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Old 16-11-2023, 08:54   #16
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

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Originally Posted by Knotical View Post
With 2 wheels, you must likely be standing on the windward wheel while going upwind and your working Genoa sheet on the leeward winch, right? If yes, are you still able to access the sheet? If yes then 2 wheels are not required.

Honestly, if you have a functioning autopilot then single handling is possible regardless of what system you have.
I don't understand the statement that 2 wheels are not required. I can get to both winches easily. Yes, an autopilot makes many things easier. Maybe a pic will help all understand my position:
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Old 16-11-2023, 09:24   #17
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

If you are solo for anything other than day sailing your boat is going to spend 99.9% of its time under autopilot. So the whole discussion is just a tempest in a teapot.

In most cases, two wheels is a pretty goofy idea that is simply copied from the racing fleet and is pretty worthless for a long distance cruising boat. It's all marketing.

The comment that a "wheel is for standing and a tiller is for sitting" is just plain wrong as a generalization.

For a small boat, wheels are frequently fitted as a style statement, and not adding any functionality over a tiller or a single wheel. For me, an ocean going cruising boat will have a skeg hung rudder, always. That essentially eliminates the use of a tiller for anything except pretty small boats.

In most cases for larger boats, it is far easier to fix a robust autopilot to a wheel system than a tiller.

A tiller is (almost) always limited to being located right over the rudderpost. In most boats this puts the helmsman exposed and out in the weather. Again, fine for a daysail, totally sucks for an ocean crossing. Wheels can be tucked up into protected places on the boat, but for some reason most boat builders think we all want to stand on the back of the boat in the weather like the photos of the ocean racers.
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Old 16-11-2023, 11:36   #18
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

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Originally Posted by Dr. D View Post
I don't understand the statement that 2 wheels are not required. I can get to both winches easily. Yes, an autopilot makes many things easier. Maybe a pic will help all understand my position:
That statement was there as a condition, as in - if you are able to access the leeward winch from the windward wheel then 2 wheels are not required.

Looking at your wide cockpit I cannot imagine you to be able to reach the opposite side winch while helming manually, so soloing is not possible unless you have an autopilot as I mentioned earlier.
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Old 16-11-2023, 13:53   #19
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

When I tack or gybe I donít use the autopilot. Tacking:

Turn the wheel.
As the bow heads into wind release the working sheet.
Take two steps.
Haul in the new working sheet.
Center the wheel.

Works for me.
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Old 16-11-2023, 14:16   #20
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

Going back to your original query, it seems you have it worked out fine for solo. My only concerns would be the complication of two wheels and rudders and potential fragility or being targeted by Orcas. But I wouldn’t be too concerned about it if you are keeping a close eye on them. Have an emergency rudder system ready though. As for sailing I always prefer sitting on the leeward side anyway in a variety of poses that don’t lead to chiropractic needs, and you’ve probably worked that out too. I personally don’t put a lot of faith in autopilots, I’d work on a backup if possible if you are planning to go farther afield.
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Old 16-11-2023, 16:47   #21
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Except on boats less than 30', where wheels are just silly, these discussions usually devolve into "boxers vs. briefs." I've had both, and other things matter more. Either way, you will have an autopilot.
Definitely briefs.

As it was asked for I'd just add my two cents worth. I'd agree with ChrisR, an earlier poster that technology is moving very fast.
For those interested here's a link to the free edition of Andrew Evans book: https://www.sfbaysss.org/resource/do...rdEdition2.pdf

Mr Evans has a number of great ideas and it's a good read, but every sailor will find some that they don't agree with.

In respect to the Oceanis 35 it is what it is. Wide hull and dual wheels. That can't be changed and if members prefer tillers or single wheels/rudders then these would be boat adverts they'd scroll past.

There's an interesting review for those interested here at Yachting Monthly: https://www.yachtingmonthly.com/revi...anis-35-review

It was intrigued by this unflattering comment in the section entitled At the helm of the Beneteau Oceanis 35: With twin rudders, she heeds the call of the helm instantly, but unfortunately the feel on the helm of our test boat was very poor: like helming through gelatinous custard.

For myself, on a boat this size, it strikes me as a whole heap of extras that could cost me money. Dual anything means twice or thrice the price. And I guess having the wheels hooked up independently would also mean two autopilots, nav instruments etc? It also means a great deal of real estate is taken up in the dual pilot stations.

In looking at the photo of the boat I just see 'wet and cold'. Obviously you can put in a big bimini or something (more cost) but she seems an around the bay day sailor on a nice sunny day rather than a passage maker in all weathers. And the wind can be relentless, especially after a couple of greenies splash over you. There is just no where to hide from the weather without significant enhancement.
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Old 16-11-2023, 16:54   #22
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

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Originally Posted by SailingHarmonie View Post
If you are solo for anything other than day sailing your boat is going to spend 99.9% of its time under autopilot. So the whole discussion is just a tempest in a teapot.

In most cases, two wheels is a pretty goofy idea that is simply copied from the racing fleet and is pretty worthless for a long distance cruising boat. It's all marketing.

The comment that a "wheel is for standing and a tiller is for sitting" is just plain wrong as a generalization.

