Deleting a flybridge and bringing the helm downstairs

 Darwin is treating us well.

The weather is stupidly good during the dry season but not so good during the wet when the fishing is going off. Hence my decision to delete the flybridge from my Sharkcat and bring the the helm downstairs into the cab. Back in the day there was a helm station both up and down but since we've owned her there's only ever been the upstairs one. 

The flybridge is cool for visibility yet it's a pain in the rear to be running up and down the ladder all day whilst your out having fun. Strangely enough I've never fallen down it.... 

The weight factor for the Centre of gravity has been playing on my mind for a while and it's good to get all the weight down nice n low. I did some rough numbers and worked out by removing all of the top section and just leaving the roof we'd be removing a good 350 kg ( two people included ) from upstairs. This should change the way the boat handles in a pretty positive way. 

Having a hardtop over my head will keep me a bun load drier during the wet as before it was a canvas topped bimini upstairs. Once the top section has been removed I'm going to install a Caravan airconditioner in the roof of the cab and will be running that from the generator. This is going to be a game changer in the wet to be out on the water when it's stupidly humid yet hanging in comfort in the cab.

Heres a piccie of the stuff that I've relocated from upstairs down into the new helm area. It's a work in progress at the moment and next on the hit list is two make two new main bench seats on either side of the cab. Ill add some more images as the work progresses.


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


Image Upload: 

davewillo's picture

Posts: 2337

Date Joined: 08/09/16

 Makes a lot of sense Chris.

Mon, 2024-06-17 11:03

 Makes a lot of sense Chris. Quite a big job but if you've got the time it will certainly be worthwhile. I did the opposite in a 28' Leeder I used to own, as the downstairs helm was never used and we wanted the space. The aircon will be a huge win!


 PGFC member and lure tragic

Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 17938

Date Joined: 11/03/08

Smart move for sure. Don't

Mon, 2024-06-17 15:51

Smart move for sure. Don't let the boss talk you into installing recliners or you will never  go outside to bring in the fish. Looking great so far


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together

davewillo's picture

Posts: 2337

Date Joined: 08/09/16

 I agree it's looking good so

Mon, 2024-06-17 16:55

 I agree it's looking good so far but I think that bush will restrict your vision and suggest you remove it.


 PGFC member and lure tragic

Alan James's picture

Posts: 2218

Date Joined: 30/06/09

Each to their own

Mon, 2024-06-17 18:02

Whilst I understand your reasoning behind removing the flybridge, I could never do it. Make it redundant, fine, but don't remove it. As someone who has dabbled in game fishing give me the advantages of height any day. It may also reduce the resale value although that may not be an important factor to you.



Posts: 1101

Date Joined: 19/06/14

The saw is coming out this weekend.

Mon, 2024-06-17 19:04

One of the reasons why the flybridge is coming off is there's a whole stack of stainless bar work that's letting water into the cabin from god knows where, it's annoying to say the least. Add a monsoon season with high humidity and mould grows like there's no tomorrow. Bridge off, backfill all holes with epoxy n Fibreglass and that will fix my problems. Being on a trailer it's going to drop the overall height to under 4.2m so I can get away without a permit for the times it's got to be on the road. Then again after seeing some of the things that get dragged around up here and a lack of traffic cops it reminds me that Darwin is a great place to be living.  

Ha Dave!. That tree at the trailer boat club will be staying!. If you look to the side you can see the ocean no problems. 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


davewillo's picture

Posts: 2337

Date Joined: 08/09/16

 I lived in Cairns and have

Tue, 2024-06-18 11:04

 I lived in Cairns and have fished around the Daintree and the humidity is hard to take at times, so I feel your pain. I was barra fishing last year with my 24 yo daughter and her boyfriend and it got so unbearable that she nearly passed out despite being well hydrated and protected from the sun. Also having lived there the mould and mildew is a huge issue in the wet season. You have to move furniture off walls or you get mould where it touches the walls.

I figured the tree wasn't actually part of the big duck Chris!


 PGFC member and lure tragic

Posts: 167

Date Joined: 13/05/16

removing the top deck

Tue, 2024-06-18 19:49

 I am sure that if you hunt around on line there will be a site that can give you what your new centre of gravity will be. Should be better, marine engineers usually can tell you, but at a price probably a big one. My mate gave his 23 foot chivers to his son who was a ship wright. He cut the gunnel down by 3 hundred mill, Threw the inboard engine away re-cofiguired the transom put a 3 hundred litre fuel tank and a live tank in the centre line of the hull and put in ribbing which it didn't have originally and it was all calculated by a marine engineer as he put 2x 250 HP out baords on the back. The thing runs like a dream and sit nicely in the water.



pelagicyachts's picture

Posts: 1307

Date Joined: 23/02/11

re your problem (water

Wed, 2024-06-19 08:33

re your problem (water finding its way into the cabin) it took many months to find and isolate in my case but it was actually coming in through the hull join behind the rub strip - it becomes a natural "funnel" for any water on the deck as it runs off and down the gap and then will travel bow to stern along the join- any holes/gaps and the water will find its way in.

crano's picture

Posts: 698

Date Joined: 04/11/09


Wed, 2024-06-19 16:44

 You would have got some water in it if you were still in carnarvon on tuesday. It was pissing down.

Posts: 1101

Date Joined: 19/06/14

Raining in C’von?

Wed, 2024-06-19 19:59

Shit eh Crano?.

Wonders will cease to amaze me.  

It was a culture shock living there then moving to the Torres Straights, going from no rain to the monsoon season was a welcome change. The joy of boats gentlemen is that there's always some little niggling thing that has to be fixed or repaired. Good points on the rubrail, I had a good look at that one and the top deck is fully bonded to the hull ( didn't stop me from going to town with sixaflex though)  It will be good to get this job done n dusted and get her back in the water. 


 My wife understands why I clean my rods n reels in the shower....


sea-kem's picture

Posts: 14910

Date Joined: 30/11/09

 Looking good mate, woukd

Sat, 2024-06-22 09:14

 Looking good mate, woukd love to see an external before and after pic.

Hmmm water leakage, had a problem at Gnaraloo this year with water getting in somewhere so I taped up the deck scuppers (those horrible rubber non return valve like thing) and also the deck was intake.

It stopped the leakage which was a relief as I didn't want to have to dye pen all the weld seams on the hull. 

I've done some research in he meantime and other people have just plugged up the scuppers. I'm going to do that and see how it goes. They're a pain inthe arse as always something getting stuck in them. 

Think I'll just install an extra bilge pump as a back up. 


Love the West!