Shortened sporty flybridge

Sportbridge Yachts

Shortened sporty flybridge

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Category Description

A sportbridge is an open mini-deck with an additional helm station, sitting on the salon roof of a cruising yacht. Unlike a full-fledged flybridge, the sportbridge does not hang over the cockpit of the boat. It is neater and not as heavy as a flybridge, but there is not much space: apart from the driver's seat and a sofa for guests, nothing else fits. A sportbridge is a compromise between the desire to have a fast planing yacht and to get a top helm station with good visibility.

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How are sportbridge motor yachts built?

Most sportbridge yachts are made from composite materials. The hull is molded in one piece, while the main deck and the superstructure are made separately.

Most sportbridge yacht builders use the sandwich construction method and vacuum infusion process.

Composite-hulled yachts are lighter than steel yachts, but heavier than yachts built from aluminum or wood. Some boat builders use carbon to make composite hulls lighter.

Sportbridge yachts are meant to be sporty and fast, so weight saving is vital. The hulls of sportbridge boats are usually thin and sleek to get the longest waterline possible and shaped in a deep V so they can easily overcome the drag hump and go on plane.

Which types of engines are used on sportbridge yachts?

Many compact sportbridge boats are powered by marine diesel engines with sterndrives. Larger yachts with sporty flybridge use the so-called surface drives. For example, the Pershing X series yachts are equipped with Top System surface drive propulsion with Rolla six-blade surface-piercing propellers. In a surface drive system, the props are only partly submerged in water, with half of the prop disk spinning under the water, and the other half in the air above the surface. That way, the engines experience less load, allowing the boat to get the most out of them. At high speeds, surface drives don't suffer from cavitation and vibration like the traditional immersed props.

Some sportbridge yachts use waterjet drives, most commonly seen on PWCs, or jet-skis. A waterjet propulsion system links engine(s) with jet pump(s) throwing a stream of water backwards to propel the vessel forward. The entire system sits inside the hull, so a jet-drive boat has minimal draft and can operate in shallow waters. The biggest con of jet drive propulsion is tricky handling at small speeds, requiring special training to operate such a vessel. Mangusta and AB yachts are the brightest examples of sportbridge boats with jet drives.