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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 03-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capttb View Post
If you think you can helm better with a tiller than a wheel it's a poor workman who blames his tools.
I have sailed both, and imo a tiller is better. To say that a fixed wheel transmits water flow feel over the keel the same as a tiller does is totally untrue.

Last edited by chrisncate; 03-23-2011 at 11:17 PM.
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  #22  
Old 03-24-2011
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Quote:
I have sailed both, and imo a tiller is better.
Well, you must be right, can't argue with experience.
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  #23  
Old 03-24-2011
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The feed-back in a wheel steering compared to a tiller steering is all about rear ratio, wheel diameter and tiller length.
With a gear ratio 1:1 (quadrant dia same as primary wheel on wheel-shaft) and wheel radius same as tiller length, the feed-back and steering force will be the same, friction in system not included. However as most pedestals have a 'gear ratio' around 2:1, both steering force as well as feed back will be reduced.
In light to moderate winds and a keel-hung rudder a tiller might in many cases be preferred, but that again might depend on cockpit design/width.
A wide cockpit and you might need a tiller extension which again in heavy winds when really needed, might be too heavy with an un-balanced rudder.
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Old 03-24-2011
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I just love the Wheel. I know all the reasons why a tiller is better. Regardless, its hard to look like a salty seadog as you motor out of the marina with the landlubbers looking at you with a dinky little tiller in your hand.
Now a big wheel! THAT makes you feel like a pirate!
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  #25  
Old 03-24-2011
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For racing I'm happy with either.. as long as the helm forces are manageable with a tiller.

When cruising, however, I find that a tiller takes up cockpit space that often is in conflict with guests/passengers during tacks and maneouvers. I also feel a wheel gives the helmsperson more viable options in the way of seating positions and sight lines during a longish passage (you can try to avoid the tiller-induced 'crick in the neck' during a long single tack fetch)

On a mooring it's nice to be able to flip up a tiller and have an entirely open cockpit. Today's folding wheels help here, as does simply removing the wheel during happy hour - though of course the binnacle (and nowadays the bulky nav pod/plotter housing etc) will still be there.

The "Ego wheels" big enough to require a deck trough are 'cool' as mentioned above, but they do have a practical purpose - they get the helmsman well outboard for good sightlines and visibility around dodgers etc. Today's twin wheels do the same thing at the cost of complexity.

Seeing a pedestal with a 16 or 20" wheel that can't be reached when sitting on a coaming is just silly.... (as always, JMO...)
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Old 03-24-2011
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3 pages.. and the OP hasn't even checked in LOL
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Old 03-24-2011
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I ditched the Wheel

I ditched my wheel this past Monday. Didn't mean to, but my steering cable parted. Resulted in a very exciting outing. I'm going back to the wheel just as soon as the replacement cable arrives.
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Old 03-24-2011
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Having sailed both (but mainly tiller) I find a tiller provides more feedback but a wheel is more practical for cruising. I have far more fun sailing a tiller than a wheel. I have noticed tiller autopilots tend to have significant problems maintaining course in rough chop and use a lot of power under these conditions. For 33 and under a tiller is probably the best way to go unless you are frequently in rough seas.
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  #29  
Old 03-24-2011
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CaptTB,

My basic argument was that in boats under 35' I think there is solid argument for a tiller. Would I convert a wheel back to tiller ? Probably not unless the steering gear was beyond redemption for some reason.

As for why most new boats have wheels ? By golly , fashion might just have something to do with it.

Nonetheless, tiller steering on the right boat is a very pleasant experience. There is without doubt something about it that feels right. OK, so it may be just a personal opinion. Doesn't make it wrong, or right for that matter.

I just think it is plain silly to think that this is a black and white issue.

ps - Sr Perry's 'Sliver'.

Perry 62 Double-ender

There is also a good thread in Cruising Anarchy on this design.

Hey Denise ... lack of an OP has never stopped us arguing about such important issues before, now has it ?
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  #30  
Old 03-24-2011
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Haffiman37 was on the right track about steering "feel". I've sailed a lot of different boats in the 35 - 42 ft range that had wheels and there is a definite difference in "feel". The fin keel boats were responsive and provided adequate feel. Modified full keel boats like the Island Packets are a different matter. All of the Island Packets we've sailed seemed to take the most effort and had the least feel.

Bottom line: the performance of wheel steering varies all over the lot, depending on the boat design and the mechanics of the steering.
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