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Old 23-12-2009, 14:35   #1
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Steering: Tiller to Wheel? Or...?

I have a Pearson 22 in which the tiller takes up a large amount of space in the cockpit. The excessive amount of space that is taken up can make it uncomfortable at times for my crew in having to jump around a lot to make room for steering. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to do about this situation. Is it worth it to convert it to a wheel? Or, is there another method that I might use such as shortening the tiller?
I'd really appreciate any insights anyone may be able to offer on this situation.
Thanks,
C
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Old 23-12-2009, 14:36   #2
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Also, if there is a discussion of conversion to a wheel, if anyone has any costing information, that would be great too.
Thanks,
C
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Old 23-12-2009, 14:50   #3
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I'd keep the tiller. Maybe a two piece tiller would help you out so when crowded in tight maneuvers you could take end off or pivot to make more room. The extra lenght would help in strong winds when weather helm would wear on you. There would be significant expense and mods involved in a wheel conversion. Just fitting the quadrant to a shaft that's probably encased would have me scratching my head.
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Old 23-12-2009, 14:55   #4
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I've seen many boats with hinged or folding tillers - the tiller can be folded in half as needed and still provide steering control. I don't know if you can buy them off the shelf or have to fashion your own. I think you would find that a wheel takes up a lot of room in the cockpit of a 22' boat - although not in quite the same way as a long tiller.
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Old 23-12-2009, 15:44   #5
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I know it depends a lot on the boat, but I know of 2 Cal 40 owners that wanted to convert their boats back to tiller after driving a Cal 40 with the original tiller.

I looked at an Islander 37 that had been converted to wheel, poorly. After cutting the rudder tube the rudder post was no longer supported properly so there was a lot of slop and probably potential for failure. Due to tight clearances I found a steering cable slowly cutting through the exhaust hose.

I recently drove a Newport 27 with a wheel. I was driving with my hand on the hub to get any feel of the boat.

Can be done, but might be harder than you think and you might not like how you boat steers when you're done.

John, with a prejudice against wheels except for hard mouthed boats.
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Old 24-12-2009, 05:30   #6
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Thank you all! Two-parting the tiller?

So, going with a two-part tiller was one of my first thoughts as well, I appreciate all of the advice. Now, would it be better to hinge the tiller or go with a hiking stick addition to a shortened tiller?
Again, thank you so much for the advice!
And, Happy Holidays to all!
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Old 24-12-2009, 12:42   #7
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Definitely stick with the tiller.

A hiking stick won't give you add'l leverage in heavy conditions. And hinging the tiller means you'll be testing that hinge when conditions are strongest, since that's when you want the leverage. I think I'd instead modify the existing tiller so that a) it's as short as practical for normal sailing conditions, and b) make up an extension that's a sleeve and fits over the tiller's end for a significant length, perhaps locked in place with a pin. You'll need to be creative with this approach, but you won't be relying on a hinge.

Jack
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Old 24-12-2009, 13:20   #8
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Definitely stick with the tiller. Jack
We converted our Moody 31 from tiller to wheel steering 2 years ago. Actually we had the local Lewmar agent Cliff Morridge do it for us after I sourced a second hand steering pedestal which had never been fitted. For us it was a straight forward conversion. An arm is bolted to the rudder shaft with a keyway, a bar then runs to the underside of the steering pedestal. We chose a 30" wheel which was a little to big and could have gone for 26". It does take up some room but the wheel is easily enough to remove to make room in harbour.

The tiller which bolts onto the shaft on the top of the transom has been retained although I had to cut 12" off the end to clear the wheel so we can use it in emergency or on a longer sail still use the Raymarine 2000 tiller pilot which works well.

Tricky part was getting prices. Couldn't find any UK prices and just one in the US who wanted $2000 for a new pedestal and wheel so difficult to judge prices on e bay etc.

This is our boat on Cliffs website:

TILLER TO WHEEL CONVERSIONS

Would I do it again, yes. Our rudder has a 3/4 skeg so isn't particularly balanced creating weather helm when on the wind. Our 11 year old wasn't strong enough to move the tiller easily, however with the wheel it's one handed with ease.

We chose not to have the traditional compass but rather the latest Garmin 555s mounted on the pedestal instead. Navigation even for cross channel work is now carried out in advance for a plan and then al a the wheel with the occasional enty in the log every 3 hours. We have but don't use paper charts.

However before you start, check you have the room on a 22 foot boat. Try a cardboard mock up, check you can reach the winches and main sheet etc.

Pete
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Old 24-12-2009, 14:46   #9
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Wheels are a PITA. You think a tiller takes up space, try and get by a wheel. Thaey way more a pain in port unless you remove the wheel and hopefully don't drop it overboard while it's off. Wheels are actually harder to steer, lacking in feel, slow to input steering response, and a bunch more mechanical pieces that are prone to failure. If you can't live with a tiller on a 22' boat, doubt a wheel is going to make your life better.

Have my first boat with a wheel and it's going to be deep sixed as soon as I get the money to do it. Hate the damn thing.
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Old 24-12-2009, 15:34   #10
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Nah. Keep the tiller. Wheels are nice for the mechanical advantage needed for larger vessels but the sacrifice is the loss of sensitivity to how your boat is performing.
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Old 24-12-2009, 18:12   #11
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tiller= more feel....tiller=better protection from elements
(can hide from spray behind dodger) also boarding seas when running. ...tiller = simplicity(less to break)....tiller = MORE room in cockpit when at anchor(most of time)wheel lets you feel like captian rentless in old movies.
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Old 24-12-2009, 22:23   #12
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Bigger boat, or fewer crew/guests.

The boat is not the problem.

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Old 25-12-2009, 07:07   #13
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Merry Christmas all!
Thank you for all of the input. I don't believe the boat is the problem by any means. I am particularly fond of tillers on boats this size. I was just trying to research my options. I believe I will be purchasing another tiller, shorten it, and create a sleeve attachment for the extension. If it doesn't work out, I'll have my original tiller, and keep people hopping in the cockpit.
Again, thank you so much for all of your input.
Enjoy the Holidays,
C
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Old 25-12-2009, 09:24   #14
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Or you could think outside the box and design yourself a whipstaff tiller arrangement,this is where the tiller is hinged on the cockpit sole and swings vertically while connected to the rudder with low stretch line.I dont have the details worked out as obviously it varies from boat to boat.It is not a common arrangement but ive seen it used on some Newick Val class trimarans with the center cockpit.The beauty is it does not sweep the cockpit at all,just vertically from side to side and could probably be removed altogether while at anchor,would be cheap to settup too.Probably a little far out there for most folk though.
Merry Christmas,
Steve.
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Old 25-12-2009, 18:42   #15
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22' wheel, why? (oh, why)

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