The Wheel on the Bus…
Earlier this week we featured the new Runnals 40 Jaffa, which featured a pretty unique "tacking’ wheel. We got in touch with the manufacturer and here’s what they had to say:
The Vanguard steering system was developed in 1998 to to give an alternative to twin wheels, or the cockpit restricting large single ferris wheel and has been available in Australia since then.
In that time the system has been refined and yachts with this system has competed in the Sydney-Hobart race on several occasions including a hard running race which always tests steering systems and rudders to their limit.
"tack" the wheel when the yacht is tacked. That is to say he simply takes the wheel with him to the other side of the yacht.
The wheel is automatically locked in either the port or starboard position.
Steering height is a comfortable 1250mm above the cockpit floor. The latest Mk. V version has a carbon fibre column and weighs 10 kgs excluding the wheel. The customer has a choice of 1 metre diameter 6 spoke aluminium wheel, carbon fibre, or stainless steel.
The system can be retrofitted to existing yachts with fitting time of approximately 1 hour, or incorporated into new builds.
Both cruisers, cruiser/racers, or full on race boats are equally successful with this system.
The wheel has a maximum lateral span of 2.2 metres.
We have found that it is better to tack the wheel before you tack the boat in fresh conditions, so that the helmsman is on the high (weather) side of the boat as you come out of the tack, and to tack the yacht before you tack the wheel in light air and then tack the wheel to high side after the tack is completed. It only takes a few tacks to get used to the system says Terry Posma of Perth Australia who has had the system on his previous yacht for 9 years and has just had the latest version installed on his new Runnals designed 40 ft. racer/cruiser.
For further information contact [email protected]