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
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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ITS ALL GOOD!!