Picking up from my last post about yachts for sale. I discuss what we are going through choosing one. We look at the pro’s and cons of monohulls v’s catamarans. I share our dilemmas with looking for yachts for sale. Now, I do see that these are ‘first world’ issues, but I promise you they are real enough when you are searching.
Catamarans are now our focus, the field is finally narrowing. Some yachts have the size, but they go and put the helm on a top deck. It also has no protection at all from the weather. Duh! A yacht obviously not designed with ocean crossings in mind. A yacht that most likely stays in dry dock all winter and is dropped into the Med in summer. It’s sailed for a month or two in Croatia, before being stored away again for the next winter.
Others have a helm perfectly set up for ocean going voyages, but they are only 40′ long. This is too small for us to cross vast oceans with and seriously live on for months at a time. See the pick below. Ok, maybe we are a bit too fussy about this, but I feel we deserved the right to be fussy, especially after the last few years.
Where is the helm?
When you are on watch, helms connected to the cockpit keep you close to the rest of the crew* (*family). Of course with the helm on an upper deck, everyone want to sit with you in good weather. In the med, this is the norm. When you are crossing oceans, you will be up there at night and you will be up there in atrocious weather. At those times you are definitely going to be on your own.
So helms in the cockpit are clear winners for us in this regard. There are other benefits too. A clean line of signs or just audible contact with someone sitting at the nav stations a plus. Being able to quickly talk to the other crew members at times when you really might need them is another.
For instance, a sudden unexpected squall hits you, the helm is position can be the difference between the next 10 minutes being manageable or a disaster. Ease of use shorthanded is a big determining factor too. again a cockpit based helm is an advantage when ocean cruising.
We especially favour this type of helm that also has good protection from the weather. without cutting you off from the cockpit and the rest of the crew. Oh the joys of looking at yachts for sale (check yacht world.com).
Do you get where I am going with this?
My ideal is a helm where I can chat with Vero while she is cooking in the galley. Maybe I am cooking and she is steering, and we can talk about stuff.
Or better even is where I can have a chat with Eddie, who is at the helm and he can ask me to check something at the nav station. I can then peel away from the galley to do it while I keep chatting. Alternatively, I could be at the helm and ask him to grab the iPad for me from the nav station, while he is just doing his school work in the cockpit. Vero can listen in and go help him (he struggles to find stuff sometimes), while she is cooking in the galley.
Is the yacht designed to sail oceans?
The thing is, what you need in a yacht for day cruising is completely different to what you need for ocean crossing. It’s not just about whether there is a water maker or a bigger bank or batteries, it is about all of the details summed up.