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post #11 of 13 Old 07-01-2012
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Re: Tiller conversion to wheel

IMHO, there's no reason on our little blue marble to have a wheel on a boat less than 35' and even larger if it's a lighter displacement boat. To the OP, please don't waste your time and money on the conversion. Take the cash and buy new sails, get the rig tuned, get a tiller pilot, etc.... Tiller pilots work fine. On our boat you need to balance the sail plan for reaching, but it's not a big deal. For true long distance single or short handed stuff, I'd invest in a wind vane system. Apologies for the strong opinion, but there are just more effective places to spend money on a boat.
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-01-2012
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Re: Tiller conversion to wheel

In defense of a wheel....

Made the conversion in my 33 ft schooner with a $35 Ross steering gear recycled from a truck. It is connected to the top of the rudder post with a simple 3-jaw coupling. This was done about 45 years ago and so far it seems to be working OK. The wheel allows for many different seating or standing options, the best of which is reclining against the lee side lifelines. I gained cockpit space and installed a binnacle in it's proper place.... previously the no man's land occupied by the tiller's sweep.

Ross worm gears are almost maintenance-free. Pack in some grease and that's all there is to it. The full range is about 45 degrees to either side with a total of 6-3/4 turns. The only maintenance required is occasional replacement of the elastomer in the coupling. My rudder post is vertical and the gear is mounted atop the after deck.

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Last edited by FishSticks; 07-01-2012 at 08:13 AM.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-02-2012
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Re: Tiller conversion to wheel

I would think that larger boats that have transom-hung rudders would have longer tillers. This would give you more mechanical advantage.

I'm in the same camp as the 'tiller people', however, there are obviously lots of boats out there with wheels, so, the other camp is well represented.

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