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Old 15-08-2015, 20:49   #1
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Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

We are pulling the wheel and pedestal from our T37 cutter and going with a tiller. We prefer tillers for many reasons.

We will create a permanent connection where the emergency tiller is now (through the seat at the rear of the cockpit), and sorry, but we are currently thousands of miles/kms now from the boat and can't find a photo of the setup on my laptop.

Anyway, we have considered a couple different systems, including one on a another Perry-designed cutter. But if you know of a tiller system which might be suitable for us, and even better know of a website where it is discussed in words or pictures, we would be eternally grateful.

kind regards
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Old 15-08-2015, 21:35   #2
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Yeah, given the choice I'd go for a tiller everytime. They say if you started sailing before you started driving you'll prefer a tiller. On the other hand I wouldnt go to that much trouble to change over, and I'd be careful to ensure that the boat is designed to be suitable for a tiller - I think it pays to be a bit humble when it comes to fiddling with boat design - there are many more years of experience that goes into a good design than I'm capable of. Good luck.
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Old 16-08-2015, 00:38   #3
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by foojin View Post
We are pulling the wheel and pedestal from our T37 cutter and going with a tiller. We prefer tillers for many reasons.

We will create a permanent connection where the emergency tiller is now (through the seat at the rear of the cockpit), and sorry, but we are currently thousands of miles/kms now from the boat and can't find a photo of the setup on my laptop.

Anyway, we have considered a couple different systems, including one on a another Perry-designed cutter. But if you know of a tiller system which might be suitable for us, and even better know of a website where it is discussed in words or pictures, we would be eternally grateful.

kind regards
Hmmm... what do you mean by "tiller system"? After all, what you will need is simply a means of extending the rudder post up to a level where you can put a fitting to attach the tiller. This does not, in my opinion, constitute a "system", nor would I expect to find a turnkey source for the gear.

So, if you would define what you are looking for a bit better, perhaps we can help you.

Jim
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Old 16-08-2015, 09:02   #4
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

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Originally Posted by charliehows View Post
Yeah, given the choice I'd go for a tiller everytime. They say if you started sailing before you started driving you'll prefer a tiller. On the other hand I wouldnt go to that much trouble to change over, and I'd be careful to ensure that the boat is designed to be suitable for a tiller - I think it pays to be a bit humble when it comes to fiddling with boat design - there are many more years of experience that goes into a good design than I'm capable of. Good luck.
I know a couple T37's came out of the Ta-Shing yard with tillers as primary steering so I wrote Robert Perry to see if he had drawn a sheet with a more elaborate connection than the emergency tiller. He said he had not, but thought a tiller was a good idea.
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Old 16-08-2015, 09:40   #5
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Contact Wilson Chang at Ta-Yang Shipyard builders of the Tayana line. He has been very helpful with answers about modifications to my boat and sourcing suppliers for original components, even though my boat is 26 years old and I'm the 4th owner. Give him your hull number, he will have the records of your original build. His email is below.

tayangco@ms15.hinet.net


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Old 16-08-2015, 09:46   #6
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Since you contacted the designer and he offered encouragement (or at least no cautions) for a tiller conversion, I would guess you're golden to proceed. In his book on his designs, Perry stated that the original T37s cutters had excessive weather helm. That was fixed by the yard by reducing the rake of the masts. So presumably that is not an issue with your T37.

As far as recommendations on how to adapt the emergency tiller fitting to a permanent tiller, that requires a lot of familiarity with the T37 design and layout. You may have already done so, but there must be a T37 owners group you can contact for recommendations and maybe specific implementations.

Beyond that, it seems to me the major design issue is the length of the tiller. That's something you can determine yourself. Make up a tiller that is the maximum length practical for your cockpit, then take the boat sailing in a fresh breeze. Steer the boat on all points of sail from several points on the tiller to find minimum length required for comfortable steering (and AP attachment). Then cut the tiller to length.

Also you need to determine how you will stow the tiller when at anchor or moored. This usually requires some means to fix the rudder midships, but also to get the tiller out of the way. Again this requires knowledge of the T37 layout and is also a function of personal preferences.

Good Luck,

John
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Old 16-08-2015, 09:57   #7
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

I'm not sure what pictures are desired by the OP but here's my conversion story...

I converted the wheel steering system on my 36 ft sloop to a tiller some years ago and after several single- and short-handed Pacific crossings am very happy I did. The benefits, aside from it being more fun to steer (personal preference) included:

- Sail handling is simpler, for example, in a tack or jibe I can steer with the tiller between my knees leaving both hands free for sheeting.

- Simpler interface to the wind vane, and the tiller offers a direct indication of sail balance (which is also important when hand steering of course!).

- The cockpit is a much more accessible and flexibly arranged area, and access to the transom is more open.

