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Old 13-06-2011, 16:46   #1
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tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

I herd a discusion today, and the guy was saying that generaly wheel pilots are stronger built and last a longer time then tiller pilots...he advised me to keep my wheel if only for this reason.

its the first time I hear this comment...what do you think?

rgds
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Old 13-06-2011, 17:42   #2
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

Have a look at the relative prices - you could have a tiller pilot plus a spare, and have heaps of money left over.

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Old 13-06-2011, 18:45   #3
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

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Originally Posted by lockie View Post
Have a look at the relative prices - you could have a tiller pilot plus a spare, and have heaps of money left over.

lockie

I guess your right? too bad was starting to like the wheel...actualy its the seeting position behind the wheel thats apealing!!!

rgds
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Old 16-06-2011, 18:26   #4
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

When I went to Bermuda years ago, there were several people waiting on parts for their wheel pilots. If it's a well balanced boat, I always prefer a tiller. It feels better, there's less to break, and you can rig sheet to tiller self steering.
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Old 16-06-2011, 18:38   #5
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

wheel pilots are ok, tiller pilots are ok-- but the best thing is the quadrant mounted hydraulic autopilot. they rock. so much less work ... i LOVE my simrad...kicks ass at 60+kts of wind,10-15 ft seas, and keeps going perfect.
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Old 16-06-2011, 21:14   #6
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

If you're cruising any significant distance, that nice seat behind the wheel will be irrelevant as you'll be using the autopilot most of the time. General consensus is that all other things being equal, a tiller is better for soloing since it puts you forward near the winches rather than right down the back away from them. Obviously not so much the case for bigger and/or crewed boats.

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Old 17-06-2011, 08:23   #7
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

that seat behind the wheel is most important when cruising long distances--LOl ye spend a lot of time htere--mine is padded with 6 inch foam and a sofa type setting which is great for fishing, dozing, reading, watching-- all the things done in a cockpit whenyer cruising many hundreds of miles at a stretch... lots more comfy than a bare wood place to bruise butt...dont both...lol much prefer my sofa at helm...LOL. simrad might be an autopilot, but there is still a need for watchman and comfort...
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Old 17-06-2011, 08:32   #8
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

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Originally Posted by jobi View Post
its the first time I hear this comment...what do you think? rgds
You could have both

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Old 17-06-2011, 13:53   #9
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
that seat behind the wheel is most important when cruising long distances--LOl ye spend a lot of time htere--mine is padded with 6 inch foam and a sofa type setting which is great for fishing, dozing, reading, watching-- all the things done in a cockpit whenyer cruising many hundreds of miles at a stretch... lots more comfy than a bare wood place to bruise butt...dont both...lol much prefer my sofa at helm...LOL. simrad might be an autopilot, but there is still a need for watchman and comfort...
The first modification iam making this week...12in rail instalation (like your boat) then a 6ft by 4ft bean bag over my lazarette, this should make for a plesent ride???

those giant bean bags are roughed and wheather proof...as for the wheel someone offered $800 and he's doing the take off job!!

ps. I shure hope your having fun zee...right now I am too anvious to even enjoy reading you...my boat is still on the hard...but hey my turn will comme??
rgds
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Old 17-06-2011, 15:29   #10
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

steeve--youwill be here in no time--is all good-- dont ditch the wheel. add a tiller like my ericson has--- if your boat has a quadrant, have hydraulic autopilot added to that and is awesome way to maintain steering---is stronger than either kind of other piloting mechanism. i LOVE mine. works in sailing as well as motoring conditions.
remember-- too many mods, more time at dock...less sailing......kd
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Old 17-06-2011, 16:06   #11
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

G'Day Steeve,

The big factor in whether either of the cockpit pilot types will work is how hard it is to turn the helm whilst sailing, and whether there are any unusual loads imparted on the helm from pounding or other transitory events. On our current boat, if we drive her hard enough to weather to cause pounding, we get what appear to be pressure waves that come back along the hull and impact the rudder. These put brief but heavy loads on the helm.

We have both a wheel and a tiller (long story), and both a tiller pilot (Autohelm ST4000) and two "brains" which can actuate a Whitlock drive attached to a below-deck tiller arm on the rudder post. Obviously, the below deck setup is much more capable, but uses a shocking amount of power, and thus we use the ST4000 when possible.

Our helm is pretty well balanced, so that the regular steering loads can be met by the tiller pilot, but the shock loads from pounding overwhelm it. Further, inside the tillerpilot ram is a long screw with a recirculating ball "nut" that rides on it. This nut is what provides the thrust to the tiller, and we found that it failed after a disappointing number of hours of use. It is only a small part of the assembly, but Autohelm/Ray marine would not supply a replacement part, so we had to buy a whole new actuator... over 800 bucks in Oz. Dang.

