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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Pacific Seacraft > Wheel to Tiller Conversion
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Thread: Wheel to Tiller Conversion Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-31-2010 06:12 PM
karlinD
Tiller Steering on my 37

My 37, WINDFLOWER, was converted to a tiller last year by the NC factory during a total refit. I would not have any other steering configuration on a 34 or 37, but there are probably more wheel fans than tiller fans which surely drives the market value but my reasoning was not impacted by other's viewpoint or the impact of market value.

I ordered a new Dana (only available in a tiller)in the early 90's and a close friend ordered a new 34 with a tiller. I have sailed both boats many, many miles and a few times in some violent seas. The tiller gives a comfort in knowing there are no cables or other mechanical issues to foul and I can really feel the boat. In many ways it is like a discussion of power steering verses non power in a vehicle.

My auto tiller has been mounted with the tiller in the back position and when underway, my cockpit is huge without the wheel pedestal in the way.

William Crealock knew the benefits and designed the yacht for a tiller. The balance makes the difference.

Bottom line: tiller or wheel configuration the PSC Crealock is quite the classic.

Attached are the photos from my refit.

Windflower at the Factory pictures by kkdtrader - Photobucket
10-29-2010 08:01 AM
ilikerust Nice table!

I've been thinking of something sorta similar for our boat. It's always interesting to see what others have come up with to get ideas.
10-28-2010 10:03 PM
wsmurdoch Before buying Irish Eyes in 2004, my wife and I considered several PSC 34s. All were wheel steered but one. My wife liked that one because of the tiller. We bought the one she liked. In the years that we have owned the boat including three 5 month trips to the Bahamas, two 3 month trips into the Chesapeake Bay, a couple of months coasting in North and South Carolina, and who knows how many weekend and week trips in North Carolina, we have never wanted a wheel. I hate to say it, but she was right. The tiller was the better choice.

So far the wheel or tiller argument has centered around the differences underway. We have never had a problem with the tiller underway, but I am sure that our hours anchored far exceed our hours sailing, and it is while anchored that the tiller really shines. We just push the tiller up out of the way, put in a rod between the Simrad TP30 autopilot socket and the rudder head locking the rudder amidships, and enjoy a completely open cockpit which we do not have to share with a pedestal and wheel.

I have been working on a prototype table, made from pine and bits of hardware from Lowes (and table top hinges from West Marine), that folds away, stores in the quarter berth, and works for drinks for six or a meal for four. Someday I’ll replace it with teak… My ever practical wife says pine is fine and covers it with a table cloth.

The table has three legs. The aft two clamp to the underside of the stern seat locking the table in place. The single forward leg allows people to slip their legs under the table. (Some booths in restaurants have a similar outside leg.) The three legs fold flat against the underside of the table making a package that is 2¼” thick. Unfolded, they are held in place with aluminum diagonals.

The table top has two 7” leaves that fold over the top of the table. Folded it is perfect for resting your drink and a bowl of nuts while you read a book or chat with friends. Opened to a 28” width there is room for dinner.

From time to time I take a saw or a drill to the table and change something, but the basic design has remained unchanged for a year or so.

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060888.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060893.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060897.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060898.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060900.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060902.jpg

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
10-28-2010 10:00 PM
wsmurdoch Before buying Irish Eyes in 2004, my wife and I considered several PSC 34s. All were wheel steered but one. My wife liked that one because of the tiller. We bought the one she liked. In the years that we have owned the boat including three 5 month trips to the Bahamas, two 3 month trips into the Chesapeake Bay, a couple of months coasting in North and South Carolina, and who knows how many weekend and week trips in North Carolina, we have never wanted a wheel. I hate to say it, but she was right. The tiller was the better choice.

So far the wheel or tiller argument has centered around the differences underway. We have never had a problem sailing with the tiller, but I am sure that our hours anchored far exceed our hours sailing, and it is while anchored that the tiller really shines. We just push the tiller up out of the way, put in a rod between the Simrad TP30 autopilot socket and the rudder head locking the rudder amidships, and enjoy a completely open cockpit which we do not have to share with a pedestal and wheel.

I have been working on a prototype table, made from pine and bits of hardware from Lowes (and table top hinges from West Marine), that folds away, stores in the quarter berth, and works for drinks for six or a meal for four. Someday I’ll replace it with teak… My ever practical wife says pine is fine and covers it with a table cloth.

The table has three legs. The aft two clamp to the underside of the stern seat locking the table in place. The single forward leg allows people to slip their legs under the table. (Some booths in restaurants have a similar outside leg.) The three legs fold flat against the underside of the table making a package that is 2¼” thick. Unfolded, they are held in place with aluminum diagonals.

The table top has two 7” leaves that fold over the top of the table. Folded it is perfect for resting your drink and a bowl of nuts while you read a book or chat with friends. Opened to a 28” width there is room for dinner.

From time to time I take a saw or a drill to the table and change something, but the basic design has remained unchanged for a year or so.

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060888.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060893.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060897.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060898.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060900.jpg

http://i602.photobucket.com/albums/t...e/PA060902.jpg

Bill Murdoch
1988 PSC 34
Irish Eyes
10-28-2010 09:09 AM
DaveMancini Very clean job, Jay. Thanks for the insights. No need to hide it if you can make it look functional. I was a little stuck on what to do here, but you have shaken me loose.