The conversion was not as simple as I initially thought. Challenges included:

- My 1974 boat was built with a tiller but when it as converted to wheel (by a previous owner) the rudder post was cut flush with the deck. I coupled the tiller with a slotted tubular insert that locked onto a pin bolted thru the rudder post with an internal eye bolt captured by the rudder post pin, and terminated on the insert cap with a nut. The down side of this arrangement is the coupling of tiller and rudder post is not inspectable; next time I drop the skeg-mounted rudder I will extend or replace the rudder post so the tiller connects above deck.

- Moving engine controls. New throttle/shifter and morse cables, etc. The new control has a single lever which is easier to operate than the old two-lever system. Also, the single lever is now mounted low in the cockpit so I can operate it with my foot freeing my hands for steering etc. The kill cable also had to find a new home.

- The binnacle compass is replaced with one hung from the instrument pod rail above the companion way. This works but someday Id like to install compasses on either side of the companion way, at the top of the coaming.

- Initially I replaced the wheel autopilot with a tiller pilot. But after burning out a couple of those I installed a below-deck motor and only wish Id done that sooner. It turned out to be convenient to couple the below-deck pilot shaft to the quadrant, and the motor to the rail that had contained the wheel-steering cables. A side benefit was that the power cable to the motor was much shorter than it had been to the wheel pilot.
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:39   #8
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Hmmm... what do you mean by "tiller system"? After all, what you will need is simply a means of extending the rudder post up to a level where you can put a fitting to attach the tiller. This does not, in my opinion, constitute a "system", nor would I expect to find a turnkey source for the gear.

So, if you would define what you are looking for a bit better, perhaps we can help you.
Nor would I expect to find a turnkey source. Though I can understand that others might find my request vague.

The emergency tiller is a direct connection to the top of the rudder post. I was thinking a permanent setup, with some sort of connection at the deck, so the tiller could be snapped on and off at the deck.

I have seen other yachts with this sort of setup and was hoping someone would know of drawings for this that I could find online.
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Old 16-08-2015, 12:45   #9
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Contact Wilson Chang at Ta-Yang Shipyard builders of the Tayana line. He has been very helpful with answers about modifications to my boat and sourcing suppliers for original components, even though my boat is 26 years old and I'm the 4th owner. Give him your hull number, he will have the records of your original build. His email is below.
tayangco@ms15.hinet.net
S/V B'Shert
Thanks for this.I will contact Wislon. I did send a query to an ancient address I had at Ta-Yang and heard nothing.

Can't believe I said Ta-Shing above when I meant Ta-Yang.
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Old 16-08-2015, 13:08   #10
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

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Originally Posted by hodgmo View Post
The conversion was not as simple as I initially thought. Challenges included...
We have already come up against some obstacles, mostly what to do with electronics gear and wiring to the existing pedestal, but nothing that can't be overcome.

She's been sailed in most conditions with the emergency tiller and I've found it not a problem. We do have some weather helm issues (on our 30-year-old T37), but I have found shortening sail works like a charm. I am also planning some alterations to the mainsail and boom which others have found work wonders.
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Old 16-08-2015, 15:46   #11
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Switched from wheel to tiller. Bought a 14" piece of 2 1/4" O/D X 1 1/2" I/D bronze rod as a sleeve. Had it machined to fit the 1 1/2" rudder stock and added a short piece of 1 1/2" rod as a sub shaft to extend the rudder shaft above the sole to attach to the tiller. Through bolted the sleeve to the rudder shaft and stub shaft. Bought a 1 1/2" thick block of that super slippery plastic, the stuff they make bushings/bearings out of, as deck seal/upper bearing for the rudder shaft. Had the machine shop bore a slight interference fit hole at the angle I measured for the stub shaft in the block to exit the sole. Bought a tiller head from Edson which was the biggest expense of the conversion. Had Rudder Craft in Idaho make a custom tiller.

Took about 2 days to do the conversion including waiting time for the machine shop to do their thing. Glassed in the old emergency rudder puka to fit the smaller stub shaft diameter. Only problem was I didn't quite get the angle of the rudder shaft right and had to plane the plastic block to get the proper angle for the sole/shaft interface. Routed out a channel around the under side of the plastic bearing/seal block to be sure there was a good seal against the sole and to keep it in place. Bedded it in 5200 with a bolt in each corner to fasten it in place. Edson supplied the tiller head bored to the 1 1/2" shaft size and broached a key way that I had the machine shop mirror in the stub shaft. Total cost was less than $1,000, about half of which was the Edson Tiller Head. Will regain some of that cost if and when the old pedestal, wheel and hardware is sold.

