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SurfingSS 01-19-2009 02:49 PM

Converting tiller to wheel steering?!
I found a very nice Islander 36 for sale with a very reasonable price tag. It was well maintained and has all the goodies (rador, water maker, freezer unit, windless...). Here's the catch, it's tiller and I really would like wheel steering with the autopilot and the GPS at the pedestal. How hard is it to convert a tiller to a wheel?! What is the cost? Bottom line, is it worth it?

funsailthekeys 01-19-2009 02:52 PM

Edson makes several conversion kits. Look to see which one best suites your needs.

Rockter 01-19-2009 03:18 PM

It certainly is expensive, far more complex, more difficult to maintain, and more difficult to fit an autopilot.
I would leave it as it is.

PBzeer 01-19-2009 03:21 PM

Rough estimate (your time and labor) with all the goodies you want, about $5k.

WouldaShoulda 01-19-2009 04:06 PM

Even I think a 36ft boat should have a wheel on it!!

Is it worth it??

No, I'd go to the next boat.

bljones 01-19-2009 05:07 PM

Price it out- the parts list is at the bottom of the page.

GaryHLucas 01-19-2009 09:21 PM

I can't for the life of me figure out the attraction to a wheel. I sailed a Cape Dory 30 with a wheel overnight to Block Island. Still can't see why anyone would want a wheel. A tiller just tells you so much about a what the boat is doing, and it folds up out of the way in port. I guess it looks yachty!

sailingdog 01-19-2009 09:52 PM

IF you want a boat with wheel steering, buy one that has a wheel. If you like this Islander... get the Islander. :) A tiller-equipped boat can be used with an autopilot as well as have a GPS where you can see it at the helm.

jbondy 01-20-2009 10:58 AM

Spend the money on a good below deck autopilot and appreciate the roominess in the cockpit when on the hook. FWIW If I had it to do all over, I'd look for a wheel-less boat.

SurfingSS 01-20-2009 01:16 PM

One thing to add to the equation!
So from what I hear, half of you love sterring with a tiller and the other half do not think it is worth the time and money!?

Well, to the first half, I like a wheel on a boat that size and I promise you it has nothing to do with being "'yauhty".

As for the second half of you, I think I left something out of the equation, the cost of the boat. I can get the boat for $10K less that other Islander 36 in the same comdition and will a less impressive list of specs. If I can convert to wheel steering for a weekend of labor and $5K,.... it may to very well worth it.

Thanks for all your input!

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