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Old 09-03-2013
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Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

If anyone has replaced the wheel on their O'Day with a tiller, could you describe what you did and how much (approximately) it cost?

We want an O'Day 30 but the ones we've seen all come with wheel steering. It's a deal-breaker for us, so we're hoping that we can replace the wheel with a tiller.
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

I thought most of the O'Day 30's came with wheels. I'm surprised you're finding one WITH a tiller. The conversion is several thousand dollars. Is that an investment you want to make? Is the cockpit on the 30 that you're seeing actually set up for a wheel? That is, does it have the "T" style layout that allows you to move around the wheel? If not, you'll need a folding wheel, but even then it's going to be a PITA when underway.

Personally, if the O'Day is the only boat for you (I'm not judging, everybody has their wants/needs), I'd hold off until a 30 with a wheel came on the market.

What's your budget and what year(s) are you looking for?
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

I think you must have misunderstood. I want to have a tiller, not a wheel. I want to replace the wheel that every O'Day 30 seems to come with, with a tiller.
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

Our friends' Ericson 33 originally came with a wheel and has been converted. The only obvious sign of that is a non factory cover on the cockpit sole where the binnacle used to be. Below decks the sheaves and, I think, the quadrant are still there but not used.

So yes, it can be done. I think the location/orientation of the top of the rudder stock is an important consideration, though. If there's just a stub or a small access port for an emergency tiller, adding a real tiller might be problematic. In my friend's case the top of the stock was aft at deck height so adding a tiller head was no problem.
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

Quote:
Originally Posted by northwestsailor View Post
I think you must have misunderstood. I want to have a tiller, not a wheel. I want to replace the wheel that every O'Day 30 seems to come with, with a tiller.
LOL...yes, I completely misunderstood! Sorry!!!

As Faster said, you'll need to look at where/how the emergency tiller is accessed. The location may necessitate some unusual connections to allow the tiller to swing as freely as you'd like.
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

Thank you both for your input. Might I ask another question? How can I find out, in advance of buying the boat, whether it is do-able?

I have not yet had the pleasure of inspecting an O'Day 30. We made our decision that it was the boat for us on the basis of the fit between what we want and what it offers, according to reviews and its specs. Except, of course, for the steering wheel.

Is this an easy thing to inspect for?
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

Interesting.. I found this image showing a tiller installation, with the tiller coming off at the top of the aft cockpit seat level. Different year/model?



Anyhow if the boat looks right, then it seems a tiller was offered... or at least concieved. If the rudder stock head is in that location it may well be do-able. Scour the net and Yachtworld.com for Oday images, you may get a good view.

Image search results:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=O%27d...h=862#imgdii=_

In the first shot at this site, you can see a removable cover behind the wheel in that area.. I suspect the top of the stock is under that.

http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/37889 Look at the larger version of the image below:

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Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)

Last edited by Faster; 09-03-2013 at 09:42 PM.
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

I had found this earlier:
O'Day 30 Yacht: Standard Equipment and Specifications (1977)

So yes, it does appear that at least the late 1970's era boats had a tiller by default. As to the question of whether you can uninstall the wheel,
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Old 09-04-2013
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

There are lots of different ways to build a wheel steering system.
To give you an idea I have used pictures from my own boat.

This is the top of my rudder post/shaft, the square end is for attaching the emergency tiller. There is a lid in the deck above for the shaft on the emergency tiller.


This is how the rudder quadrant looks like, in this case you you could just disconnect the two wires that is attached to the quadrant


Or you could remove the quadrant completely as in this picture


I have no picture of the steering pedestal, but on my boat it's just bolted to the cockpit floor.

If I was to remove the wheel on my boat I would have to
  1. Check that I could make a tiller that works OK (i.e. enough room to swing it , good place to sit while sailing ++)
  2. Make an extension shaft for the rudder shaft with a bearing at deck level
  3. Make the tiller (or get)
  4. Disconnect the wires from the steering system
  5. remove the steering pedestal
  6. Cover the holes in the cockpit floor
  7. Go test the new tiller
If the top of the rudder shaft is above deck, you would not have to do step 2
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Re: Replace Wheel with Tiller? Can it be done?

Thank you to all who responded, with so much detail! Your help was deeply appreciated.
E.
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