Join Date: Aug 2000
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retrofit, tiller --> wheel
I had tillers for a long time and finally we have a C&C 35-1 which has a wheel. I really don''t like to steer and find the wheel far superior. We had autopilots on all the boats and used them 99% of the time.
You should step back and look at the Peterson 34 from the aspect of a boat that will mature with you. While it is suitable for racing will it be so if you decide to cruise in terms of draft and comfort.
The next consideration is what the wheel will do to the cockpit in terms of the traveller. I would not be concerned about the weight of the wheel or the weight of the helmsman. This is a 34'' boat not a dingy.
So if the boat fit''s all of your needs present and future then yes get a wheel. If not then look for another boat with one.
I like boats that have a real good PHRF and your Peterson does. This and the 34'' length are a real good start as far as I am concered.
Another alternative is to get a tiller pilot if you don''t already have one. This is why I put up with the tiller so long. I never used the tiller except in the harbor.
A wheel and a autopilot. That''s the best.