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Old 25-06-2008, 09:12   #1
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Converting From Tiller To Wheel Steering

Can someone please tell me the difficulties, costs and technical pitfalls of converting tiller steering to wheel steering..............Thanks.
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Old 25-06-2008, 10:13   #2
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Can someone please tell me the difficulties, costs and technical pitfalls of converting tiller steering to wheel steering..............Thanks.
Costs: large
Difficulties: many

And you get the benefit of losing a whole bunch of your cockpit. Not to mention the added complexity and maintenance.

Geez, I didn't know I was so pro tiller...<gr>
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Old 25-06-2008, 10:14   #3
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Knowing nothing about you or your boat, it's a tough question to answer. I can however tell you the reasons why I never converted my tiller boat to wheel steering.
1. You can still get an autopilot for the tiller.
2. When the autopilot breaks, you can rig it up to self-steer by running the jib sheet to the tiller to balance the weather helm.
3. There's more control than a wheel, since you can go from hard over one way to hard over the other way in a split second
4. A far better way to learn to sail and handle the boat because you get so much more feel for the weather helm and wave action.
5. More reliable because it's a direct connection to the rudder and no intermediate gear to break.

edit: Thanks for reminding me of number 6 Deepfrz, takes up less space in the cockpit.

The only reason I would ever make the change is if the boat were way too big and it was a chore handling the tiller in a seaway, but that's probably 40' or more, and you don't see many built that size with a tiller.
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Old 25-06-2008, 12:56   #4
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I was told that to replace the wheel steering on my boat would be more than the boat was worth. It is a worm screw configuration.
I miss the feel of the tiller--You can tell if the boat is balanced by feel. Almost no pressure is needed to when holding the tiller. With wheel steering, I do not know when the wheel is off center.
John
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Old 29-06-2008, 05:19   #5
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Tiller to Wheel Conversions (Edson):
Tiller to Wheel Conversions - Edson Marine

BTW: Edson has several instruction sheets for specific “Allied” boats, but not the “Princess”, and a couple of “Westerly” boats, but not the "Sealord".
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Old 29-06-2008, 06:28   #6
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BTW: Edson has several instruction sheets for specific “Allied” boats, but not the “Princess”, and a couple of “Westerly” boats, but not the "Sealord".
Gord, I didn't mean to imply that my current boat has a tiller, I was talking about my previous boat, an Allied Seawind, which I had a tiller on but have seen wheels on others. The Westerly would require one heck of a long tiller to steer from the center cockpit.
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Old 14-07-2008, 20:07   #7
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I mght be in the minority here, but I much prefer a wheel.

I don't agree about a tiller taking up less room in the cockpit. Even with the tiller centered, which it always isn't, it still exrends maybe 4 or more feet. Not to mention when it sweeps over one of the cockpit seats.

Sailing along and need to lock the rudder for a few moments. Tie some lines to the tiller, keeping it in the right spot, or turn a knob and lock the wheel.

I also like to be able to face forward while steering.

Had both. Give me a wheel any day.
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Old 16-07-2008, 11:06   #8
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Huh?

So you could only steer your tiller boat facing aft?

Chris


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I mght be in the minority here, but I much prefer a wheel.

I don't agree about a tiller taking up less room in the cockpit. Even with the tiller centered, which it always isn't, it still exrends maybe 4 or more feet. Not to mention when it sweeps over one of the cockpit seats.

Sailing along and need to lock the rudder for a few moments. Tie some lines to the tiller, keeping it in the right spot, or turn a knob and lock the wheel.

I also like to be able to face forward while steering.

Had both. Give me a wheel any day.
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Old 16-07-2008, 19:51   #9
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I tried steering my tiller boat sitting facing forward. I could do it if I had a back rest to lean back on, but I had to get up and have anyone sitting on the other side move when we tacked or jibed. Then I had to move the back rest.

Actually on that boat, a Mc Curdy and Rhodes 26, sloop, when sailing dead down wind, wing and wing, the best speed was achieved by facing the stern, and steering to keep the tell tail on the backstay in line with the boat. Of course, we were using a knot meter that mearured in .01 of a knot. I learned a lot about sail trim with that knot meter.
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Old 18-07-2008, 02:30   #10
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The obstacles to converting to wheel-steering are all surmountable- don't give up!
But there are a few considerations to look at- the main ones being the geography of your cockpit; the location of your rudder WRT your intended steering-position; the construction of your rudder-shaft if you've got an underhull rudder, and possibly ergonomics like seating positions and the frame of you or your helmsperson (pc enough?)
I supplied a wheel installation- an Edson CdI system- to a formerly-one-design raceboat which was fitted under an elegant teak grating floorboard 4" above the cockpit-sole. Total cost about USD2200, including cockpit-grating and ali framework for the installation, and the whole system fitted in the tiller-swept area! The only downside was the raised steering-floor, but for a 5'9" helmsman it wasn't an issue!
If you have the space, however, and if your rudder-bearings allow it, a below-decks installation is still preferable. This is probably the most vague grouping of solutions, because you have the options of open-wire, conduit, transmission or draglink steering that could be fitted.
Choices are wide open- give me a PM if I can help!
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Old 18-07-2008, 05:54   #11
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There's just something wrong, to my way of thinking, in changing from a simple, straight-forward system (tiller) to a complicated system (wheel). I'm of the school that believes the more parts something has the more prone it is to having something break leaving you in deep doo doo.
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Old 18-07-2008, 07:27   #12
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It sounds like it is going to be more trouble than it is worth.

My old Irwin 38 had both. The rudder post came up right in front of the wheel. I could quickly attach the tiller if I wanted to tiller steer the boat - I used this when we raced. It allowed me to steer, stay on the high side of the boat, and get a much better view of the tell tales.
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Old 18-07-2008, 07:31   #13
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What about mounting an external hydrolic ram that connects near the base of the tiller. You could then use a small powerboat style wheel mounted on the bulkhead or make a console. Have the tiller on a hinge so it swings up out of the way, but is still available for back up. Have an easy dissconnect on the linkage from the ram so that you can dissconnect and use the tiller for back up.
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Old 18-07-2008, 07:42   #14
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Edson Marine provides a plenitude of information on Tiller to Wheel Conversions at:
Tiller to Wheel Conversions - Edson Marine
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