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Old 14-09-2011, 11:36   #1
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Wheel to Tiller Steering

Thinking of pulling the wheel on our 42 and going back to a tiller, I have my reasons..
Seems those in the UK see the advantage of tiller steering as I do so what I'm asking,
If anyone on the other side of the pond know of a FIRST 38, 42, or 456 with a tiller, can you get me a picture or two of the set up????????
Thanks.......
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Old 14-09-2011, 12:15   #2
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

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Originally Posted by Randyonr3 View Post
Thinking of pulling the wheel on our 42 and going back to a tiller, I have my reasons......
I do not know your boat, but have seen this done with Victoria 34s. It was a major error. The winch and mainsheets positions are designed for the wheel, and the tiller gets in the way.
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Old 14-09-2011, 12:41   #3
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

I'm pretty sure "Lady Be Good", who did pretty well in the Admiral's Cup many years back was a First 42. She was lost in the 2006 Route de Rhum, sailing as "A Fond Contre La Spondylarthrite" (from pictures looks like there were a fair number of mods, so, while listed as a First 42, may not be too useful). One photo of her shows her as tiller steered, but don't know if it is a good enough shot to give you any information:

A Fond Contre La Spondylarthrite

She also appears in the Beneteau brochure for the First 42 on page 4. Again, you can see that she has a tiller, but that's about it.

Beneteau First 42 - Previous Models then download the PDF brochure.
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Old 14-09-2011, 12:55   #4
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

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Originally Posted by Talbot View Post
I do not know your boat, but have seen this done with Victoria 34s. It was a major error. The winch and mainsheets positions are designed for the wheel, and the tiller gets in the way.
My mainsheet is cabin top, and main winches are far forward..
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Old 14-09-2011, 12:59   #5
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

I don't mean to hijack the thread but I would love to hear what are your reasons for the change.

I live and sail on a First 456 and have contemplated doing the same thing a few times. The design of the cockpit however would make for a difficult tiller design, specially to have the necessary leverage for a boat of that size. The one time I used the emergency tiller, for practice, I couldn't believe how heavy the boat could feel.

Thanks!
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:01   #6
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

I can't comment on the loss of leverage going form wheel to tiller but would think that you would have to be able to connect to the top of the rudder post. Most wheel steered boats hide this connection below the deck and have some sort of bearing for the top of the rudder post. To convert from wheel to tiller you would need to fabricate a fitting that penetrated the deck -- was able to transfer the motion of the tiller to the rudder post. I like tiller steering better then wheel/
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:09   #7
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

i completely understand your reasons... simplicity, functionality etc etc... makes perfect sense...

i recently sailed a 43' palmer johnson built IOR design from key west to riviera beach fl... my favorite thing about the boat was it had a tiller... sailed like a giant dinghy
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Old 14-09-2011, 13:15   #8
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

Probably converse but keep the wheel till the test drive. I have seen boats up to some 55 ft steered by tiller, but very much depends on the underbody. The true test will come in heavy weather.

Let us know how you did! I have seen many boats converted to wheel but not many converted to tiller. Our ship is tiller steered and we love it.

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Old 14-09-2011, 14:13   #9
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Re: Wheel to Tiller Steering

With some caveats, I recommend you convert. I had a Cal-40 a number of years ago that I took back to tiller steering, and was very happy with it. But she weighed <16,000 pounds, and had a custom semi-balanced rudder, and by today's standards had moderate beam which the First 42 does not have. The First 42 is also very "IOR", so your real test will be on a shy spinaker reach, or a hairy downwind leg - see if those wear you out with the tiller.
And if you proceed with the conversion, leave yourself the ability to easily re-convert back to wheel.
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Old 14-09-2011, 15:02   #10
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Re: Wheel to Tiller Steering

Mounting the tiller is not an issue as you can see the port to access is right below the seating area where the auto helm is attached at the top of the rudder post..
My gain is to clean up the space in the cockpit.. we've noticed that whenever we take off anywhere, once outside the Gate (San Francisco) the auto helm is turned on and I get out from behind the wheel..And we normally dont get back behind the wheel until we make a corse correction or come into a harbor..
And yes it is an IOR design and handles very bad going dead down wind due to its pinched stern.. so we always travel a few degrees off DDW and not only gain in VMG but also gain a more comfortable ride.. Not reall worried about the normal figure 8s an auto helm has DDW as ours has a smart pilot attached.... thousands of hours on it and still going strong.
What I was looking for pictures for was to get an idea of where to mount all the electronics without kicking them and also a rough idea of how long the tiller might have to be..
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Old 14-09-2011, 15:11   #11
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

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Originally Posted by svIorek View Post
I don't mean to hijack the thread but I would love to hear what are your reasons for the change.

