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post #21 of Old 11-01-2010
with Robin Lee dreams
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Dumping Wheel for Tiller - Am I nuts?

I have a Caliber 28. A tight t-shaped cockpit with a bridgedeck, wheel and pedestal. I sail alone 90% of the time, but feel out of control behind the wheel. I can sit on the coaming, wheel in hand, between tacks, but it's the tacks and jibes that worry me. I can reach the genoa winches, have to bound up on the seats to go forward or return aft, and still feel out of touch with cabin-mounted halyards/reef lines/mainsheet.

Grew up on Highlanders / 420s / Flying Scots / catboats, here in Boston. Would prefer to trim mainsheet at a traveler just aft of bridgedeck. Would prefer to jibe the mainsail facing the traveler, with the tiller between my legs. I think I'd feel more in control than I do now and, again, I usually sail solo.

Refitting this winter, finally sailing south in the spring or summer. Have all the dimensions, have worked out the drawings, but still questioning my wisdom (about cockpit changes!).

The great replies in this tiller-vs-wheel thread have helped me to consider many additional POVs. For instance, I hadn't considered your observations on motoring -- and my rudder isn't balanced. One answer: I'd carry two tillerpilots, bungees and would reallty like a windvane.

Still, I'd appreciate anything you have to say...
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