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post #8 of Old 08-26-2013
MikeOReilly
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Re: Wheel Helm vs. Tiller

My previous boat was a moderate displacement 34' ketch with an Edson wheel. Worked fine, no complaints. My current boat is a heavy displacement 37' cutter with a tiller. Works great, absolutely love it.

The greatest benefit (other than those already mentioned regarding simplicity, feel, space, etc.) is that the tiller ensures my sail plan remains well balanced. Sometimes -- OK too often -- I would get lazy with the wheel. Heck, I'm a cruiser after all . The greater mechanical advantage of the wheel allowed a greater laziness.

With the tiller, when things go out of balance I feel it right away. The reduced mechanical advantage means I cannot rely on gears and pulleys to compensate for my lazy sailing. I am more inspired to rebalance the boat quicker. This has made me a better sailor.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
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