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Old 25-12-2010, 18:54   #31
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I like the replies 'it depends'
It depends on where you are sailing. If you are doing long offshore cruising passages in a boat designed and built in the last 20 years you will find it very difficult to buy one with a tiller.

One reason is the area in front of the wheel is now almost always used for instruments, plotter, compass, search light plug, and as the base for the cockpit table. So its not really simple as you have to rip out all the electronics and girly fittings and move them (chuck the table overboard - I just hoover up baked beans through a straw and wipe my face on the teak).

The only other place for the instruments, really, is above the companionway, but these days with so many instruments is there space? Then where to put the plotter where the age-infused cruiser can make out the blobs?

Sailing skiffs as a kid I loved tillers, they do give you an immdeiade direct response. But as a cruisers will your arm fall off having it held at a weird angle for hours?

As Caldra said, its really about how you are going to use your boat. If you are long range cruising you will be doing it with auto pilot anyway (or in the minority, some type of self steering). And not just 90% of the time. Cruising is on auto 100% of the time, absolutely. The only time its off is when you're in deeeeeeep do-do.




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Old 25-12-2010, 19:04   #32
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My boat is a 30' Atkin design with a transom hung rudder and very large tiller. I adding wheel steering, keeping the tiller steering but being able to switch off when ever I want. The steering box I got hold of has a worm gear with a chain drive, this will prevent any feedback from a following sea (the main disadvantage of a tiller and transom hung rudder).
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Old 25-12-2010, 19:07   #33
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Old 17-01-2011, 11:05   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
Another vote for the tiller. ++

Ours was the only Pretorian on the market with a tiller and it was one of the selling factors for us, so a wheel isn't always a plus when selling.
I believe wasn't Hal Roth's last boat a tiller steered Pretorian? I don't think he ever owned a wheel-helmed sailboat.
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Old 17-01-2011, 11:18   #35
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We have a tiller and mostly like it...however the boat is a little heavy for a tiller. On longer trips it becomes work . The tiller pilot helps. We are thinking about a wheel. Still if it's not broke why fix it. We do always know where the rudder is. Tiller extensions are out for us given the position of the mizzen, so it's weather cloth and overhead *tarp* for us.
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Old 17-01-2011, 13:50   #36
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I believe wasn't Hal Roth's last boat a tiller steered Pretorian? I don't think he ever owned a wheel-helmed sailboat.
Yes, that's our boat. It had a wheel when Hal bought it and he took it out and installed the tiller. We got the old wheel & pedestal with the purchase and ended up selling it since we liked the tiller.
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Old 17-01-2011, 15:01   #37
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I am starting to wonder about my plan to switch over to wheel steering. I have a beautiful 7'+ long(2" dia grip and 2"x6" at rudder)black locust tiller and bronze wheel, gear box etc in storage.
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Old 17-01-2011, 18:25   #38
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Yes, that's our boat. It had a wheel when Hal bought it and he took it out and installed the tiller. We got the old wheel & pedestal with the purchase and ended up selling it since we liked the tiller.
Well that is amazing! What a thrill that must be. He was a great sailor, author and photographer.
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Old 17-01-2011, 19:36   #39
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Tiller - absolutely:

- two hands free to pull in the sheets.
- easier to install a windvane.
- better feel for the ocean and the weather.
- tucking yourself under the dodger.
- more room in the cockpit @ anchor.

Wheel - somewhat:
- can sit easier looking forward.
- less effort
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Old 18-01-2011, 11:57   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Tiller - absolutely:

- two hands free to pull in the sheets.
- easier to install a windvane.
- better feel for the ocean and the weather.
- tucking yourself under the dodger.
- more room in the cockpit @ anchor.

Wheel - somewhat:
- can sit easier looking forward.
- less effort
keep in mind my wheel would be installed on the back of the cockpit (not pedestal steering)

I have more room to grab sheets
the wind vane I am considering mounts on the top of my rudder head (no control lines)
bimini over the quarter deck allows me to sit out of the sun and steer
my present sheet system does not allow for a dodger that extends aft of the cabin top (so I don't have one)
I have more room in the cockpit @ anchor
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Old 18-01-2011, 14:44   #41
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Guys,

Although my experience is fairly limited I have a preference for a wheel.

I suffer pretty badly from seasickness and i find that by standing behind the wheel and helming allows me to be more comfortable.

Although handling the tiller also improves my condition I think the ability to face forward more easily is better for me.

Just another perspective.

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Old 18-01-2011, 14:49   #42
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Whatever spins your juices. I do love a tiller, but they are hard to find these days on more modern boats in the 30-36 range (e.g non canoe stern FK's etc), and haven't quite got a feel for how to install a windvane on a sugarscoop. Drift.

Honestly, I would not limit myself to prioritizing a steering device in making a buy decision. And modifying the steering seems to me a wasted effort - meaning there are plenty of other boat tasks that have a higher priority for $ and resources. Go with what you find - if you like the boat and there are enough plusses for the cost.
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Old 19-01-2011, 04:57   #43
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Less than 40ft Tiller, over 40ft, Wheel, UNLESS the boat has dual rudders, then tiller up to 50..
I did the Gosford to Lordhowe island race a number of years back on an old IOR Farr 40, in 35 knots of wind most of the race, after 20 mins at the helm your arms were jelly!

Does anyone remember, what happens on the old fashioned maxi's during a race when the steering cables break? I had this happen once on Hammer of Queensland, it had a point that allowed you to attach the spinnaker pole and use it as a tiller for the remainder of the race.
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Old 19-01-2011, 05:39   #44
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When buying my boat in the 26-30 ft range I was also looking at a wheel. Nevertheless, I ended up with a 28 footer with a tiller and am not complaining. It definitely helps you feel the boats helm and makes you balance things correctly. I have discovered that is part of the art of sailing.

I also had it break once and it was easy to fix at sea with minimal tools. Otherwise I also now agree with most of the other comments about the advantages of the simple old tiller.
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Old 19-01-2011, 09:08   #45
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Wheels under 30 ft boats are just cockpit abusers IMHO
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