Click for Nordhavn Click for Northern Lights Click for Abeking Click for YFYS Click for JetForums

Helo Landing Feedback

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by DON GREER, Mar 11, 2010.

You need to be registered and signed in to view this content.

    DON GREER Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    My port is Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
    Does anybody have experience with landing a helicopter on their boat? What are the issues?

    We are involved in the design of an 80 foot boat with a 20 foot beam but now wonder how we might be able to adapt it to land and hold an AS 355 helicopter. The boat design is a Portuguese bow with a skylounge top deck that affords a landing pad of 20 feet 20 feet. The landing skid is 7.48 feet wide by 11.22 feet.

    On land the rules are that the landing pad must be 1.5 times the total length of the helo. An As366 is 42.45 feet overall; the main rotor is 35.1 feet in diameter. Maximum weight of the helo would be 5,000 pounds.

    We notice a number of boats have the tail section overhanging with either bow or stern pads that are not much larger than the landing skids. We really want to keep the size of the boat to a minimum. As we have not started the build we wonder now how to accommodate this helo without compromising wellbeing.

    The design would have to comply with US and Canadian regulations but at the end of the day we are more concerned with safety and practicality.
  2. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

    May 20, 2007
    9114 S. Central Ave
    Then you might think about a much larger boat.

    Give these guys a call.
  3. BMS

    BMS Senior Member

    Apr 10, 2009
    Savannah GA

    Im with Marmot. I only have experience with helos in a military setting and 80' seems small. But ask the experts they would no much better that me.
  4. Henning

    Henning Senior Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    If it's just a touch down and drop off pad, you could make one fit, but if the helo is going to stay with you, forget about it. Keeping a helo on deck on such a small boat is going to guaranty you a maintenance nightmare on the helo in the form of corrossion. Boats that keep helos onboard tend to have climate controlled hangars. Also make sure you treat it well with ACR. Also consider the stability implications of where that 5000lbs is in any kind of seaway. I'm running a 110' boat and the owner has a Bell 407, and there's no safe way to operate it off of this boat. Then there is the issue of dynamic rollover in the transition to landing and take off. The smaller the boat, the more and jerkier the motion. That motion when light on a skid can cause dynamic roll over, and IIRC that helo has a fully articulated rotor head, and if it does you're also suceptible to ground resonance effects. So as you can see, you'll be very limited in the functionality and usefulness of a helo onboard. Basically it will only be able to serve you as a taxi to the boat at dock (if allowed by local authority which it often isn't) or in a very calm anchorage.
  5. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

    Nov 25, 2004
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Don, you might want to have a look at this thread: LINK
  6. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Sep 30, 2005
    My Office

    Having worked on 3 yachts that were Helo equipped I am yet to serve on one with a hanger.

    I am not sure what the USCG or Canadians would have to say about your plans but imagine they have a similar set of rules.

    The current regs re Helo Pads on Yachts which the LY2 Refers to are covered by a CAA Document CAP 437.

    You can have a read of it here:
  7. 'RoundTheHorn

    'RoundTheHorn Senior Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    Salish Sea
    For what it’s worth, a couple built a custom Benford 55 foot Coaster. He is a pilot and they carry a Robinson R22 helo on the boat deck. You might check with Jay Benford’s office and see if they can put you in contact with the owners, John & Teddi Holzemer.

    Benford Design -

    Here is a PDF that gives an overview of their boat with a few photos and drawings. Probably not the style you are interested, but still a 55 foot boat that handles a helo in a similar space.
  8. SandEngXp

    SandEngXp New Member

    Jan 29, 2009
    Helipad Design

    My general comment is that you need a smaller helicopter or larger boat.

    pad size should be diagonally the same as the rotor diameter.

    landing design impact load factor is 1.5 to 2.5x of MWOT.

    It should make for some interesting vessal movement.....