For a small boat, wheels are frequently fitted as a style statement, and not adding any functionality over a tiller or a single wheel. For me, an ocean going cruising boat will have a skeg hung rudder, always. That essentially eliminates the use of a tiller for anything except pretty small boats.

In most cases for larger boats, it is far easier to fix a robust autopilot to a wheel system than a tiller.

A tiller is (almost) always limited to being located right over the rudderpost. In most boats this puts the helmsman exposed and out in the weather. Again, fine for a daysail, totally sucks for an ocean crossing. Wheels can be tucked up into protected places on the boat, but for some reason most boat builders think we all want to stand on the back of the boat in the weather like the photos of the ocean racers.
Where do you come up with such nonsense?

No one ocean crossing or large bay crossing is going to be steering the boat out in the weather with a tiller.

We are either on electrical autopilot, wind vane, or both. (periodically)

The 2022 Golden Globe boats all had tillers as far as I remember and I don't believe any of the skippers were out in the weather for prolonged periods as they circumnavigated the globe.

It's actually the guys on the wheel helms that get stuck out in the weather the most as they have to be at the wheel to control their boats.

Many of the boat in the GGR as well as my boat all with tiller have full or long keels so the autopilot can usually deal with it while the skipper sits in the protection of the dodger and observes

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Old 16-11-2023, 18:45   #23
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

I know the mantra is that tillers are best for sailors but I find going downwind easier with a wheel. Surfing through a bar or just going downwind in swell gets tiring with a tiller, the pushing hard every big wave gets hard after a while. I reckon I am much better steering a wheel in waves. You go downwind a lot more than uphill so it is reasonable to focus more on a steering system better orientated towards downwind. And as others have pointed out, a cruiser is usually under autopilot
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Old 20-11-2023, 09:18   #24
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

I love tillers for many reasons. You feel the boat while wheels you donít. Tillers are also much more reliable as you have no quadrant or wire to maintain.

Boats with tillers usually stop around 32í. There are boats larger that have been specifically designed for tillers. The rudders are designed to be balanced which means the rudder shaft is more to the center then to the leading edge of the rudder.
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Old 20-11-2023, 10:44   #25
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

I've tried all three (tiller, wheel, dual wheel) - they are all just fine and it's a mater of preference. It also has an emergency tiller steering that is a direct connection from the handle to the rudder. You get used to and enjoy using any one of them. Each has some minor benefits and downsides, but all are really nit-pick preferences.

One item to remember is that most boats with dual wheels these days are also dual rudder. When heeling, one of them remains fully submerged and in a vertical position in relation to the water. An advantage when heeling and going fast, but not as efficient when in calm water and moving slowly.

Any of them is fine and yes - you are likely to use autopilot or wind vane when on long passages.
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Old 20-11-2023, 13:19   #26
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

Most folks today prefer a wheel because itís simply more intuitive due to all the time spent driving their cars. However a tiller is much more responsive, reliable and easy to repair then most wheel steering systems.
I prefer a tiller for these very reasons plus a few more. On my Cal-40 my auto pilot is a Monitor wind vane and it preforms best with a tiller, I never have to guess the position of my rudder as the just a quick glance at the tiller tells me and when at anchor my tiller lifts up out of the way leaving an uncluttered cockpit free of anything. I sail almost exclusively solo and my wind vane is steering 95% of the time. I trust a tiller and love its simplicity plus I think it gives any sailboat a cool salty look.
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Old 20-11-2023, 15:06   #27
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

^^^^
When you have a wheel, and cables, you can put a turks head knot at top dead center. Works a charm for noticing at a glance how much helm you have on....or look at the rudder angle indicator gauge.

As a small person, I have found beam reaching with a tiller steered boat can be physically tiring, less so, with a wheel.

Ann
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Old 20-11-2023, 16:30   #28
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
^^^^
When you have a wheel, and cables, you can put a turks head knot at top dead center. Works a charm for noticing at a glance how much helm you have on....or look at the rudder angle indicator gauge.

As a small person, I have found beam reaching with a tiller steered boat can be physically tiring, less so, with a wheel.

Ann
agree with you ann, although one of the few disadvantages of hydraulic steering is that you do not get a centre position on the wheel...so the ole turks head (or similar) at top dead centre idea will not work

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Old 21-11-2023, 09:37   #29
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

if you have a good autopilot - wheel or tiller doesn't make much diffrence except its generaly easier to use an autopilot with a wheel?
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Old 21-11-2023, 11:55   #30
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Re: Solo: Tiller vs Two Wheels

I am a bit surprised at the negative impressions of tillers. Granted there are boats that are designed with wheels in mind and this boat in particular has no provision for one tiller (I presume.) But there are some big boats with tillers that do very well. Granted they are mostly racing boats but still, tillers give you lots of options and fewer things to go wrong. My own boat is quite small but I can set the tiller with bungees, with the tiller extension (another virtue not mentioned,) and I can lift the tiller out of the way when needed, I can sit forward to stay out of the spray, I can rig sheet-to-tiller steering if I want, the Tiller Pilot is easily dealt with and reliable (so far,) etc. Maybe I'm paranoid but I just don't trust more complicated systems or autopilots too much. Sure they can work fine for many years, but I still look upon them with a jaundiced eye. If something goes wrong at 3 am it is either something electronic or with more than one moving part. Well, I take that back... even simple things go wrong at 3am.
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