Why helms are so low and small on motor yachts?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Omeron, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Omeron
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    Omeron Senior Member

    I must confess fırst that i never owned or steered a motor yacht like the one shown here. It is a Cheoy Lee 68, but only here as an example, as many seem to follow the same trend.
    Just looking at the picture, i cannot envisage how one steers this boat sitting so high and away from the helm, using hands. If it is meant to be steered by foot or knees, than its ok. Otherwise, unless you have the arms of an orangutan you seem to be in need of folding your body in half to reach it.
    Are motor boat owners ergonomically so different than sailors or vice versa.
    For me, a wheel has to be big enough to grab hold of comfortably with both hands and shoulder width seperation,and probably at a height so that when you rest your arms on it, it more or less becomes horizontal. Not forgetting that a healthy radius should allow you to get a feeling that you are turning it so many degrees to whichever direction.
    Can somebody explain why helms look so excrutiatingly mis placed on motor yachts!
     

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  2. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    That is as bad as I've seen. Wheels are rendered obsolete for the type of people that usually drive these boats (most of the time on auto-pilot and in calm weather). They are but an afterthought and here, appears to be giving clearance for the monitors or whatever they have on the dash. Goofy, I concur.
     
  3. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Actually, this looks like the scale of the seat in this 3D model has been completely screwed up. :D
    A guy for whom this seat was made must be some 3-4 meters high...
    It is better not to generalize taking this failed rendering as an example. Command posts of modern yachts and it's ergonomics are usually one of those areas most carefully checked out by the owner or by a captain acting on his behalf.
     
  4. Omeron
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    Omeron Senior Member

    If that is the case, what a pity... For me, hand steering a boat (any boat at that) is not a necessity but a major part of the joy of owning and driving it.
    I would personally hate to sit at that hi chair like a dummy, arms resting on the arm rests, eyes glazed on instruments,and fingers punching a few keys on the autopilot every now and then.
    Motor Boat people are really a different breed arent they?
     
  5. Omeron
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    Omeron Senior Member

    I am afraid it is not a 3-D rendering, but a picture taken from the actual boat. I came across it from www.yachtforums.com front page,today, announcing the new model of Cheoy Lee 68. But i have seen numerous other pictures of similar boats with similar helm configurations. And i had long intended to find out why. This particular example i thought was so extreme that i could no longer keep quiet. :))
     
  6. daiquiri
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

  7. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    I spend most of my life in seats like that (Recaro, Stidd, Hansen). The photo is with a wide angle lense. The boat in the link is the ugliest MoFo I have ever seen (and I live in the land of ugly boats). They even state, in the release of how wonderful the thing is, that you'll get spray if you go forward! Cool!
     
  8. Joe Petrich
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    Joe Petrich Designer

    Most fishing boats, work boats and large yachts have bridge layouts roughly similar to this these days. The wheel is used very rarely as there are joy sticks for steering and bow thrusters, on the dash and/or arm of the chair. When not in heavy traffic or tight maneuvering situations the boats run on autopilot. This allows the helmsman to scan the horizon more often, keep tabs on the ship's systems, or (god forbid) fall asleep and run aground! :eek:
     
  9. Omeron
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    Omeron Senior Member

    I would love to be standing behind that wraparound window, as the yacht plunges into a 5 metre wave at 15 knots! This must be the definition of seaworthiness. :))
     
  10. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Many interesting points. I image this boat has an open bridge above where must of piloting happens. The lower bridge is bad weather and chair to strap yourself in when you gave trying to steer boat in a storm. Otherwise you can steer with your feet. I have notice that bridge could be made smaller now that electronics are replacing gauges and equipment multi-tasks.
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think that design is for a trained chimpanzee helmsmonkey. They can steer with their feet
     
  12. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    products are designed by stylists to appeal to the oh wow factor of potential buyers
     
  13. And-Con
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    And-Con Junior Member

    ok generally a sailor here so im used to nice big wheels, and yes that is a small wheel, but isn't most steering on twins(haven't bothered to look it up but i will assume that its a twin engine) done with the throttles instead of the wheel? just a thought; also wouldn't the seat adjustable in just about every dimension?
     
  14. ABoatGuy
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    ABoatGuy Member

    I think Joe Patrich got this one right. Many, if not most, larger motor yachts these days are steered with jog levers or auto pilot joy sticks. Virtually all have power hydraulic steering and there is really no need for a big wheel. The small wheel is there as a back up and generally sits there and does nothing. Some wheels are located away from the bridge in a machinery space for emergency use only. Whether that is a great idea could be debated.

    For reference check the Kobelt web site. There are some diagrams there showing how it all goes together. (Of course others build systems as well).
     

  15. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    helm

    [​IMG]

    this is a mans helm
     
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