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post #5 of Old 04-22-2012
s/v Pelagic
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Re: Crealock 37 Wheel to Tiller Conversion

We converted our C37 Yawl to tiller about 10 years ago before leaving for Mexico. You'll find several previous threads if you search this site for "tiller conversion." We purchased all the necessary hardware from Robin when Pacific Seacraft was in Fullerton. I suspect Thumper at the new company can help you as well.

My main concern was safety as getting to the steering cables for emergency repairs at sea is difficult to impossible. A side benefit is full access to the engine and shaft log for maintenance. The Monitor has an easy time steering the tiller and with a simple tiller pilot to the Monitor we don't hand steer much.

If I had to do it again I'd probably go with a gear drive wheel (like the Whitlock) and split the cockpit sole for access (the older c37's have a one piece sole). The Admiral has never forgiven me for taking away the cockpit table, Globemaster compass, cluttering up the cockpit with lines from the Monitor and making it harder for her to hand steer. It's nice to swing the tiller up and have the whole cockpit to lounge in but she'd rather have the wheel back.

A structural issue for tillers on the older C37's is the upper rudder bearing. On ours it was a fiberglass tube glassed-in under the emergency tiller deck plate. I cut this out and glassed in the Orkot bearing Robin sold us. This is a spiral-wound, graphite impregnated cylinder with good structural and bearing qualities to take the side loads of tiller steering. Google: Orkot Bearings.

You'll also need to extend the rudder stock for the tiller head. I have a sketch of what we had made if you need it.

Spinlock makes a single lever engine control that you can fit in the cockpit well and the Ritchie BN202 bulkhead compass is an adequate replacement for the Globemaster.

If you want more info email me at jnewcomer0613 at


Last edited by Faster; 04-22-2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: broke mailto link (anti spam measure)
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