Dave
10-28-2010 08:46 AM
BirdBrain333 Attached are some photos showing how I filled the holes after removing the wheel -- as well as the incredible dirt on the cockpit sole as we put the cover on the boat. The wooden outline of the PSC 37 is 3/4" thick, rabbeted down to a nice fit to fill the oval holes from the steering and control cables. It is held in place with 4200 and the bronze bolt to a toggle on the underside of the cabin sole.

The remaining bolts are bronze (McMaster Carr) hand filed with a compass rose pattern (though one wag suggested they look like rocks through which we are navigating!).

On a different note, I glassed in the nuts for the bolts which hold down the cockpit sole, put a 2" neoprene gasket all around, and then used round head socket head cap screws plus washers with neoprene gaskets. I then cut off an allen wrench so it fits in my electric drill and presto-the cockpit sole comes out quickly and easily for GREAT access to the back end of the engine.

Hope these help in your deliberations.

Jay



Quote:
Originally Posted by adamowens View Post
Thanks Dave,
I thought you must have done something to that effect. I haven't talked myself into the conversion quite yet but I can't wait to watch your progress.

Now to figure how to fill the hole in the cockpit sole and match 22 year old faded gelcoat.

Adam
10-27-2010 04:40 PM
ilikerust The one positive I can see with a wheel is that guests on your boat who are rank newbies can take the helm and make the boat turn the way they want it to. I have found that some people are confused by a tiller.

The other positive about a wheel compared to a tiller is that the tiller sweeps the cockpit area, so on occasion I've come close to bonking a passenger with the end of the tiller.

But by the same token, a tiller swings up out of the way and leaves a wide open cockpit. A wheel can take up a lot of space and be awkwardly in the way. For example:



To me, that wheel looks really badly placed.
10-27-2010 03:30 PM
wiley586 I haven't shopped recently, but I have an '88 31 with a tiller. I ordered it that way and I wasn't sure it would work out. Neither was the dealer, since at the time I ordered, PSC said they had not delivered one without a wheel. After trying several different tillers out, we found the right one and I am quite happy. With 20-odd years of crewed and singlehanded sailing in all kinds of conditions, I would not consider a wheel on this boat if you offered to do the "upgrade" for free and throw in a thousand bucks for the privilege. I imagine I'd feel the same way if I was shopping.

Other people's mileage will vary. For instance, my brother converted his fin keel spade rudder Pearson from tiller to wheel, and he wouldn't go back. Of course that boat had balance problems and the tiller was so long and the cockpit so narrow that the end of the tiller was usually poking someone in the midriff. Trying to convince a buyer with only that experience that a tiller is good would be a rough go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adamowens View Post
Dave,
Any progress on the conversion? I saw a pic on your site of the Tides Marine rudder bearing. Is this necessary or more of a belt and suspenders idea?
I have been giving alot of serious thought to converting myself and was wondering what everyone thought about the impact of a conversion on resale value if any. I have no plans of selling anytime in the near future but it is a point I am considering.
Those of you that have shopped for a 31 recently, would you have considered a tiller boat?

Adam
PSC 31 Journey
10-27-2010 02:08 PM
sailingfool
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdBrain333 View Post
Based on only the experience of one year each with tiller and wheel on a Crealock 37 we found that with a tiller and tiller extension you get all of the benefits listed below plus some. For example, you can stand or sit, ....

PSC 37, Kenlanu.
OK, I'll bite...I have a hard time visioning standing comfortably in a cockpit next to a tiller period, but especially when the boat is heeling 20 degrees. Perhaps one foot in the cockpit gutter and the other foot on the back of the cockpit seat, leaning to windward so the tiller can be centered? Been there, done that, but I don't remember it as too comfortable.

The real difference is that many cockpits with wheels have been designed around the wheel, and make helming comfortable. Cockpit design otherwise seems to ignore the realities of a tiller. The econometrics for a driver just were never considered, although some designs like the Colgate 26 make the best of the tiller configuration limitations so the boat can be comfortably helmed. But fall back to a narrow cockpit with wood plank coamings, and you have nowhere to sit to stand...

That's where the T shape cockpit with an arched cockpit sole plays the critical role with a wheel....if your cockpit has a helmsperson's space positioned at the end of the tiller, open from one side of the cockpit to the other, with a curved sole..well then I get it. FWIW its clear that the C34 pictured above int he tread has a cockpit that was not designed for a wheel, although it has a helmsman seat as a half measure...I can see why a wheel would not be considered much more comfortable than a tiller..as neither can be too comfortable.

I think this is a vision thing..if you haven't spent time helming is cockpit expertly designed to the helmsperson's comfort (my own reference being the CS 36T's), then you just don't know what you have been missing.
10-27-2010 02:04 PM
adamowens My main reason for wanting a tiller is singlehanding. A tiller would put both the mainsheet and primary winches much closer at hand.
Being able to enjoy the protection of the dodger and steer would also be a huge plus.
Those are the two main reasons but I really just like the feel of a tiller. Went sailing last weekend on a friends Alberg 35 and remembered how much I like tillers.

Adam
PSC 31 Journey
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