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Old 07-08-2011, 09:07   #1
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Location: West Sussex, United Kingdom
Boat: Tradewind 33, 33 foot, Parker 27 , 27 foot
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Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

I have a Tradewind 33, originally designed for tiller steering, that came with an abortion of a steering wheel conversion in the middle of the (small) cockpit using a Whitlock Cobra pedestal system and with the control rod above the cockpit sole This also prevented the use of an emergency tiller longer than about 18" as it would foul the pedestal.

I am in the process of designing a chain/cable system with the wheel on the aft cockpit bulkhead over the tiller head and linked to an 8" quadrant on the rudder shaft. I have sourced a 2" dia. bronze sprocket and matching 1/2" stainless chain and two 5" pulleys. Assuming I line up all the components correctly (the pulleys will be on swiveling hinges but once aligned should not move more than about 1~2 degrees) do I need to use any spring tensioners in the system and would 1/4" (6mm) wire rope be strong enough or should I use 5/16" (8mm)? I believe the pulleys may be able to take the larger cable but I'm not sure. I guesstimate I should get 1 1/2 turns lock to lock with the rudder moving 35 degrees either side of centre and I'm using the 30" wheel from the Whitlock pedestal which also had 1 1/2 turns lock to lock.

Additional information: boat is approximately 8 tonnes and carries 550' sq ft of sail, rudder is approximately 4' sq. ft and and mean chord is about 16" unbalanced and keel hung and the vessel is a long keel design.

Would appreciate any additional information/criticism of my proposed idea.

ps I cannot find a proprietary design that would fit, hence the bespoke nature of my design, also it will cost a lot less!
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:14   #2
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

Have you asked Edson? They have, or had, a good size library of design conversions.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:04   #3
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

I should have said, I'm based in the UK and the only manufacturer here, suited to sailboats is Whitlock (now Lewmar), and various hydraulic systems more suited to powerboats.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:13   #4
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

I guess a lot depends on your skill level, but in 1990, I sent Edson my sketches to convert a C&C 30ft Redwing from tiller to wheel. In no time, I had back their suggestions. Fined tuned order, installed, steers great with new owner/ friend.
Just a happy customer.
UK shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:36   #5
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

Thanks for the suggestion, do they have dedicated website/address or do I need to go through a dealer?
In answer to your other comment, I'm reasonably competent and can turn my hand to most things. I am fitting out my cruiser virtually form scratch ,having rewired it, changed the internal layout and fitting upgraded electronics plus installing holding tanks, watermaker, refrigeration, vane steering, wind/watercharger, solar panels, plus in-boom furling and redecking. It's been a major project!
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:27   #6
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

They have their own website, edsonmarine.com. Their printed catalog reads like an encyclopedia of engineering. Get one They may refer you to a UK dealer.
Wasn't suggesting that you aren't capable. By your description, very capable, I would say. Just didn't know from your OP how much you wanted to do yourself.
Please keep us informed.
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Old 20-02-2017, 09:36   #7
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

Sorry for resurrecting the old thread, but as a SW Engineer I am a big fan of reuse.

My question is actually opposite: can one re-convert a wheeled Tradewind 33 (or a Tradewind 35, which comes wheeled from the factory) to tiller steering?

What are the conditions for such a conversion?

We were sailing a Vindö 40 this summer. The boat was built with a very small wheel but this one was converted to tiller steering and it was a charm.
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Old 20-02-2017, 11:24   #8
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

I have a Tradewind 33 and as far as I know they were designed for tiller steering and wheel steering would have been an after-market change. The rudder shaft sticks up through the aft end of the cockpit sole, and just needs a keyed head clamp to affix a tiller to. Mine had an after market wheel steering which I got rid of and converted back to tiller steering. The shaft already had an adapter on the top to take the emergency tiller which was steel tube so it was just a matter of fabricating a nice curved laminated wood tiller to suit.
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Old 21-02-2017, 03:56   #9
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

Thanks for the reply. I gather that even a modern Tradewind 35 could be converted to tiller, as it must have a shaft or outlet for the emergency tiller.

Is the removal of the column from the cockpit a big issue?
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Old 21-02-2017, 09:31   #10
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

How is your pedestal fixed to the boat and are the linkages sub cockpit sole or above it? Mine were on a botch up of a thick ply sub floor about 3" above the cockpit sole and the linkage was also above the cockpit sole...total botch up as the pedestal could be moved forward and backwards about 2~3" as the ply was not rigid. it was easy to remove and my original idea was to redesign it to have the wheel aft on the rear cockpit bulkhead but after thing it over ,decided to go back to tiller steering, simpler more direct and nicer to use. if yours is somehow attached directly to the cockpit sole with the linkage underneath the sole, it will be a real job to try and get at to remove as if it is anything like my boat, there is not much space above the fuel and water tanks to get at it all. I had to pull the engine to remove the tanks which were mild steel and corroded through and I could see there was only about 2" above the tanks to the bottom of the cockpit sole.
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Old 21-02-2017, 11:13   #11
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Re: Wheel Conversion for a Tradewind 33

I have no boat yet and thus no pedestal
Currently, I am just gathering the theoretical knowledge. there are may interesting boats but some of them come with the wheel which I do not like. I would prefer my future boat to have a tiller - for simplicity.
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