A flybridge, or flying bridge, can refer to motor boats of various types. That’s because a flybridge is a deck above the main bridge. It’s usually open but can be covered or enclosed. The design predates World War II. They are especially popular in warm-weather climates. It can be found on sportfishing vessels and luxury motor yachts. The vessel typically measures more than 9 meters. While other classes such as trawlers and cabin cruisers can contain flybridges with a duplicate set of navigation equipment, a flybridge defines sportfishing vessels on which the main navigation is located on the elevated desk. The flybridge provides spacious accommodation. The elevated deck allows for enhanced viewing of the fore, aft and sides of a vessel. It also makes certain tasks, such as docking, much easier.
A flybridge (or flybridge cruiser) is most commonly an inboard-powered motorboat with an additional upper deck to supplement the external space traditionally provided by the main deck. It also provides a secondary helm position (often in relatively basic guise) with panoramic 360-degree views for excellent fairweather cruising and easy berthing. Although compact upper helm stations are sometimes available on multi-purpose family fishers and utility boats as small as 26 feet in length, the flybridge market really begins at 30 feet. The modern flybridge is now available in various forms, including the ‘Sport Fly’ with a smaller upper deck, positioned lower down and further aft, for better weight distribution and reduced windage.
How are Flybridges built?
Flybridges predominantly are on monohulls mostly constructed of fiberglass or carbon fiber, though some older ones could be wood. The hulls usually are planing or semi-displacement designed to move fast and get vessels where they want to go. Sportfishing boats, for example, likely would have Deep-V hulls. Vessels made for cruising likely will have a Modified-V or planing hull.
What type of engines power Flybridges?
Flybridges could include inboards or outboard engines -- it simply depends on the type of vessel. Most flybridge yachts would use twin engines, with smaller vessels relying on gas and some larger ones using diesel.
What optional equipment is available for Flybridges?
Flybridges provide extra seating, perhaps a sun bed, and space to entertain friends. Larger boats often have flybridges with electric refrigerators and a cocktail galley with a sink. Sportfishing flybridges could offer such additional features for rod storage as well as fish-tracking devices.