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Old 08-07-2015, 05:03   #31
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Generally the boat you already have is going to be your best option. While I am trying to illustrate the qualities of a small tiller steer, if I had a little 25 hp centre console and I could make it work with my set up, i'd keep the centre console.

I think if you go tiller steer you'll miss the air time, you'll miss screwing around in the surf, you'll miss the speed, the comfort.

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Old 08-07-2015, 05:13   #32
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
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.
Tiller extension for the outboard handle. Lots of options from fancy, u-joint models to a piece of PVC pipe.
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Old 08-07-2015, 06:19   #33
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Or the Suzuki batteryless fuel injection 20 horsepower four stroke, which is astonishingly light at 42 kg. I really like two strokes, but the much better fuel consumption of something like this would further reduce weight because less fuel would have to be carried. That would be pretty cool.

FWIW, we have the 15-hp electric-start version of this Suzuki. Small power sports battery for starting. Very pleased, so far.


It would NOT be possible for us to separate motor from dink while on board, as for separate storage that you menion in your first post.. 106 lbs, I can't lift that. In fact, we delayed our move to this heavier engine until I bought a trailer for off-season storage. You might be better able to cope with the weight by using your boom and a block and tackle or some such, of course, but we don't have that luxury... so a dead lift is pretty much out of my question.


Also, Suzuki recommends a fixed-screw installation (and we did that), not relying only on the normal outboard clamps. That kind of installation argues against casual removal/replacement, as well...



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Originally Posted by weavis View Post

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.

Yep, agree.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
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.

Yep, especially useful during the transition from slow to planing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadence View Post
Think about a joy stick. Simple and lets you sit forward without the console.

Oooohhh... some nice possibilities, here!

St. Croix makes a remote steering "console" that doesn't weigh much (I think), at least when compared to full fiberglass consoles. If you had to start with a new dinghy for whatever reason, investigating one that could be compatible with St. Croix's system might be useful.

OTOH, a "simple" joystick, maybe even with the tiller arm left in place and usable, might well deserve some thought. Dunno if there's anything like that commercially available...

I don't mind a tiller, but the twisting attitude/posture I have to adopt to use it hoses up my back and neck after a while. Would have preferred the console version of our dink -- and I could still decide to add the console, eventually -- but the weight begins to demand a hydraulic or electric winch on our davit system. I'm not yet willing to $$$$witch to that from our manual winch. But the console steering would be much easier on my back and neck.

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Old 08-07-2015, 06:38   #34
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
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.
Naturally, and I love my present motor. But I thought it might be the right time to replace it, while it stills runs perfectly, and has value, instead of waiting for it to fall apart.

That little Suzuki sure looks sweet. And actually lighter than my present two stroke.
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Old 09-07-2015, 15:50   #35
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Dockhead,

I had the occasion earlier this year to be shifting back and forth between our tiller steered 3.5m RIB with a 15 hp Yamaha and a sailing club's wheel steered, somewhat larger one with a 25, don't remember the make.

I found that the tiller steering is far more direct [although this might be idiosyncratic to that particular installation], hence the boat was more responsive at low speeds. Also, the whole centre console takes up a lot of room that can otherwise be used for hauling *stuff*, and of course, there is a weight penalty with the centre console paraphernalia.

Cheers.

Ann
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Old 09-07-2015, 16:10   #36
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Yep, Bag the wheel and console. KISS
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Old 09-07-2015, 17:04   #37
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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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.
Dockhead, towing the mothership is a royal pain. Strap the dink on the quarter, with the prop forward of the mothership's rudder. Use bow and stern lines and two springs to lock the dink into the mothership. Have someone operate the throttle and gear shift on the dink, and someone operate the mothership's wheel steering. I've used a 2 1/2 hp outboard to power a fifty footer in calm water with no issues. Towing without a tow post is really hard, especially trying to make turns.
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Old 09-07-2015, 17:19   #38
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Dockhead, towing the mothership is a royal pain. Strap the dink on the quarter, with the prop forward of the mothership's rudder. Use bow and stern lines and two springs to lock the dink into the mothership. Have someone operate the throttle and gear shift on the dink, and someone operate the mothership's wheel steering. I've used a 2 1/2 hp outboard to power a fifty footer in calm water with no issues. Towing without a tow post is really hard, especially trying to make turns.
Yep. only way to do it.
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Old 09-07-2015, 17:36   #39
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Dockhead, towing the mothership is a royal pain. Strap the dink on the quarter, with the prop forward of the mothership's rudder. Use bow and stern lines and two springs to lock the dink into the mothership. Have someone operate the throttle and gear shift on the dink, and someone operate the mothership's wheel steering. I've used a 2 1/2 hp outboard to power a fifty footer in calm water with no issues. Towing without a tow post is really hard, especially trying to make turns.
Will work better if dinks rudder is aft of the motherships rudder, gives you a longer lever for control.

