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Old 18-05-2014, 12:59   #1
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I hate Steering Wheels

I think I hate wheels. I didn't actually realize this until I owned and lived with a boat with a wheel for a while, but I do. The steering part while underway is fine, rather slick in fact, but when at anchor or at the dock they are a waste of space. We live aboard. It's the drunken uncle that is always in the way.

After studying how to remove the wheel pedestal and making the "emergency" tiller "permanent", I decided that would be too drastic.

Now I want a pedestal that is compact. When I remove and hang the wheel elsewhere, the pedestal is slim and easy to slip past.

Anyone know a quality make of such a thing?
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Old 18-05-2014, 13:05   #2
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Re: I hate steering wheels

The standard Edson pedestal isn't that large. The post is maybe 6" diameter and SS braces maybe 12" apart.

I have a small wheel that I attach when anchored or at sea running under the AP. Enough to steer with if an emergency arises but makes a lot more room in the cockpit.
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Old 18-05-2014, 14:50   #3
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Re: I hate steering wheels

Have looked online at the Edson wheels. Never used their equipment. Do they have a reputation for quality?

Like the idea of a smaller wheel when using AP. Will have to look into it.
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Old 18-05-2014, 14:53   #4
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Re: I hate steering wheels

I know they make wheels that fold had one in my last boat. Worked great.

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Old 18-05-2014, 14:57   #5
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Re: I hate steering wheels

You can buy a special nut that can be removed and re-installed using a winch handle. Quick and easy to pop the wheel off when at anchor and set it aside out of the way.
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Old 18-05-2014, 14:58   #6
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Re: I hate steering wheels

Heres a pic

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Old 18-05-2014, 14:59   #7
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pirate Re: I hate steering wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by scuba0_1 View Post
I know they make wheels that fold had one in my last boat. Worked great.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
Damn... beat me to it.. seen em on the newer Bene's.. swings round to face fore and aft..
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Old 18-05-2014, 18:50   #8
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Re: I hate steering wheels

I'd rather go with a folding wheel over completely removing it while anchored. The last thing I'd want to do in the middle of the night is trying to reinstall my helm while some bozo who didnt set his anchor properly is bearing down on me.

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Old 18-05-2014, 18:58   #9
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Re: I hate steering wheels

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Originally Posted by foojin View Post
Have looked online at the Edson wheels. Never used their equipment. Do they have a reputation for quality?

Like the idea of a smaller wheel when using AP. Will have to look into it.
I'm not sure where else I'd look for a wheel system. I would be surprised if they are not on most new & old boats.

Ours is 1983 and has been around the world once. Looks like new.
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Old 18-05-2014, 19:05   #10
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Re: I hate steering wheels

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I also prefer a tiller, but its not possible to convert to one with our large unbalanced rudder. Though I have thought there must be a way to add an automatic trim tab power assist system.

Anyways, I cut our wheel to about half the original size, but then it was a bit too easy to walk around the cockpit so we extended the seats to fill in the opening out for the rudder. For more luxurious lounging.

Another idea is to move the wheel to the aft seat, where you straddle it like on some Hans Christiansen's (and etc), then remove the binnacle. So there's still a wheel but the cockpit is mostly empty.
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Old 19-05-2014, 19:43   #11
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Re: I hate steering wheels

Tiller is nice but we also have an unbalanced rudder; 3 ft X 6 ft. The boat is 36 tons so no choice here. We hang the wheel on the mizzen or the rail when its not needed. Center cockpit ketch so the rudder post is a long way away. If its really lumpy it can be a struggle to steer. Good sail trim is critical or we're just dragging a bucket.
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Old 19-05-2014, 20:45   #12
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Re: I hate steering wheels

Ditching my wheel as soon as I can. The space at anchor is definitely a plus, but with a really balanced helm on this boat, I'm looking forward to being able to trim the genoa sheets without leaning around the wheel. I can just tell it is going to be fun to sail with a tiller. Hand steer behind the dodger too...
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Old 19-05-2014, 21:07   #13
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Re: I hate steering wheels

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I'm looking forward to being able to trim the genoa sheets without leaning around the wheel.
The easy way or perhaps the blonde way, is to steer the boat while standing in front of the wheel. Then its easy to reach all the sheets. Makes singlehand docking easier, leastwise for me. I've not stood behind the wheel for many a year.
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Old 19-05-2014, 21:13   #14
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Re: I hate steering wheels

The best part about tiller steering, other than a cleaner cockpit, is the ability to duck forward under the dodger when a big wave slams you, and then grab the tiller again quickly and keep on course. If wheel steering, you just take it in the face and keep going. Of course this can be avoided if you invest in a good windvane, which always steers a better overall course than a tired and cold helmsman. The size of the boat has a real effect of when you need to go to the mechanical advantage of a wheel, but wheels are usually in the way. Just my 2 cents worth ____Grant.
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Old 19-05-2014, 21:25   #15
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Re: I hate steering wheels

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
The easy way or perhaps the blonde way, is to steer the boat while standing in front of the wheel. Then its easy to reach all the sheets. Makes singlehand docking easier, leastwise for me. I've not stood behind the wheel for many a year.
Ok maybe a blonde ninja way. I'll practice, until I can convert it.
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