Flybridge or no flybridge?

Published on 24 january 2018 at 0h00

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The flybridge has become available from almost all the catamaran builders, and even on boats of under 50 feet. We therefore wanted to know a little more about the advantages of the various deck plan options and take stock of the market trends.

First remark: the flybridge is gaining ground on the ‘smallest’ cats – the architects who for a long time refused to offer the flybridge on boats of under 45 feet, for aesthetic and practical reasons, now start at 40 feet (Bali 4.0). Our subject therefore now concerns catamarans of from 12 to over 16 meters, no less! In this category, most of the builders of performance-oriented catamarans (Outremer, Catana, Seawind, TS...) retain a steering position at cockpit level (and/or two tillers). Their reasoning: less weight up high and reduced windage offer better performance. For these models, the flybridge doesn’t seem to be close to being accepted. Other more comfort-oriented catamarans opt for the flybridge from the start, as can be seen on the forthcoming Dufour 48.The advantages are a perfect view over the water from the steering position, but above all, in addition to the cockpit and the trampoline(s), a third exterior living area, more often than not called the sun deck. A few builders, such as Fountaine Pajot, have reached a compromise which must have made the designers think hard about the optimization and fluidity of movement around the deck: aboard the Saona 47 and the Saba 50, the steering position is raised, certainly, ...

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