Apr 012010

I think the first time I had the idea that I could actually build my own boat was when I met Peter Stuivenberg on his yacht Crossroads in the Horta Marina on the Azores in 2001. If he could then I should be able too, right? One mistake he said he made was not paying enough attention to the helmsmans position, and as a result it was very uncomfortable to steer his yacht.

Now that the Journeyman helmsman positions are done I can reassure you that this will not be the case here.

If you want to sit down while steering the seat is there for you, and it has a U-shape that will keep your bottom in  a nice grip up to about 10° heel. For larger angles you will move up to sit on the deck edge, which is angled 25° (you only see the edge in this picture). Both places offer you a nice forward view passed the deckhouse. Standing up, you will find good support for the leeward foot on the footrest, which has a really steep angle at the end to stop you from slipping away in case of a broach or similar event. With the leeward foot on this rest and the knee of the other leg on the deck edge you have a really stable and comfortable position at high heel angles.

All seating areas are covered in a rubber/cork mix material (originally developed for diving board surfaces) which provides good friction, thermal insulation and a soft feel.

The top bearing of the rudder shaft ended up underneath the proper position of the footrest, as you can see. So we made the footrest easily removable.

  5 Responses to “Comfortable Steering”

  1. Very nice indeed. It really looks excellent. Happy to see that you are getting closer to the Gadget Phase! I’m looking forward to see the super-duper lighting system!

  2. Regarding the boxes for ropes: Shouldnt you make the v-shaped slots slightly wider at the bottom? The ropes might get stuck quite easy if there are some coils on the rope.

  3. Well… I think expecting rope to run smoothly out of the storage without kinks is a little optimistic no matter how the boxes look. They are meant for long term storage, to reduce the mess on the floor during long passages. If the ropes need to be let out they will have to be taken out of the storage first, I believe. Note that main and foresail sheets do not go into these boxes. They might need rapid release…

  4. Aha, make sense! On Alca Torda we are putting down the non-active sheets down into the two hatches that leads to the two cabins under the cockpit. A nice “feature” when all ropes and sheets are active – especially when sailing with the spinnaker and you normally cant see the cockpit floor for all the ropes…

  5. You wouldn’t happen to be around during the weekend to show the boat? I’m 10km from the yard till Sunday :-)