Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing - Page 7 - SailNet Community
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post #61 of 87 Old 11-17-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

I never had a bit of trouble backing up my Catalina 27 because it had a fin keel and the prop is wide open to the water. It was almost like parking a car, and it had a tiller. My sailing buddy had a C-27 also, with a wing keel and a wheel. It was just as easy to back up.

Now, with my full keel 33 Morgan OI, backing up is a crap shoot at best, wheel or tiller doesn't make a bit of difference. The boat just goes where it wants to go at the time, could be left, could be right, and sometimes, on rare occasions, it actually goes straight, regardless of the rudder position.

Now, when I had the 27 Catalina, that tiller didn't really communicate sail trim to me, and neither does the Morgan 33 with the wheel. I just kinda feel the boat as if it were attached to me and instinctively steer where the performance seems best. Maybe being old and spending most of my life on the water has something to do with this - don't know for certain, though.

Oh well, hope the OP finds what he's looking for.

Good luck in your quest,

Gary
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post #62 of 87 Old 11-17-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

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Originally Posted by capnJudd View Post

...TWO: Pointing your rudder to go backwards can be confusing...
I agree with those who said look aft and point the rudder/tiller where you want to go.

.... But the real reason I'm good at it is that when I was a 5 or 6 or whatever, my mom would let me single hand her "Turnabout", a sort of plywood cat rigged centerboarder that seemed huge to me. We lived on the water all summer.

For some reason I rarely could tack properly. My method was start to tack, get in irons, drift backwards, and while drifting back I'd steer backwards and turn the boat the way I wanted it, then sail off. Seemed good to me!

Now I use it to set my anchor, as I almost never motor.
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post #63 of 87 Old 11-17-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

Here's a guy sailing single-handed in San Diego. Note the lack of a wheel


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post #64 of 87 Old 11-17-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

If I had to work as hard as that kid did in the video above, they would be hauling my old arse off on a gurney to the nearest ER. Next spring, when the boat goes back in the water and I'm out there sailing down the Chesapeake, I post some vids of how how an old curmudgeon single hands a 33 Morgan Out Island, while at the same time, mixes green coconut margarettas and grills lunch on the gas grill, all at the same time. With luck, I'll find some hot honey to do the cookin' and mix the cocktails. (Just kidding, darling.) The guy in the video must have been in a really narrow waterway - he was tacking every minute or so. Way too much work for a sailor.

All the best,

Gary
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post #65 of 87 Old 11-18-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

The guy on the Cal 2-29 could be working harder. That traveler needs to be going up on each tack. He doesn't have runners. He should be sitting to windward. I'd load up the next winch and put the handle in it after tacking. And as Gary colorfully points out, this guy is only sailing. Except for one hello to another boat he is not doing any of the tasks of primary importance.

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post #66 of 87 Old 11-18-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

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Originally Posted by PitApe View Post
Here's a guy sailing single-handed in San Diego. Note the lack of a wheel
I looked at your posted vid and then found this one. I was going to post it and state "looks like he is making out ok with a wheel", then I got to the 16min 38 second part of the vid where the wheel pedestal breaks. Nice video of his trip.:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=28TAdDu5L6U

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post #67 of 87 Old 11-18-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
It's a natural to steer with the tiller between your legs and both hands free to work the boat. You can crank a non self tailing winch and tail while steering with a tiller. There is also the Pederast steering possibility.
[emphasis added]

Whaaaaaaaa?

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on a starboard tack
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post #68 of 87 Old 11-18-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Hey everyone,

Quick question. Some of you are familiar with my story. I am looking to buy a boat and have narrowed the search down to either a Catalina 27 or an Ericson 27. I am looking to be able to single-hand the boat, and I am also looking to make the sailing the least physically demanding as possible, as I am recovering from a bad case of Lyme disease.

Is it easier to single-hand a boat of this size with a tiller as opposed to a wheel? It seems as though it would be, as the wheel might make it harder to maneuver throughout the cockpit. But it also seems like a wheel would be less physically taxing to steer over the course of a few hours as opposed to a tiller. So while a tiller might make it easier to single hand the boat, it also might be more physically demanding than a wheel. Just wondering what other sailors think about this issue. Thanks for your help eveyone.

Danny
Danny I own an SS34 which is tiller steered.
the starting point in all of this is maintaining a well balanced boat that will steer her self -- dont use autohelm and mechanical steering to avoid this fundamental requirement as you will be on a slippery slope

Having sailed and raced for some 40 years I prefer tiller steering for its simplicity and ease of maintenance. Also you have direct feel of you boat

Being able fold the tiller back when at anchor is "gold"

I have both windvane steering for longer trips, and autohelm tiller steering for shorter trips or when in harbours.

hope this helps but be aware there is no right or wrong answer to your question --it is what you are comfortable with.

Good luck Colin
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post #69 of 87 Old 11-18-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

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Originally Posted by colinalleck View Post
Danny I own an SS34 which is tiller steered.
the starting point in all of this is maintaining a well balanced boat that will steer her self -- dont use autohelm and mechanical steering to avoid this fundamental requirement as you will be on a slippery slope

Having sailed and raced for some 40 years I prefer tiller steering for its simplicity and ease of maintenance. Also you have direct feel of you boat

Being able fold the tiller back when at anchor is "gold"

I have both windvane steering for longer trips, and autohelm tiller steering for shorter trips or when in harbours.

hope this helps but be aware there is no right or wrong answer to your question --it is what you are comfortable with.

Good luck Colin
Good Point Colin,
BTW I also have an S&S 34- where are you located?
And to think about it, as you say, if I balance the boat correctly, I need little or no effort on the tiller. Thing nice about a tiller is that it gives you more options as to where to position yourself in the cockpit if you do need to steer, or apply light pressure to the tiller. You can lay down or sit on leeward or windward side of cookpit. You can stand if you like. Since you can move the height of the tiller and add an extension, gives you more options than a fixed wheel. But as Colin says, what works for you is best.

In the beginning, there was only water...
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post #70 of 87 Old 11-18-2015
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Re: Tiller or Steering Wheel for Single-Handing

I am located on Sydney Harbour Australia
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