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post #6 of Old 06-13-2012
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Re: Crealock 37 Wheel to Tiller Conversion

Dear Marc,

We also made this conversion and LOVE it! It was a bit of work and futzing but not a difficult conversion.

Removing the pedestal and all that stuff was quite easy. We wanted to make easy for a future owner to convert back so we "covered" the bolt holes with bronze carriage bolts with the heads filed in a decorative compass rose pattern. We covered the hole for the cables with a top view of the PSC 37 hull with a single decorated carriage bold holding it in place. (see picture which is not very good).

For the engine controls we went with a single lever control on the starboard side of the cockpit footwell. While we occasionally bump into it (increasing or decreasing engine RPMs, there have been no problems with this location. And docking or picking up a mooring is not too bad especially if those are happening on the starboard side.

We moved the compass and Chartplotter up onto the companionway hatch. This is GREAT because you can slide the GPS up close or further away depending on which crewmember (with which eyesight and/or glasses) is trying to figure out where we are!

For the tiller and hardware we used a standard skeg bushing on the top end (replacing the round cover plate) like this SKEG BEARING 1.25" BRZ 145096. We then used standard 1 1/2" tiller hardware from Spartan Marine (Spartan Marine Hardware Catalog) (no association with either company). Then came the fun which was to have a machine shop manufacture a rudder post extension which was solid at the top (to fit into the tiller cap) and then hollow (to save weight) to fit down inside the existing rudder post. This went all the way down about 1" past the bolt holding on the quadrant and was notched to fit over that bolt and drilled for the higher bolt for the emergency tiller. Thus the new rudder post extension was about 18" long and fastened with two through bolts to the existing rudder post. Hard to explain but obvious when you look at it. BUT on our boat those bolts were no where near centered in the rudder post so had to be marked in place, taken back to the machine shop, and drilled with great creativity.

The tiller itself was the easy part! I used some local ash and can send dimensions if that would be helpful. We then installed a tiller extension, again of ash and really like having the choices it gives us of where to sit or stand).

Sorry for the long post. It was a big job but one of the better things we did.


SV Kenlanu, Buck's Harbor, ME

P.S. To complete the job I glassed in the nuts holding the cockpit sole in place so I could remove the bolts from above (no more locker crawling). I then used Stainless Steel Button Head bolts, cut off an allan wrench to fit in my drill, and can now do a NASCAR-style cockpit sole removal! Wonderful.
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