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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-28-2013 09:24 PM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

If it bothers you at anchor take the wheel off. Some people stash it in the dodger roof.

Acquire a single spoke "wheel". Like a winch handle. Just in case you have to move in a hurry.
03-28-2013 01:34 PM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

Nothing is better than sitting on the rail, beating close hauled, trimmed right, with the wheel in one hand, leeward side, looking up at the jib tell tails, warm summer day, water rushing by, wind, no other sound, rail down...look here comes a lift....point a little higher...

woops, back to earth...

Oh yea, the question was about wheel size, almost forgot...right, keep the big one.
03-28-2013 11:50 AM
Going to a smaller wheel?

Thanks all. That answers my question. I suspected the force needed to steer would make my idea prohibitive. I'll probably still get the folding wheel, but of the same size.
03-28-2013 11:46 AM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

try steering with you hand on the spokes at the 36" dia. this will give you an idea what it would feel like if you go to a smaller wheel. going from a 40" to a 36" is the same as moving your hand 8" from the end of a 40" tiller.
03-28-2013 11:46 AM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

The other aspect of a larger wheel is the ability to have good sight lines forward when sitting well out towards the rail.. a smaller wheel pulls you into the cockpit where you may not be as able to see jib telltales, waves coming, debris etc.

Nothing looks more ridiculous (IMO) than a large cockpit well and a tiny wheel...

Personally I don't have a big issue with having to step over/around a wheel, and they can all be pulled when not sailing, some have installed pins on the rail to store the wheel off the pedestal. Folding wheels work well but they're expensive beasties...
03-28-2013 11:36 AM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

Remember at anchor you can take the wheel off all together and get it out of the way. A lot cheaper then getting a folding one which may fold at the wrong time. It's real nice sitting low to watch the slot or high and be comfy. If you don't like crawling around the wheel -get a bigger boat(grin).
03-28-2013 11:36 AM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

The folding wheel might be an option while at dock or the hook.
It is very simple to remove as well, but a pain to store.
Would not want to reduce anything while underway.
I know exactly what you mean, make getting to the BBQ a real pain.
03-28-2013 11:31 AM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

It will greatly add to steering effort, the wheel is part of the mechanical advantage of the system. I've never been tempted to reduce the wheel size, sometimes wished for a larger one.
03-28-2013 11:30 AM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

Since you are accustomed to tillers, rather than wheels, consider the effect on your arms/shoulders on a long beat if you reduced that length of your tiller by 30% (ignoring for the moment the inability to sit to windward or leeward to see your head sail--or under it--and actually reach the wheel). Beneteau does not size a wheel without forethought. The folding wheel has merit in an anchorage but the smaller diameter would be unwise underway IMHO... (You could experiment with the effect of a smaller wheel by bolting a couple of lengths of 1x2 between the spokes at the radius you propose and attempting to handle the boat gripping these rather than the rim of the wheel. You'll see what I mean.)
03-28-2013 11:28 AM
Re: Going to a smaller wheel?

I've thought about that, too. I have a 42 foot boat, and I've never been in any weather that I couldn't turn the wheel with one finger. I'm not sure I need as much leverage as my huge wheel provides.
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