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Talisman
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Pilot seat

The standard humped seat cushion on our boats is not high enough for clear visibility over the pedestal while driving our boats.  Has anyone come up with a higher cushion or seat that places you high enough for visibility?  It also needs to be light and removable so it can be moved out of the way to have the pass through clear through the stern.

Enrique
Talisman
1998 36 MK2 Hull #1673
Tall Rig Wing Keel
M35BC engine
Old Saybrook, CT Summer
South Glastonbury, CT Winter
 

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GaryB
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http://helmseat.com/
This is one and they used to be one of our supporters and perhaps still are?
Blue Heron

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GaryB
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http://helmseat.com/
This is one and they used to be one of our supporters and perhaps still are?
Blue Heron Marine

pierview
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Enrique.... I made one years ago out of plastic piping from Home Depot. I posted it with a list of parts if you search back thru the archives. I don't have to original parts list and measurements  any more.

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Catboat Willy
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Enrique;
 I ran in to the same problem as you've described here. The less than $100.00 solution;
I took a 55 quart plastic Igloo cooler (Wal-Mart) and made a seat for the top of it using a standard boat cushion. The seat is held in place (to the top of the cooler) with snaps sewn on to webbing tabs.  You'll find that you will be leaning against this more than sitting on it - much like a 'leaning post' on a power boat. Plus the thing provides a handy  place to store adult beverages when sailing. You can also add a statium seat for the ultimate driving experience !
I'll send along a picture next time I'm at the boat.
Fair winds,
Bill

Talisman
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Thanks

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Peter Taylor
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↵↵Enrique 
 I may be telling you the obvious but did you know the fiberglass infill has a round slot on each side which clip over the second rung of the swim ladder and allows the infill to hang vertically. 

This doesn't provide a seat but provides a great backrest.   On my Mk 11, I use this all the time when I'm sailing.

The reason I mention this is that two local friends of mine didn't know this feature existed. 
 

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KevinLenard
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Enrique, I have fiddled around with different options to raise the seat.  Our 1991 vessel cam with a wooden insert that fits between the two lockers (standard I suspect) but it is cumbersome, heavy and tough to find a storage spot for when you want to put it away.  I've used the two side cushions under the curved center cushion (these cushions might have been custom made by the previous owners) to raise it to about the right height, but the set-up tends to wobble, especially in rolling waves. 

The best thing I tried was just using a wooden plank across the top of the raised fiberglass sides of the cockpit at the height of the stanchion mounts -- stable and the right height and could be slid into one of the lockers for storage.  This led me to conjure up the idea of a folding seat constructed from Starboard (white plastic) that would combine a hinged, folding door to close the opening to the pass-through to the open transom as well as pieces that fold up to form a base for the seat.  The complex folding design is still only in my head, but I did spend the big bucks for a 4' x 8' of 1/2" Starboard in the fall so I will get to this project after launch in May and will post photos if it actually works!

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Catboat Willy
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Enrique;
Here are the pictures of the cheap and easy cockpit seat. I find I'm leaning against it more than sitting on it. Not pretty but it works.........YMMV...

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Talisman
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I called helmseat.  They said thei have been out of business for 5 years.  Too bad seems ideal

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GaryB
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Enrique,
​Thank you for that info. I am trying to followup on some of these vendors to see if they are still active. You might want to check Zarcor as they used to be listed with us as Perch seat.

​Also sometimes less is better. I have the removable seat with a cushion. I just use two throw-able Life cushions on top of that and it makes a perfect seat for seeing over the cabin top. Easy to stow when not in use. Another place I siit with no cushions is on the coming either side of the helm, works well when healed.

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Mark Gadson
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I just added a helm seat at the end of the summer.  Will upload some pics this weekend when I am at my boat.

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GaryB
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Here is an option, I was just checking out Bottom Siders and it appears they disappeared, but here is a similar product and they have a helm seat
 http://www.ccushions.com/products.htm

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Mark Gadson
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Enrique,

As promised, I have attached a photo of the helm seat that I added to my 1995 Catalina 36 MKii late last summer. I purchased the seat from Defender.  The seat has a detachable back and bottom cushion that matches the Catalina cockpit cushions. The seat comes with the pedestal. It swivels 360 and moves backward and forward.  I added stainless steel hinges to the swim ladder in order for the seat to clear the seat when in the far backward position which allows you to stand comfortably at the helm and can lean against the seat. I am 5'7" and this helm seat allows me to see over the instrument pod comfortably.  I mounted the pedestal to the removable section of the stern insert.  I mounted a 3\4" piece of starboard underneath the section because the fiberglass is thin and I wanted to spread the load.  I also mounted 3 stainless steel latches under the section to hold it firmly in place.  I didn't feel that the two rubber latches that were the original equipment  were not strong enough to safely hold the section in place given the height of the helm seat. I'm not an engineer, but I wanted to make sure it was held securely in place. I will try to add several pictures.  This is the first time I have uploaded any pictures.  If I can't get them all uploaded, send me an email message and I will gladly send them to you.  Hope this helps.  This was a great upgrade.