So, going back a few years we had an Autohelm 3000 wheel pilot on Insatiable I, along with a home made windvane. The 3000 used an exposed toothed belt to drive the wheel, and the whole setup had issues. However, the damn thing would steer that boat (retired IOR one-tonner) under very heavy conditions. We kept the sails well balanced, and again the steering loads were pretty light, even under storm conditions. It was a good thing, too, 'cause during one storm the windvane rudder got torn off, and the 3000 got us home a few days later. On the other side of the coin, we went through several drive motors and one gearbox over the years. My take is that these units are just not robust enough for long term use.

So, the point of this long winded discourse is that both types of cockpit pilots are likely to steer your boat ok if the steering loads are light enough, but neither type is really reliable enough for long term cruising. If you have a windvane to do the bulk of the work, then sure, for very light airs or motoring almost anything will do, either tiller or wheel.

Good luck with your decision Steeve.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 17-06-2011, 16:14   #12
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
steeve--youwill be here in no time--is all good-- dont ditch the wheel. add a tiller like my ericson has--- if your boat has a quadrant, have hydraulic autopilot added to that and is awesome way to maintain steering---is stronger than either kind of other piloting mechanism. i LOVE mine. works in sailing as well as motoring conditions.
remember-- too many mods, more time at dock...less sailing......kd
your right zee!
I am so ready...but when you want something this bad, karma pulls you away from it...all the little things that keeps getting in the way and stalling departure...shurely many cruisers has gone thru.

the railing is alredy built and will take half a day to instal...you see its the railing and wood-work that made me fall in love with formosa and island trader...however I can do the same or better on my HR28, plus 28ft is enough for my needs, the 41ft was a little too much in terms of maintenance, coast and displacement...I feel the 28ft always be ready to lauch and much less limiting in displacement...if I wasent sure about the mods I can do on this boat, I wouldent keep her...as of now and from reading, visiting many sailboats the HR28 is the best of them...I know one persone who crosed the pond in one and says she sials much better then his new 44ft beneteau...many such comments iv heard.

will see soon enough
rgds

ps. dont wory most mods il do underway as you said
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Old 17-06-2011, 16:52   #13
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

steeve--- will look forward to seeing ye out here this fall--just make sure the water will remain in sea, not in boat, the oil stays inside engine, and sails stay unripped. then GO. dont waste time--just GO.
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Old 17-06-2011, 17:31   #14
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Steeve,

The big factor in whether either of the cockpit pilot types will work is how hard it is to turn the helm whilst sailing, and whether there are any unusual loads imparted on the helm from pounding or other transitory events. On our current boat, if we drive her hard enough to weather to cause pounding, we get what appear to be pressure waves that come back along the hull and impact the rudder. These put brief but heavy loads on the helm.

We have both a wheel and a tiller (long story), and both a tiller pilot (Autohelm ST4000) and two "brains" which can actuate a Whitlock drive attached to a below-deck tiller arm on the rudder post. Obviously, the below deck setup is much more capable, but uses a shocking amount of power, and thus we use the ST4000 when possible.

Our helm is pretty well balanced, so that the regular steering loads can be met by the tiller pilot, but the shock loads from pounding overwhelm it. Further, inside the tillerpilot ram is a long screw with a recirculating ball "nut" that rides on it. This nut is what provides the thrust to the tiller, and we found that it failed after a disappointing number of hours of use. It is only a small part of the assembly, but Autohelm/Ray marine would not supply a replacement part, so we had to buy a whole new actuator... over 800 bucks in Oz. Dang.

So, going back a few years we had an Autohelm 3000 wheel pilot on Insatiable I, along with a home made windvane. The 3000 used an exposed toothed belt to drive the wheel, and the whole setup had issues. However, the damn thing would steer that boat (retired IOR one-tonner) under very heavy conditions. We kept the sails well balanced, and again the steering loads were pretty light, even under storm conditions. It was a good thing, too, 'cause during one storm the windvane rudder got torn off, and the 3000 got us home a few days later. On the other side of the coin, we went through several drive motors and one gearbox over the years. My take is that these units are just not robust enough for long term use.

So, the point of this long winded discourse is that both types of cockpit pilots are likely to steer your boat ok if the steering loads are light enough, but neither type is really reliable enough for long term cruising. If you have a windvane to do the bulk of the work, then sure, for very light airs or motoring almost anything will do, either tiller or wheel.

Good luck with your decision Steeve.

Cheers,

Jim
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??

cheers
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Old 17-06-2011, 17:48   #15
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Re: tiller pilot vs wheel pilot??

Sure there are all sorts of pro's and con's for every individual situation, and I'm not trying to argue for every case. But if you're in the situation where you could go either way, and you're considering the autopilot question, there's a lot to be said for tiller pilots.

You don't carry a couple of grand's worth of spare motors, rams, hydraulic hoses, belts or whatever and spend hours trying to fit them. You simply disconnect your faulty tiller pilot, then put the $500 spare unit in its place, in about 1 minute flat, then go and park your lazy bum on that nice bean bag.

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