bridge design - feedback request

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by expedition, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. expedition
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    expedition Thorwald Westmaas

  2. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    I would make seat area behind wheel one piece, so that someone can sleep there if necessary. Perhaps another chair on left. A 3d view would be helpful.
     
  3. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    I like the general layout you've sketched, Thorwald. Everything close at hand, room for a few folks to comfortably enjoy the task of piloting a big boat.

    Some ideas:
    - Where will the on-watch nap? Being able to stretch out on that couch could be pretty appealing if you end up on a long, boring passage away from the shipping lanes.
    - Lotsa LCD screens on there, you'd better make sure they're easily dimmable. Some aren't readily dimmable without flipping through menus. It's not easy to quickly jump from a bright LCD to a dark view outside.
    - How big is that chart table? With that much space, it'd be awesome to have room for a 36"x48" chart plus a couple of reference tables, without having to fold or rearrange things every few minutes.
    - Have you had a look at the Dashews' site ( http://www.setsail.com ) yet? Their new power yachts have a very unusual, but reportedly very comfortable and efficient, helm station layout.

    I'm a small-boat guy, can't afford anything big or fancy, so even thinking about so much space has me envious....
     
  4. expedition
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    expedition Thorwald Westmaas

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your comments.

    In fact, I want to make that center piece on the couch removable. Of course, on a vessel like this you'd normally have a 4-hour watch and are expected to stay awake (on my last Atlantic crossing the watch alarm took are of that :)).

    Yes, lots of screens. At least one too many and I'm very aware of the dimming issue. We had a test computer last time with the Freetechnics system. A pain to get the 'night scheme' and even then it was WAY to clear. Now, this may have had something to do with the monitor but still, it's a very important issue.

    I planned to make the chart table 48" wide but not 36" deep but about 20". In order to not have to fold the charts I had a slot in mind on each side to move the chart into. My experience is that you usually use less than half the chart - if at all - so this is a nice compromise I think.

    I know the Dashews's site. Haven't been there for some time and will have a look again.

    Thorwald
     
  5. Stumble
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    Stumble Senior Member

    I really like the layout you have now, but a few things cross my mind.

    One thing that has always bothered me about almost every boat I have piloted is the discomfort of sitting at the helm and having to stretch to reach the wheel. I would really recommend taking a look at the auto industry and the book of measurements they use to make the drivers seat comfortable.

    Secondly even if you assume that watches will be 4 hours, there are a lot of times an off watch person may be trying to nap on the bridge, for any number of reasons. So I would suggest having the couch able to be screened off from the rest of the bridge to allow someone to take a quick nap.

    I don't see it here, but how far is the nearest head to the bridge? Nothing sucks more than having to run all the way across the boat either to answer the call of nature or to get water for the next pot of coffee. Which also raises the issue of having a small beverage station nearby. Just a mini-fridge and a coffee pot would be fine, but I promise you if you don't design them in, they will grow within weeks of commisioning.
     
  6. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    All input from people who have obviously been there. I don't know what "on-watch" napping is. The scenarios where someone needs to sleep on the bridge is that the captain is exhausted and trusts the mate but "not as much as himself" (in a sustained blow, for example) or, the off-watch crew is exhausted but will be needed again shortly.
    I know, boats of this caliber have chart tables but really? It's an anachronism.
    I would put two helm chairs side by side always as hearty conversation keeps the mind sharp, word games, more eyes to spot that growler, etc.. Speaking of growlers, absolutely the best spotlight money can buy should be controlled from the AB's seat.
    Open spaces are nice to think about and great at home, but if this boat sees mean stuff, you're gonna' want something to fall against EVERYWHERE (I didn't look at the scale but nothing is as irritating as having someone fall against your seat or use it as a brace when in a tense situation. Be aware that seats are not hand holds)
    I envy you associated with such a fine vessel.
     
  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    mid-ocean.jpg
    One of the best boat pics I have ever seen.
     
  8. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Good point on hand holds. On my boat I have wall behind and to side(behind it is head) for all the safety and cameras, alarms tell me to look. That way I only have one monitor in front for lighting issues. Worked real hard adjusting monitor to get color scheme right. Of course my boat is bit smaller but bridge is also social place. I have sit down place for 6 in booth, controls a little to side.
    Less work more play, but then I am captain...

