A modern topside control system from the motor yacht’s upper deck, increasingly used in luxury boats. This unique option is already available in motor boats with hull lengths up to 10 meters.
Steering a motor yacht hasn’t been so pleasant
A flybridge (or Flying Bridge) is the external steering station on a motor boat and other ships. It is usually a raised second bridge, placed on top of the superstructure, on which there is a steering wheel and other instruments for navigation, and which can also serve as a seat and storage space on larger boats. On motor yachts, a flybridge is used as a control unit and location in good weather. On such boats there is usually also a main steering position – either as a separate bridge or in the salon of the yacht.
Before World War II, almost every sailing ship, steamer, monitor or cabin cruiser had an additional control station to control the open-air vessel over the wheelhouse. Usually it was not covered by a roof (although sometimes it was partially covered), and there was very little equipment installed on it, usually only an intercom or telephone to communicate with the helm on the bridge. The Flybridge is almost always the highest bridge on a ship, so during wartime it was equipped with different types of weapons, depending on the type of ship and the need.
Flybridge started to be used in the yachting industry in the mid 1970s. At the same time, based on the additional useful area of the yacht and houseboat, comfortable guest sofas, tables, places for sunbathing, etc. were placed on the flybridge. Thus, the flybridge became not only a control station, but also a recreation area. Since the 1980s, the flybridge has been equipped with a chair directly above the ship’s centre line, some electronic monitoring and control systems as well as radar, radio, echo sounder and other devices.
The presence of a flybridge reduces the speed of the boat as it increases its weight. Unlike open types of yachts, flybridge yachts have lower speeds and average speeds of 50 km/h compared to 80 km/h. In addition, equipping the flybridge with a control post and furniture results in yachts with flybridge being more expensive than similar yachts of other types without flybridge.