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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-27-2012 09:26 AM
Tim R.
Re: Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW

Quote:
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

Cheers,

Gary
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.

03-27-2012 09:10 AM
CaptainForce
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
03-22-2012 11:24 PM
travlineasy
Re: Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW

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

Cheers,

Gary
03-19-2012 04:19 PM
Clarity2
Re: Things we learned about life aboard while traveling south on the ICW

Wouldn't recommend being offshore in bad weather with a dinghy in davits.
03-04-2010 01:09 PM
eryka Great post! I'd second all your recommendations. Many are things we've got and appreciate (like a pair of 20-lb propane tanks), and others are things we plan to do before our next trip (like, you're right about an enclosure & davits). One thing I'd add: a folding stepstool or sturdy milk crate - to put on the dock to step up to your boat at high tide, or to put on your boat to step up to the dock at low tide, for many marinas that probably should have been built with floating docks, but weren't. Elizabeth City comes to mind, but what the heck, it was free!
03-04-2010 12:45 PM
xort try not to get those folding seats wet...they are not stainless inside. will rust quickly
03-04-2010 09:40 AM
Cruisingdad I see you got it figured out! We use very similar seats too.

Brian
03-03-2010 05:54 PM
Soontobecruiser OK now that I got the pictures figured out below are a couple of pics of the cabinets that we put in on the port and starboard side in the main cabin.





And a picture of Second Wind anchored at Key Largo.

03-03-2010 05:50 PM
Soontobecruiser Let me try this again...

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]
03-03-2010 05:34 PM
Soontobecruiser Here are a couple of pictures that show the 1 comfortable seat we now have on the boat. The cushions are 2" thick foam, the chair is the Go Anywhere seat and I really believe the curved cushion behind the chair significantly helps. This set up allows you to kick your feet up on the bench and be fairly comfortable.

This is my first time posting pictures so I hope this works.



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