Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Northport, NY
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Re: Discovery 55
I completely agree with SO’s post on learning a new boat. Takes years, even if you’ve done it before. I was speaking to a delivery skipper about a problem he had aboard a boat he’d delivered dozens of times. Lost electrical power to a few systems, while underway. There turned out to be a fuse bank, separate from those behind the nav station, that were buried in an obscure place he never knew about.
On the other hand, dual helms are a matter of personal preference, not a bright line. We find they allow the cockpit to be a better living space, as no one is ever climbing around the helm. On several hulls I’ve sailed with them, the aft section can be too wide to helm from the center and ever see around a salt sprayed dodger, so the dual helm is more functional. If anything, it is important to have autopilot controls at both helms and that does add cost. All depends.
Minni and NewModMan... the cockpit design and the dual helm approach to it involves a number priorities all driven ultimately by the boat's architecture.
The way I sail and I can only speak from my experience of decades with my boat... I so rarely drive from the helm it's almost not necessary. In fact, my AP has a rotary dial to set the course and it's like a mini steering wheel. The AP is forward in the cockpit where I can be sheltered... and that's one of the reasons I have not installed a bimini. I am just not back there much at all. But if I do want to get aft of the helm I have to walk on one of the benches. No big deal at all! I will also add that I installed a larger diameter helm so I can comfortably sit on either coaming top and steer and see well. I can also steer standing on the bench behind the helm and get excellent visibility or stand on the cockpit sole... or sit on bench behind the helm. But Shiva is not wide enough back there to even have 2 helms. I have seen racing boats with HUGE single helms. Interesting solution for fat ended boats. I don't know what I would want in a fat ended boat as far as helms go. Two helms really seems like a racing solution where hand steering is the ONLY way. I don't race so that solution is not needed. YMMV
pay attention... someone's life depends on it
Last edited by SanderO; 12-30-2018 at 12:22 PM.