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 Catalina/Capri 25/250 Sailor's Forums
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 Catalina 250 Wheel Steering To Tiller Conversion
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offline
Deckhand

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USA
10 Posts

Initially Posted - 10/01/2019 :  10:31:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone converted their 250 from the edson wheel pedestal steering to a tiller? Looks fairly straight forward. Just remove pedestal and rudder attachments. Then add a tiller and some access plates where the pedestal was mounted.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Chris Edwards

whk1965
Deckhand

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USA
23 Posts

Response Posted - 10/01/2019 :  11:51:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Just did it. You are right on but you have to expand the pedestal hole for the access plate. If you are buying a new tiller check the dimensions at the rudder head don't trust your emergency tiller Mine did not fit when I had to use it.

Bill Knowles
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offline
Deckhand

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USA
10 Posts

Response Posted - 10/01/2019 :  12:06:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Awesome! Mine fits but its too short. I ordered a new tiller from rudder craft. My pedestal cables and brake is shot. Edson quoted me $730 for a set of double cables to replace my single cable setup plus $80 for a new clutch break. The tiller was $200 finished and shipped then another $120 for a tiller extension. A no brainer for me, not a big fan of a wheel in the first place.

Just glad someone else has done this before I attempt it.

Thanks,

Chris Edwards

quote:
Originally posted by whk1965

Just did it. You are right on but you have to expand the pedestal hole for the access plate. If you are buying a new tiller check the dimensions at the rudder head don't trust your emergency tiller Mine did not fit when I had to use it.


Edited by - offline on 10/01/2019 12:07:56
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whk1965
Deckhand

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USA
23 Posts

Response Posted - 10/01/2019 :  18:33:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I love wheels but not on a 25 footer, bought my tiller from rudder craft it is great. Good luck.


Bill Knowles
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offline
Deckhand

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USA
10 Posts

Response Posted - 10/02/2019 :  17:13:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bill,

I removed the compass and controls. Then I removed the 4 bolts holding the pedestal. It wont even wiggle, is it glued down? Maybe use a scraper or a chisel? How did you get the pedestal off?

Thanks,

Chris
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whk1965
Deckhand

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USA
23 Posts

Response Posted - 10/02/2019 :  18:10:28  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They probably used silicone caulk, try gently putting a thin chiesl under and pry it off tap it with a hammer but keep it from digging in to the sole.

Bill Knowles
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RPLieser
1st Mate

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USA
68 Posts

Response Posted - 10/03/2019 :  09:40:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had to remove my pedestal to install the new "Pull-Pull" system from Edson... BTW, love my wheel as it's easy on the back and for the grandsons with their very short arms. Anyway, mine was also very "stuck" from the factory. After removing all of the bolts, I hooked my come-along between the top of the pedestal and the base of the 1" grab rail near the cabin top winches. The constant strain of the come-along and a little urging on my part broke it loose. I found a small mountain of sealer under it with a perfect impression of the base. Sooo... (for those re-installing) I left the original sealer and just laid a new, thin coat on top when re-installing.

Edited by - RPLieser on 10/03/2019 09:41:42
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offline
Deckhand

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USA
10 Posts

Response Posted - 10/03/2019 :  09:51:46  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
RP,

You gave me a great idea! I'll hook a rope around the pedestal and use the winch to pull while I scrape and chisel it loose.

Thanks,

Chris
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3975 Posts

Response Posted - 10/03/2019 :  11:30:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would imagine there is some sort of adhesive sealer. They had to make it water tight.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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Stinkpotter
Master Marine Consultant

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Djibouti
8947 Posts

Response Posted - 10/03/2019 :  14:30:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If the sealant is an adhesive such as (God help you) 3M 5200, Don Casey recommends a release chemical called DeBond. (West caries it.) Apparently you score the edges of the seal, spray DeBond on it, wait a bit, pry and score some more, spray again,........ It might be worth it to avoid damaging the gelcoat on the cockpit sole, since 5200 is famous for pulling it off the fiberglass. (...famous to me because it happened to me, where a builder bedded teak hand-rails with it.)

As I've said many times, 5200 should only be sold to... well, maybe nobody!

Dave Bristle
Association "Port Captain" for Mystic/Stonington CT
PO of 1985 C-25 SR/FK #5032 Passage, ex-OUPV,
Now on Eastern 27 $+!nkp*+ Sarge
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offline
Deckhand

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USA
10 Posts

Response Posted - 10/04/2019 :  06:36:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They used caulk. Once the four bolts holding the pedestal were out I tied a rope to the pedestal then to the winch. A couple of turns on the winch and the pedestal came loose. I then used a paint scrapper to remove the rest of the caulk. Now to install a 4" access plate to cover the control wire hole.

Thanks,

Chris
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islander
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
3975 Posts

Response Posted - 10/04/2019 :  14:47:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't forget to caulk the access plate.

Scott-"IMPULSE"87'C25/SR/WK/Din.#5688
Sailing out of Glen Cove,L.I Sound


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NCBrew
Captain

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USA
338 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2021 :  07:43:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I would like to go the other way from tiller to wheel. Any thoughts on that?

1998 Catalina 250WK
Ravaging
Albemarle Sound,NC

I spent most of my money on boats and beer, the rest I just wasted.


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DelilahII
Deckhand

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USA
7 Posts

Response Posted - 07/26/2021 :  16:58:59  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
NCBrew, Just my two cents: I just finished converting to tiller also. You might want to mock up a cardboard pedestal and wheel in your boat. See what it's like for boarding, and if you trailer-sail, see what it's like to step the mast and rig the boat with the wheel in place. You'll also want to consider the added parts you'll have hanging down into the aft berth and the battery compartment area; depending on your boat's configuration, it can be pretty tight.

