High speed craft seats (HSC)

Selecting the correct seat for sailing at high speed is critical. There is a much greater awareness of spinal and other injuries developing because of a poorly designed seat, and/or an inadequate suspension unit. In addition to this being a concern for the skipper, employers must also consider loss of working hours due to injury and in the longer term, their own responsibility to provide a satisfactory working environment for crew.

New legislation, concerning spinal support through a drop test, is widely anticipated. This will prevent employers from accepting sub-standard marine seats that does not meet the criteria. Crown Marine Seats has constantly sought to remain well informed and updated on any new legislation and guidelines.


The Recaro suspension unit is arguably the very best air suspension unit on the market. It has been developed specifically for the marine market and tested in the most demanding of environments, by the Norwegian RNLI. With the Recaro Northsea seat, the suspension unit is approved in accordance with the International Code of Safety for High Speed Craft (HSC code). Certification was awarded through Bureau Veritas. The Recaro suspension unit has also been subjected to a series of drop tests at 3G, 4G and 6G. Adopting conditions defined in ISO/WD 19470.13, shock reduction was recorded at more than 24% during 6G testing.

Any of the bucket style seats from Recaro would make an ideal combination for high speed vessels, mounted on the universal Recaro suspension unit. The best-selling model is the Recaro Northsea, available with lumbar support and a front extension piece for additional comfort and support. Alternatives are the Recaro Offshore and the competitively priced Recaro Solent.

Where weight is a crucial factor, the Recaro Pole Position offers the best solution with a seat weighing just 12.5Kgs without armrests.


For scissor type shock mitigation seats, Alu Design offers the 3000FC fast boat seat. 100% carbon, this seat is suitable for Navy, Coastguard and other high-speed vessels sailing in all conditions. The 3000 FC has an adjustable seat back angle and grip handles. Armrests are optional with a further option of a mounting base or simply the seat without the shock mitigation system, as a stand alone item.


With trawlermen often reporting 12 to 18 hours in their skipper seat, comfort is key to selecting the most suitable option. Fortunately, there is a wealth of choice among skipper seats. Crown Marine advise trying a seat before buying. For this reason, Crown attends several fishing shows across the UK and Ireland, encouraging skippers to see which seat best suits them.

Seat functionality is very important; lumbar support, height adjustment, armrest adjustment, lateral support and many other features will help to keep a skipper comfortable yet fully concentrated on the important task at hand.


As functionality is important, there are several seat styles that meet these criteria. The Recaro Caspian and Caspian de Lux (electric functionality) are among the most popular selections. The Recaro Atlantic LT is similar in style to the Caspian, with a separate headrest and a wide choice of functions that can be added. For a sportier looking seat, the Recaro Northsea chair offers a bucket style design with integrated headrest. The Northsea  chairis available with lumbar support and thigh extension piece for the required and appreciated additional and adjustable functions when sitting through a long shift at sea.


For pedestal, seat and footrest combinations; Alu offers an attractive package with many features integrated as standard. The Alutech 600 series allows the client to select from a choice of striking seat back styles, built up on a universal seat base. Leather hide, lumbar support, height adjustable tip up armrests are all standard. The pedestal incorporates a rotation plate and a shock absorbing robust column. Height adjustment can be made from the sitting position. The height of the footrest can be adjusted from sitting too.

A strength across the Alu range is the ease with which armrest attachments can be included. This allows users to create a bespoke seat at minimal cost, with whatever attachments best suit them. Attachments can be anything from a simple coffee cup holder to critical propulsion controls.


Style and luxury are the key elements when selecting a seat for high end pleasure craft. Fortunately, Crown Marine Seats offers many options when creating a visually stunning yet practical Captains chair. Non-standard leather or client supplied upholstery is a popular choice. Most seats are available in standard black leather which looks very stylish. However, Crown Marine encourages its clients to indulge themselves and develop the helm seat to stand out as the focal point of the wheelhouse.

With comfort, convenience and elegance the key drivers, Crown encourages its clients to select a seat befitting the interior of the vessel. A sports style bucket seat may suit some vessels whilst a wide back armchair style helm seat may suit others. In either case, Crown encourages its clients to consider a bespoke hide with perhaps embroidery in the leather. For genuine opulence, consider an all-electric captains seat with motorised deck rails (forward and aft movement), electric height adjustment and even heating and ventilation integrated.


The Recaro Caspian de Lux is a perfect choice for high end pleasure craft. The ‘de Lux’ model signifies a plethora of electronic adjustments, built into a switch panel on the side of the seat cushion for convenience and style. The Caspian de Lux can be combined with the carbon pedestal providing 400mm of electronic height adjustment. When fixed to an electric Recaro deck rail, a travel distance of up to 6 metres is possible without leaving the seat. Deck rails can be flush mounted for an aesthetically pleasing appearance with decking material as used elsewhere in the wheelhouse between the two deck rail tracks.

Matching armrests with integrated functions and controls can be accommodated. Taking control away from the traditional console and into the seat, not only creates a stunning visual creation, it makes navigation more practical and comfortable.


For contemporary styling, Alu has produced some of the most eye-catching skipper seats on the market. Client supplied fabrics or non-standard leather from Alu totally transforms the appearance of an Alu 600 series captain’s chair. When matching leather to the interior of the yacht and including an embroidered logo, the Alu helm seat is at ease with the most luxurious of interior styling.

Alu are specialists in bespoke armrest configurations,


A typical arrangement on large commercial ships such as bulk carriers, container ships, tankers and gas carriers is to either bolt the Captain’s chair direct to the deck in the bridge or to mount the chair to an electric or manual deck rail. Deck rails allow forward to aft or port to starboard movement of the chair. Electric movement provides movement whilst remaining in the seat.

Typically, there are no space restrictions on a large bridge and this affords consideration of integration of controls into the armrest of the seat. Integrated armrest controls promote a more user-friendly environment for the Captain. Recommendations are based on comfort, style and providing a practical solution that best supports the ships’ Captain.


Recaro has several seat styles that are well suited to commercial vessels. The Recaro Caspian is available as a manual and electric Captains chair. The Caspian with a high specification including lumbar support, back angle adjustment, side lateral supports with width adjustment and a front seat extension piece for taller Skippers. When mounted on the Recaro carbon electric pedestal, 400mm of vertical travel is delivered and can be adjusted from switches built in to the seat. Integrated switches also control the seat back angle, lumbar support and if mounted to an electric deck rail, movement of the seat along the track.

Electric deck rails are available up to 6 metres long and can either be surface mounted or flush mounted into the deck. Other seat styles can be selected if preferred and the Caspian is also available with manual adjustment.

For additional comfort and improved efficiency, Recaro can integrate controls into the armrests. These features can be simple additions such as coffee cup holders or tablet holders (Ipad/Android) to sophisticated navigation and propulsion control functions.


The Alutech 600 series is a packaged seat offer comprising genuine leather seat with seat back angle adjustment and lumbar support, robust shock absorbing pedestal and height adjustable footrest (unless the sitting height allows the Captain to rest feet directly on the deck). Vertical height adjustment is typically 200mm and can be lowered from the sitting position.  There are many options available in the armrests, from simple height adjustment tip up style to wider armrests incorporating a variety of controls from the seat (OPL series).

Deck rails are available as an electric or manual version that can be mounted on the surface of the deck or integrated flush to the deck of the bridge.

The Alutech OPL seat is based on the 600-series seat and described as a small operator seat. Wide armrests comfortably accommodate monitors and control equipment. Cables are discreetly tucked inside the armrests, helping create a stunning aesthetic seating solution in the bridge.


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