Originally Posted by jobi
Jim the wheel mecanism takes too much room in both my lazarette and under cockpit
...normaly both compartements are scealed from each other...this is why I want the wheel out...I will add an extra tiller and rudder
on the transome as an emergency
option...this boat has a skeg and fin keel
, shes said to be well balanced and cheet to tiller maybe all I need??
G'Day again, Steeve,
I think that in your situation you are making a reasonable choice re wheel vs tiller.
But,if you are going to build an auxiliary rudder
anyway, consider making it part of a wind vane
vanes are (IM fairly experienced O) highly desirable for a short handed smaller cruising boat, and they can be built by the amateur for not much more money
than the rudder that you are proposing.
If you did this, then the decision about the autopilot would become simple: a smaller and less expensive tiller pilot would be adequate to steer while motoring and in light airs... the situations where the wind vane
fails to work. The vane requires no power, is reliable, and should it fail, you (the builder
of it) will be able to repair it yourself.
The idea of sheet to tiller steering
is doable in boats of your size, but they are not a substitute for either a vane or an a/p. They will steer reasonably as long as nothing changes. That is, slight changes in wind
strength or wave height or angle will discombobulate them and require input from the helmsman. How do I know...?
Ann and my first offshore
voyage was in a Yankee 30 (S&S design fin keel
and skeg rudder) from SF to Hawaii
and back. In our inexperience we went with only an Autohelm 2000 tiller pilot as self steering
. Did just fine on the way over, but two days into the return voyage it died. With the prospect of over 2000 miles of hand steering
facing us, we built a sheet to tiller rig. It included making a new mainsheet from the end of the boom, and lots of other bits of string around the cockpit
, plus the elastic from a speargun that we carried. After a couple of days fooling around with it we got it to steer pretty well, but as described above, every few minutes the watchkeeper would have to adjust it. Not great, but way better than continually manning the helm
. Arrived back in SF 19 days later, pretty tired!
To sum it up, if you are going to be very far from a service/replacement center for a tiller pilot, carry a spare, or two. If you build a vane incorporating an auxiliary rudder I think that you are ok without the spare. To me, spending the price
of the spare on building the vane is a good tradeoff. YMMV as always.