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  #11  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: changing helm style

Quote:
Originally Posted by arknoah View Post
I agree with the general sentiment already expressed. I was kind of in your shoes after my ASA 101 and 103 courses a couple of years ago. The course was taught on a C&C 29 foot boat with wheel steering, and it was just so intuitive, that I thought it would be preferable to tiller steering. Well, it was very difficult to find a small boat, say 25 or so feet with wheel steering I just gave up. Once I got used to the tiller, which took all of about an hour, I've not felt the need to go to a wheel.
I had the reverse experience. I'd primarily sailed tiller boats (including in my classes at the Center for Wooden Boats) and came to prefer the feedback that you can feel through the tiller and the simplicity of the design. My first boat also had one.

When I moved up to my current boat most of the options that I was considering had wheels (including the Pearson 28-2 that I bought). I still think I prefer tillers, but I do like how the wheel opens up the cockpit and once I overhauled the steering system I got back the feedback that I liked of a good tiller setup. It's amazing how badly most wheel systems are maintained and how big of a difference a little fresh grease and teflon makes.

I would never bother doing the conversion, there are much better ways to spend the money. With a tiller boat enjoy the simple maintenance, low cost autopilots and replacement parts, good helm feedback, and light system weight.
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: changing helm style

I think it may have been a factory option. A friend has an ODay 25 with a wheel. It uses a Teleflex cable to push/pull the rudder back and forth, similar to power boat steering. The wheel and engine controls are on a pedestal and it has a Zephyr sail drive.

The setup works well enough, but as others have pointed out, it will be a pricey upgrade.
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2013
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Re: changing helm style

I've seen it done on a Catalina 25, and I know Edson sells kits to do it. But as others have pointed out, the cockpits on those boats (both the O'Day and the Catalina) aren't set up for a wheel. You'll have a really hard time getting around the wheel to get to anything, and IMHO that's asking for trouble. I agree with the others, you're better off getting a different boat. I was adamant that my next boat have a wheel, and spent a lot of time looking at boats, cockpit layouts, etc., to find something that would work for me. In the end, I found that a few of the newer Hunter 25's, and some of the new Catalinas, have wheels, as do the Seawards. If I wasn't budget constrained, I'd have taken a much harder look at the Seaward 25.

If you do decide to go forward, one option to consider is a transom-mounted wheel. I've seen this done on an Islander 28. To me, it isn't the greatest of options (you sit straddling the wheel's mechanism) but if you really insist, that's probably the most practical solution for a boat that size while still opening up the cockpit.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: changing helm style

In case all those naysayers haven't talked you out of it by now, here's Edson's specific instructions how to do it on your boat:

http://www.edsonmarine.com/support/w...pdfs/S-752.pdf

I have a Catalina 250 with a wheel, and everything said here is true. It is tough to get around the wheel on such a small boat. As one who has chartered up to 38' boats, I can tell you the wheel is always tough to get around on ANY size boat.

There's always a religious debate over which gives you a "bigger cockpit." If you're sitting at the dock (or at anchor) having drinks, the tiller is a bigger cockpit because you can swing it up. (But a removable wheel would solve much of that problem.) But while you're sailing, I contend that the wheel gives you a bigger cockpit because pilot sits behind the wheel, and two people can sit to either side of the wheel, which is space that would need to be left clear with a tiller.
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Old 05-06-2013
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Re: changing helm style

I never sit directly behind the wheel. I usually sit on the high side behind the wheel. I took out the bench part directly behind the wheel to give me more room when I stand behind the wheel or to move from one high side to the other when tacking.

Dave




Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
In case all those naysayers haven't talked you out of it by now, here's Edson's specific instructions how to do it on your boat:

http://www.edsonmarine.com/support/w...pdfs/S-752.pdf

I have a Catalina 250 with a wheel, and everything said here is true. It is tough to get around the wheel on such a small boat. As one who has chartered up to 38' boats, I can tell you the wheel is always tough to get around on ANY size boat.

