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Old 07-07-2015, 10:35   #16
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

The Avon 340 at 11' is small for a wheel steered boat. In that size range I would lean towards a tiller just for the interior room. Now If it was just myself or myself and one other person I might lean back towards the wheel steering as I find it more comfortable on long side trips. Really for general dinghy duty I prefer a tiller. For towing it depends I used to work at a boatyard that had a Mckee craft with a 30 year old 25 hp merc for a tow boat. I moved some pretty large boats and even a small steel barge with it. I would guess it was only making about 15-20 hp as it would no longer plane the little 14' but it still towed like a champ when we threw on a low pitched prop. I would think it's more awkward with a tiller to tow, I only did it once with an aluminum boat and it worked but you need good tie off points. One more vote for tiller for me would be hanging on davits I agree the less weight on those the better even if the davits can take it.
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Old 07-07-2015, 12:36   #17
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
That's encouraging. Do you have an opinion on whether wheel or tiller makes much difference when towing?

I've never towed the mother ship with my RIB; I guess I'd better practice it before I actually need to do it in an emergency.
There are pros and cons to each. You will certainly have better throttle control with a wheel. With the tiller you will have a closer relationship with your thrust vector.

A problem you will have with wheel or tiller is when applying lots of power hard over, not usually done when not towing, is the engine will hydrostatically lock hard over which can be panic inducing. With either control method, the solution is to depower, however, your chances of over powering the lock is better with a wheel. I used to tow these 70 ft barges with the below 20hp rib shown.

We would do the heavy lifting in the main current with a 7 metre rib, and maneuver the barges into place with the 3.5 metre.

The 7 meter had too much power for the fine control that was needed.

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Old 07-07-2015, 13:09   #18
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

My vote is almost always going to be smaller, lighter, simpler. So I go with the tiller. Newer has to be considered, too.

A couple things you may not have considered; in addition to the console and steering weight and complexity, you also get rid of the controls including shifter and cables. Both of which require lubrication and occasional adjustment or replacement.

If they and your steering haven't been a maintenance issue yet, it's only a matter of time before they will. You could also say the same for your aging Mariner.

You can also ditch all the wiring that goes with remote control including the ignition switch and key.

And you no longer need a battery. That 15 2 stroke Yammy will be running on half a pull. No electric start needed. Personally, I don't have a need for running lights, vhf radios, or stereo systems on a dinghy. So that's not a factor for me.
Now if I had a 60 footer with a deck crane, I might be singing a different tune...

As for comfort, a tiller extension will allow you to move forward to sit on a thwart seat or cooler. Throw a boat cushion under your butt if you want padded luxury. Or you can even stand. Maybe not quite as comfy, but you won't loose much. And you gain interior space inside the boat, so you can carry more stuff.

You'll lose some fun factor and even some safety/security if you're in the habit of running at high speed in big waves. For wake jumping and flying off big waves, your center saddle seating and steering wheel are just the ticket. But then, that's what jetskis are for!

The tie breaker, if there is one, for me is simply the comparative weight of the motors. I can muscle the 36k around if I have to. But that extra 16k makes it much more difficult.

Here's a link to a youtube vid you may have seen, already. It's been around. Your dinghy isn't as big, heavy, or complex as theirs was (1500lbs and 4 stroke). But the basic comparison is valid. If these folks had had a smaller, lighter, 2 stroke dinghy, they would have been motoring again in no time.

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Old 07-07-2015, 13:19   #19
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

The Yamaha will likely come with a standard prop, would be worth while playing around with some props to find the ideal size. Lots of watching on e bay I think, although Foulkes boatyard just up the river from you have a couple of ISO containers full of props.

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Old 07-07-2015, 13:20   #20
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

I'm often tempted to go the other way and trade the tiller for a console, but practicality of the lightweight setup we currently have outweighs my lust for a console dink so I can wear a captains hat and have fixed nav lights. Our setup is a 310 highfield ultralight at around 50kg, 9.9 Johnson 2 stroke at 36kg and 22kg fuel tank. It's light enough to drag high and dry on the beach by myself which is pretty handy sometimes. Also light enough to lift on the davits without a winch (3:1 tackle) It planes easily at 17kn with the three of us onboard (total 180kg) not so easily with another big guy, but another petite girl is ok. Take your iPhone for a dinghy ride and see what speed your happy with. I'd try get the yammy 15. I think markj bought the tohatsu 18 and said it takes a few pulls to start.
A couple of features I would prefer are a foreword fuel/anchor locker/step for better load distribution, and an esky type middle seat for lifejacket and bits and pieces stowage.
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Old 07-07-2015, 13:47   #21
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Oh, right, my set up is a 2.75 metre inflatable floor with a 9.9hp, 1992 2 stroke mariner. I can easily tow the Van (24000) with it, stern or hip tow- that was a condition of my motor selection.

