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post #6 of Old 05-14-2003
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: SE Massachusetts
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Tiller to wheel conversion costs?

There are trade offs for sure with wheel steering but room in the cockpit isn''t one of them. Usually having a wheel on a smaller boat opens up the aft portion of the cockpit that used to be sacrificed by the swing of the tiller. Just make sure that you aren''t getting bonked in the head by the traveller or backstay when you are standing where the pedestal wants to be. On my tiller steered boat, I have to ask my passengers to sit forward of the tiller so I won''t whack them every time we tack. Having a pedestal also gives you additional areas to mount items like cockpit tables and navigation aids close to the helmsman. I agree that wheel steering isn''t a cure for excess weather helm and that balancing the sailplan will do more to make your boat steer comfortably than any sort of steering mechanism. Wheel steering may make your wife happier though and if she is happy, the money spent to convert the boat will be very well invested.
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