by Avril

A few months ago a major catamaran brokerage and Lagoon agent had an interesting piece hidden away in their blogs section.

It dealt with exactly this issue of the fly bridge (mentioned in your opinion piece 'Boat Reviews: Nothing But the Truth').

This very experienced sailor went on and on about how impractical these were for blue water cruising but at the end of the article left up to the individual to decide on whether you wanted a fly bridge or not.

Your view on the much vaunted fly bridge correlates with his view on how impractical the fly bridge is on the open ocean, especially in adverse weather conditions.

I would like to express my thanks to people like you who express an opinion with such honesty.


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Oct 09, 2013
Catamaran Steering Station .
by: Bill

I too have dreamed of the glamourous Fly Bridge Steering and then I slap myself awake .

I recently examined one of the latest import Cats that had a raised wheel set within a cut out of the cockpit roof .

When I questioned the salesperson if this was the only place to steer from, he said yes, so I just grabbed the stainless tubed framed cover with its plastic sides and shook it as to gather its strength ...

I then commented to his disdain , " so this boat is not designed to go to sea " .

Any decent wind would rip the flimsy plastic shelter away and then the first good greeny over the bows would put a substantial amount of water over the helmsman and then down into the cockpit and possibly the saloon potentially diluting your Gin and Tonic ...

Always a compromise with cats is where can you steer from, but still see both bows and the sails still keeping relatively comfortable as in dry .

Some hardy salts have two wheels out board and brave the elements .

OK my wheel is suitably set under the cockpit over hang. Immediately above the chair I have a large sliding glass hatch.

The custom chair has two standing platforms to the effect I can be at different heights, but still reach the wheel albeit at the max I use my toes for fine wheel manouvers .

Yes, there is a compromise when in adverse weather at sea, I close the hatch, sit at the helm and still have reasonable forward vision thru the wrap around saloon windows.

When essential I can look forward around the side of the saloon cabin coming.

Only rarely in a South China Sea gale did I need to expose my top half to the elements standing thru the half closed hatch , yes it was a wet night. Dodging the many fishing boats, oil rigs and their service vessels.

Now if I was on the above mentoined vessel I would have been extremely concerned .

This on my part may sound a bit Nancy, but my and the crews comfort is a big part of the journey not mentioning the safety issue of dry comfort .

My boat is a reliable dry Fusion 40 .

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