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.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.
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.I really doubt that you would ever recoup the substantial amount of money required to install such a system.
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.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...
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
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.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.