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A comfortable seat for the helmsman

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What is the issue?
Many production boats do not have a cockpit seat for the Helmsman. A conspicuous example of this is in the Westerly Berwick 31 that is a renowned and stalwart cruising vessel. This forces the helmsman to either sit on either side of the cockpit, depending on heal, or to stand for long periods.

Why address this?
Whilst running down wind, or operating under power, for extended periods the most natural and comfortable position to sit is directly behind the wheel. Being forced to stand is tiring.

How to address this?
Tailor a drop-in-place seat than can slot in when required – see figures 1 and 2.
The main restriction to a permanent seat in this location is that it blocks access to engine control leaver or instrument panel. However a lift-out seat can easily set aside when access is required. When not in use the seat can easily be stowed down below.
An improved solution would be to design the seat so it can fulfil other roles aboard the vessel. An example would be to adapt the seat so it may be a companion way watch seat when the vessel is running under auto-helm as presented in this suggestion:

‘A comfortable ships watch from the companionway’ http://www.inyourfootsteps.com/viewFAQ.php?SEARCH_KEYS=companion%20way&FAQ_ID=297&&page=3

The more roles any item can perform aboard the vessel the more worthwhile it is to have and the increased likelihood that it earns its storage space.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

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