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  1. You are welcome,. You could possibly lash the helm with rope, but why would you ? Those ships had large crews and you regularily need to adjust the helm to keep course.
  2. Not very practical. You would need to move the helmsman further forward, more in line with the axis of the steering oar because he would be hard pushed to move the helm forward in his current position because he has his arms nearly fully extended. Then you run in to the opposite problem, if he sits to far forward he would have a problem pulling on the helm with his own body in the way plus the bench back limiting the travel of his ams when pulling on the helm. Although it would be possible to move the helm sitting it would put all the strain on your back and shoulders, denyin
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