I live and sail on a First 456 and have contemplated doing the same thing a few times. The design of the cockpit however would make for a difficult tiller design, specially to have the necessary leverage for a boat of that size. The one time I used the emergency tiller, for practice, I couldn't believe how heavy the boat could feel.

Thanks!
you're correct in design as the 42 and 456 have the rudder post under the seat.. and the tiller Might and I say might have to go over the comming at times.. But the advantage first in my mind is to swing the tiller up and tye it to the backstay when not in use.. allowing full use of the cockpit.. even under auto helm, we ovten steer with the push-button control, you know +1 +10 -1 -10..............
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Old 14-09-2011, 16:35   #12
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Re: Wheel to Tiller Steering

The P35 is my first boat with a wheel and will be my last. Have been researching the best way to get rid of the wheel. At first thought I'd have to rebuild the rudder with a longer shaft so it would come up above the cockpit sole for attaching the rudder head.

I talked with the folks at Edson and they turned me onto a coupling that clamps onto the rudder shaft aso you can add an extension to bring the shaft above deck level. Looks it would be a simple thing to do with my 1 1/2" rudder shaft. The fitting is not in the online catalogue but the rep's from Edson turned me onto it and said they do make such a thing. Don't know how it would work with the undoubtedly larger shaft that your boat has.

You might think about getting a pendulum servo self steering vane. They work so much better with a tiller than a wheel. That would free you from the tyranny of the electrons and the noise for long passages.

FWIW, saw a picture of a TP52 out racing, believe in Europe, and it looked to have a tiller. With a balanced rudder, size of the boat would make little difference whether it's steered by wheel or tiller. I find I have way more leverage, faster steering and less fatigue with a tiller than a wheel. That's even with a tiller on a large unbalanced rudder.
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Old 29-09-2011, 12:55   #13
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Re: Wheel to Tiller Steering

Funny timing, but I am completing the conversion of my wheel to tiller steering. Removed the pedestal yesterday and WOW- so much more cockpit space. Even though my attached rudder is not balanced, the boat rarely if ever sails with more than 1 spoke of weather helm so I am excited to see how it goes. Robin Lee Graham's Luders 33 had a tiller so if he could do it so can I.

My solution to the rudder post below decks was simple- I purchased 13 inch length of bronze solid post 1.5 in diameter to match the rudderpost, and 12 inch bronze hollow bar (2.25 OD, 1.5" ID pipe) from online metals. Had a machine shop cut keyways on the inside of the pipe, and outside of the new rudder post extension. They also machined in setscrews. So the bronze hollowbar/pipe, which is very thickwalled, acts as a sleeve to join the rudderpost to the extension.

Then I made a deckplate out of marine plywood with PVC pipe that had 2 inch ID, inside which I have glued a bronze bearing with 1.5 inch ID. I heavily epoxy/glassed the PVC stub to the 1/2 inch plywood base, and the bronze bearing is 3 inches long so is fully supported within the base. This gets bolted to the deck.
Finally, Edson sells the tiller head fitting. Ida Marine for the tiller. Seattle Marine sold me the new teleflex side mount engine control.
Just have to figure out the compass location.

I will soon purchase a below deck autopilot (to attach to old quadrant tiller), so when motoring or longer trips sailing, I can flip the tiller back and have the entire cockpit open while the machine steers.

Can't wait to sail for the first time with the tiller!
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Old 29-09-2011, 13:09   #14
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Re: Wheel to tiller steering

Quote:
Originally Posted by svIorek View Post
I don't mean to hijack the thread but I would love to hear what are your reasons for the change.

I live and sail on a First 456 and have contemplated doing the same thing a few times. The design of the cockpit however would make for a difficult tiller design, specially to have the necessary leverage for a boat of that size. The one time I used the emergency tiller, for practice, I couldn't believe how heavy the boat could feel.

Thanks!


Don't forget that probably half of the "heaviness" at least was caused by having to swing the resistance of steering cables, sheaves, and the steering wheel acting like a flywheel. Once you remove all that it probably is amazing how much easier it will be to steer.
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Old 29-09-2011, 13:44   #15
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Re: Wheel to Tiller Steering

Malbert33 - A very good layout for compasses in a tiller-steered boat is to have two - one each in the after bulkhead either side of the main hatch. Flat card, spherical dome - a Ritchie 5" would be just the ticket. Mounted this way they are impossible to foul with sheets and control lines.
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