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Old 24-02-2016, 06:45   #1
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Steering Wheel Sizing

I currently have a 36" wheel, and it works OK when you are standing behind the wheel, but I like to sit on the outside of the cockpit near the genoa winches, and with my arm outstretched I can barely reach the wheel to steer. I have measured my clearance and I should be able to accommodate up to a 52" wheel while still having an inch or so to the cockpit floor. I am obsessed with the Edson bi-spoke destroyer wheel in 48" size.

My question is has anyone upgraded their wheel with a larger wheel? Does it make a noticeable difference in handling? Will the larger wheel but a bigger strain on the autopilot? I have a below deck hydraulic RAM so I don't see it being an issue.

It seems nearly impossible to find any of these wheels for sale used, and around $2k new for a wheel is hard to justify, but I almost really need it just to be able to hand steer from different spots in the cockpit.

I guess I'm just asking for any opinions on Edson or Lewmar wheels. Thanks!
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Old 24-02-2016, 09:44   #2
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Also I'd like any information anyone has regarding the Edson Bi-Spoke Destroyer compared to the Lewmar Mini Maxi wheel.
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Old 24-02-2016, 09:55   #3
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Well.... it's nice to be able to sit back and reach the wheel.... $2000 nice? probably not for me. I'd probably just use the AP. A folding wheel would be real nice for when anchored or docked.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:08   #4
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

I'm looking for info regarding the feel and build quality of the Lewmar vs. Edson. I have a few pieces of Edson equipment on board and I know how nicely everything of theirs is put together. It seems like the Lewmar Mini Maxi is the same basic shape of the Edson, but I'm wondering if it is as sturdy.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:38   #5
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

The big wheel on my boat is nice for the less effort to steer by. It is a PITA for getting around in the cockpit when it is on. It does come off and can be put on the rail which helps some. I wish I knew how much more effort it would be to steer with a smaller wheel but I am not going to spend a boat buck or two to find out I need the larger one. Put up a stick the diameter of the larger wheel and tape it so it is centered where the wheel is now. Then see how hard it is to get around that to go forward or handle a sheet winch that is more forward, or the traveler or whatnot.

I can understand why you are considering a bigger wheel though to do what you want to do. I use the AP a lot though, almost always while cruising on passages so it is not a big deal for me.
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Old 24-02-2016, 10:45   #6
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Yeah, I'm almost always using autopilot too, however I like to hand steer a lot as well when it's nice out, and the larger the wheel the nicer it usually is to drive. As for taking up cockpit space, it's already a PITA to get around the wheel, so adding a few more inches isn't going to make a difference for me.
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Old 24-02-2016, 14:17   #7
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

If you go for a regular 8 spoke Edson destroyer made for a 1" shaft I have seen them used for as low as $250.
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Old 24-02-2016, 14:37   #8
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Guess I'll just have to keep hunting! Still would like to know if anyone has any personal experience with either wheel.


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Old 24-02-2016, 14:43   #9
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

I have a factory installed 48" Edson on my 30 footer, yes its fantastic sitting confortably on the cockpit coaming with the wheel right in a comfortable spot. Some of my crew complain about going around it to get to the swim ladder but it doesn't bother me....certainly not enough to go smaller!
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Old 24-02-2016, 15:08   #10
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Have you considered the use of something analogous to a tiller extension? Seems like you could make some sort of socket near the king spoke to hook it into, and when wanting to sit on the coaming and steer, clip it in place. I haven't tried this, but seems like it might satisfy your needs. Could mock it up with scraps to see if it is practical...

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Old 24-02-2016, 15:28   #11
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Have you considered the use of something analogous to a tiller extension? Seems like you could make some sort of socket near the king spoke to hook it into, and when wanting to sit on the coaming and steer, clip it in place. I haven't tried this, but seems like it might satisfy your needs. Could mock it up with scraps to see if it is practical...

JIm

Jim, somebody did just that a few years ago. Can't remember what forum I met him on, C25?, C36? He mocked it up, flashed some photos, folks really liked it, he made a bunch and somebody bought him out (Davis? Forespar?). I forget the name of the gizmo, but if I find it I'll post it here. I'd bet a bit of creative internet sleuthing would find it.

My first thought, also, was that with a Caliber 40 the very last place I'd be would be behind the wheel. But I do understand and sometimes I love to hand steer - it shows me, on a regular basis, how well balanced the boat is and I don't really have to steer going upwind; I tuck in the helmsmans seat on the low side only when I have crew, so understand the need for visibility.

It's the downwind screaming across the Bay from the GGB to TI that I HAVE to steer! Jim and Ann, you remember those days, right?
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Old 24-02-2016, 15:57   #12
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Quote:
It's the downwind screaming across the Bay from the GGB to TI that I HAVE to steer! Jim and Ann, you remember those days, right?
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Of course we remember! The Bay is a really good place to daysail... challenging, rewarding, varied... if only there were some tropical isles spotted around with no moorings, no potty police, no reservations neded to anchor overnight... but traversing the slot on an August arvo with a kite up... sure I remember!!!

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Old 24-02-2016, 16:05   #13
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Of course we remember! The Bay is a really good place to daysail... challenging, rewarding, varied... if only there were some tropical isles spotted around with no moorings, no potty police, no reservations neded to anchor overnight... but traversing the slot on an August arvo with a kite up... sure I remember!!!

Jim
BIG GRIN!!!

I'm with sailorchic on this one. We've found many anchorages that we frequent, some remain state secrets. Others, like Clipper Cove, where our son was conceived 27 years ago, remain viable for local cruises. The Delta and the coast still work for us. Seek & ye shall find. Separate than the RB discussion, that's all. Kimball Livingston nailed it in his great book. We just take advantage of what we have while we have it. I don't live on my boat, but use it a LOT, and usually am at anchor for a couple of nights every time I use the boat.
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Old 24-02-2016, 16:24   #14
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Us racers say the bigger the better



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Old 24-02-2016, 18:56   #15
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Re: Steering Wheel Sizing

Large Lewmar Whitlock yacht stainless steel steering wheel aprx 1 7m diameter | eBay

This is in the UK so maybe no help.
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