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Big boat, no steering wheel

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Danvilletim, Jan 2, 2017.

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  1. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Member

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    We looked at possible Candidate for next boat which was 123'. The yacht had no steering wheel at the helm. Just auto pilot jog control. Is this normal?

    Seems odd that there is no back up steering at the helm. ( might be in engine room). What if gen set goes down AP pump burns out? Or is this one of the risks w a bigger boat?
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    It's an odd trend toward operating with just a joy stick. The ones I've seen are more than an AP jog control. There are also some boats that have steering wheels because that's what we're use to but they're more like digital controllers and full range is just a few degrees in each direction no "turns" of the wheel.

    I know at first the idea of using a joystick instead of a steering wheel is borthersome,. However, once one thinks of it, there's no real argument against it other than not what I'm use to.

    I think of power wheel chairs and the steering and the speed control is all in a simple joystick.

    Systems like Yacht Controller have moved us in this direction for a while. You see so many joystick systems used on boats for docking and slow speeds and it's just natural that you start to see them for use at all speeds.

    Personally, I still like the steering wheel as I feel more like I'm driving, but in a typical trip, I'm often using it very little. I'd have to actually operate the boat you're talking about before having a strong opinion on it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Over the last 10 years I ve had two autopilot failures (two different boats, under 8years old). One main simrad board and one AP pump.

    On the other hand I have yet to loose a helm pump

    The lack of feedback from a joystick Vs a wheel has to be unpleasant
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I managed and ran a 98' Lloyds Ship that was set up this way. It had no steering wheel anywhere. It had a jogstick at every location. You're relying on a rudder indicator to show where the rudder is, so in the ICW you had to keep looking down at it, also was tough getting it exactly where you wanted it in ICW as the joystick had a 2 second delay. I would prefer a wheel also, where you can go 1/2 a turn right, then 1/2 a turn back to left and be centered without looking down (like going through a bridge). I disliked it. It did have both an AC and a DC pump for the jog stick and you used either/or in case you lost generator, but of course if you lost generator, you also lost steering and had to go to the breaker panel in the pilothouse to switch over.

    I also ran a new 98' Benetti that had a wheel but operated the same way, had 2 pumps, if one of the pumps were not on the wheel did nothing. Also, if you didn't switch over the pump at the station, like ran from pilothouse to FB and forgot to access or switch over the pump (which took a few seconds), you also had no steering.

    I guess it's a lot easier to run a few small wires all over the yacht, instead of several hydraulic hoses for real steering.
  5. rocdiver

    rocdiver Senior Member

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    Is it M/Y Perseverance II by any chance?
  6. GhostriderIII

    GhostriderIII Member

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  7. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Member

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    Good guess Rock! They did have a newly installed jog dial. Certainly much fancier than the autopilot on my sportfish.
  8. rocdiver

    rocdiver Senior Member

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    Thanks mods for deleting my post . . .
  9. rocdiver

    rocdiver Senior Member

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    Any interested in this boat, please contact me privately.

    Just trying to look out for our fellow members whom have been so supportive of me for the 10 years I have been a part of this forum.

    I hope our new members know how fortunate they are to have the collective knowledge of this distinguished group to "pick the brains" of some of the industry's best minds to ask seemingly mundane questions.

    All the best,
    ROCK
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  10. Opcn

    Opcn Senior Member

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    There are several commercial fishing boats in the Northern Pacific using that sort of setup (some a little less sophisticated, as in a button for more to port and a button for more to starboard) . It's a hydraulic pump that is moving the rudder anyways, controlling it with a wheel, a joystick, or a button doesn't make it inherently less reliable.

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