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Thread: Any of the Olson folks prefer a wheel?

  1. #1
    Contributing Member III MarcusJtown's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    Any of the Olson folks prefer a wheel?

    I'm considering changing from a wheel to tiller over the winter this year. Just wondering if anyone here might be interested in going the other way?
    Marcus Cochran
    1990 Olson 34
    "Granuelle"
    #31

  2. #2
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Not much to add, but that's not stopped me from commenting here up 'til now...

    Back in the 90's when we bought our used O-34, we were really looking for a tiller model. At the time the only other sister ship we'd been on was in Portland and had a tiller with a ball bearing system for the rudder post. All of our prior boats were tiller-steered. Simpler, and even an AP install would be simpler.

    Then we bought this boat, after along search, and started thinking about a conversion. Local yard pointed out that the factory had cut off the post so it tops out down inside that screw-off cover. I guess we'd have to have a new extension welded on or glued with a piece of filler metal or carbon fiber. Hmmm....

    This is based on the original rudder and post system being perfect enough to justify the change/addition.
    Otherwise we'd have to probably go with a new slightly-longer rudder with full height post. Actually, with new "trick" bearings, this whole changeover would be pretty cool. I could imagine several thousand $ going into it, too!

    We will probably not make the change after all these years with the wheel.

    Keep us all posted, though.

    Loren
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 10-09-2013 at 06:36 PM.
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  3. #3
    Contributing Member III MarcusJtown's Avatar
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    There's another Olson in the same mooring field as me. It has a tiller and I got a chance to sail it earlier this year. I found it to be very well balanced with the stock rudder. I havn't taken a good look at the rudder post, but I don't think that will be too much of an obstacle. The rudder has Harken bearings on it right now, and they seem to be in pretty good shape. I was hoping to be able to unload the pedestal, wheel, and associatied stuff to help pay for the conversion.... and part of a sail... maybe.
    Marcus Cochran
    1990 Olson 34
    "Granuelle"
    #31

  4. #4
    Craig T. Olsen CTOlsen's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
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    Williamsburg, VA
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    Don't do it!

    Love my wheel. I sailed an O-30 for 10 years, I'm over the sensation of a tiller, particularly on a 10600# boat. Resale will also take a hit with a conversion to a tiller. Loki is nicely balanced, and requires little force on the wheel to drive. I've done a number of upgrades over the last 5 seasons: retractable CF sprit, new Autopilot, new rudder, new sails. I've never consider investing to convert from wheel to tiller.
    Craig T. Olsen
    Loki
    Hampton, VA

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