Tiller vs. wheel - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 35 Old 08-15-2007 Thread Starter
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I never thought about steering with my "arse". That wins me over! I'm sure I will get comfortable with the tiller. I've always had a wheel on bigger boats so the tiller just seems backwards, but the J100(just under 33 ft) I'm looking at will surely work out fine.
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post #12 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadkkd View Post
I never thought about steering with my "arse". That wins me over! I'm sure I will get comfortable with the tiller.
Not sure about this one. What you do with your tiller is your business. Just don't hurt yourself.
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post #13 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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My $0.02

Tillers are typically on smaller boats and wheels on larger boats. In some cases race boats opt with a tiller in the larger boats as well until the boat reaches a size where the forces on the tiller are too great and the gearing of a wheel is preferable (I suppose gearing on a tiller is also possible but have not seen it).

Daysailor implies small boat. Small boats typically have tillers so I would stick with that.

To me the breakpoint where a wheel actually works is between 27 and 35 feet. I have seen a very few 27 footers where the wheel works but ostly these boats should have a tilelr and the wheel is a contrived device to make the boat seem more like a bigger boat to a would be buyer. In the smaller boats the pressures do not make the wheel necessary over a tiller and a wheel usually takes up a lot of the cockpit space making it difficult for the helsman to get forward of the wheel without walking on the seats in the cockpit. Also the teeny wheels on 26/27 foot boats look a bit silly and are not as responsive as the bigger wheels.

IMO if I were to sail a boat with a wheel I would want a big wheel that when sailing upwind would be sailed by holding one of the spokes and watching the sails. A small wheel would make sitting on the low side watching your headsail a bit difficult whereas a tiller with an extension or a larger wheel make this a very pleasurable experience.

OTOH the Americas Cup boats are day sailors and they have two wheels!

Mike
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post #14 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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We have all probably done it, but when you try to streer a compass course looking down at the compass facing the stern and using the wheel in reverse. Now that messes with your mind.

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post #15 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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"What you do with your tiller is your business. Just don't hurt yourself."
...or the hamster! (g)

Actually...I like a tiller in a small boat. Rather than an auto-pilot, I used to use the Davis Tiller Tamer to give myself a break or to hold a course while adjusting the sheets...instead of my butt!
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post #16 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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Agree with others

A tiller will give more of a "feel" of the boat, while a wheel will free up a little more room in the cockpit.

If you do daysailing in a smaller boat (22 to 32 ft) a lot and do so with friends and not just yourself and possibly another (spouse, SO, etc.) then cockpit room will be come important and the tiller maybe a PITA. Remember, you really can't sit behind the till to use it effectively.

If you just daysail with yourself (solo) or with one or two others, the cockpit room is less of an issue. The other nice thing about a tiller it is simpler and less complex than the wheel steering mechanism. Even if the tiller handle breaks, a pole (boat hook, paddle,or similar) can be rigged to give you control again.

The wheel is nice in that it frees up some space in the cockpit and is "easier" to use for the "non-sailor". My wife has yet to grasp the tiller concept, but has no problem at the helm of our wheel-steered boat. When guests come aboard who are not experienced and take the helm, it is much like driving a car for them. I turn the wheel in the direction I want to turn.

I learned to sail on a tiller boat, so I am comfortable with that. Although I find that sometimes I have tiller-itus on our Wheel-steered boat when I sailing from the leeward side of the boat. I occasionally pull the wheel towards me when I want the boat to turn away from me.

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post #17 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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Another thing I love about tillers - you can always tell exactly where the rudder is pointed - right away. You don't have to turn a wheel all the way until it stops, and then bring it back to figure out where it's centered. Yes, you can add a rudder position indicator (for a lot of money) to your wheel steered vessel.

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post #18 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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In addition to your arse, you can use yur knee, foot, hip, forehead (thats an emergency procdure reserved for when you have dropped a full beer in the cockpit, don't try it till you've had some practice) and elbow. These techniques are somewhat more difficult with a wheel (especially the forehead bit, which can result in serious rash or even death if you get caught in the spokes). Go tiller!
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post #19 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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When I was a kid, we had a little trimaran (scale model of a bigger boat) that had a wheel mounted flat on the deck to one side of the cockpit. It had a fair amount of friction on it so it was pretty much always "tamed". I had a heck of a time the first time I sailed with a tiller because I was used to being abel to let go and deal wth other things all the time and would do that without thinking.
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post #20 of 35 Old 08-15-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by labatt View Post
Yes, you can add a rudder position indicator (for a lot of money) to your wheel steered vessel.
I simply used a piece of White Electrical tape to show dead ahead.
The white tape doesn't look too bad on the black leather wheel.

Also, our Auto pilot indicates rudder angle.
But it is a lot harder to read.

I do want to replace the tape with a turk's head.
Hey dog, can you come to Michigan and tie a Turk's head on my helm.

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If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most - E.B. White
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