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post #10 of Old 08-15-2007
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I love tillers due to the tactile response, the mechanical simplicity and the fact you can steer with your arse crack while you trim the main or handle a sheet.

Add to that the ability to put it vertical at dock or anchor and to lay out a plank with drinks and snacks across the cockpit at the very place a pedestal and wheel would go, and you've got a winner. Also, if you trim the sails properly, you can rig self-steering on a tiller with a small clamp, a sheet and some shock amps, no problem.

I have two wheels and an OPTIONAL tiller on the new boat, and the tiller will have a real role in combination with the windvane and some line and small blocks offshore, as I can bypass the hydraulic steering of the wheel set-up.

I think the break point for me is about 35 feet, but I would suggest it depends on your size, your interest in riding the coaming with an extension instead of aft, and your provision for auto piloting.

Actually, the "system" I like the best is about extinct: a small wheel mounted "backwards" where the helmsman is forward of the pedestal/binnacle.

Like this, only smaller in most old boats:

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