Knut Hildebrand, Eastern Cape, ZAF asks:
Subject: Hi Scott,
About your thoughts "MS56", did you mean it is a great boat because of the
low profile, that you would choose this type of boat? Wouldn't you choose
the next time a flybridge?
By the way, if you plan or if you have to stop in Port Elizabeth, SA, pls
let us invite you and your crew for a meal and if time allows for a day
trip to the Addo Elephant park. Thank you for all the great informations,
Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Knut, I must be careful what I say about a flybridge. Mary and I tend to travel in windier areas than most. The windage of a flybridge is not an asset and particularly the large top Egret has supporting the radar and solar panels. The N56 without the mast is a relatively low profile shape and has an extremely efficient bottom. I would however, add a rooftop - now a boatdeck rail and a small steering console so in effect you may have a flybridge station and would have a lay down top. When coastal cruising like in the U.S. or in the Med, etc, you could lace a boat deck rail shield to give a sense of enclosure. The long waterline would give you the speed we would like to have as well. I think its a great concept but don't have a clue if PAE would choose to build it. To answer your question directly, any new boat we ordered would have a flybridge whether it be a custom steering console as we mentioned or a factory built full flybridge. We use the flybridge quite a lot for entertaining, particularly where it is hot and folks want to get out of the inside heat. Also, even in cooler areas we use the flybridge for anchoring, even in the rain. I feel it is safer watching Mary on the foredeck. Of course we use the flybridge for all docking.
We well may stop in Port Elizabeth on our way south. We hope to take the route to Cape Town in as big as hops as we may. As you know, at each SA stop you must check in and out just like a first time. This takes a day each way. Port Elizabeth is within 3 days of Cape Town and the usual 3 day weather window. Mary and I really appreciate your offer. If we do stop we will contact you directly. We'll have a lot of time to talk boats and things.