Originally Posted by Freerider
I'm in the process of completing a wheel
to tiller conversion, and now its time to order the tiller handle. I have to decide on how much rise i want in the handle.
Is there a rule
to how high a tiller handle should sit above the cockpit floor? Does anyone have a tiller that they wish was higher or lower in comparison to their body?
What about length of the handle? Longest possible without interfering with the companionway
Not too long, you don't want it crimping your style with a guest or when Otto is driving. However, I have a 40' boat with a tiller, and find that I really prefer to stand on the cockpit seat/ coaming for close quarters maneuvers or when I'm trying to get in or out of the harbor (I'm in close proximity to the kayak/ SUP rental place, and dodging the tourists can be an issue).
My tiller handle is long enough that I can stand and comfortably grip it and the grab rail on the aft end of my hard top dodger at the same time. Not sure the size of your boat, but this is a key for visability ahead for us. I have a removable extension for when I really want to drive from completely under the dodger. I find that harder to do though, because I can't see the sails
or feel the wind
Also, plan ahead for where your engine
controls will be. Mine are set so that I can stand on the cockpit floor and work the throttle with my foot. The bottom of the recess for the throttle lever is about six inches off the cockpit floor. It's a good argument for single
lever throttle... It's easy to hop up and down from standing on the seat to work the throttle, or to reach the foot down from standing on the seat to adjust.
Oh, and think about reverse. We have a barn door for a rudder, and if you don't watch yourself and keep a firm handle on the tiller while in reverse, the rudder will slam over and throw you out of the boat. Make sure you have enough leverage available to deal with the rudder size going backward.
I've attached of the admiral taking us out of an anchorage so you have an idea of what I consider a good compromise tiller length.