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Old 19-05-2012, 14:12   #1
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Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

I am trying to educate myself and learn about sailing. I see some boats have dual wheels and most have single wheels. In my current state of being a novice, it would seem to me the dual wheel boats have an advantage in terms of visibility and comfort over a single wheel boat. Is that the case? Which is preferable and why? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
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Old 19-05-2012, 15:12   #2
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

The dual wheels came out of the racing world placing the helmsman on a better viewing position; however, I would not be easily convinced of a comfort advantage. Those that advocate the advantages of simple mechanics rather than complex would be sure to favor the single wheel. There is no advantage in redundancy of function of the two wheels for single wheels are easily supplied with an emergency tiller option and the dual wheels are regularly operating a single rudder, though there can be unusual exceptions. There may be a snazzy flash impression of the boat sitting in the slip with dual helm, but I believe it's out of place except for the serious racer.
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Old 19-05-2012, 15:53   #3
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

my formosa has just enough room for one single wheel--nice wooden one. wouldnt want 2
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Old 19-05-2012, 16:02   #4
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

G'Day mate,

With the trend to enormously beamy sterns in modern cruising boats, plus the stacks of screens and dials in front of the helm, the improvements in forward visibility afforded by dual wheels is useful. Not that I much approve of those trends! Further, dual wheels do open up fore/aft movement in the cockpit as well.

But I suspect that the real reason for the trend is simply another sales gimmick foisted off by the folks in marketing.

Cheers,

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Old 19-05-2012, 16:07   #5
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

Maybe some advantage in a large fully crewed racing boat; so now some marketing guy thinks this may help sales to Joe Average. Same marketing bloke put spoilers on the back of family cars,gets really handy at speeds over 125mph.
Free advice follows: keep things simple and you will be out on the water more often.
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Old 19-05-2012, 16:15   #6
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

If you're not racing, the dual-wheel arrangement is hard to justify. Double the hardware, double the maintenance, double the trouble.

If you like, as I do, to sit on the rail downwind and steer so you can keep your eyes on the set of the jib and the slot between the jib and main, there are ways to do this with a medium sized boat with just one wheel.

Mine is such a vessel: 42' sloop with a generous but not outlandish beam of 13'. I have a large 48" wheel....bit enough to reach from either rail and hang onto while beating on upwind legs.

I remove it when in port, because the damned thing gets in your way moving around the cockpit, and I don't like folding wheels.

Here's a pic of the wheel while coming up the ICW on our way to DC from the Virgin Islands. Guy is at the wheel...or, at least, his toes are!
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Old 19-05-2012, 16:21   #7
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

The main reason as you said, is visability so the helmsman can sit on the high side of the boat when she's healing and still hold the wheel. Apart from the obvious that there is more to go wrong, I can't see any other advantage / dissadvantage in using either type. I believe twin wheel setups have become more poular and fashionable in Europe due to the fact that stern-to mooring is more common here so having a gap between the wheels gives easier access on and off the stern via a passerelle (gangplank).



Compared with this Bene' first model that is more geared up for performance but rear access is certainly not as good,

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Old 19-05-2012, 16:33   #8
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

How about dual helms where one is in the cockpit and the other is in the main cabin? With both wheels mounted on the same axle to keep it all simple?

Dual does not have to mean transverse separation between the two wheels. It can also mean longitudnal separation.

Works well on some boats.
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Old 19-05-2012, 16:39   #9
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

I'm pretty sure he ment both in the cockpit.....
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Old 19-05-2012, 17:26   #10
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

When the beam is too much to use a single wheel some designers go for twin stations.

Very convenient when racing and docking. I actually prefer driving from the lower side when the wind is light. Hard to say why, probably just a drag from my racing days.

b.
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Old 19-05-2012, 17:35   #11
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
The dual wheels came out of the racing world placing the helmsman on a better viewing position ...
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Old 19-05-2012, 17:42   #12
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

pilot house second wheel is a good thing for weather....
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Old 19-05-2012, 19:08   #13
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
I like the photo, but missed the message. Is it just to suggest that there are still racers with one wheel? Sure to be true! But wait! Where is the rudder? It can't be that thing that looks like a ladder. Maybe there are two wheels on this boat. At second look there appears to be a bit of a second wheel showing through the open view at the port quarter? So, what's the message that comes with the photo of this beauty. ....and what is this sleek design? ...and yes, where is the rudder?
Oh, I had to come back with another edit. There is a rudder! I see the thin aft edge lined up with the camera view!
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Old 19-05-2012, 19:30   #14
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
If you're not racing, the dual-wheel arrangement is hard to justify. Double the hardware, double the maintenance, double the trouble.

If you like, as I do, to sit on the rail downwind and steer so you can keep your eyes on the set of the jib and the slot between the jib and main, there are ways to do this with a medium sized boat with just one wheel.

Mine is such a vessel: 42' sloop with a generous but not outlandish beam of 13'. I have a large 48" wheel....bit enough to reach from either rail and hang onto while beating on upwind legs.


I remove it when in port, because the damned thing gets in your way moving around the cockpit, and I don't like folding wheels.

Here's a pic of the wheel while coming up the ICW on our way to DC from the Virgin Islands. Guy is at the wheel...or, at least, his toes are!
Care to expand on your first statement above?

Regarding the second part in bold, in my mind, you simply contradicted yourself here. First you tell me it is great because it is huge and can be reach from everywhere, but then you followed it by telling me it is so freaking big it gets on your way of moving around?

BTW, I don't have any interest invested in either design. Simply asking out of curiosity. Thanks for all the points. BTW, how often does one have issues with cables breaking on the wheel arrangement that one breaking is such a serious issue? I mean, in a 10-15 year old production boat like a beneteau, catalina, or jenneau.
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Old 19-05-2012, 22:47   #15
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Re: Single vs Dual Wheel. Pro vs Con?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
I like the photo, but missed the message. Is it just to suggest that there are still racers with one wheel? Sure to be true! But wait! Where is the rudder? It can't be that thing that looks like a ladder. Maybe there are two wheels on this boat. At second look there appears to be a bit of a second wheel showing through the open view at the port quarter? So, what's the message that comes with the photo of this beauty. ....and what is this sleek design? ...and yes, where is the rudder?
Oh, I had to come back with another edit. There is a rudder! I see the thin aft edge lined up with the camera view!
It's in reference to someone's earlier post associating two wheels with racing boats. Yes, there are two wheels. Only a small portion of the starboard one shows. There is a rudder, but it is pointed directly toward the camera and shows up as a thin white line.
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