Our traveler project ended as an “almost complete” success. As you may recall, our post-installation check ride ended with an unresolved problem: the lower mainsheet block was banging into the steering pedestal. Actually, this was really just one symptom of the larger problem: the fact that the Pearson 10M wasn’t designed for wheel steering.
Like many boats of this era, the pedestal and wheel were added well after the design was complete. The result was a cockpit designed for a tiller with a pedestal shoehorned into place. In our case, the pedestal had been installed at the forward end of the cockpit.
While this had the advantage of placing the helm close to the traveler and winches, it was a little too close making it a major hassle to work the traveler controls around the helm. The pedestal and wheel also blocked access to the cockpit from the companionway and ate up a significant amount of the cockpit space when the boat was tied up. To add insult to injury, the cockpit design limited the size of the wheel so you couldn’t sit on the coaming and steer—the wheel was too small to reach. In short, this installation was not one of the better ones.