The Control Station of the Catamaran

Fountaine-PajotLearning Center

Location, Location, Location

  1. Good visibility all around

  2. Communication with the cockpit. The helm area is open to the cockpit for communication, or passing refreshments.

  3. Easy step up to the upper deck for lounging or access to the low boom (a feature of all Fountaine Pajot Yachts!)

  4. Your right at deck level, with outboard engine controls. This makes it easy for a single handed skipper to stand on control station of the catamaran - sailing catamaransthe deck while docking parallel to a fuel dock or for any parallel situation, where he can control the boat right up to the dock, with fenders in place ahead of time… Once along side, you simply drop a line on an available piling and secure it to the center cleat right near this deck position beside the helm. Once secure, the helmsman has the boat under complete control while he secures other lines for a permanent tie. All done single handed!

  5. Of course a hard or soft top bimini adds comfort.

  6. All the controls are led to this position, so that one person can raise the sails, tack or jibe and in general totally control the boat…

But, why separate the steering, from the control position?

There are three principal reasons.

  1. While cruising, guests can pass by the helm to get to the deck without disturbing the helmsman who is sitting in his separate area.

  2. In the larger boats, ,about 44 and up, there is so much going on at the control station and the lines are larger diameter so it simply get’s crowded there–lines get tangled in the wheel and in your feet while you’re at the wheel.

  3. Finally, on these larger boats (over 40′ for so) the deck is a little higher and you need to get your body braced against the bulkhead to operate the cabin top control winches.

So what about tacking?

Glad you asked. This is the easiest situation imaginable You simply put your remote autopilot control on the deck (I have a little Velcro pad for this) and push the tack button. The boat turns smoothly through about 100 degrees. Controlled and at exactly the same pace every time– way better than any crew you ever had who is likely drinking a beer or talking to guests and not paying full attention.  Auto will become your favorite crew!

 The autopilot control also works to hold the boat headed into the wind for raising the main…

Then there’s the head sail auto head release mechanism, releasable lazy jacks, and other features that make it easy to single-hand–but that’s another story.

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Eric Smith

Senior Sales Consultant, Partner
410-703-5655
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