Join Date: Dec 2003
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Tiller vs. Wheel
My opinion...I''ve never sailed a wheel that had the feedback a tiller does...no matter what the system. Tillers give more cockpit space and are simplier to maintain. Overall I feel wheels are good for motoring and tillers for sailing. I think balanced rudder designs are difficult to incorporate into hull designs so the mechanical advantages of wheels are the reason we see so many. I think wheels are given more status by the yacht club crowd too.
My biggest wheel boat was 42''x 18k lbs while the biggest tiller boat was 42''x 24k lbs. I once sailed on a 52'' schooner with outboard rudder and 9'' tiller. The crew had to clear the deck (no footwell) every time we tacked. The boat owner always complained about the tiller and he had shortened it at 9''!
Tiller are my first choice but wheels don''t keep me from buying. Fins and skegs do that.