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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 03-25-2005
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OregonBob is on a distinguished road
Tiller vs Outboard for steering

I have been told to use the outboard for steering in and out of the slip and tight spots verses the tiller. Is this true. What is the best way to have best control of my 23 foot sailboat, tiller or outboard?
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Old 03-25-2005
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kokopelli9 is an unknown quantity at this point
Tiller vs Outboard for steering

IMHO, I think that this is something that you are going to have to find what works best for you. I put my motor in a locked position and I use the tiller to come in and out of my slip...I have no problems with that and found it to be more comfortable for me than just using the motor. My boat is also a 23...I would suggest trying both and see what you are more comfortable with...your skills, your motor,etc., all come into play here and I think whatever you feel safe with is more important.

bobbi

S/V Kokopelli
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Old 03-25-2005
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aflanigan is on a distinguished road
Tiller vs Outboard for steering

I don''t think there''s one right answer, OBob.

When backing out of my slip it''s nice to be able to turn the OB when reverse thrusting because I don''t have a lot of room before I hit the boats in the next dock over. HOWEVER, I would not try it with tiller locked, because my rudder is pretty big and would diminish steering if locked in straight position. I could also get out of the slip well enough using an Inboard technique of backing up straight until some way is on, then swinging the tiller over to turn the stern.

When coming in I like to do it slowly using accumulated momentum if possible so the OB prop is usually in neutral, so I have to use the rudder. It (the OB tiller angle) can be set at an appropriate angle in case I come in too fast and need to back thrust at a certain angle quickly.

If your boat has a smaller rudder or one that can pivot up (like a MacGregor) steering/maneuvering with the OB alone is probably feasible.

Ideally, a rig like the EZ steer would give the optimum maneuverability:

http://www.ezsteer.com/index.htm

You could also try to make your own link between the OB and boat tiller depending on their relative location.

There can be such a thing as too much maneuverability, i.e. don''t get so obsessed with maximizing your boat''s cornering and turning abilities that you neglect to get a feel for how boats turn, slow, speed up, and move under the influence of wind, tide, etc. Developing an intuitive feel for how your boat maneuvers will give you a lot more peace of mind than relying on a lot of motor and tiller thrusting and yanking.

Allen Flanigan
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Old 04-01-2005
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garrettav8or is on a distinguished road
Tiller vs Outboard for steering

In my ASA101, they taught to use both in tandem, a bit awkward, and I didn''t like it.

On my C22, I lock the little outboard, and just use the tiller...very comfortable, and easy....

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Old 04-04-2005
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maxcontax is on a distinguished road
Tiller vs Outboard for steering

To keep it simple I use tiller only, leaving the engine straight ahead, but controlling the docking with Fwd/N/Rev. It''s to the point where it never occurs to steer with the engine, but if you got a bad lineup and needed to save yourself, hey, why not.

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