What's better? Wheel, or Tiller Steering?
Seeing the wheel VS tiller debate is one that will never be settled, here's a list of pros and cons for you to consider.
Tiller SteeringPros -The best 'feel' of the rudder blade, because you're holding it in your hand! -You can sail from either the windward or leeward rail, giving you great visibility both upwind and downwind. -Steering can be done with almost any body part. Hands, feet, knees, butt! -Can be raised at anchor for a totally clear deck. -Simpler, with no/few moving parts. Cons -'Reversed' steering sense for beginners and non-sailors. -Can 'pin' non-sailors to the side of the boat during maneuvers. -Restricts movement across the cockpit while sailing. -Can only be used on boats up to around 40ft. Any bigger, it gets tough.
Pros -Easier to steer for non-sailors. It's just like driving a car -The wheel gives you something to grab on to! -Autopilots tend to be more accurate. -Maneuvering in the marina is easier, especially when reversing. -Behind the wheel, is a great place for nav equipment, cup holders etc. -You feel like a 'real captain'. Depending on your opinion… -Controlling large boats is significantly lighter on the arms Cons -Less 'feel' over what the rudder blade is doing (Weather/lee helm) -Can restrict the cockpit, depending on where it is placed. -Extreme maneuvers might take a bit longer to perform.
What's your favourite? There's a forum thread right here in the Seabreeze.com.au Sailing forum with first-hand reports from experienced community members and boat owners like yourself.