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cmhuber
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Mark, thank you for taking the time to post the photos and parts information.  I think the the hinge bracket idea for the swim ladder is very clever.

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Mark Gadson
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Another picture of the helm seat.

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Mark Gadson
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Hinged swim ladder pic.

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Mark Gadson
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Helm seat pedestal pic.

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Mark Gadson
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Underside of stern fiberglass section showing starboard backing plate and stainless steel clasps.

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Mark Gadson
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Picture showing side of helm seat in full back position.  You can see how it clears the swim ladder that has the top section folded down at the point of the hinges.

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Mark Gadson
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And, finally, a picture of me at the helm.  This was take prior to cutting and adding the hinges to the swim ladder in order for the seat to clear it when in the full back position.

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Talisman
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Mark

looks great. I'm going to investigate further

Talisman
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So when you want to use the pass through to the back where do you store the help seat and the one that has the pedestal attached?

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Mark Gadson
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Enrique,

The helm seat simply lifts off the pedestal and is very light.  We just stow it below. We just set the stern section against the lifelines with the pedestal facing out. 

Here are the Defender part numbers:
Helm Seat     302577      Springfield The Yachtsman II
Fasteners      401013      Sead Anti-Rattle Fasteners

I purchased the swim ladder hinges from another company but couldn't find the receipt.  Will send to you when I find it.
 

Talisman
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Thanks

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Mark Gadson
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Enrique,

The stainless steel locking hinge was purchased from Marine Part Depot.

Item #:  MPD_934Regular price: $46.00Sale price: $16.98

Just Google “tube hinge locking stainless steel” for sources.
 

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ChrisB
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$30 boarding step.....rubbermaid folding step stool doubles as quick and dirty helm seat in calm weather on 36MKII. Comfortable with a cushion and provides good vision.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1287578&KPID=9970...

 

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Dwain Douglas
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Hi Chris,  Sorry for off-topic, but I noticed your Vulcan anchor in the photo and some interesting hardware holding it.  What size is the Vulcan and why the lower piece on the bow roller?  Looks great!  Maybe include some pics of the setup.?
Thanks!
Dwain

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ChrisB
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Hi Dwain ---

 

I am very happy with this anchor/bow roller setup. It is a Rocna Vulcan 15. The Mantus "Anchormate" was easy to install on the stock bow roller and is very well made and is inexpensive to boot. Just needed to install a longer bolt in the bow roller and added some SS washers to offset the V to match the center-line of the anchor.

 

It works well to stabilize the anchor. Used this setup last year sailing from Olympia to the Broughton Islands and have no complaints. Several people were excited to see it as a solution to anchor problems.

 

I also just purchased a bridle from Mantus at the Seattle Boat Show this year. Looking forward to using it this spring/summer. Now have 120' of 5/16" G40 chain connected to the anchor with a Crosby shackle (no swivel) and 200' of 5/8" three strand New England rope for my rode. The anchor is also held back tight with a chain hook and 4' line. I may try to use a 1" webbing strap ratcheting hold-down but not necessary. The plan for this spring is to go up to Haida Gwaii and back down the west side of Vancouver Island....we'll see.

 

You can see the washers if you zoom in on this picture.

Regards --- Chris

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HowLin
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Hey Chris - maybe we'll see you in Haida Gwaii - we've reserved the 1st 11 days in July.  
Have you made your reservation yet with Parks Canada?

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I have been using an aluminum folding stool from Harbor Freight, that has just the right span for the cut through. I have added a foot rest that also locks the legs in position so they can not move. We also use it as a dock step and it folds and hangs on our safety lines. I originally made custom feet, but found the stock stool worked fine. The hinges are powder coated steel and will rust after months of salt spray stored continuously on the rail. The stool is $30 ($24 with 20% off coupon) and is on sale frequently.

Another advantage with this setup is you can leave the fiberglass seat home. It has not been on our boat in years.

