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Greetings & Tiller conversion

Hello all,

I am very excited to have just picked up a San Juan 23.  The prior owner
abandoned her, and the marina owner is repossessing it and giving it to me
for past slip fees (about $3000).  A crawl through the boat shows it to be
in good shape, with some cosmetic damage from in the water for 2 years.  The
interior is dry (albeit a mess, thanks to left behind stuff), etc.  Once I
get it cleaned out and the hull repainted, I'll be psyched.  New running
rigging, a good inspection while out of water, etc.  I expect all through
hull fittings need to be replaced.

Most of my recent history has been with larger boats, 28' to 40'  .  I
expect a little bit of relearning with this lighter boat, and I haven't used
a transom mounted motor in 20+ years :)   Should be fun :)

My question is:  Has any one converted their tiller to a wheeled helm?  I
know its more complex equipment to potentially break, but I've gotten so
used to it that I'm kinda hesitating on going back to the tiller (it's been
20 years - maybe it's not as annoying as I remember).    I can see several
mechanical issues with installing a wheel system, such as 

1) mounting it mid cockpit would take up as much room as the tiller
essentially (more actually).

2) mounting it backwards on inside of the transom is the most likely
candidate, but that block access to the engine, etc.

3) a worm drive system is not practical, so it would probably have to be a
hydraulic system, which would certainly be subject to salt spray galore.

4).  I might be just as happy with an autopilot.  And for $400 or so, they'd
probably save me a boat load of design headaches.

Any ideas, comments, bad noises?


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