Originally Posted by Simon Hawkins
I note most people here stand in rough conditions. Taking this into consideration how many of those who stand have nearly been thrown from the helm position. If so how could this be prevented.
A few slightly random comments, not aimed at anyone in particular:
I tend to stand as it's more comfortable and gives a much better view ahead. As Jimbo noted, it makes looking behind easier too. I'll sometimes sit if going very slowly, but not very often. It helps to have narrow seat pods which extend well forward, as you can stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart and brace yourself on the seat pod. These don't seem to be very common.
If you're not fit enough to spend a long day standing in a RIB in rough weather, then do something else instead. Sitting on a jockey seat in the same conditions is likely to hurt you much more. My view is that for visibility and shock absorbtion, RIBs are best driven standing up. Jockey seats are suitable for occasional respite, but if you want to drive sitting down then get some decent bucket seats.
Being tall makes standing difficult on some RIBs, as it's not possible to comfortably reach the wheel and the throttle. On many RIBs the ergonomics are so poor that even for sensible sized people it doesn't work well.
For that matter the wheel and throttle positions on a lot of RIBs are not ideal for anyone, in any position. Can you comfortably sit (or stand) for any length of time with one hand on the wheel and the other on the throttle? Do the controls fall to hand, or do you have to reach? How can you brace yourself other than hanging on to the steering wheel?
As it happens, I've never come near being thrown out of the boat. Most of my experience in more challenging conditions has been in Phoenix, which had a taller than standard console so I could drive comfortably standing up. It was not a particularly fast RIB which probably helped too! I suspect most incidents where people have been ejected, or near misses, could have been avoided by better matching the driving style to the boat and the conditions.
While I'm giving opinions, here are a couple more:
- If you want to go fast (50 knots plus) then get bucket seats.
- Bench seats are generally not suitable for RIBs (with the exception of some of the wrap round benches, but even then only for passengers)
Stop me if I'm ranting . . .