By the way, I have a “helmseat” available, in our attic. It came with the boat and is too big and clunky for my tastes.

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/step-stool-working-platform-66911.html

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cmhuber
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Nile, thank you posting the pictures. When you have a chance could you describe how you made the foot support? I have looked at the pictures but I cannot determine what you used or how you attached it. Thank you

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Pgutierrez
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I have started using a hammock hung off the transom railing.  You can lean against the hammock, sit in it, etc.  I have layed in it both across the aft of the boat or length wise from the winch drum to the aft railing.  Give a try. For some of our larger sailors, this might not be possible.

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VermontSailor
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Here is a little more information on the foot rest.  Basic dimensions are shown in photo. Foot rest is made from a 2x6.  The blue rectangles are where the legs go through the foot rest.  The two screws hold the legs apart so they can't slip off the narrow shelf. After the foot rest is installed on the front stool legs, the screw on the right is screwed in so it prevents the legs from moving towards the center.  The Harbor Freight stool has locking legs, but they have too much slop to securely hold the legs in place.  The long slots on both ends are to get the foot rest onto the legs. If I make another, the two slots will be 5 inches each.

The other screws with the wing nuts, project under the foot rest so the clamps for the fiberglass insert can be used to secure the seat in place.

The contact areas on the seat hinges when the legs are open may have to be bent slightly to get the correct leg spacing. There is some variation between seats, which is not an issue for their intended purpose.

 

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chic
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Figured I would add my 2 cents to this forum. See attached pictures I fabricated a cushion that snaps on top and bottom of existing seat. Probably not as comfortable as some of the others but also gives me a foot more room between wheel and seat. What you don't see is I added on the low back, starboard blocks that fit in the stock knotchout for the seat when down. This prevents the seat from sliding fore and aft. As for my feet I just straddle  the wheel and put a foot on the end of each settee. 

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Dwain Douglas
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This is on my To Do list.  I can't remember where I got these pictures but l checked my seat and it will hang on 2 different ladder rungs for 2 usable heights.. just have to make the folding legs for the front.

pierview
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I'm a little late to this thread but just got back from our summer cruise & had the chance to take the attached shots of the seat we made/use. Didn't see any other suggestions like this so I thought I'd add it.

I made this from Home Depot plastic piping. I've since been told that there is a heavier version which I would suggest if you can find it.

You'll notice the pins on the supporting braces coming down to the front cross bar. If you pull these out of the "T's" into which they insert, the legs will fold up into the seat and the braces fold up into the bottom for flat storing. The "T's"  had a section cut out of the middle so they are like clips that slide over the cross pipes. That being said, we found the cushion settled into the cross seat pipes so I pop riveted a plastic cutting board from Bed Bath onto the sitting surface for more comfort and now the legs don't fold down completely  flat. In practice, we rarely remove the seat and when we want to walk thru the stern, I hang the seat by the back "U's" on the bimini frame.

I pop riveted the "L's" supporting the seat as I found after the first year that the weight from sitting on the seat caused some of the glue to give way. I also inserted iron rods in the fore & aft support bars of the seat as without them, they flexed and weakened. You could probably use a hard wood dowel for the same effect.

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chuckandalysen@...
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We need some suggestions please,    We have a 1989 catalina 36'   We have a humped seat  and a mainstay coming down the middle.   I am only 5'2"  and need a much higher seat and the ability to move closer to the wheel also ...   most of the ideas look great but they are for the newer  pass through transoms ..
I have a hump : (   Is there anyone with a 1989 that has a helm seat fitted that not only goes up and down but also forward ?   Thanks 
 

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KevinLenard
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I reused the original cushion and created a folding plywood seat support that slides down into the stern lazarette with the cushion.  See photos (I've added more to illustrate the design).

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Catboat Willy
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Enrique;
Here's a quick one you could build for the standard transom.
Bill

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chuckandalysen@...
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Can you tell me the distane from the rail anchor in the back to the feet of the chair?  is it wide enough to go over the cockpit bench?  Alos what brand and model chair and did it come with a foot stool?

Thx
Alysen

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Catboat Willy
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Alysen;
 Regrettably, I no longer have that seat but the seat was something I picked up at Cabela's - cheap & easy- the rest was made from left over pieces of Starboard and metal fittings from Marine Depot. I would imagine that you could fabricate one to suit the needed size. You could probably use plastic pipe instead of metal fittings.
Personally, I rather like the cooler idea as shown above.
You could run a plank from one rail to the other and mount a seat on it or cushion on that. There are lots of options.
 

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