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post #14 of Old 11-04-2004
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Tiller vs. Wheel

Del & the group:

"The nice thing about a wheel is everything can be mounted right there. ie. Compass, motor controls, etc.... With the tiller everything is scattered all around the edges of the aft cockpit"

We''ve had the good fortune to see a LOT of N European sailboats now. In the 8-12M range, I find it interesting (and instructive) how three basic design features have become default standards, among many different types of manufacturers. They each are very fucntional:

1. The ''standard'' Euro layout: quarter cabin opposite aft head (which can be more easily used underway), forward facing chart table opposite ''L'' galley, and opposing settees with center table, then V-berth forward.
2. Fractional sloop rigs
3. Tiller-steering in the cockpits with instrument clusters having a home in their own pod, on the centerline and above the companionway. The only exception to this might be an autopilot control unit, since reaching for a button on it makes such a location somewhat awkward. Otherwise, large digital displays make this location quite functional. It eliminates the obstruction they can be when on a pedestal, and the displays are viewable from anywhere in the cockpit (even when cowering behind the dodger!) rather than being viewed only when at the aft end of the cockpit.

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