The Voyage of the Swan
  1. Better rudder feel. I can feel the weigh on the boat with my eyes closed.
  2. Quicker rudder response. I can move the rudder full starboard to full port in one second.
  3. I know what the rudder position is at a glance, no rudder indicator needed.
  4. The monitor self-steering works better (has more leverage) and is easier to adjust with a tiller. The monitor does 99% of the steering at sea, so it does the long tricks. The tiller is long enough to be easy to wield. Adjustable tiller lines keep the tiller movement within a small range (like on tiller steered sailing ships).
  5. Way more room in the cockpit at anchor (lash the tiller in a vertical position to the backstay).
  6. We can steer from the forward end of the cockpit (under the dodger) instead of behind the wheel where it's wet and windy.
  7. We can steer from practically any position in the cockpit, in fact: sitting down, standing up, forward, aft, etc., just by lifting the tiller.
  8. Easier to singlehand. I can steer no hands, standing up with the tiller between my legs, leaving my hands for sheets, winches, traveler, or my pockets. No pedestal in my way.
  9. Easier to lash the tiller for heaving to or adjusting out weather helm. Wheel brakes WILL fail and are not trustworthy unattended when they are set.
  10. Instruments can be mounted out of the weather at eye height when sitting. Compass is always in front of you.
  11. Cheaper to repair, replace, maintain.
  12. NOTE: If you are physically unable to climb underneath the cockpit floor to adjust steering cable tension or replace broken wires, sheaves, etc. and you intend to make long ocean passages, then you had better switch to a tiller. I have had to make repairs at sea down there. If you think you will be able to hand steer with that short-armed aluminum emergency tiller on a shorthanded boat for days at a time, think again.
What Works for Us (based on reader questions) and Other Info
How We Use our Sails How We Anchor Swan Cutless Bearing
Remove Impeller Replace 3JH2E Our Boom Vang Setup Water Heater Removal