As long as the rudder post (where the emergency tiller attachs) sticks up the same amount as on the original tiller-steered version (and I can't think of why anyone would shorten it on a Catalina 27) you should be golden. Just buy a OEM tiller and tiller post head, and take out the wheel and as much associated gear as you you need to. Everything above the deck should be removed, and under the deck, with the exception of the steering cables, you can probably just leave the equipment specific to the wheel steering in place (unless you sell the wheel steering stuff on eBay/Craig's list, in which case you will probably want to include everything specific to the wheel steering). You will need to seal up the hole under where the pedestal is/was, but that can be accomplished by installing a heavy-duty access plate (rather than dealing with a fiberglass repair job).
Personally, think you are making the right choice. I can't imagine why anyone would prefer a wheel to a tiller in that small a boat, or more generally in anything smaller than about 35 feet (depending on the design).
Never forget them. Do something to prevent it from happening again.
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Last edited by SlowButSteady; 07-24-2011 at 01:23 PM.