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Old 04-12-2011, 15:17   #1
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Long Stays at the Helm . . .

wich is more comfortable...wheel or tiller when you need to stire 8-12h strait.
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Old 04-12-2011, 15:22   #2
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Re: Long stays at the helm...

I've done both. If you are talking about hand steering, my vote is to have a wheel lock that you can tighten once on course, and a tiller lock via bungees or purchased device. Of course, settled weather and fair winds helps in either case. If neither is an option, or the weather is stink, I'd take the wheel for comfort, the tiller for response to my steering. Yah, that probably doesn't help much.
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Old 04-12-2011, 15:23   #3
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Re: Long stays at the helm...

If you don't have some type of captains chair, wheels suck. I've had a 8 hour day just motoring, 110* heat didn't help, but trying to find a comfortable backrest was a completely lost cause. My wheel is too small/cockpit too wide, to comfortably sit on the bench seats and still steer. This is one of the major reasons I'm reverting back to a tiller. The other major reason is having the ability to use a simple sheet-to-tiller setup for self steering. With that, you can sit wherever you want
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Old 04-12-2011, 15:25   #4
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Re: Long stays at the helm...

Get one of those bean bag pillows to sit on. It helps avoid the dreaded helmsman's butt rash.
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Old 04-12-2011, 15:31   #5
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Re: Long stays at the helm...

Neither, that's what an autopilot is for.

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Old 04-12-2011, 15:39   #6
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Re: Long stays at the helm...

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
If you don't have some type of captains chair, wheels suck. I've had a 8 hour day just motoring, 110* heat didn't help, but trying to find a comfortable backrest was a completely lost cause. My wheel is too small/cockpit too wide, to comfortably sit on the bench seats and still steer. This is one of the major reasons I'm reverting back to a tiller. The other major reason is having the ability to use a simple sheet-to-tiller setup for self steering. With that, you can sit wherever you want
sheet to tiller is the main reason why I whant the wheel out...I do have a boat folding chair and 2 medium bean bags and one ext large bean bag to sleep on...my cockpit is not the most comfotable design, thinking of ways to make it better...sorry for the dirty boat thers no water where shes at.
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Old 04-12-2011, 15:48   #7
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Re: Long stays at the helm...

I had a cooler with a throwable pfd to sit on. I didn't think of bean-bag chairs until it was recently mentioned on a thread here. It's a good idea.. And in the case of having comfortable seating, I don't see it being any better/worse. except with a tiller you don't have to lean sideways all day
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Old 04-12-2011, 16:11   #8
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pirate Re: Long stays at the helm...

Done some long hauls having to wheel or tiller steer due to elec/pilot failures...
I find the tiller easier on me as I can steer effectively with my feet when arms need a rest.. or change of position... set up some bungees and you can leave her for short periods for a P or to make a coffee and sandwich...
The wheel starts killing your upper back and shoulders after a few hours... doing it day after day is murder.... and you don't get 1/2 as much time before dashing to get back on course...
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Old 04-12-2011, 16:55   #9
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Re: Long Stays at the Helm . . .

I believe the more accurate question is which is less uncomfortable steering for long periods.

If you are short on cash for an autopilot you can homebrew a windvane. Look here:
Walt Murray's website | Mister Vee wind vane self steering
http://web.archive.org/web/200606151...Self-Steering/

If you are really short try sheet to tiller arrangements:

http://sfbaysss.org/tipsbook/SinglehandedTips.pdf?id=1
Sheet-to-Tiller Self Steering

Lee Woas wrote a book on sheet to tiller in the early 80's that shows a large number of variations on how to make the system work. The book is long out of print and was a small printing, so copies are rather expensive, $50-150.
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Old 05-12-2011, 08:58   #10
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Re: Long Stays at the Helm . . .

Maybe we should scan Lecture's book and Woas's book and have it on archive here at CF. There seems to be a lot of questions about sheet to tiller, and I really think it is easy if you know what you are doing. What do the Mods think?
I put together my first sheet to tiller for about 20 bucks, although the complete set for my Valiant 40 will cost a little more, about 150 USD. I use mainly old spare parts and blocks.
BTW- I have done wheel to sheet steering, but have not done it enough to tell you my opinion on it.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:03   #11
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Re: Long Stays at the Helm . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Maybe we should scan Lecture's book and Woas's book and have it on archive here at CF. There seems to be a lot of questions about sheet to tiller, and I really think it is easy if you know what you are doing. What do the Mods think?
I put together my first sheet to tiller for about 20 bucks, although the complete set for my Valiant 40 will cost a little more, about 150 USD. I use mainly old spare parts and blocks.
BTW- I have done wheel to sheet steering, but have not done it enough to tell you my opinion on it.

Please reconsider in light of the copyright issues involved.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:46   #12
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Re: Long Stays at the Helm . . .

I prefer tiller as well. There are more positions that you can steer from and you can move around to get under the bimini. The best thing about tiller steering is that when you are at anchor you can move the tiller out of the way and have use of the full cockpit.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:01   #13
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Re: Long Stays at the Helm . . .

You don't need a tiller to steer with your feet--just a huge wheel.

I use the saddle back + helmsman's saddle shown here. C Cushions - Custom cockpit cushions for boats

Wonderful product.
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:05   #14
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Hand steering for long periods is dangerous. When you don't have enough hands aboard for maximum 4 hour watches at the wheel, you must get self steering. If you're crossing seas or oceans, wind vanes or even sheet to tiller will work well. For coastal sailing, an AP is best/safest.

The reason I state that it is dangerous, is that you get too tired when you handsteer for more than 4 hours. This increases chances you will make mistakes (may be with different tasks). I was hand steered in stormy conditions, surfing the waves for 13 hours and it was madness.

cheers,
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Old 05-12-2011, 10:31   #15
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Re: Long Stays at the Helm . . .

Steve,

I agree with Nick having done 14 hours on the wheel through the teeth of a gale and I am not doing it again. We now have a Raymarine ST2000 which allows trips to the fridge, cooker or loo without worrying about the course. Brilliantly simple devices providing you don't get them wet.

I would rip that wheel out and revert to tiller, then use one of the Raymarine tiller pilots either ST1000 or ST2000 Best $400 you could ever spend.

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