When you’re trying to decide on your shared boat ownership options, one of the questions you’re probably asking yourself is: flybridge or hardtop. It’s always been a topic that’s hotly debated amongst the yachting fraternity and the answer is never a straightforward yes or no. It really depends on how you plan to use the boat and the preferences and interests of you and your guests when you’re onboard.
Traditionally, flybridge boats have been associated with fishing, but these days, yacht designers realise that they are being used as a sophisticated social space for entertaining and dining as well as long-distance cruising. Designers are now producing flybridge boats appealing to previous owners of sports yachts and small runabout craft.
There are several practical issues to consider: if you are keen on water sports and plan to carry large water toys such as kayaks, a hardtop is likely to be your best choice. However, you can always tether toys such as a dinghy to the swim platform, so it is possible to have both water toys and a flybridge. Think about where you intend to use the boat; it may make more sense to have a hardtop in an area with many bridge height restrictions.
The flybridge does have several very strong advantages, such as the addition of usable space and the great visibility that the flybridge provides. Cruising on a flybridge in warm waters is an experience that you and your guests will revel in. Plus, you can take in the views from a great vantage point, as you’ll be in a wonderfully elevated position.
Some points to consider include the fact that smaller flybridge yachts tend to experience a pendulum effect in adverse weather conditions, although many people comment that the rolling is less noticeable in larger craft.
Overall, the flybridge is a popular choice for shared yacht ownership purchase, as the yachts tend to be used for leisure purposes in the summer season and people generally love the bright and open air feeling. That’s not to say that hardtops should be ignored – they certainly are the right choice for some people, especially if they are sailing in more temperate climates or there are young children or older people onboard who may be more sensitive to cold and wet weather conditions.