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I know that some of these boats have a tee cockpit and were equipped from the factory with wheel steering, but I would suggest that it would be an awful mistake to put wheel steering on this boat.

My recollection of the tiller steered Seafarer 26 is that the boat had a light and responsive helm and that the tiller put the helmsman in a good position to see the sails and make adjustments to the bridge mounted traveler and coaming mounted jib sheets. And while you can probably buy a system from Edson steering, who probably would have made the original wheel steering systems for these boats, the cost to by the system, modify the rudder post, beef up guide pulley mounting points etc. would greatly exceed the fair market price of the entire boat.

I guess my question to you would be, what is it that you are trying to accomplish by converting your boat to wheel steering.

Jeff
 

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To be able to sit aft amidships. I don't own the boat but I am considering buying it. The responsive helm seems to be a significant positive attribute with this Seafarer.
 

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When you can flip the tiller up and have a clear open living room (where you will be hanging out), life is sweet.
No need to mount a large floor lamp to take up space...:)
You'll have less open space, add weaker links to the chain...and you'll spend a bunch of $...and that's if it's done right.
 

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About all you will accomplish in my opinion is making it look like you are unhappy with your boat and would like something bigger. I sail a 26 foot and can not think of any good reason to have wheel steering. Wheels are installed to give mechanical advantage...this is not required on small vessels.

Paul in Nanaimo
 

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Nope, not going to be unhappy with any decision on the tiller or wheel.
The first mate will only see a very pleased skipper!
 

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To be able to sit aft amidships. I don't own the boat but I am considering buying it. The responsive helm seems to be a significant positive attribute with this Seafarer.
I am not sure in what sense you are using the term 'amidships' (i.e. traditional half way between the bow and the stern. Or do you mean on the transverse centerline of the boat.) If in the traditional sense, a tiller will move you closer to half way between the bow and the stern so you will be better able to see your sail trim. If you mean the transverse centerline of the boat, that is only good for motoring. Ideally, you will want a tiller extension which puts you outboard so you can see better and better reach the controls.

But anyway, as others (and I0 have suggested, it does not make any sense to put a wheel on a 26 footer.

Jeff
 

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You wouldn't be changing out a tiller for a wheel. You'd be adding a wheel and would have your tiller stowed somewhere as a back up. Preferring a wheel/binnacle over a tiller in smaller vessels is a personal preference, albeit a pretty unpopular one it seems. It's a preference I have none the less. Despite some 12 years sailing various vessels both tiller and wheel, pointing a stick in opposite direction of where I want to go just never sat well with me, nor do I see any of the advantages people purport a tiller to have over a wheel other than space while parked at the dock.

My boat is 25' and had dealer installed wheel steering when it was sold new. Yes it is obtrusive while sitting at the dock but the wheel can be removed in less than a minute freeing up much more space. Also it is not as near as obtrusive (at least to other crew in the cockpit) as a tiller while sailing IMO and I bought the boat to sail, not sit at the dock. In addition to being my preferred method of steering it also currently gives me a place to mount a compass, GPS, cup holder, holder for a handheld radio, wheel pilot, and future plans include a folding cockpit table.

Hopefully I won't be looked down upon for my heresy, although I must add that my boat has a 9ft beam which is more than many 27 footers have, giving it a bit more space in the cockpit than you'd think.
 

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Twoshoes brings up some valid points although I personally, with respect, don't think they carry much weight. If a skipper did insist on the wheel option, I would encourage him or her to look for a boat with a reliable system installed. I really doubt that you would ever recoup the substantial amount of money required to install such a system.

Paul in Nanaimo
 

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I really doubt that you would ever recoup the substantial amount of money required to install such a system.
Absolutley true. It was already installed when I bought it, and added very little cost to the purchase price compared to same make/model/year/condition vessels that are tiller steered. However, there are few, if any, improvements that can be made in which one could hope to recoup even most of the cost of upon resale. I've put more into refitting/improving my boat than I paid for it, I knew that going in, I have no regrets.
 

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Well according to this:

SEAFARER 26 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

It must have been a factory option.

