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cookwithgas 11-15-2012 02:57 PM

Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
5 Attachment(s)
I found a used wheel pedestal assembly on Craigslist. I had to remove it from an old Islander MKII 30. I plan to install it on my 1967 C&C 31 Corvette. It is not going to be an easy retrofit. My rudder shaft is only 1-3/16" diameter. The donor boat had a 2" rudder shaft. The wheel that was mounted to the donor boat looks to be too large to fit under my cockpit so I think I will have to trim it. It is an Edson pedestal and wheel.

Attached are some pictures of what I'm up against.

Comments? Suggestions?

deniseO30 11-15-2012 03:26 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
get a bushing made! The quadrant or wheel that mounts on the R shaft will also be at that same angle so you will need 2 more idlers to change the direction to horizontal.

Or is the rudder from the donor boat available? use that and remake your rudder tubes and make it vertical?

This may work better then the wheel

The wheels come with different offsets too.

But I know cost is most likely a big issue.

SlowButSteady 11-15-2012 03:44 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it!!!

Boats that size don't need a wheel.

(Someone had to say it)

cookwithgas 11-15-2012 04:36 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering

You are thinking all the right things - thanks. After thinking about it a while my plan is to modify the wheel to work like a quadrant. Yes, I do have the two extra pulleys that I took off the donor boat. A new quadrant runs from $500 to $900. This seems silly since the entire assembly was $100 including the wheel! Yes, the rudder came off the donor boat but it is completely different and I'm going to do this retrofit with my boat in the water so I'll stay with my current rudder and tube. I have a mill and lathe at home in my garage so machining a shim should not be a problem - also cutting down the aluminum wheel should not be a problem. The diagram you posted helps me understand what I need to do. The only trick will be to make a "split" bushing because I can't remove my rudder tube for this project.

I will post pictures as I make progress. Thanks again.

Brewgyver 11-15-2012 05:48 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
I was going to suggest machining the existing 2" bore in the wheel to an SD size taper (2.1875"), IF the hub of the wheel is beefy enough. Then you could pick up an SD bushing with a 1.875" bore to fit your ruddder shaft ($18 from McMaster-Carr, #6086K321.

THEN I saw your last post. No way would I recommend doing that with an AL wheel. Also, I think it's not a wise idea to try to cut that wheel into a quadrant. Not wise as in $@&*ing dangerous! If you MUST do this conversion, why not find a good deal on a bronze or even AL quadrant? Around the country, old sailboats are being scrapped virtually every day. Well worth waiting to get the right part, instead of converting from Tiller Steering to Frankensteering!

Faster 11-15-2012 06:51 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
Given the severe angle of the rudder stock you'll probably have to go to a quadrant style that is swinging aft of the shaft.. fwd will run into the undersole. You will also need a pretty positive 'lock' onto the rudder stock so that it will never slip - usually involves drilling for a pin. That'll be fun under there!!

Can't say I'm terribly enamoured of that project for that boat. I'd be happier with a tiller I think..

fordo 11-15-2012 07:00 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
I agree with SlowButSteady. I have a Tartan 30 that a PO converted. The only advantage of the wheel is that guests think it's easier to manage because "it steers like a car".(Nonsense, of course.) The cockpit is designed for a tiller, the wheel makes moving around awkward and the angled rudderpost and the tight space below the cockpit will make conversion difficult, especially with a unit not designed for the boat.

msmith10 11-15-2012 07:11 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
Agree with Brewgyver. Converting aluminum wheel to quadrant is asking for trouble. If you've seen a bronze Edson quadrant, those things are really solid, and for a reason.

svHyLyte 11-15-2012 07:18 PM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering

Originally Posted by SlowButSteady (Post 948921)
Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it!!!

Boats that size don't need a wheel.

(Someone had to say it)

Darn I hate the idea of agreeing with SlowButSteady but in this (rare?) instance, he's/she's absolutely correct. And wheels take up too much room in a cockpit and, its a PITA to fit an autopilot.


cookwithgas 11-16-2012 10:14 AM

Re: Retrofitting Tiller to Wheel Steering
3 Attachment(s)
A few more pictures of the parts I collected. Obviously a lot of clean-up work to do. Thanks for all of the great ideas. I will continue with the project and keep you posted on the progress.

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