In addition to the obvious, look at how the pedestal
is mounted to the cockpit
floor, is there any flex? Also get a torch and climb down the back, have a good hard look at everything
while someone turns the wheel. there should be no slop in anything
except for slightly loose wires. If you can't get access to the system easily that would be a big negative.
tiller test, does it feel tight, and is there a bearing at the top of the shaft to take the side loads from the tiller. Does the wheel need to be removed?
I don't personally like wheels that separate the front of the cockpit
from the back. I like to be able to get around to the wheel without climbing out into a vulnerable position. to easy to fall overboard
. Whats access to the sheet winches like from the helm