Even so, I'd be in the 'don't bother' camp. Our own boat would be a much better, more comfortable boat under sail if she had a tiller instead of a wheel. However the extensive summer cruising we do, and the existing setup with binnacle-mounted plotter and autohelm, along the the folding cockpit table makes changing what we've got a bit of a complicated handful. Where to have our bacon and eggs on a warm summer morn? Where to put the other stuff?

.... hmmm..... now it occurs to me that I'm pretty much making your case... :rolleyes: ;)

It will be pricey, and a tad difficult to add all the hardware after the fact, not much room and probably marginal access now. And at 26 feet, adding the weight aft like that, and then moving the helmsman aft behind that, will not do much for the boat's balance and performance.

If you do decide to do it, check out Edson's rigid link and lever steering over the tradition quadrant and cable. http://www.fisheriessupply.com/edson-marine-cd-i-geared-steering-pedestals
 

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You clever sailors have convinced me. However, I don't want to spend too much, I think I will just screw an orange crate to the cockpit sole and I can hang all our paraphernalia on that.

Paul in Nanaimo
 

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Well according to this:

SEAFARER 26 sailboat specifications and details on sailboatdata.com

It must have been a factory option.

Even so, I'd be in the 'don't bother' camp. Our own boat would be a much better, more comfortable boat under sail if she had a tiller instead of a wheel. However the extensive summer cruising we do, and the existing setup with binnacle-mounted plotter and autohelm, along the the folding cockpit table makes changing what we've got a bit of a complicated handful. Where to have our bacon and eggs on a warm summer morn? Where to put the other stuff?

.... hmmm..... now it occurs to me that I'm pretty much making your case... :rolleyes: ;)

It will be pricey, and a tad difficult to add all the hardware after the fact, not much room and probably marginal access now. And at 26 feet, adding the weight aft like that, and then moving the helmsman aft behind that, will not do much for the boat's balance and performance.

If you do decide to do it, check out Edson's rigid link and lever steering over the tradition quadrant and cable. CD-i Geared Steering Pedestals
So the wheel was an option? wouldn't that be awkward with a tiller and that "T" shaped cockpit. Im a firm believer in that link setup Edson offers. Its just like the stock setup on my CS, Whitlock system. Nice for packaging, more durable and takes up less space than those pulleys. I'm surprised its not more widely used.
 

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I want to preface this by saying this is just my opinion. Don't do it. It will take up too much room, and honestly you aren't getting much bang for your buck so to speak. We have an Ericson 29, which was originally setup for a tiller. At some point one of the P.O.s added a wheel and binnacle. The way it was installed was to add a wooden box on top of the existing tiller fitting, and then the plumbing for the wheel is inside this box. With this setup, the only way to get behind the wheel is to climb up on the seating and then down aft of the wheel. This makes changing the person behind the helm a pain in the butt and really cuts down on cockpit space.

Good luck on what you decide to do.

-Chris
 

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I don't think I would want wheel steering on a 26' boat. I just don't like unnecessary moving parts to brake and maintain, but I realise everyone has different priorities.

I can only think of one advantage to wheel steering in a small boat, and that is comfort/ergonomics, which can actually be very important to many people, myself included.

An alternative to wheel steering might be a telescoping tiller extension. A telescoping tiller extension might actually give more options to change your seating position and will almost definitely cost much less.
 

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It's too easy and fun to rig up your own homemade or store-bought tiller tamer.
And bungee cord line is pretty cool.

The 'feel' for the rudder is also different.
With tiller you are closer to 1:1 contact.
And if you ever want to go hard over fast....bang, you're there in under 2 sec.
 

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An alternative to wheel steering might be a telescoping tiller extension. A telescoping tiller extension might actually give more options to change your seating position and will almost definitely cost much less.
This is actually a very good suggestion and certainly much more economical than converting to a wheel. My 34 footer originally had a tiller and a p.o. converted it to a wheel. Then a later p.o. thankfully ripped it all out and I much prefer a tiller. I do, however, have a telescoping tiller extension that makes a huge difference when I want to sit up on the coaming and remember what it was like on my Laser as a kid.

If you are set on a wheel, find a boat with it already installed.
 
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