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Old 04-09-2010, 18:25   #1
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Tiller Pilot to Wheel ?

Has anyone had any experience with connecting a tiller pilot to a wheel?

Some of the bigger ones have 170lb of thrust and 10" stroke (if the specs are to be believed) so it's possible that connected to a wheel they might just do.

I'm thinking day coastal passage here, not steering through a 5 day hurricane.
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Old 04-09-2010, 20:27   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
Has anyone had any experience with connecting a tiller pilot to a wheel?

Some of the bigger ones have 170lb of thrust and 10" stroke (if the specs are to be believed) so it's possible that connected to a wheel they might just do.

I'm thinking day coastal passage here, not steering through a 5 day hurricane.
I looked into this option years ago and rejected it for a couple of reasons. First, the simplest installation is to connect the tiller drive to a wheel but 10" is not much control for most boats. Try steering your boat without turning the wheel more that 10".

The only way I could figure to get more turns than the length of the stroke was to rig some sort of belt to a smaller pulley attached to the wheel and drive the belt with the tiller pilot. Decided to go with a below decks pilot.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:37   #3
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We used a tiller pilot on the wheel of our old Cal 2-29 for many years before the ST4000 became available. Essentially we had a bracket made up consisting of two 3" wide by 1/8" thick strips of stainless shaped like a J with a vertical slot up the middle of one of the strips and two 1/4" threaded studs welded to the middle of the other. The bottoms of the J's went over the rims of the wheel, 180 apart, and the two brackets were locked together with two thumbscrews on the studs. Roughly 10" from the wheel hub of the lower J-Bracket was another threaded stud. This accepted the "foot" of an L-shaped bracket with a nylon bushing on either side of the bracket and a Nylock nut to hold the barcket on the stud but allow it to rotate about the stud. The vertical portion of the L (which projected horizontally from the J-Bracket) had a 3" long, 1/4" ID tube welded to it that accedpted the tiller-end pin from our old tiller pilot. The other end of the tiller pilot had a pin that slipped into a row-lock base screwed to the cockpit combing. With this, the throw of the tiller pilot could move the wheel about 70 in either direction . While not up to todays standards as the old tiller pilot relied on a magnetic compass, the lash-up did stear us between Angles Gate and Two Harbors on Catalina many times.

FWIW...
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