I haven't clocked it, but the speed is generally faster than I care to go in a 9' soft bottomed boat.

I use my main halyard winch to lift it onto my fore deck. In autumn, when the weather changes it stops being my tender and turns into my duck hunting boat.

Around mid December, the rib becomes to difficult to manage with the shore ice and I switch to canoe for the remainder of goose season.

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Old 07-07-2015, 13:52   #22
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Dockhead,

Do you know how to properly grease the steering wheel mechanism? I greased the two grease fittings on the motor steering push, pull, but it seems to be sticky again after only a day or two. Is there something I need to lubricate under the steering wheel or elsewhere?
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Old 07-07-2015, 13:53   #23
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Is a tiller available for your 25hp engine?? In the islands, outboards as large as 50hp are tiller steered. Might be way cheaper to find a tiller for your existing engine rather than buy a new one.
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Old 07-07-2015, 13:59   #24
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Dockhead,

Do you know how to properly grease the steering wheel mechanism? I greased the two grease fittings on the motor steering push, pull, but it seems to be sticky again after only a day or two. Is there something I need to lubricate under the steering wheel or elsewhere?
Wind the steering fully one way so you can see the end of the inner cable, it will be a spiral shape. Smother with grease and wind it back in so the insides of the steering helm are covered in grease. 10 minutes of working the cable should see a major difference if it hasn't been done before. It would seem the manufacturers are adverse to grease for some reason.

At the engine end, clean off any old grease and remove any rust from the tube. Apply a thin layer of grease. Any grease nipples on the engine saddle (holds engine to transom) do not go into the cable but are just for lubricating the saddle bearings.
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Old 07-07-2015, 14:04   #25
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Totally unrelated, but I thought I'd share these pics of me in my old work 3.5 metre/20 hp/tiller steer with 15-20' of shore ice, and some very very serious rapids in the background.

This style of boat is quite adequate for most leisure activities.



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Old 08-07-2015, 02:54   #26
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Totally unrelated, but I thought I'd share these pics of me in my old work 3.5 metre/20 hp/tiller steer with 15-20' of shore ice, and some very very serious rapids in the background.

This style of boat is quite adequate for most leisure activities.



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Not unrelated at all! Very interesting and useful.

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Old 08-07-2015, 03:09   #27
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Have to remember, when cruising, it's your car. In the process of switching from tiller to wheel this week. Excited at the prospect of longer, more comfortable trips with the new tender. I went with the Walker Bay, light fiberglass. I had put new davits on in December, for this purpose and for solar panels. Looking forward to this new venture.
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Old 08-07-2015, 03:21   #28
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Have to remember, when cruising, it's your car. In the process of switching from tiller to wheel this week. Excited at the prospect of longer, more comfortable trips with the new tender. I went with the Walker Bay, light fiberglass. I had put new davits on in December, for this purpose and for solar panels. Looking forward to this new venture.


I really do appreciate the thoughts of the sailors who vote for Tiller steering and smaller runabouts. Had I been getting a tender from scratch, I would go this route.

However, if I already owned a wheel tender, and was set up for storing it on the boat, I see no benefit for down sizing. The comfort and usability is a huge step up. Why not enjoy it for what it is? Its not like its a HUGE problem for weight or a negative asset or anything.

Enjoy it. Life is too short to be correct in everything and not have fun.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:50   #29
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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I really do appreciate the thoughts of the sailors who vote for Tiller steering and smaller runabouts. Had I been getting a tender from scratch, I would go this route.

However, if I already owned a wheel tender, and was set up for storing it on the boat, I see no benefit for down sizing. The comfort and usability is a huge step up. Why not enjoy it for what it is? Its not like its a HUGE problem for weight or a negative asset or anything.

Enjoy it. Life is too short to be correct in everything and not have fun.
Another thing which occurred to me is that you have much better balance when dinghying alone, if you're seated in the center of the dink on the jockey seat, rather than aft sitting on one tube.

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Old 08-07-2015, 05:00   #30
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Balance is better initially but once on a plane it makes no difference. Just a slight lean foreword when going onto a plane helps prevent the bow lifting too high. Still occasionally heading into 30kn with waves I wonder what it would take to flip the dinghy ass over tit.
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