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Why no lower Helm on Sportfishers?

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by Fishtigua, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    I have never understood why when Sportfishing is popular all over the world (even in colder climates) that Boatbuilders don't add a lower helmstation and Nav area inside while getting to the grounds? Do you really miss a corner of the saloon that much? Any ideas?
    Dave
  2. Dan Evans

    Dan Evans Senior Member

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    Good question. I would like to know as well...


    Dan
  3. T.K.

    T.K. Senior Member

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    +1........
  4. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You may have noticed that big hunk of fiberglass where the forward windows are on your lower helm yacht. It's there because it's not uncommon for a sportfisher to stuff his bow through a wave that you wouldn't want to even see on TV. Sport fishermen are fanatics who salivate at the words blue marlin, and would trade the wife and kids (OK maybe just the wife) for a shot at a swordfish. Dying doesn't matter. My friend sits out off Nantucket for a week through whatever weather comes along in his 36 footer in the slim hopes of landing a Giant Tuna. That forward f/g shield is there just to buy enough time to land the fish. Personally, I don't fish anymore(for a number of reasons), but most guys can understand the passion. It's a Hemmingway thing; a "Guy Thing". Me, I've been there done that. Now as I get older I'd just as soon hang in the calm waters entertaining those left behind wives...... Only kidding Hon.
    P.S. Sorry ladies. Before you bury me, my tongue if firmly planted in my cheek. Love you and respect you. I know several of you have gotten into it in a big way these past several years and could undoubtedly kick my butt out there.
    P.S. Does anyone remember Jim *****'s 167 Gallent Lady with the fighting chair on the back. Can you imagine dragging a bloody fish across those decks? I've got to believe it was sushi before it cleared the transom. Passion!
  5. SharkyFHB

    SharkyFHB Senior Member

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  6. Loren Schweizer

    Loren Schweizer YF Associate Writer

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    Sportfish boats always had a lower station (check out Hemmingway's "Pilar" in "To Have and Have Not"); it was only in recent times--the mid-eighties--that the mainstream manufacturers did away with windshields so they could add more stuff (galley appliances & storage, TVs & stereos) to an otherwise underutilized volume of space.
    Plus, windshields had a tendency to leak, esp. if there was a tuna tower above that wracked the house in a seaway.
    The place across from the helm was known as 'the chart flat'...anyone remember charts?
  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Older SFs used to have lower helms and windshields, sometimes owners would remove the lower helm altogether and eve glass the windshields...

    Pure battlewagons dont' have bow rails or windlasses either, and nowadays, many of them have either fully enclosed flybridges or at least a hardtop or a good enclosure.
  8. Dan Evans

    Dan Evans Senior Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    Dan
  9. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Thanks everyone, still a bit nonplussed. On the commercial Tuna boat I used to work on (48 foot) we used to go out for 2 weeks at a time in silly weather and only had a lower helm. Slamming into waves and having seaweed hanging off the radar we could still be warm and having coffee while not getting a drop through those 'leaky' windows. Not very macho I know, still I don.t mind.
    Dave
  10. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    You have to go back through the evolution of sport fishers. Originally you were dealing with normal, low boats. Then someone figured out that if you got higher you could spot the tuna schools further away, hence the tuna tower. Then the helm moved up so the skipper could also be the spotter, and boats started going out in worse weather as it became more of a tourist business. Now you're getting waves over the bow and coming through the glass (not safety glass). Since the helm is now moved up why not bring up the whole bridge ("flying bridge") and just close that lower glass so you can chase the school further. Then the new taller tower, then the enclosed upper helm and the really tall tower, now with a helm up there. Now we have 124 ft. sport fishers with 3 or 4 levels, plus towers and 5 helm stations capable of coming home from absolutely insane conditions. What's hard to understand? It's just another game of mine's bigger than yours.
    I just saw a thread starting on the biggest fish you ever hooked (not landed). You know we'll soon be hearing about 25', 5,000lb marlin:D
    Fishtigua,
    first, you're commercial (real) not sport (showoff). Second, compare your glass to the glass on a 1970's cruiser. You wouldn't want to be standing behind it when a 1,000 gallons of seawater hit.
  11. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Hi NYCAP123

    Almost right. I have fished both sport and commercial. I love really big, daft Sportfish boats too, especially from the Carolinas (wooden, lean and fast with very flared bows, drop-dead-gorgeous). Just wondered what everyone else thought about a little more practicality.

    Cheers

    Dave
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Fishtigua,
    You've got to see some of the battlewagons that come into Nantauket during the summer. Huge towers, lit like a bordello, gorgeous teak and varnish, chairs that cost more than I make in a summer and some serious fish coming off them. Doubt if you could call it cost-effective, but they sure are impressive. I'll try to post some pics if I get out that way this summer. (Montauk has a few cute ones too:cool: ).
    It's hard to put practicality and recreational boating into the same sentence.
  13. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    NYCAP123

    Yes please, never got up to Nantaucket, that would be new to me.
    Just how crazy do they build 'em????

    Dave :eek:
  14. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Fishtigua,
    Google the M/Y Marlena. Word is she was set to be 124' until the owner found out there was another 124 so he paid about 200K to extend the bow pulpit 2 feet so he could have the world's largest SF. Practical? BTW she mostly fishes for flounder and stripers. Local fishermen use her as a landmark as in : "where you at Joe"--"200 yrds S/E of Marlena" I took a tour of her a few years ago. Behind the main helm (one of 5) there's a 32' TV set used as a chart plotter so the guests can follow.:rolleyes:
  15. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    NYCAP123

    I see what you mean. Also on another site was the old Contigo, another favourite. I remember when I worked in Holland in the 80's the Dutch yards were making some nice Ally boats of around 90' to 110'. Not as nice as yards of teak and varnish as the classics though.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Had a feeling you were an old guy.;) We seem to be the only ones who think of things like practicality.lol. I used to captain a 51 Bertram that never dropped a line in the ocean. New boater/ first boat. Me, I started on a 14 footer.:cool:
  17. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    Old...OLD... I'm only 41! (oh I see what you mean) Yeah, nice to meet other ones who's Daddy never let you have an outboard till you rowed until you had arms like a linebacker. Yep, I was that kid holding a line over the side of 13' Whaler getting nothing. My first real fishing job was on a Crabber running 9 strings of 30 pots for the guy who also was Cox (Skipper) of our local Lifeboat (RNLI.UK). Here we have 30' tides twice a day, pretty good fun for a 16 year old collage kid.

    Dave
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've got a couple of years on you, but yeah, you're old. These days daddy is buying the kid 30' Cigarettes before they even know what a spark plug is. 30' tides twice a day. Wow. Bet that taught you about spring lines fast.
  19. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

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    NYCAP123

    Oh boy, its fun when the freshmen to our waters come and tie-up along side, come back from the pub from a nice meal and find their boat hanging from the lines 10' above the Marina. See who works in the yard with the only Travelift. Shucks!
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Seen that many times, but never even close to that extreme.:D :D :D