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CC's...steering predominantly on left vs right?

Old 12-04-2019, 01:31 PM
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Default CC's...steering predominantly on left vs right?

Been thinking about this for a little while and curious as to if there is a safety reason or some other advantage I'm not aware of for having the helm being placed on the left side vs right side for bigger CC's. In the smaller CC's (21' and under) I often see the helm placed on the right side of the console, but on the larger CC's, it is either left or center. Center would bug the shit out of me, because if you're sitting three wide and the driver is in the middle, he will always have a person (obstruction) to his left or right, hindering his movement to the deck. Is it on the left in the bigger cc's because you generally have two binnacles (or more) and need more room? Because we are so right side dominant as a society it has been found easier to have the controls to the right? Because we drive cars with steering wheels on the left they want to keep boats consistent? Like I said, I see quite a few smaller cc's with steering on the right, but hardly ever see it on a larger cc....safety or convenience?
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:40 PM
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my steering wheel is on the left and throttle controls on the right. Works well, as I'm right handed.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:42 PM
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Center position is best in rough water.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:30 PM
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Center position is best for fat captains. Minimizes the need for tabs. fwiw, my 21 footer has it on the left (aka port) side.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:45 PM
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Makes for easier routing of cable steering. Most CC’s have their rigging tube on the starboard side of center, and you need some space for a gradual curve into the helm.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:42 PM
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Mine is right in the center. Makes it great for elbowing passengers and small children when steering.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:26 PM
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18', 21',24', 27'--all on left side.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Cobia 217 View Post
Center position is best for fat captains. Minimizes the need for tabs. fwiw, my 21 footer has it on the left (aka port) side.
lol amen. Mines on the left as well and I’ve got to tab down a hair to compensate for my 230 lb ass forcing a list to port 🥞🥓🍔🍕
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Cobia 217 View Post
Center position is best for fat captains. Minimizes the need for tabs. fwiw, my 21 footer has it on the left (aka port) side.
Hey... I resemble that remark

Center is great on windy days too because I could have a human spray shield on either side of me.

Sadly, my helm is on the left so I have to use a lot of tab and the left half of my body is always wet in a crosswind.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:24 AM
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Center
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:47 AM
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To me, having the helm on the right side is safer. Since you give way to a vessel approaching from starboard, in theory, you would have better visibility to see a boat coming from the right.

But in reality, engine controls are normally mounted to the right of the helm, so having the helm in the center is the best compromise. Then again, you are trapped in the middle if there are others with you and I have done the forward and aft head bob trying to look around the person next to me.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:09 AM
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standard rotation motors have the prop spinning clockwise. Often gives a little list to the port side, smaller boats are probably more noticeable then larger.
If you were going to have a little extra weight on one side of the boat, it would be best to have it on the starboard side.
Larger boats or boats with twin/trip/whatever, counter rotation motors would not really be effected by this.

(this is my guess, I don't know if this is the actual reason some builder chooses whatever they choose.)

Last edited by ken2; 12-05-2019 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:32 AM
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Mine is a side console Henry O 170. Prior owner removed the port console and seats. There are reasons the console should be in the middle. Lists to right. Controls on the gunnel. If there is a word for wetter than wet, this one deserves it.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:33 AM
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Most people are right handed and use the right hand to operate the shift/throttle. By placing the helm a little to port of center, the helmsman’s body will be centered.

Nobody stands directly behind the steering wheel and uses both arms to steer.
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Old 12-05-2019, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by fireboat View Post
To me, having the helm on the right side is safer. Since you give way to a vessel approaching from starboard, in theory, you would have better visibility to see a boat coming from the right.
^ This. My helm is on the right - gives me an unobstructed view of any boats I have to give way to.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:21 AM
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Interesting discussion. It came up a couple of years ago, IIRC. Dual consoles, runabouts, express cruisers....just about every "non-CC type of boat that I know of has the helm on the starboard side. I always assumed it was because most people are right handed so cables and throttles were on the right side. Also here in the US of A we tend to approach piers and docks to starboard, since we stay to starboard in general. Not sure if those in the UK, Japan, Australia, and other "drive on the left" countries have different habits, though international navigational rules suggest staying to starboard rather than port in a head-on passign situation (I am sure that someone will correct/lecture me there). There was another interesting discussion a while back where someone was complaining about Robalo putting the steering wheel in the center on their newer CC's, and Joebalo had put forth a reasonable explanation for their doing so ("reasonable" is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose).
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom W Clark View Post

Nobody stands directly behind the steering wheel and uses both arms to steer.
I do. But I have a DC with manual steering and a 300 hp Yamaha. One handing is not always practical, and not always possible....
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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The name "starboard" comes from "steering board" which is what the Vikings -- who had no center-hung rudders -- used. Since most people are right-handed, the helmsman stood on the right/starboard side. Naturally, the other side was the one you use for docking, so it's "port".

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Old 12-05-2019, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Drako View Post
The name "starboard" comes from "steering board" which is what the Vikings -- who had no center-hung rudders -- used. Since most people are right-handed, the helmsman stood on the right/starboard side. Naturally, the other side was the one you use for docking, so it's "port".
Yes! It actually started when the first person put a loop of hide or whatever on the side, to hold a paddle or oar.

In more modern times, Chris Smith came upon a great deal on forklift steering assemblies, and those worked best on the starboard, with the rod to the rudder more in the middle of the old woodies Chris Craft was building. So Chris Craft put their helms on the starboard, that became standard, and most builders followed. My upper helm is center, lower helm is port, on my '74 Chris Craft, so they did whatever worked.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:08 PM
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So true, my uncle picked up a deal on a used motor.
He was not told it was counter rotating.
His trim was totally off to port.

*** In response to Prop Gods*** I hit the wrong button.
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