I am a strong advocate of tiller steering
in small boats. I am a strong opponent of wheel steering
in small boats. 27 feet is small. So is 30 feet. A wheel
totally discombobulates some very valuable real estate in small cruising boats and is NOT necessary in order to cope with the forces required to steer a small boat
However. the arrangement you show for the "emergency steering" in your Hunter
is SERIOUSLY mickey-mouse. You need a tiller five foot long. Six feet is better, if the length of your cockpit
will accommodate it.
You can't do much about the arrangements at the head
of your rudderstock, but you can use the quadrant to advantage. I am budgeting $3K to convert TP from wheel to tiller. The tiller in my case needs to have a stock on the inboard side of the transom and be connected to the existing rudder
quadrant by cables
leading from trammels on the new tiller stock.
Do the math on the basis of the measurements you can take in your boat
and determine how much torque your wheel steering is capable of transmitting to the rudder
stock. Then design your new TILLER system so that via a tiller of a length you can accommodate in your cockpit
, you can generate the same (or greater) torque on the rudder stock.
Designing your tiller involves, as you say, a recognition that broomsticks and chewing gum would not be up to the task. Ash (hackmatac to Americans, I believe) is an appropriate wood to use for the tiller. Teak
is not :-)! The tiller's cross section must be determined with regard to the leverage it has to exert on the fitting at the head
of the rudder stock/tiller stock, and the fittings attaching it to the head of the stock need to be more substantial than would appear at first sight. A 3/8" SS bolt through a hole in fitting and stock just won't cut it! The stock head ALSO needs to allow for the tiller being lifted and swung up against the backstay when you are not under way.
Have fun :-)