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Big Chicken Baby
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Discussion Starter #1
The title pretty much sums it up. We do find the cockpit to be a bit cramped at times due to the wheel. A folding wheel seems like a great solution, just wondering if anyone has any caveats to replacing our wheel with the Lewmar folding. Any problems with installation? Durability? Performance?
 

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Interested, also

We looked hard at the folding wheels when we had our Hunter for the same reason, but price then deterred us. No need on our Gemini, but I'll be curious to see the responses you get...
 

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I swap my fix 32" steering wheel for the Lewmar Folding 36" and love it. With this 36" folding wheel, I increase my steering wheel diameter hence allowing me to sit and lean on side of cockpit coaming and yet able to hold the steering when before I cannot. And when folded, its easier to walk around the steering/cockpit. Its very easy to install, just remove the old wheel and put in the new. If you have Raymarine autopilot wheel, the folder comes with 6 spokes so may need to drill new mount holds on the wheel drive (easy to do anyway). Bought mine through Hunter Marine (comes suitable for tapered mount). You can get the wheel with dual mount type (taper and straight shaft hub) from chandler.
 

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And I swapped my wheel out as well. With the wheel folded, it sure opens up the cockpit for guests. I thought about the quick release hub, but being the klutz that I am sometimes, I had visions of dropping the whole thing overboard. Well worth the money.
 

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Abysmally Stupid
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Mimsy,

I looked closely at a Tatoosh 42 in Charleston awhile ago. Loved it.

One thing that I found is that the distance from the wheel to the helmsman seat / rear cockpit locker (along the centerline of the boat) is very short.

I would check if you have enough distance to actually fold the wheel.

just my $0.02
 

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Pearson 303
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410 Posts
You might consider a pulpit mount and the knurled quick release hub nut, even with just the nut you can easily remove wheel and store out of the way. They sell them here.
Edson - Wheel Storage Device/Quick Nut Combo Shop.Sailnet.com - sailing resources, shopping, sail, blogs
This is what we installed on Carolena. It works great, takes only a few seconds to remove and reinstall, and really opens the cockpit when at anchor or the marina. We found ours new on Ebay for about half the cost of retail. I would guess it is many multiples less than the cost of the folding wheel. As to the concern of something falling overboard, it really isn't possible as the nut comes off in the cockpit and we mount the wheel in the inside of the pushpit.
 

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Sorry I waited so long

I finally "bit the bullet" and ordered a folding wheel for my Beneteau 361 this summer. I wish I had done it earlier. It really makes life better when the boat is moored, anchored or at the dock. The "Admiral" loves it, too. Everything about the workmanship is impeccable (the suede cover, the hub, the twist-lock barrels, the s.s. hinges). Nothing but positive from this user.
Agaliha
 

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I see no reason why you shouldn't get it. Mine was already installed on our new Catalina 309.

The workmanship is fine. The hardware is robust, and there's absolutely no sense that the thing's going to fold at the wrong moment or fail.

I'll admit that we seldom fold it, though. The layout of our cockpit is such that there's plenty of room forward of the wheel.

Really depends on how many folks you have on your boat and your usage.
 

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I have not been able to replace the plastic threaded part of my new Lewmar wheel. Lewmar has been nonresponsive for eight months so I have half a folding wheel.

If anybody has any suggestions, I would appreciate it.
 

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Senior Moment
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Lewmar customer service is nonexistent in my experience. If you have the pieces of your broken part or know the dimensions take it to a machine shop and have them make you the part. They can most likely make a recommendation for a stronger plastic. The key to getting good results from a machine shop is to not waste their time, either have the part to be replaced or a drawing with dimensions for them to work from .

michael
 

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I'm surprised no one mentioned one downside that I found while cruising on a friend's boat who installed a folding wheel. That being when folded, the sharp edges where it hinges stick out just far enough to create a real danger especially to kids who may be wandering around the cockpit. In my case, all it did was cause a few bruises in my leg.
 

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I'm surprised no one mentioned one downside that I found while cruising on a friend's boat who installed a folding wheel. That being when folded, the sharp edges where it hinges stick out just far enough to create a real danger especially to kids who may be wandering around the cockpit. In my case, all it did was cause a few bruises in my leg.
That's because this was never a problem. At less not on my boat.
 

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I have brushed against it and one time got a pretty good cut. I think a good solution would be a tennis ball or similar to go over the sharp edges on the rod.

Otherwise, I love ours and fold it all the time, it is in the way when not folded to walk around especially at anchor.
 

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Super Moderator
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We love ours

Aside from the price it has been a great product. We also never found the edges sharp and do have a 2 1/2 year old on board to test out the bruise or cut factor.

My buddy whom I race with also bought one and they too love it.

 

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Tiller to a wheel

I have a 1984 Seafarer 26 with a tiller and I would like to convert it to a folding wheel. How hard is this to do and about how much money am I looking at to convert from a tiller to a wheel? Any advise would be helpful. Thanks

Bill
781 325 2444
 

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switching from tiller to pedastal and wheel is not an inexpensive task. On your size boat, the tiller is actually the way to go...much more responsive and better feel..if it gets old, a tiller pilot or some line handler gear will stand in for you...

labor...
pedastal
wheel
gearing and drive cables
labor
drilling hole in deck, adequate access and backing required?
room for gear and drive
etc
did I mention labor...
access to rudder stock
 

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I loved the one I installed on my Ericson 35-3. I went from 36" to 40" and it has a slight dish so the new bigger wheel actually has better walk-around clearance while open than the 36" fixed. Closed it is great as we board our dinghy at the transom ladder and frequently walk by the wheel.

My new boat also has a 36" and I now have to decide whether to go 40" or 42".
 

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Sailin' home
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Dear All,

I am a new member of this forum. I have just converted from power to sailing. I am located in Malta - Europe. A bit far away from you guys. I am the new owner of a Bavaria 30 Cruiser from 2005. I wish to change the current Lewmar 40", 5 spoke steering with a folding Lewmar 40" 6 spoke folding steering wheel. I have a problem though. When I install the folding steering wheel, the handles which are used to keep the steering open - I think they are called "fast-action handgrip release" - they hit the lower part of my console where I have the fuel gauge. Does anyone know if there is some sort of adapter or extension which make the steering protrude just that bit required. I've seen a picture on the Internet - which I am attaching to this message, which shows the apdapter I need, but I am not sure if this is something which the owner did or if it is something which one can buy ready made. Image 2 shows the fuel gauge where the steering is hitting.

Kind Regards
Jezz
 

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