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  #1  
Old 11-25-2013
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Wrapping a Steering Wheel

I have no idea where to ask this question (new to this forum) but I always start with the women/

I want to wrap our steering wheel with rope/ I have found several sites with knots etc and can figure out how to do it/

The problem I have is what kind of rope and how to figure out the length to use/

Has any one done any decorative rope knotting or wrapping the steering wheel?

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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

It's called Coachwhipping. I thought it sounded like a good idea as well, but have been strongly talked out of it. Hard on the hand and gets very dirty.

If you insist, here is a reference book, which includes a chapter on how to do it.

The Marlinspike Sailor: Hervey Garrett Smith: 9780070592186: Amazon.com: Books The Marlinspike Sailor: Hervey Garrett Smith: 9780070592186: Amazon.com: Books


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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

Quote:
If you insist, here is a reference book, which includes a chapter on how to do it.

The Marlinspike Sailor: Hervey Garrett Smith
My dad bought me this book when I was in my teens in the '70s and I still use it. I love that book and coachwhipped the steering wheel of my dad's '73 Dodge Charger. It came out great but I definitely wouldn't want to try it with a sailboat wheel. The amount of line involved would be staggering and it would take a very long time to do. There are other coverings in the book that take less line and are easier on the fingers. With that said, I really like Edson's leather wheel coverings. All things considered, they aren't that expensive but I would definitely make a wheel cover or mold will grow.

I use cotton twine for most decorative work because it grips well. Nylon is too slippery but stays clean.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

If I remember correctly one of the professional coxwaining guys said it takes him 40-50 hours to do a sailboat wheel, depending on complexity of the knots used. Having tried my hand a few times, I am pretty sure for me to do the entire thing would take just shy of forever.

This is a hugely time consuming job, but it does look great when done.
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Old 11-25-2013
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

We had a wrapped wheel on the boat when we bought it.. initially thought it was kind of neat.. good grip, warmer than bare SS... but in our climate it quickly turned green in the gaps and was diffucult to keep looking nice..

Eventually we traded with someone who wanted a smaller wheel, and we've left the new larger wheel bare..
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

Dixie
Well that is a very ambitious winter project you got. In simple terms its a boat load of line. Now lets do a sample calculation.....This will take you back to basic geometry (7th/8th grade) 1/8" dia. line..... tubing diameter .75" .... wheel dia. 60"
.75* 3.1415(pi)=2.35" per wrap
8 wraps per 1" .....2.35"*8 = 18.8"
60"*3.1415= 188.5"
188.5*18.8=3553" / 12"= 296' of 1/8" line
And that doesn't include any knots.
Sorry):
Peter
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

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Originally Posted by justified View Post
Dixie
Well that is a very ambitious winter project you got. In simple terms its a boat load of line. Now lets do a sample calculation.....This will take you back to basic geometry (7th/8th grade) 1/8" dia. line..... tubing diameter .75" .... wheel dia. 60"
.75* 3.1415(pi)=2.35" per wrap
8 wraps per 1" .....2.35"*8 = 18.8"
60"*3.1415= 188.5"
188.5*18.8=3553" / 12"= 296' of 1/8" line
And that doesn't include any knots.
Sorry):
Peter
Having coach-whipped a 60" wheel with 1/8" line in a repeating clove hitch pattern, it is a very time consuming and tedious process and will give one blisters if one wants to get the line thoroughly tightened. It does look nice, however, and the line's appearance can be preserved by throughly coating it with ScotchGuard. A padded leather cover of the same size is about $300 (from boatleather.com) so if one has more time than money...

FWIW...
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

I posted this project in the low-bucks project thread, and am happy to repeat it here.

The leather wrap on our wheel had seen better days. I searched online and in books for an easy, good-looking wheel wrap, and then played with some line for a few days. I came up with a simple solution.

My daughter and I wrapped our 42" wheel in a couple days with paracord. It feels good under the hands, with plenty of friction to get a good grip but not so much that it's uncomfortable. I think it looks pretty good too.



It looks like a braid, but was very simple to do:



It's just what it looks like, a single line that never wraps all the way around the wheel. It just loops back and forth. I suggest using a sailing glove, as blisters develop quickly when you're pulling paracord tight again and again and again.

No frustration with keeping multiple lines untangled, no handling of the spool of line. I hung the spool under the wheel so that the line unrolled without twisting because I think it looks better when the line doesn't have a twist in it. When we were doing the wrap, we kept the "braid" on the outside of the wheel so we could fit more wraps on. I sewed the beginning and end of the line together under the turk's head. Afterwards we moved the braid to the side for a more comfortable grip.

It took 300 feet of paracord to wrap the 42" wheel. We could have made it tighter with a bit more line, but I only had 300'. The blue matches our canvas and doesn't show dirt like the traditional white does.
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

My boat's wheel is wrapped with a smaller sized line than paracord, it seems to be about 2mm in diameter. It has half hitches all the way around, then larks head knots at the spoke intersections. I didn't do the work, it came to me this way. Based on my knowledge of prior owners I think this was done over 5 years ago, and likely about 10 years ago.

Here is a photo that wasn't intentionally of the wheel, but includes it:


The line used is has a fine weave and is very comfortable on the hands. It gets a little grimmy, but functionally it is great. I hope it lasts forever, because I don't want to redo it.
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Re: Wrapping a Steering Wheel

Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieLee View Post
I have no idea where to ask this question (new to this forum) but I always start with the women/...

Thanks
Huh. Funny how herSailnet always gets more posts from men than women.

Welcome to SailNet DixieLee!
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