Wheel vs Tiller - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 29 Old 02-05-2010 Thread Starter
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Wheel vs Tiller

What are advantages/disadvantages of having a wheel vs. tiller? Does a wheel on a Pearson 303 have a locking mechanism?
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post #2 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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rpearlberg,
That topic has been flogged to death here, so you might be asked to do a search on the site
IMnsHO there's a lot to be said for a tiller in terms of control, and don't let anybody tell you that it is a requirement for anything below fifty feet.
Some newer wheel steerings are really nice though, while many older stinks - especially hydraulic ones.
Boats with big behinds (wide transoms) might benefit from double wheels, making sure the helmsman can see fwd when heeled over.
I've owned boats with tiller and wheel, and sailed many others, and it always depends

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Last edited by JomsViking; 02-05-2010 at 10:28 AM.
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post #3 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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On boats large enough to have either - wheel or tiller is largely a matter of preference. From a practical standpoint, a tiller is simpler and has fewer moving parts to fail at the wrong time. On the other hand, a wheel is more convient for most people - it makes driving the boat, more like driving a carl.

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post #4 of 29 Old 02-05-2010 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies...Yes, I probably should have done a search instead of starting a new thread....
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post #5 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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tiller/ wheel

I agree, tiller = fewer moving parts, more responsive but still personal choice. If a boat has decent wheel steering leave it alone, My preference is tiller however my boat has a wheel. Fewer things to go wrong, however , a back up tiller is always available. Many new or inexperienced sailors find a wheel easire to steer by.

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post #6 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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One major issue in favor of tillers is the simplicity of the system. A tiller is far less maintenance and far less complex. Also, many sailors feel that a tiller steered boat gives the sailor more feedback than a wheel-steered boat. Tillers can be used on even very large boats, given that they are designed for it. One of my favorite large trimarans is tiller steered and comes in at 18 meters long... seen below:



Also, you can setup sheet-to-tiller self-steering fairly simply, which is generally not an option with a wheel.

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post #7 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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A question Dog;
If monohulls have one rudder and sometimes two (like mine) and Catamarrans have two rudders, how many rudders does a Trimarran have? In the picture you posted I see the windward amas has what looks like a rudder but could be a fixed fin. Also see the windward daggerboard is retracted but not the rudder or fin. Would a tiller on a Trimarran operate all three rudders at once? Just curious because I am not familiar with trimarran designs.
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post #8 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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Looks like a fixed fin to me on the windward hull. Steering mechanism appears to connect only to the rudder on the main hull.

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post #9 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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Wow! Wonderful photo, Dog. It took me a moment or two to orient myself and locate the steersman!

As to tiller vs wheel, well its largely a matter of taste and practicality and the important points have already been made here and elsewhere. I'm a tiller man myself.....

Stuart

Leith (rhymes with teeth) is the port of the City of Edinburgh in Scotland. A Leither is someone who comes from that area.

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post #10 of 29 Old 02-05-2010
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Knowing very well that I'm not as knowledgeable as the Dog on Tri's, I'll just say that the ama's (the floats) are typically not built to support a rudder, also it would defeat the purpose of the tri to heel so much as to have the rudder out of the water (for longer periods). Cats are a different breed, obviously.


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Originally Posted by CaptKermie View Post
A question Dog;
If monohulls have one rudder and sometimes two (like mine) and Catamarrans have two rudders, how many rudders does a Trimarran have? In the picture you posted I see the windward amas has what looks like a rudder but could be a fixed fin. Also see the windward daggerboard is retracted but not the rudder or fin. Would a tiller on a Trimarran operate all three rudders at once? Just curious because I am not familiar with trimarran designs.

Watch great footage about the story of one manís slow odyssey around the UK:
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