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Dual helms

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Cap'n Rick, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Cap'n Rick

    Cap'n Rick New Member

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    I'm trying to decide between two used Carver Aft cabin cruisers, one with with an upper and lower helm, one with just a helm on the flying bridge. I've heard it's nice to have a lower helm in cold weather (and when you need wipers!) On the other hand I don't intend to deliberately go out in bad weather, and I wonder about double the cables, double the gauges, their cost and maintenance, etc. You do get a bit more room in the salon without a helm there, but not that much. Any thoughts? Thanks very much.
  2. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    As a personal choice I would always opt for an upper and lower helm. It just makes life easier and gives you options.

    As to costs, little to worry about there. If anything, the flybridge controls and instruments will give more problems due to sun and salt.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The sportfishing builders are running heavily to upper only. For instance, Hatteras only has upper helms in their Motoryachts. Personally, I hate that. I don't want a boat without a lower helm. Yes, they like to use that space for a country kitchen and things like that. Still a helm just doesn't take that much space. Also, most who have upper only have enclosed bridges or at least bridges they keep enclosed most of the time. I like being able to have an open flybridge in the summer and just use an enclosure for colder weather.

    It's all just personal preference.

    I'd say owner operators or even owners with crew where the owners take the helm regularly tend to like dual helms more also. When only a captain is operating the boat then an enclosed flybridge seems to be preferred by many owners.
  4. ranger42c

    ranger42c Member

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    Personal preference.

    We had a dual helm, once, and I liked that. OTOH, we seldom actually used the lower helm; usually that was when it was unusually cold outside during a trip on our normal season, or when sea states were choppy enough that our big dogs got nervous down below,

    Now we run from a mostly-enclosed flybridge -- closed forward, and completely open aft during the warm months. That works for us now... given now we have stairs to the bridge and the big dog could join us up above.

    -Chris
  5. captainwjm

    captainwjm Member

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    It depends on how you use your boat. If you single hand her, you’ll want the lower helm.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Depends where you are... in colder areas a lower helm will extend your boating season although a well designed quality enclosure on the FB can be a good compromise

    Lower helms are great for docking if you have side doors. I dont think aft cabins carvers do. Aft visibilty isnt good and you re a long way to your lines on most aft cabin boats
  7. Cap'n Rick

    Cap'n Rick New Member

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    Thank you all - this is very helpful!
  8. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Inclimate weather happens. Zipped up eisenglass can turn a flybridge into a sauna. Dual helms isn't double the trouble, it's twice the convenience.
  9. Cap'n Rick

    Cap'n Rick New Member

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    Makes sense. Thanks. Though in Canada inclement weather tends to be of the cold variety, where the occasional sauna might be welcome.
  10. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Which is another reason for a lower helm. Closer proximity to the coffee maker.
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    The start of our cruising day is typically like this. Up and preparing around 6:30. Undock at 7:00. Pull away from the marina, while everyone gathering. Then breakfast is started so the gathering is from helm to salon. By 8:30 or so everyone has enjoyed their breakfast and the outside temperature is warming. Dishes are washed and about 9:00 or so we move up to the bridge.

    It's nice to not be separated during breakfast preparation and the meal itself. Also nice to stay inside while the chill (depending on where we are) is still outside.
  12. timvail

    timvail Member

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    I like a lower helm as well. It’s nice to have options. The boats are now on the hard, winterized and winter covered for the next 6 months. Lower helms are nice when the boat comes out of hibernation. I envy you fellows in the warm southern part of this world.
  13. Happy4207

    Happy4207 New Member

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    I have a Carver 4207 with dual helm. I also don't have any shade or enclosure for the upper and never plan to. Why would I when I can go down below and be comfortable? Yes it has draw backs like resistance in the shifter or throttle cable, but the positives outweigh the negatives.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Well, I'd encourage a canopy for the bridge to enjoy it with protection from the sun. We're very protective of each other and guests when it comes to sun. That includes making sure everyone is covered with high SPF lotion. Boat rule is no getting sunburned.
  15. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I live in the UK. We are still trying to find this mythical Sun you speak of. We have a Rain, another type protection is needed (with added heating). :rolleyes:
  16. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Still reason to have some form of top, except adds need for enclosure.
  17. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    a lower helm also allows your ears, nose, and eyes detect trouble. After years on a lower station only boat, I felt disconnected with things when placed on the roof..
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Very good point!
  19. GFC

    GFC Senior Member

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    We have dual helms and, while I've only driven from the lower helm a couple of times, it was nice to be able to get in out of the weather (cold, rainy) and be more comfortable.

    Our fly bridge has a complete enclosure and in the summer we usually run with all the side and aft panels removed and the front ones snapped up so they're open. Makes for comfy cruising in our hot, desert climate.
  20. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I've gotten to where I prefer the lower station on long ocean trips of 6+ hours at cruise.....less movement.....restroom is closer.....a/c, no salt on you..... less sun exposure....etc.....

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