    Where is radio room, sonar etc... In a true expedition boat, you might be adding more gear in future. I would put in Chart table area, a separate computer screen, a chair and places to mount more equipment.

    Then it would look more like the Enterprise...
     
  9. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    The monitor wall is too massive, even if you have monitors that are low dimmable. Place them a bit off center enabling the watchkeeper to look out without having a monitor in direct sight line. Reduce the number of monitors by using Navnet or similar bus technology. Replace the couch and chart table. The table should be behind the helms chair (the light is either not sufficient to work at the charts or too much, disturbing the eye, at the present position). A good master is using charts almost as much as in the past ages, so make the table full size. Have a monitor at the chart table to be able watching the radar / c-map while working the charts. Install a WC with a forward facing window (and a curtain) adjacent to, or better at the bridge. Install a vertical wheel. A perfect helmseat position is not possible to achieve, so, it is better to handle the wheel by feet than to lean forward and down to do that. Have a tiller lever at the armrest. Have a cupholder at the chair (away from electronics and convenient to reach at. Same for the binocular pocket (opposite side of the chair). Clad the instrument table in dark leather (reflections). Have a dedicated and convenient place for the Radar keyboard. Do´nt have the radio in overhead position! The oscillating Mic. cable is tedious and the watchkeeper unconsciously is neglecting the sector of view. Have a comfortable floor to stand on ("Tartan" is a good choice), many people (me included) prefer standing at the helm during tricky passages. That may last for 16 hours or more, a soft floor is a noticeable addition to reduce fatigue.
    If the boat is going to have guests on long passages, do not install a fridge, do´nt make the wheelhouse a too attractive place for guests. It is terribly annoying to have guests at the bridge nearly all day long!
    On your homepage you ask for brands. On a vessel this size there is only one preferred: Furuno.

    Matt
    the Dashews layout is a bit away from being good! They do´nt even have a proper monitor position. Though I like the well thought concept of the vessel, that point was not perfect.

    The first two pictures below show two examples of a good console layout, the left one is the better due to the chart table in the right position (lower left corner of the pic.. the 3rd is acceptable, the last one is not.

    Regards
    Richard
     

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  10. expedition
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    expedition Thorwald Westmaas

    chair/head/fridge

    Hi,

    Well, we won't have a wheel :). Just a little stick which may be incorporated in the chair but I think we won't because I think it's good practice for the person on watch to walk around once in a while.

    In my view, if they are on watch, under voyage, they should not take a nap. But at any case, I plan to make the center part removable.

    He head is just behind the bridge, 10 steps away. There's also a bar and fridge there + coffee machine.
     
  11. expedition
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    Location: Panama

    expedition Thorwald Westmaas

  12. expedition
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    expedition Thorwald Westmaas

    Hi Mark,

    I kind of agree with the anachronism but restrained myself :).

    Thought about 2 chairs but I think they'll be kind of in the way and there's enough seating area anyway.

    And there will be handholds for sure. If you see the video on my site, you can see we saw some mean stuff and we plan to be able to go there again if needed.

     
  13. expedition
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    expedition Thorwald Westmaas

    I like that idea of separate area with screens for video views, alarm lights, etc.

    Radio room? Like a room? No such plan but we do plan to get a Farsounder Sonar.

     
  14. expedition
    Joined: Jun 2007
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    expedition Thorwald Westmaas

    Dear Richard,

    Great feedback.

    Indeed, there will be less monitors - at least at that location: 2 most llikely. We'll be using bus technology so don't really need more. I'm afraid I wont' follow the advice on the chart table but all the other advice, thanks !

    I'll keep the bar/fridge/toilet where they are, behind the bridge.

    And yes, we're going Furuno.

     

  15. mydauphin
    Joined: Apr 2007
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Radio Room? A lot of people myself included, enjoy listening to various transmission from throughout world. Shortwave, SSB, CB, Scanners, Satellite, etc... In a true expedition ship you may get a group that wants to install all kinds of new stuff. Perhaps a radio room is a bit much but I have a radio Desk.

    Point is leave plenty of room for equipment, power, wiring and antennas. Think beyond the regular, and in 5 years you will be happy you don't have to rewire boat.
     
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