Re: Tiller conversion to wheel
In defense of a wheel....
Made the conversion in my 33 ft schooner with a $35 Ross steering gear recycled from a truck. It is connected to the top of the rudder post with a simple 3-jaw coupling. This was done about 45 years ago and so far it seems to be working OK. The wheel allows for many different seating or standing options, the best of which is reclining against the lee side lifelines. I gained cockpit space and installed a binnacle in it's proper place.... previously the no man's land occupied by the tiller's sweep.
Ross worm gears are almost maintenance-free. Pack in some grease and that's all there is to it. The full range is about 45 degrees to either side with a total of 6-3/4 turns. The only maintenance required is occasional replacement of the elastomer in the coupling. My rudder post is vertical and the gear is mounted atop the after deck.
Never sail closer to the wind in degrees than your age
Last edited by FishSticks; 07-01-2012 at 09:13 AM.