PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-18-2015 Thread Starter
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PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

I am looking at buying a PSC34. My only concern is that it has a wheel and I prefer a tiller. How difficult / practical would it be to do a conversion? The conversion would have to be done at a local yard in Cape Town.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-18-2015
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

Its very doable.

I converted my Crealock 37 from wheel to tiller a couple of years ago. You can see photos, etc on my website.

Dave Mancini has extensive website covering upgrades/maintenance on the Crealock 34 at Voyage of the Swan - A Pacific Seacraft 34 is Selected, Outfitted and Cruised Offshore. He did a wheel to tiller conversion and it is documented on the his website.

Basically you need drop the rudder and have the rudder shaft extended. Bearing installed where the rudder comes thru the deck. Remove the wheel pedestal and quadrant. Replace the gear shift/throttle controlls. Relocate any instruments on the pedestal to other locations in the cockpit. Mount a bulkhead compass to replace the pedestal compass.

I replaced all my older (~2000) B&G Network Instruments with a B&G Triton NMEA2000 instrument package as it simplified the cable runs to 1 cable running to the instrument pod which was then tee'd off in the instrument pod.

Thumper at Pacific Seacraft will put together a kit for you if desired. Mine included the bearing assembly, the rudder extension, the Edson Tiller Head fitting and Vetus gear/throttle shift. I ended using a Kobelt control rather then the Vetus.

There are also other threads on Pacific Seacraft forum dealing with the conversion.

Regards
Marc Hall
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37 | SV Crazy Fish
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-18-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

Thanks Marc, I've had a look at your site and bookmarked it, as well as Voyage of the Swan. This is really great information. Hopefully I will be joining the Pacific Seacraft family!
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-25-2015
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

Here's a link to Marc's original post in 2012 which I replied to along with several others:

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/pacifi...onversion.html

BTW, I did not drop the rudder to extend the shaft but rather had an extension made that I could put on top and through bolt to the original rudder stock under the deck. I have a sketch of this if it's of interest.

Also, the Spinlock single lever engine control we installed at the same time has worked well for us as has the Ritchie BN202 compass.

Regards,
John
s/v Pelagic
C37 #22 Yawl (1980)
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnewcomer View Post
I did not drop the rudder to extend the shaft but rather had an extension made that I could put on top and through bolt to the original rudder stock under the deck. I have a sketch of this if it's of interest. Regards, John s/v Pelagic C37 #22 Yawl (1980)
I would be most interested in this method and seeing these sketches! This sounds like something that could be done at the dock with no haul out required, yes?

What would you say the downsides to this conversion method would be?
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post #6 of 15 Old 04-01-2016
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davashcow View Post
I would be most interested in this method and seeing these sketches! This sounds like something that could be done at the dock with no haul out required, yes?

What would you say the downsides to this conversion method would be?
Make sure there is zero slop in your attachment of the rudderpost extension. When there is slop in a linkage like that, it just keeps getting worse until failure.

I'm no mechanical engineer, but I know of at least one case where someone's emergency tiller setup involved a hefty pin going through the hefty rudderstock, but it wore out within a few days.

I'd think you'd want something like two flanged couplings keyed into each shaft (think how your transmission output shaft attaches to your prop shaft).

jnewcomer's approach has apparently survived the test of time - that's reassuring.
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-01-2016
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

Converted my Pearson 35 from wheel to tiller. Bought a short piece of 1 1/2" ID, 2 1/4" O/D hollow bronze rod. Had it machined for a very tight fit over the 1 1/2" rudder stock on one end a short piece of 1 1/2" bronze rod to bring it above the cockpit sole on the top side. Cross bolted the hollow tube to the stub shaft and rudder shaft. Had a piece of 2" thick plastic block bored to a tight fit for the stub shaft to pass through and bolted to the cockpit sole as a top bearing and support. Bought a tiller head from Edson which was the most expensive part of the changeover.

Last edited by roverhi; 04-01-2016 at 04:05 PM.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-01-2016
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

Plus the surplus parts are of value, there's always someone out there looking to go the other way. They are quite interchangeable.
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

I am still looking for the drawing I used for the machine shop (I may have hand drawn it but I do have it in storage and will post it).

In essence the piece that fits into the existing rudder tube should be a slip fit so that when through bolting it's possible to tighten the rudder tube to clamp against the piece inside. I agree that you don't want any rotational play at all between the pieces. I used a 3/8-16 SS bolt with washers and locking nut and 1/2 inch drive tools to accomplish this. I've had the rudder off twice since and it all goes back together without a problem. The section that goes into the tiller head also needs to be a tight fit into so the through-bolt there will prevent any rotational play. The machine shop turned a solid piece of SS to fit the tiller head that also fit into the tube the goes into the existing rudder stock. They then welded the two pieces together and drilled the two through holes for me. It remained for me to drill the through hole in existing rudder tube.

The main disadvantage of getting rid of the wheel is the admiral doesn't like it for a variety of reasons (binnacle, table, engine controls etc). My main push for the tiller was safety. After I adjusted the cables under the cockpit floor early on I decided that wasn't something I wanted to deal with in a seaway, at night in foul weather with Murphy looking over my shoulder. An unanticipated boon to maintenance is being able to pivot the whole cockpit sole up and out of the way for engine, transmission, h/w heater and wiring maintenance. These days I might opt for worm drive wheel steering and having half the cockpit sole removable.

Hope this is of some use.

John
s/v Pelagic
1980 C37 Yawl
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post #10 of 15 Old 04-03-2016
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Re: PSC34 Wheel to Tiller conversion

Worm gears and drag link (Whitlock) setups are infinitely more reliable than cables, if the cables are oversized and pulleys properly sized and mounted that's the first step. I've seen 3/16" cables break on a 37' CC Boat, there's so much rudder all you have to do is steer too fast or side load from weather helm enough and, pop.. The Whitlock on my CS is so compact it freed up the entire area under the cockpit floor for an aft double. Its hard to reclaim this space on an existing design but the packaging advantages are amazing, I'm surprised its not used more than it is. I put a wheel on a tiller Boat for the same reasons mentioned above, if most of your use is close quarters in and out of slip etc. the ability to stand and see is more valuable than when under way for long periods of time.
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