Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
Thanked 195 Times in 159 Posts
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Don't do it. There are boats in which a wheel makes sense or where either a wheel or tiller makes sense. The Tartan 30 isn't one of those. The Tartan 30 is a lovely sailing boat (one of my favorites from that era) and an ideal boat for tiller steering. The tiller does not occupy that much real estate when in use, and the loads are moderately low when the sails are trimmed properly. You can reach anything in the cockpit when you use a tiller extention and the boat has comfortable positions to steer from with an extension. At anchor the tiller hinges completely out of the way leaving a great cockpit for lounging.
Conversely, the wheel takes up a lot of real estate transforming a really nice cockpit into something far less comfortable. The wheel pedistal is typically placed quite far forward on these boats for visibility reasons and so breaks up the cockpit both under sail and at anchor. And even so there really are not comfortable steering positions with good visibility with a wheel on these boats.
A couple years back, I talked a fellow through uninstalling a very expensive wheel steering system on a Tartan 30 that he had installed a few years earlier but which in his words, "Ruined the boat".
If you don't mind me asking, why do you would want to install a wheel in a Tartan 30? Perhaps there are better ways to meet your goals.