Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 23 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW

The form of suitable and comfortable seat at the helm will vary with the vessel and the crew. I use a different adjustment at the helm than my wife which includes a small "bean bag" chair that conforms to my position and any heel. Over the span of our forty years of cruising, including 24 passages of the East Coast ICW, we have seen an increasing problem in recent years that comes with a mistaken trust in the "magenta line". We are amazed that people will choose to run aground with the committed trust in their chartplotter and ignore the placements of markers or even the birds walking in shallow water. Look up, the real world trumps the virtual world! I do like the recommendation of the wash down pump for clearing the mud from the raised anchor chain, but there is another option. I usually carry a boathook to the bow while raising my anchor and reach out to shake the rising chain every ten to fifteen feet. This activity rinses the chain and, combined with cranking my manual windlass, also replaces my need for a gym membership. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #22 of 23 Old 03-27-2012
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Re: Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW

Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
I know the OP is old, but I thought this may be of interest to everyone who has spent endless hours at the helm.

When I was a younger man I spent a huge amount of time at the helm of several fishing boats. Many were in the 18 to 25-foot range, all were fast, and nearly all were equipped with comfortable, stable, helm seats. Even when bouncing off waves, the helmsman usually had comfortable seating.

Most powerboats have helm-seats that are contour-fit with padded arm and back rests and thick foam cushions to sit upon. The best ones are not cheap, but once you've installed one and used it you would never go back to sitting on a conventional sailboat seat--there's a world of difference.

I purchased and installed the Cape Cod helm-seat from West Marine last spring. They had a special sale going at the time and I saved about $100 over the regular price.

The seat is high enough for me to see over the cabin top, it swivels easily to any angle, has positive locking, and every person that has used it while sailing with me said it makes a huge difference. In many instances I had a passenger take the wheel while I went below to make a sandwich and when I returned they often said "Relax and eat your sandwich, then make me one and mix up a Margaretta to go with it." After complying with their wishes, they continued to remain in the seat.

The only thing I may change would be the pedestal. The one that came with the seat leaves the post in place when the seat is removed. I will likely switch this to one where the post can be removed from the base, leaving just the base unit in place. Just makes it easier to get around when scrubbing down the cockpit.

You can find the full specifications at TODD Cushion at West Marine


Here is the seat we use. Gary, I like your seat but it does not appear to fold. Ours we can fold up and stow under the dodger when we want to use the swim platform. We can also remove and stow the pedestal so we can put our cushions down for happy hour. Although I would love to have armrests.

Tim R.
Our Carina is for sale
1997 Caliber 40LRC

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post #23 of 23 Old 09-19-2016
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Re: Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW

Thank you for the very informative post!!!
We're refitting our 26' Chrysler to do the ICW, the San jauns and the Sea of Cortez...
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