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I personally have a very strong preference for a tiller, although my usage may be different from yours.

As for a Westsail, I believe the attraction is that they are very heavily built and supposed to take heavy weather. Remember that they were designed in the early 70 s and we have come a long way since then.

However since they have an outboard rudder and tiller the only way you could go to a wheel is with a pusher thingy mounted to the transom that forces the rudder to turn. Even a very well made unit is not going to be as strong and reliable as the big tiller that they put on them. Therefore you would be going against the original design philosophy.

I would suggest that you get a little time in using a tiller before you make it a major buying point.

Gary
 

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If you want a boat with a canoe stern and wheel steering, check out the Southern Cross 35. It is VERY well built and is faster and points better than a WS. Unless you have the sails very well balanced on the WS, you will be fighting the tiller! The SC will also be easier to turn and dock because it is a modified full keel with a skeg hung rudder (not transom hung like my boat or the WS). It can handle the same heavy weather conditions and there is more room inside. I think there are 2 on Yachtworld.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I will look into the soutnern Cross. - I'm thinking of Tayana 37's now... but as Gary said my attraction to WS is 75% because of the heavier boat 25% because I love the way they look but the WS and Tayana maybe a little to much of a boat for me to handle especially single handed. I still have a month before I buy so I'll keep looking around. Thanks for the posts
 

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Discussion Starter #24
but the WS and Tayana maybe a little to much of a boat for me to handle especially single handed.
Properly set up with all control lines led aft, together with a dependable auto or tiller pilot, any of the boats under consideration should be comfortable to single hand. Just be sure to get enough practice in "easy" situations before any major undertakings.

Augie
 
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