The longer tiller gets the helmsman's weight out of the stern more amidships, and provides maximum mechanical advantage. The only downside of a shorter tiller would/could be the effort to control it when the boat loads up the helm. Not sure if the C27 has a properly balanced rudder - if it does then a shorter stick won't be any trouble at all.
you just pointed out all of my concerns.
i will have to see if i can find a good pic that would allow me to see just where the pivot point is, on the rudder. it turns easily enough, when not moving but, that proves nothing at all. but leverage is my real concern.
the cockpit is small. so, i am less concerned with my body weight than i am with being able to sit in it, comfortable. you might be able to cram 4 people in it, comfortably, if two weren't worried about sitting on the windward side.
Really don't think going to a wheel is the answer here.. the boat's a bit small for that and your limited budget would be far better used for just about anything else. Also, on a boat of that size it puts the weight of the helmsman AND the steering system well aft where it does most harm.
well, that's why a wheel would be something for consideration after a season of sailing. added weight in the stern is always an issue with a wheel. plus, it's worse for single handed sailing.
and, at this point, i don't need to spend any more money or add any more work, to what i already will need to invest.
in addition, i have always sailed with a tiller. i like them. i'm used to them. plus they look all old timey salty.
seriously, though, a wheel would only be the course of last resort. however, having seen a T2 with a wheel, i feel better that, if i do have to go that route, it obviously works for these boats.
depending on the mechanical advantage of the wheel, the helmsman wouldn't have to stand behind it. he ( meaning me ) could sit to the side and in front and steer with one hand. but i do think the tiller would be best.