Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Western Connecticut, USA
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Re: Interesting Sailboats
Personally find best "feel" is with a tiller, second with single wheel as moving less hardware. Given unless you are doing round the buoy races 95% or greater of the time boat is on AP if cruising so this is not a big issue for many sailors. Similarly given the no moving parts reliability of a tiller for voyagers a tiller may make great sense. With a tiller you can just tilt it up so the whole cockpit is clear when at anchor. Think it a shame fewer and fewer boats are offered with option of 1 wheel or two or tiller.
Agree with the preference for tiller steering, and we are not alone. Almost all the IMOCA 60's feature tiller steering - sometimes twin tillers on either side of the cockpit, sometimes two tillers terminating at a single point in the middle of the rear of the cockpit. The Sunfast 3200 features the twin tiller set-up, as well. For me, it is the best of both worlds - opens the rear of the boat, for easy access to the transom, but preserves the feel of tiller steering, particularly upwind.
Having said that, I've driven boats with big single wheels and double wheels, and prefer double wheels, particularly for buoy racing.
We deal in lead, friend.