Tiller vs Wheel

Some sailors prefer a tiller others the wheel. This is the old Chev vs Ford argument.

More common in smaller boats, some people prefer the tiller because it can be moved out of the way when docked. Also, people feel it gives the helm a more sensitive feel especially when racing. Hooking up an autopilot is simpler and much less expensive to install in a tiller boat.

However, since there is no mechanical advantage, unless the rudder is well balanced, the tiller requires more strength and is usually not practical in larger boats. Also, the tiller takes up more cockpit space and can be less than convenient when tacking with lots of bodies on board. New sailors easily get confused with a tiller and typically steer the wrong direction 

As boat size increases, a wheel becomes more desirable. I prefer the wheel because the helm-person and crew do not have to shift from side to side when tacking. In my 26ft boat people normally just stand behind the wheel, and because I have stern seats, I usually just set the brake and steer with my big toe from the high side seat. Also, inexperienced sailors are more comfortable with the the wheel because it steers more like a car. On small boats during dockside cocktail hours the wheel can get in the way. 

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