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Honda_Shadow
04-27-2006, 03:10 PM
In WB issue 186-188, there's a Simmons Sea Skiff 18 with a steering console on the right side of the boat. In every other boat that I've ever seen the steering is on the right (starbord) side of the boat. We drive on the LEFT in this country and most of these boats are designed in the USA so what's the deal? :eek: I feel like I'm going to one day sit down in my boat on the left side out of habit and my wife will look at me with a twinkle in her eye and say "You mean you're going to let me drive now?"

dmede
04-27-2006, 03:36 PM
In WB issue 186-188, there's a Simmons Sea Skiff 18 with a steering console on the right side of the boat. In every other boat that I've ever seen the steering is on the right (starbord) side of the boat. We drive on the LEFT in this country and most of these boats are designed in the USA so what's the deal? :eek: I feel like I'm going to one day sit down in my boat on the left side out of habit and my wife will look at me with a twinkle in her eye and say "You mean you're going to let me drive now?"

I'm going to take a blind stab at this and guess that it has to do with positioning the controls at your right hand, just as it would be in your car.

Your position in the boat is opposite that in a car (in America) but the controls are where they would normally be. Since they are usually placed along the inner rail or strake it has to be the right side of the boat in order for you to have them at you right hand.

Killick
04-27-2006, 04:01 PM
Don't most outboards turn the prop clockwise (looking fwd)? A clockwise rotating prop will put a counter-clockwise torque on the hull. Putting the helm to the right will help offset it.

I always thought that was the reason.

George Ray
04-27-2006, 04:17 PM
If your a fisherman: Crabber, Lobsterman, or sport fisherman, etc. you are probably right handed (don't know why) and so when you reach for the float to pull the pot or you reach with the gaff or the dipnet, which side do you want to be on.

DJM
04-27-2006, 04:22 PM
It may have to do with right of way. If you don't have R.O.W. , it is more important that you see the oncoming vessel than if you do. If a vessel is approaching from your right side, it probably has R.O.W.

If you are steering from the left hand side, you are less likely to see him.

emichaels
04-27-2006, 04:27 PM
I have been out on two small lobster boats, both where left hand drive and the lobstermen both worked off the left side. But in Maine we don't care how anyone else does anything, we just do it the way it works best . My SSS will be right hand drive.

Eric

Tom Lathrop
04-27-2006, 04:35 PM
Killick has the correct answer. On most outboard powered boats with their fast turning small diameter propellers, it is not so important. On other boats with larger propellers driven with higher torque, it does make a significant difference.

Most people notice this kind of reaction torque when they suddenly pump the throttle on a car. The car body rotates opposite to the direction of engine roatation. Newton was right.

DJM
04-27-2006, 04:42 PM
Tom, this site says we are all right.

http://boatdesign.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-1483.html

Tom Lathrop
04-27-2006, 05:13 PM
In some instances all the answers may be right, but if you ever drive a small to medium size launch with a big slow CW rotating prop and the steering wheel is on the port side you will see what I mean. In that case only one answer stands out.

You can't trust everything you read on the net, including here. LOL

ssor
04-27-2006, 06:29 PM
Because we have always done it that way! That's why.

pipefitter
04-27-2006, 11:34 PM
But the counter weighting issue would really be only in effect if you are alone in the boat alot. In my case,I have a friend or 2 that are getting a little portly. With a bench seat and sitting side by side,the passenger may cancel this theory?

Whidbey Wherry
04-28-2006, 12:31 AM
Inland and international nav rules require that you yeild to the vessels on Your starboard beam starting from the bow to 30 degrees abaft the beam. The only practical position for the helmsman on most boats is to be on that side of the boat so that you can give way.

Stiletto
04-28-2006, 01:03 AM
Makes sense to me.

pipefitter
04-28-2006, 01:48 AM
Does me too. There is too many boats that a person's weight wouldn't make noticeable difference. I think in those circumstances,that was just an advantage with the controls being on the right side and for all I know,the outboard design engineers could have figured this in when deciding on rotation direction of the prop.

epoxyboy
04-28-2006, 02:28 AM
Its a subversive attempt by those of us who drive our cars from the starboard side to spread the gospel.


Pete

Paul Fitzgerald
04-28-2006, 05:04 AM
We drive on the right as well, it is just the natural order of things. The French drive on the left, so there must be something wrong with that.

FGsimmons
04-28-2006, 07:41 AM
Indy cars put it in the middle, so I'm building a center console :D

rblusthaus
04-28-2006, 09:38 AM
Indy cars are like - what - three inches wide? Kinda hard to be off to one side in those cockpits.