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Old 11-02-2010, 06:35   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Texas
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Replace Wheel with Tiller

I'm still considering boats in the (probably) 34 - 36 foot range - most have wheels instead of tillers. While I think I'd prefer a tiller, I'm willing to try out a wheel for awhile. If I later find I'd rather have the tiller, what's involved in refitting for tiller?
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:51   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gloucester, MA
Boat: CS 36t
Posts: 387
What will make or break the project is where the rudderpost is relative to the cockpit. You will need to extend the rudderpost (tricky to do with adequate strength) and tube to just above the bottom of the cockpit. Make sure that the cockpit is layed out in a way that there is plenty of room for the tiller to swing at least 45 degrees each way. There is other work involved like removing the pedestal and glassing over the hole and making a rudderpost fitting and tiller but those are doable.

If you can, try sailing boats with wheels for a while before making a purchase. You might find that you like them or you might like the direct connection of a tiller. Keep in mind that a boat that develops a lot of weather helm will tend to wear you out if setup with a tiller.

The project is certainly doable on a lot of boats and it isn't all that expensive but it is a lot of work that you might get more pleasure out of putting into something else.
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