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Old 18-03-2018, 11:55   #31
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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I e seen 3 44í Steel boats with BOTH tiller and wheel. 3 different center cockpit boats, two French and my English one. Iíve never steered with the tiller, in fact the original beautiful teak tiller was almost useless for a human to use. And it swept the back deck.

The purpose of the tiller in all three boats was to have an efficient connection point for the Servo pendulum wind vane. I have used the tiller for this purpose very successfully. I did replace the team tiller with a two part Steel unit. The first half is just long enough to provide the vane connection and it provides a socket for the second half, which now sweeps up so a human can actually handle it standing on the deck. So now Iíve got a lot of aft deck real estate back.
I have a 16 tonnes displacement, 42 foot steel pilothouse cutter with a transom-hung, skeg-supported rudder with a tiller head and two hydraulically served wheels. When under wind vane steering, I bypass the hydraulic steering and put on the tiller, which is seven feet long. Not a problem, and I have hand steered for a few hours to get a sense of the forces involved. The answer is, as is so often the case, "both"!
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Old 18-03-2018, 11:55   #32
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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...going astern can be tricky with a tiller....
Just don't straddle the Tiller then! Ouch!
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:16   #33
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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As I see it, this is only an inconvenience if racing on short tacks, with multiple Crew in the cockpit.
Actually many large racing boats are built with tiller steering for the advantages it offers, and of course crew positions are considered in the design. Agreed that racing a cruising boat can get crowded, but racing is not the design goal. I don't race my boat, but for short tacking three in the cockpit works great: one at the tiller, and one each to handle sheets on each side. If a fourth is present they would usually sit aft opposite the helmsman. I don't see it as a problem at all, but yes, it can be crowded.

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Old 18-03-2018, 12:23   #34
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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Just don't straddle the Tiller then! Ouch!
Funny… for some reason my spouse often helms like that. What does she know that we don’t .
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:28   #35
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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FunnyÖ for some reason my spouse often helms like that. What does she know that we donít .
Only need to try this once to learn a painful lesson. I learned when I was a teen, many years ago.

Going forward, not a problem.
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Old 18-03-2018, 12:55   #36
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

We have a tiller on a 42 foot sailboat that weighs in at 26,000 lbs. We had installed a new spade rudder and to get back sailing as quickly as possible we temporarily slapped in a tiller. The original plan was to sail out the summer sailing season with the tiller and then install some sort of wheel system in the fall. By the end of the summer the tiller won out for good. Simple, robust, and easy to steer. The feel is fantastic.
Since then we have put thousands of miles on that tiller. Love it.
Cheers,
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Old 18-03-2018, 13:55   #37
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
Just don't straddle the Tiller then! Ouch!
Actually straddling the tiller is one of the big pluses for me. With the tiller between my legs both hands are free to work the boat or one hand to hang on and the other around a cold beer. Especially helpful in tight quarter systems with one hand for the mainsheet and the other to work the throttle while steering with my legs.

Does take a bit of pre engineering to be sure the tiller isn't too high and result in a high pitched voice.
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Old 18-03-2018, 14:24   #38
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

My Cal-40 has ŗ tiller and I much prefer this simple and reliable system. Once my sails are set I engage my Monitor wind vane and it it works perfect. Matter fact the monitor steers the boat bettter them me. Most people would rather have a wheel to steer, itís intuitive because thatís how you drive your car. Just once glance at the tiller arm and I know the exact position of my rudder.
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Old 18-03-2018, 14:48   #39
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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Actually straddling the tiller is one of the big pluses for me. With the tiller between my legs both hands are free to work the boat or one hand to hang on and the other around a cold beer. Especially helpful in tight quarter systems with one hand for the mainsheet and the other to work the throttle while steering with my legs.

Does take a bit of pre engineering to be sure the tiller isn't too high and result in a high pitched voice.
Yes, I know that feeling, and have straddled when going forward. Reverse is different because if too much thrust, the rudder may swing quickly and the tiller wack the family jewels. .
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Old 18-03-2018, 15:03   #40
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

I built a tiller handle for my 36' ten ton steel bilge keeler with skeg hung rudder out of 2" SS with a hinge in the middle, I like it better then the wheel on my other boat.

Cheers

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Old 18-03-2018, 15:40   #41
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

https://youtu.be/lN59xRBQPqA

Around 3:50 this video shows the typical french solution of a telescopic tiller. It enables a smaller tiller for manuvering and light airs and a longer tiller for extra leverage and the ability to move forward in the cockpit to get under a dodger or reach winches and control lines. To me this seems like the ideal tiller setup.

A good tiller extension is also a huge plus, being able to sit up on the coaming to windward or to leeward or stand on the seats and see over a dodger is incredibly useful.
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Old 18-03-2018, 17:54   #42
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

I recall some years ago in an anchorage on one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia B.C. it was a beautiful summer day, lots of folk anchored there enjoying their weekend. Being the smallest sailboat, we were in back of the crowd. There was a 25 footer in front of us (neophyte sailors like ourselves) preparing to depart, but found they were trapped among rocks by a falling tide. Next thing a typical friendly but helpful fellow with a huge power boat directing the sailboat guy to attach a line to allow the powerboat to pull them clear and into deeper water. Instead of waiting to determine the best direction to extricate the sailboat, he proceeded to drag it over a number of submerged rocks.

What happened next must have been extremely painful for the woman sitting in the centre of the cockpit, about to grab the tiller to steer as instructed by the skipper but, before she could do so, the rudder contacted the submerged rocks in such a way that caused the tiller to be slammed over so fast, there was no opportunity for avoidance on the part of the woman, and it smashed her in the side of her head laying her out cold.

Many of us were shouting at the husband and the powerboat skipper to stop, but the noise of the engine muffled our voices. Even worse was when they finally reached deeper water, the sailboat guy came back to the cockpit and started shouting at his wife/girlfriend for laying around when she was supposed to be controlling the tiller.

It took a few if us to convince him the woman was seriously injured and required medical assistance.
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Old 19-03-2018, 09:59   #43
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

I think you sail faster with a tiller on autopilot, because you see immediately when it is off center. You trim the sails until it is dead midships, a fun task and a joy to behold.
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Old 19-03-2018, 14:52   #44
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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I think you sail faster with a tiller on autopilot, because you see immediately when it is off center. You trim the sails until it is dead midships, a fun task and a joy to behold.
I'm not anti tiller (our boat has both tiller and wheel), but this is a specious argument. If you mark the wheel at the mid point (a Turks head on the king spoke is traditional) it is just as easy to see when the helm is centered as with a tiller. Works for us!

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Old 19-03-2018, 18:40   #45
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Re: Tiller on a big boat?

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I'm not anti tiller (our boat has both tiller and wheel), but this is a specious argument. If you mark the wheel at the mid point (a Turks head on the king spoke is traditional) it is just as easy to see when the helm is centered as with a tiller. Works for us!

Jim
Of course you can. By walking aroud the wheel and squinting at your mark every time you make a trim change and then regularly after that. It's easier with the tiller and therefore more likely. I resent "specious", after 40 years of single handled sailing.
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