One thing to also consider is weight; most of the parts are pretty light, but if you're going to add a HDPE cockpit table, pod with electronics, etc. it all adds up.

You'll be drilling and cutting some fairly large holes in your boat and rudder, but I don't think there's anything too challenging for your average DIY savvy sailor.


If you have to buy the parts from Edson new, I would be very curious what it would all cost!

Catalina 250K MK II

Edited by - DelilahII on 07/27/2021 07:28:16
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Voyager
Master Marine Consultant

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USA
5164 Posts

Response Posted - 07/27/2021 :  09:45:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a standard tiller and thatís always in my way in the cockpit. Iíve been thinking of buying another one to shorten up by about a foot. I could not imagine what kind of an obstacle a wheel would be in a Catalina 25/250 cockpit.

Bruce Ross
Passage ~ SR-FK ~ C25 #5032

Port Captain ó Milford, CT

Edited by - Voyager on 07/27/2021 09:53:00
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RPLieser
1st Mate

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USA
68 Posts

Response Posted - 07/28/2021 :  09:53:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've commented before on my pro-wheel stance (probably in the minority here)... but while it is a bit tight to get around to change helmsman, it otherwise provides more space for guests. With the helmsman sitting center aft, we easily put two in the catbird seats and three more in the cockpit - and no banging of knees, nor having them move as is the case with the tillter... and we are not a small group of six, I'm 6'4" as are a few of my friends. Also, the ease of steering with the Edson pull-pull system whilst running offshore in Central California's large swell is a blessing.

I have the 1" S/S grab rail attached to the binnacle, and I've duplicated a slightly smaller version above the mainsheet hardware where one enters the cabin... both are well-used.

The PO of my boat had converted from wheel to tiller as the single cable had frozen. I reversed the process and do keep the tiller as a backup device.

As an aside... my grandsons can easily steer the boat and more clearly see forward from the helm.


Patrick Lieser

C250WK #973
Knot My Fault III
Avila Beach, CA

(PO of C250WB #312)

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sebastko
Deckhand

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USA
4 Posts

Response Posted - 07/11/2022 :  14:29:22  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi all,
This is my first post on this forum - excited to be here to chat with fellow Catalina owners! :)

I'm interested in this topic, as the Edson push/pull system on my new-to-me 1996 C250 broke: now I either need to convert to tiller (something I had considered even before the steering system broke, mainly due to lack of room around the pedestal) or pay $900 for the Edson pull/pull upgrade kit and install it.

My questions for the folks who have a tiller on a Catalina 250 (esp. if you have converted from wheel to tiller):
- Do you have a tiller locking system/clutch? How did you install it? E.g., manual for the Tiller Tamer by Davis ( https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0515/5992/3873/files/2205_IM_TillerTamer.pdf ) suggests 90 degrees around point "C" - I don't see an obvious place to install cleats in the aft of the boat to achieve such angle... There is a ladder in one corner and an outboard in the other.
- The tiller obstructs access to the fuel tank compartment (this is something I have experienced already with the emergency tiller I'm temporarily using) - any tips to deal with that?
- Once I remove the pedestal, how to cover the hole nicely so it doesn't look terrible and doesn't leak? :)
- Any particular tillers (shapes and sizes) you would recommend for a C250?

And a question to @RPLieser, or anyone who has upgraded the wheel from push/pull to pull/pull: how difficult is it to do? I got instructions from Edson, but some steps are unclear to me (due to novel terminology, etc.). I'm sure the steps will become clearer once I start disassembling stuff, etc., but in general I'm wondering if it's a 2-3-hour type of project, or more of a multi-day project?

I would very much appreciate your help/input!

I feel a tiller would be better for this size of the boat, but only if I can get some tiller locking system to work reliably... (otherwise, I'd prefer the wheel) also, with installing the cleats and patching up the hole after removing the pedestal, I cannot tell if converting to tiller, or to pull/pull steering system would be easier.

Catalina 250WB

Edited by - sebastko on 07/11/2022 14:31:13
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RPLieser
1st Mate

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USA
68 Posts

Response Posted - 09/01/2022 :  16:12:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
While there are a few steps, if you're handy you shouldn't find the task too difficult - and the result is like adding power steering to the boat - one can sail all day and the back and arms do not tire. Given your two choices, I'd say a multi-day project. I also replaced the rubber boot on the tiller arm while I was at it as the bolts holding it in need to come loose anyway for the inside bracket install. The kit from Edson is very complete and well-made, their tech support helpful.
I fully completed this task on the first pass and didn't have to go back on any items - and no new holes to drill in the deck or hull.

Significant Components of the Install:
1) I would say now, as I own a 2008 wing keel with the pull-pull system factory installed, that the greatest challenge I had was determining the route for the cable conduits. I say that as the factory route on my new boat is simpler than the route I took... should've looked for a photo!
2) Breaking the pedestal loose... see my note back in this thread... easy once I figured it out. Side note... the kit comes with replacement aluminum bolts for the pedestal.
3) Deciding whether or not to slightly enlarge the hole beneath the pedestal to fit the bend of the conduits... this would be less of an issue using the factory conduit path. Remember to seal the deck edges if the epoxy from the factory is incomplete or you enlarge the hole.
4) Adding clearance for the conduits in the plywood panel that covers the lazarette... again, much easier with the factory conduit route.

Other notes: 1) generously grease the new cables with a non-petroleum grease,
2) order the conduits with a mid-point grease fitting for future lubrication,
3) remember to oil the bearing on the wheel shaft while you've got it taken apart (through the little hole),
4) consider any wiring adds to the binnacle while apart... I added GPS and fathometer wiring to the helm.

Patrick Lieser

C250WK #973
Knot My Fault III
Avila Beach, CA

(PO of C250WB #312)

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