Agreed stern tow is ugly without a tow bit, steering becomes complicated as you need to give counter wheel to vector the towing vessel to the direction you want to turn and then steer the dink the way you want to go. Really you are sideslipping left and right then powering up in the direction you want your tow to go.

I had a fun demonstration of this last fall. A colleague asked me if we could tow a 186 ton Catamaran with our 7 meter rib in a 3-5 knot current I said sure you can.

Three different operators rigged up the stern tow, onto the 7 m with no tow bit. Each of them got girded by the tow, the guy who hired me to provide the RIB training said he didn't think it could be safely done.

I then got in the RIB, hooked up my stern tow to the transom cleats, put the wheel hard over to starboard, the rib, instead of turning to starboard, slid laterally to port, where I was then able to centre my wheel, throttle up causing the mother ship to turn to port behind the RIB, I then towed the mother ship off the dock (starboard side too) out into the main current where I station kept in the current for 10 minutes or so until the guy that had contracted me was satisfied the 186 tons could be safely handled in the current by the 7 meter with no tow bit.

So it's hard to tow without a tow bit, if you use conventional steering techniques, but advanced towing techniques will eliminate the problem.

The inability to control a stern tow sans le tow bit is more a factor of improper technique, than a fault of the towing configuration.



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Old 09-07-2015, 17:44   #40
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Dockhead,

I had the occasion earlier this year to be shifting back and forth between our tiller steered 3.5m RIB with a 15 hp Yamaha and a sailing club's wheel steered, somewhat larger one with a 25, don't remember the make.

I found that the tiller steering is far more direct [although this might be idiosyncratic to that particular installation], hence the boat was more responsive at low speeds. Also, the whole centre console takes up a lot of room that can otherwise be used for hauling *stuff*, and of course, there is a weight penalty with the centre console paraphernalia.

Cheers.

Ann
I felt the same way, so made the switch this past winter from an 11'AB console RIB with a 30hp Tohatsu to an 11'Achilles RIB with a 20HP Mercury tiller steering setup. Our biggest issue was to get extra room to carry all the "stuff" we transport back and forth to our boat, including our 80lb lab/golden mix. Also, not that I plan on needing to do it for the next 3 years (youngest still in high school) it made me sort of nervous to not have the option of putting the motor on the rail and storing the dinghy upside down on the foredeck and I can now do that so I'm happier. But on the other side is comfort because it's nice to have back support for longer trips. But since 90% of my dinghy traveling is less than 15 minutes(except for the 15 miles I need to go in it on Saturday), and I don't find inflated pontoons all that uncomfortable to sit on, I decided that back support was less important, but that's certainly a personal preference thing. Another issue that you mentioned is the total weight with a console and bigger engine, very true. Always nice to have less weight.

I was once caught in worse conditions than I anticipated going between an island and the mainland at night. 15-25 knots of wind and bigger waves than I would have preferred or expected and about a mile to go. I put on my life jacket and sat on the floor with my left hand on the tiller and right hand wrapped tightly around the stainless steel chain I had running up the centerline to fasten my davits to and sat as far forward as possible and still reach the tiller with the auto-stop lanyard on my wrist. That kept my center of gravity very low and me securely onboard, and would have been impossible perched on a seat behind a console. That sort of thing doesn't happen often, but it felt very much more secure to be down very low and hanging on tight when I unintentionally found myself there.

Someone else mentioned hydrolocking in a turn at high power setting but I don't see that as an issue for you at all. Possibly a guest but not for you with all your years of experience in boating. It's true that you could probably overpower it more easily with a wheel, but you'd probably need to because your right hand probably wouldn't be on the throttle, where with a tiller motor, your left hand is already on the throttle all the time so in a hard over, high power situation, you'd naturally just decrease power, no need to overpower anything. Or if someone is afraid of that happening and losing control on either type boat, clip the auto stop lanyard to their clothing or wrist.
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Old 09-07-2015, 18:01   #41
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

