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Old 08-18-2012
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Re: Steering Wheel Conversion Ideas

I have sailed on an O'Day 25'. There is no way I would recommend putting wheel steering on a boat like that.
If you find that the tiller gets in the way in the cockpit then change the tiller shape. Much cheaper, simpler and expedient. Choose a tiller shape that rises up ('S' shape, sort of) and will float above the knees of your guests in the cockpit.
To convert your boat to a wheel, with new parts will cost over $2K + labor. With used parts around $1K + labor. Then you'd have a steering mechanism that would give you no feedback, and is much more complicated (and prone to failure) then what you now have.
Your boat, your money, your choices.

My boat: Tartan 27' with tiller steering. The tiller can be raised once at anchor making the whole cockpit guest friendly. Not so with a wheel which usually takes up more room than a tiller in any case.
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