There's always a religious debate over which gives you a "bigger cockpit." If you're sitting at the dock (or at anchor) having drinks, the tiller is a bigger cockpit because you can swing it up. (But a removable wheel would solve much of that problem.) But while you're sailing, I contend that the wheel gives you a bigger cockpit because pilot sits behind the wheel, and two people can sit to either side of the wheel, which is space that would need to be left clear with a tiller.
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2013
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Re: changing helm style

If the cockpit wasn't designed for a wheel, there is a good chance it won't work very well. I have a friend with a Jeanneau 29 that had a retrofit wheel installed. They had to with go with a very small diameter wheel, (kinda like the Mac 26x wheel), and even then they had to notch out one of the lazarette lids so it could be fully opened.

The main benefit of the wheel over a tiller is the mechanical advantage you get on bigger boats. On a boat your size that is not an issue. The trade off is that you get less feel, and slower response. You can do things with a tiller boat that you can't with a wheel, particularly when it comes to docking and tight maneuvering.

Besides, wheels look silly on small boats!
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: changing helm style

Quote:
Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
You can do things with a tiller boat that you can't with a wheel, particularly when it comes to docking and tight maneuvering.
Also completing a tack in extremely light air when the boat doesn't have enough speed to do it on it's own.
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Old 05-07-2013
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Re: changing helm style

A fellow Sailnett'er has an Edson wheel installed in her O'day 25. (She hates it)

I call it a disaster. Due to the transom-hung rudder, it required cutting holes where there really shouldn't be a hole, and it just added totally unnecessary complexity to a small, simple boat.

If you simply cannot function without feeling like you're behind the wheel of an automobile, if you really enjoy losing all sense of weather helm, to aid you in properly helming your small boat, and if you absolutely must have that "Master and Commander" pretentiousness onboard your modest yacht, then I highly encourage you to jam an Edson wheel and pedestal into your O'Day 25.

In fact, I can donate two instrument pods for yout speed and depthfinder to really clutter up your cockpit.
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  #19  
Old 05-08-2013
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Re: changing helm style

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfiedad View Post
I am not sure if it is possible, or way too costly, but has anyone ever converted an Oday 25 from Tiller steering to a wheel helm?
I had my own boat at one time and sailed for about 2 years in my 22 footer. I have been renting 22-25 footers, so most of my time has spent in a tillered boat. I have recently been renting 30+ footers with wheels and don't really like them. Mostly because I am not very good at them. No feedback from the wheel until the boat was healing pretty hard.

Here is why I like the tiller.

I am not trapped in the back of the boat.
I can steer with my leg.
I can tack the jib myself while steering with my leg.
Feedback on the tiller when in the groove. Pressure on the tiller when the boat heals.

Every time I take out the bigger boat I am uncomfortable with the wheel and do a lot of zigzagging at first but am slowly getting smoother with it. Eventually you will get comfortable with a tiller and then miss it when you step up to a bigger boat, enjoy what you got.
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Old 05-08-2013
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Re: changing helm style

I feel like a wheel eliminates one of your senses, sort of like losing your hearing or sense of touch, but I fully understand that some boats are simply better sailed with a wheel than a tiller.

The best way that I've seen, to overcome the loss of feedback from a wheel, is to tie 3 colors of shock cord onto the wheel:

Black (on top)- Rudder amidships
Red- Rudder at 45 degrees on stbd tack
Green- Rudder at 45 degrees on port tack.

Now you have a visual indicator of how much weather helm you have, to aid in your main sheet trimming. If the red or green shock cord is at the "top" of the wheel, you'd better start thinking of dropping the traveler, or easing the mainsheet.

On some boats, there is also an audible indicator of rudder cavitation when the boat heels over to far, and much of the rudder is out of the water.

None of this changes my opinion about wheels and pedestals on small boats, but if you simply must have it, at least do it right, and sail well.
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