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Old 04-06-2013, 08:46   #16
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Noreastern try to check if the rudder shaft is not twisting, sometime when people shift to tiller, the tiller take off is much higher than the original quadrant and there is the possibility of more torsion. If it is for more torsion or some play in the connection of the tiller to the shaft a change of wheel to tiller should not impart any extra weather helm. Looking at your tiller which is in the shape of a crank handle make sur also that it does not twist or behave like a crank handle. If anything can twist then it will twist and untwist as the load on the rudder change making an unstable steering.
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The next question is how do you determine the size and shape of the tiller?
The size must be able to carry the load imparted. The load cannot be greater that the force that operate the tiller or the strength of the helmsman. Sometime the weight of an 80 kg helmsman is used. Not too many human can pull their weight vertically every so often for hours. The Vetus formula should give you the force required at the end of the tiller. For my system with a 1.5 metre tiller I require a force of 30 kg at 6 knots and a force of 60 kg at 10 knots the aluminium tiller can withstand 83.616 kg. I have also a spare SS and wood tiller for colder region. I have also an auxiliary steering wheel in the pilothouse that I rarely use. The maximum force at the wheel that the wheel steering system can withstand is 40 kg. For the shape I prefer a straight shape but adjustable in height.
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Old 04-06-2013, 20:35   #17
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Chala,
Interesting point and believe I understand your thinking about the point of force being higher on the shaft. But would think it would be symmetrical (equal both port and starboard tacks) and we only have the weather helm problem on starboard tack.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:15   #18
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Next it could be that your tiller is not exactly in line with the rudder and not a true indicator.
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Old 06-06-2013, 19:29   #19
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Chala,
I agree, one of the reasons we are pulling the boat out for a short haul next week. We will also be checking straightness and excessive fouling on one side of the rudder more then the other. Fun fun fun!
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:30   #20
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

I reconverted my Cal-40 to a tiller back in the day, and loved it. The main reason was to enable a servo-pendulum wind-vane self-steering gear to easily attach with the least friction. But it was just so much more natural to sail with the stick!

An advantage no one has mentioned yet is that with a modern hiking stick, you can extend it to a comfortable length for standing near the rail and steering - at least in moderate conditions. This is a great advantage for close-in pilotage and just better all round visibility. My current 30 footer is tiller steered with an extened hiking stick. For powering, I have a tiller comb that takes a little minding, but relieves the helm loads introduced by prop wash.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:47   #21
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Right! The tiller comb is fantastic.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:06   #22
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Has anyone ever used or known somebody who used a below decks autopilot on a tiller steered boat? We have one, and converting to tiller is easy (relatively). The stock comes out in the back of the cockpit, and the "emergency" tiller we have is what was used for the boats that came from the factory as tiller steered boats.

I imagine that one could tie off the tiller up loosely at the backstay when using the AP?


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Old 07-06-2013, 12:26   #23
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Chris - Many of the Open 40 and IMOCA class boats use an under-deck electric autopilot with an open, above-decks tiller. It's a little hard to find detailed info on those boats that is transferable to us lesser sailors, but I'd say worth a try.
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Old 15-06-2013, 18:21   #24
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

Got the tiller made by Rudder Craft formerly Idaho Sailor Rudder Craft Inc.

Priced the cost to make it myself vice having them do it and they were hands down winner unless you discounted labor to a negative. Just tell them what you want and they'll make it. Also have many stock patterns.

I used the bronze castings from Edson for the tiller head and strap. Expensive but they machined it to my needs in the price. Used a hollow bronze tube to extend the tiller above deck and a block of Delrin like material where the new stub rudder shaft extends above the deck. That acts as an upper bearing and seal for the tiller.


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Where did you get the tiller?
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Old 07-01-2014, 00:54   #25
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Re: Wheel to Tiller conversion

As a Westsail 32 owner, I've been using a tiller on an enormous unbalanced rudder for steering a 20,000 lb boat with bad weather helm. On the one hand, I really like the feel and the responsiveness, not to mention being able to move around the cockpit without climbing over things. When i get on a wheeled boat, I feel quite restricted, especially if the sheet winches are out of reach. On the other hand, manually steering to windward in a blow can be exhausting, owing to the unbalanced rudder. Fortunately, the windvane is usually taking care of that. I have a track on the underside of the tiller so I can adjust the leverage the vane has - longer for windward, shorter for downwind.

I can't figure out the point of those giant wheels plopped right in the middle of the cockpit. The older boats, including my old 1935 ketch, with them mounted behind the cockpit, made much more sense.
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