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post #1 of 8 Old 05-26-2004 Thread Starter
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Nav Station Facing?

For those of you with off-shore experience. What are the pros & cons of the Nav Station facing forward as opposed to facing outboard?
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-27-2004
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Nav Station Facing?

More than anything, it has to do with available space.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-27-2004
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Nav Station Facing?

I dont have alot of offshore experience but I have made several longer trips coastally. I''m going to sound like a simpleton here but I like the forward facing nav station; you can orient your charts in the direction you are going, etc. Given the fatigue can be a major issue offshore, you want it to be a easy as possible to navigate. That being said, given that most offshore sailing is not that navigation intensive, I wouldnt think alot of time would be spent at the nav station except if you were racing offshore or threading thru reefs or something.
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post #4 of 8 Old 05-27-2004
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Nav Station Facing?

Why is it that a chart can''t be oriented in the direction you are going no matter which way the nav station sits. I personally can read a map that in at 90 to me. I am not seeing your problem...
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-27-2004
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Nav Station Facing?

For me, a nav station needs a few things to make it work. First it needs ready access to the cockpit. If you are both skipper and navigator, you want to be able to go smoothly from one to the other. If you have a navagator on board, you want to be able to speak to them from the helm, and not through some electronic gizmo.

You need to be able to strap yourself in, or be able to stay put with a minimum of fuss and bother. Hard to plot a course if you are flailing around just trying to stay at the chart table. You need enough room for your active charts and plenty of storage for your chart inventory.

It should be a place that is out of the direct elements, someplace that does not get soaked when greenies roll aft.

As far as it''s orientation is concerned, that is a matter of personal taste, or tolerance. You don''t want to get queezey at the nav station. To see if one works better for you than the other, try sitting below reading a book, sitting facing forward, and then facing outboard. Try and stay put for a half hour or so. Some sailors respond differently to the two motions these put on the middle ear.

I am not effected by either, but my personal preference is facing forward, at the foot of the companionway, to starboard. I like a curved bench seat with a stout strap on through bolted pad-eyes. There are the "fighting chair" seats on swivels and poles, but they move too much for my taste.

For what it is worth, I like having a repeater for the sailing instruments along with my GPS and a below deck compass at the station.
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post #6 of 8 Old 05-27-2004
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Nav Station Facing?

I love your ideas for placement and access to the nav station. In a smaller boat however there isn''t that much space and you have to take what you can get.. Mine in starboard (looking starboard too). I would rather have a big station that I could sit at and plot and plan but I have to stand so I do all the big stuff before I sail and then use it mainly as a referance as I sail..
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-27-2004 Thread Starter
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Nav Station Facing?

Thanks for your replies. As we look to move up in size (40''+), we find nav stations facing both forward and outboard. There is enough room to face them either way and I have never understood why they would be setup facing outboard. I just thought that I was missing something.

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post #8 of 8 Old 07-31-2004
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Nav Station Facing?

I''ve navigated offshore in a lot of different boats and developed some firm opinions. My preference is a stand-up chart table facing outboard with a comfortable belt. Standing allows you to see all over a large chart without moving it. Facing forward or aft while sharply heeled is not stable, and makes one side of the chart almost inaccessible. A side benefit is all the storage space you are not wasting underneath. Orientation with the boat''s heading is meaningless. You are not going to give steering direction in terms of "turn 35 degrees to port." You will say "Come to 275 degrees."
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