
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think something else to consider is if the boat has a tower. If you have a tower on an enclosed flybridge boat the issues concerning fishing can be pretty much taken out of consideration. But that's only if you're brave enough to climb up there....

Another advantage to an enclosed bridge is that you can use it as another room. A friend of mine designated his EB as the captain's quarters, giving more room for his guests in the staterooms. That option's for people who do a lot of entertaining obviously.

And I guess another thing to consider is if you prefer to feel the wind and you don't mind getting between a little wet or totally soaked(depending on sea conditions). With an EB, you could navigate your boat with your best suit on if you wanted to.
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yep. If you have a tower then the way to go, for me at least, would be an EB simply for the comfort. I boat in South Florida and it gets hot here so I prefer an EB so I don't end up sweaty and smelly after my trip.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If you fish more then you buy a OB, if you travel or entertain more then you may prefer a EB. Very few builders make an EB that is less than 60 LOA. Of course if you have a large SF (70+) then you can have a sky bridge which a fishing bridge above the EB.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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You see very few EBs on high performance fishing boats. Look around a marina in NC or FL that caters to the tournament and custom crowd (I'm in one now) and you just don't see them. Many will have a high end semi-rigid enclosure like EZ2CY; it is easy to fold up a panel or two and attach it to the hardtop (that's what I have and do on the aft deck of my old Hatteras MY), that way the best of both worlds is afforded.

Now if the boat is realistically only going to be used for cruising, with large doses of bad/cold weather with occasional fishing, the sky lounge style EB is pretty sweet.
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