FamilyVan is correct about the prop and the mothership rudder, but two weeks ago I had to hip tow a fellow multihull when he lost his prop. I lashed onto his starboard ama (float, outrigger, whatever), way forward of his outboard rudder. The leverage was just fine, though not possibly perfect. Just do it, but make sure the lashings are tight so as to maximize your thrust and convert it into water flowing past the mothership's rudder.
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Old 09-07-2015, 18:03   #42
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Strapping the RIB on the mother ships quarter certainly is a tried and true good technique but I thought FamilyVan's technique made a lot of sense too. I've done a lot of experimenting with towing on a lake because we have to tow our float a ways, with a few turns involved, each spring/fall using a small outboard and it's been my job for the last 45 years or so, first assisting my dad and then by myself. FamilyVans story brought back lots of memories, where sometimes, with a much heavier weight tied to your transom, you have to steer in the opposite direction you want to go. Another technique that works for short distances in moderate conditions, rather than tying the barge/dock/boat to your transom, use your dinghy's bow line so you just put your motor in reverse, face backwards in your dinghy, and point the back of your outboard where you want to go, almost no thinking required, and the older I get, the more I appreciate that!
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Old 09-07-2015, 18:32   #43
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Roy, I read about your rescue on another thread by the towee, it sounds like he was lucky you were there and ready and able to help him out. A little off topic here, but I did my first Multi-Multi tow last year, and it was fantastic. I was out with another 90 ft steel Cat, we were just killing time, waiting for some marine railway options to be completed, so the other skipper and I decided to fart around and see how things worked. It was nothing short of amazing, we hipped each other, transoms basically square, none of the overhang normally required. The boats handled better than I could have imagined.




I think it was a combination of the artificially wide beam, creating a longer leaver for turning, combined with the wide stance of the engines, providing an even longer leaver for turning (probably not with a tri though), and the natural capacity for a multi to track well.


Last year was a good year for me for towing, I developed and taught a 3 week course on white water rescue and towing techniques with RIB's, plus the example above, plus, I got sent on a 5 week recue toing course with a 72 ft 1400 hp twin jet boat. Amazing, with the right jet combinations, you can vector the towing vessel and the towed vessel any direction in the X-Y axis.


I apologise for the thread hijack, I'm used to training professional mariners, in boat and ship handling techniques, but recently I've been tethered to a desk and only get my fix on the Van on week ends.


Jt, another great Rib technique for maneuvering large tows only- this is my favourite technique, is do a single point tow from the bow as you have mentioned above, but instead of towing in reverse, tow as if it was a hip tow, but just the bow line set up as a spring from the towing vessel to the towed vessel as if you were on the hip. If you need to alter course of the towed vessel, stop pulling ahead, turn perpendicular to the towed vessel and either push or pull at a perfect 90, allowing for the greatest amount of thrust to bear on the situation, if you need to stop the tow, instead of using your woefully inefficient reverse, turn the rib a 180 then power up in forward (backwards for the towed vessel), you can bring the mother ship to a much faster stop this way.
Towing is just a wonderful game of physics.
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Old 09-07-2015, 20:08   #44
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

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Jt, another great Rib technique for maneuvering large tows only- this is my favourite technique, is do a single point tow from the bow as you have mentioned above, but instead of towing in reverse, tow as if it was a hip tow, but just the bow line set up as a spring from the towing vessel to the towed vessel as if you were on the hip. If you need to alter course of the towed vessel, stop pulling ahead, turn perpendicular to the towed vessel and either push or pull at a perfect 90, allowing for the greatest amount of thrust to bear on the situation, if you need to stop the tow, instead of using your woefully inefficient reverse, turn the rib a 180 then power up in forward (backwards for the towed vessel), you can bring the mother ship to a much faster stop this way.
Towing is just a wonderful game of physics.
I will try that one, sounds like a little practice might be necessary to keep the RIB from flopping around where you don't want it to, but I can see the advantage of the single point spring giving you the flexibility to get your max power pointed where it's most needed at that moment, even in reverse.

The best I've seen at moving small boats was the guy who does it for Cape Ann Marina in Gloucester, MA where my boat was launched this spring. He tied his 20'ish fiberglass open outboard boat on my hip and told me to just turn my wheel into him slightly and leave it in that position and he'd do the rest. In the past at other marinas I've always driven my own boat and was willing to take it out of the slings but their policy is for him to take launched boats to the fuel dock and tie them up there so I wasn't about to argue. i was just along for the ride while he, using his outboard, took our 47' sailboat around to the fuel dock, turned it 180 degrees in it's own length, with a muddy shoreline about 60' from the dock and did a perfect job stopping my boat 2 feet from the dock and parallel to it, with another boat within 10' both fore and aft. I was impressed(!), fun to watch a pro at work! As he explained, he does at least a couple of hundred boats that way twice a year and that's been going on for decades.
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Old 09-07-2015, 20:32   #45
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Re: Dinghy: Wheel vs Tiller Steer

Interesting, turn your wheel into him to counteract the outwards drag created by the towed vessel when in forward. Clearly a pro- I was unfamiliar with this technique. Especially valuable on a squarish fibreglass vessel. With a RIB or a tug, you set up your powerlash so the hip towing vessel is pointed in towards the towed vessel at about a 15 degree angle, this is normally how you counteract the drag, but wouldn't work too well with a square work boat.
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