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post #8 of Old 09-10-2008
JohnRPollard's Avatar
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Our previous boat was tiller steered. I prefer the feel when sailing of a tiller. But it gobbles up a lot of space in the cockpit, especially when it has to sweep across for tacks and jibes. If you sail with a family or several crew in the cockpit with you, the tiller can really be a hassle, making boat handling difficult.

Our current boat could be tiller or wheel equipped at the factory. I'm glad ours came with a wheel. It is much easier to "work" the boat without having to maneuver around family members in the cockpit as we used to have to do with the tiller. A T-shaped cockpit foot well makes it easier to move around the wheel and binnacle. All sheets are within easy reach.

Yes, we cannot flip the wheel up and out of the way at anchor as we did the tiller, but I would not trade that convenience for the other features that a binnacle allows: throttle and transmission controls, cockpit table, binocular and cup holders, hand hold/bracing, compass mount, 12V outlets, nav instruments, etc etc. If the wheel really bothers you at anchor, you can get a quick release hub nut and remove it.

If you like to hike out or sit to leeward (like me) while driving, you can even fit a tiller extension to your wheel that will allow you to do this.

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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

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