Tiller vs. Wheel
I have a 40''IOR design with a tiller. The advantages I have are:
(1) I can turn her on a dime when in tight spots, like in an unfamilier marina.
(2) Most of the time I don''t need the auto pilot. I''ve set up adjustable bungee''s so when she''s on a reach or closehauled I adjust''m up until she sails herself.
(3) I can lift up the tiller when in port or on the hook and have more space in the cockpit.
(4) Less worries about maintenance.
(5) Auto pilot takes less energy.
(6) I can feel the weather helm better and make adjustments. Which makes it sail more efficently.
(1)When backing you can get pinned between the tiller and bulwark. (Don''t ask!)
(2) The Second Mate gets confused when under stress. (Don''t ask!)
(3) When at anchor in rough weather you have to make sure to secure the tiller or it''ll bang back and forth.
(4) Not just anybody can steer the boat.(high points on this one)
One disadvantage to the wheel for me is you can only turn as sharp as the wheel locks allow.
And you have to usually have to go up and around to get in the cockswains seat.