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Join Date: Oct 2012
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Re: changing helm style
Wheels that provide no feedback are wheels that aren't being well maintained. I like tillers, but I do like my wheel a lot better after lubing the bearings, cables, and chain.
Previously it was like sailing with the brake always on. If I was poorly trimmed and only staying in a straight line due to rudder angle I could get off of the wheel and the boat would keep going in a straight line. I couldn't feel anything in the wheel.
Now in the same conditions you can feel the rudder being pushed sideways in the water below. Let go of the wheel and the boat rounds up immediately, just like a nice tiller system. Get the boat into groove and the wheel loses all pressure and feels great.
Edson makes it pretty annoying to service their pedestals. If they did it properly there would be external grease points that could be reached without taking apart the top of the pedestal. They recommend annual lubrication, but I strongly doubt that anyone does it that often and suspect that most boats go decades without lubrication. I got the idea that my wheel could feel better by playing with the wheel on a brand new boat and seeing how smooth and free running it felt.
I still wouldn't put a wheel on a 25' boat.
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