Has worked a treat. No longer spend most of my time swearing at the wheel when I have to steer and/or maneuver around it. The plastic block at the sole is not a perfect seal on the shaft but fit is so tight that very little, if any, water gets through. Did have to buy a bulkhead compass to replace the one on the pedestal. Made up a mount for the instruments over the companionway hatch. Used one of those stock pedestal pods and stainless bimini hardware to mount it. Way better location for the instruments as they are in line of sight so don't have to duck head to see them. Plotter is on a RAM mount in the companionway. Much easier to see in the shade of the dodger and visible below when it's swung back. All in all a super improvement to the boat. Just kick myself for waiting 6 years to put the change into action.

Would have saved a bunch of money if I'd used my head on the size of the tiller/rudder stub shaft. Found a lot of used tiller heads, cheap, bored for 1 5/8" rudder shaft that I passed up but none in 1 1/2". Only figured out after I was done that I could have used a 1 5/8" stub shaft as easily as 1 1/2" and saved $400.
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Old 20-08-2015, 09:35   #12
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
Switched from wheel to tiller... Bought a 14" piece of 2 1/4" O/D X 1 1/2" I/D bronze rod as a sleeve. Had it machined to fit the 1 1/2" rudder stock and added a short piece of 1 1/2" rod as a sub shaft to extend the rudder shaft above the sole to attach to the tiller. Through bolted the sleeve to the rudder shaft and stub shaft. Bought a 1 1/2" thick block of that super slippery plastic, the stuff they make bushings/bearings out of, as deck seal/upper bearing for the rudder shaft. Had the machine shop bore a slight interference fit hole at the angle I measured for the stub shaft in the block to exit the sole. Bought a tiller head from Edson which was the biggest expense of the conversion. Had Rudder Craft in Idaho make a custom tiller.

Took about 2 days to do the conversion including waiting time for the machine shop to do their thing. Glassed in the old emergency rudder puka to fit the smaller stub shaft diameter. Only problem was I didn't quite get the angle of the rudder shaft right and had to plane the plastic block to get the proper angle for the sole/shaft interface. Routed out a channel around the under side of the plastic bearing/seal block to be sure there was a good seal against the sole and to keep it in place. Bedded it in 5200 with a bolt in each corner to fasten it in place. Edson supplied the tiller head bored to the 1 1/2" shaft size and broached a key way that I had the machine shop mirror in the stub shaft. Total cost was less than $1,000, about half of which was the Edson Tiller Head. Will regain some of that cost if and when the old pedestal, wheel and hardware is sold.

Has worked a treat. No longer spend most of my time swearing at the wheel when I have to steer and/or maneuver around it. The plastic block at the sole is not a perfect seal on the shaft but fit is so tight that very little, if any, water gets through. Did have to buy a bulkhead compass to replace the one on the pedestal. Made up a mount for the instruments over the companionway hatch. Used one of those stock pedestal pods and stainless bimini hardware to mount it. Way better location for the instruments as they are in line of sight so don't have to duck head to see them. Plotter is on a RAM mount in the companionway. Much easier to see in the shade of the dodger and visible below when it's swung back. All in all a super improvement to the boat. Just kick myself for waiting 6 years to put the change into action.

Would have saved a bunch of money if I'd used my head on the size of the tiller/rudder stub shaft. Found a lot of used tiller heads, cheap, bored for 1 5/8" rudder shaft that I passed up but none in 1 1/2". Only figured out after I was done that I could have used a 1 5/8" stub shaft as easily as 1 1/2" and saved $400.
Great post, Peter O. So much useful information. Back online after being away a for a few days. Can't wait to get home to do some measuring and googling for parts.

Doing some quick searches for parts I also found links to other such projects that I'm sure will be helpful. Might want to ask you for a couple clarifications, but will measure first to see if there are issues.

Thanks
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Old 20-08-2015, 11:08   #13
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

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Originally Posted by foojin View Post
We are pulling the wheel and pedestal from our T37 cutter and going with a tiller...
Try sailing in blustery conditions using the emergency tiller before ripping the pedestal out.
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Old 20-08-2015, 14:25   #14
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

I have a balanced spade on my forty footer. Installed a tiller. Had a friend weld an extension on the rudder stock. Copied some other tiller heads. Couldn't be happier.
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Old 08-10-2015, 20:07   #15
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Re: Replacing wheel with tiller on Tayana 37

Foojin,

The T37 sails fine with a tiller. It does force you to balance your sails which results in better sailing. Feel for the balance is much simpler with the tiller and you always know if the rudder is displaced for optimal drag reduction.

I removed my ageing worm gear years ago and just use the Emergency tiller which I remove when in port which opens up lots of cockpit space. The tiller lets you react faster and works much better with staysail or windvane self steering.

Frankly I cant see the need for a helm at all, unless I had a huge boat that required hydraulic steering. With our long keel the boats tend to track anyway. Similar boats like Rafikis only came with tillers.

Im currently trying to have a second tiller fitting made as mine has crevice corrosion and has developed a crack. You can sew a sunbrella cover that goes around the tiller base with snaps to a wood ring mounted on the deck around the access plate to keep water out.

Regards, Chuck
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