40" wheel for 1985 E32-3

vanilladuck

E32-3 / San Francisco
PXL_20210507_025358197.jpg

Like a lot other similar boats, there is currently a Yacht Specialities destroyer wheel on my Ericson 32-3 mounted on an Edson pedestal. As I'm contemplating adding an auto-pilot, I'm also thinking it's a good time for a wheel upgrade. The current wheel measures to just under 36" OD. And I'm thinking of going with the Lewmar 40" folding wheel:


I figure the folding parts will get it 'out of the way when not under way'. A few extra inches could provide a little more ease of steering while sitting outboard, not to mention a little extra leverage when seas & winds are high.

Is this the right size for this boat? Anyone have any experience to share here? Pros, cons? Jokes?
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Is this the right size for this boat? Anyone have any experience to share here? Pros, cons? Jokes?
Our boat has the factory stock 36" wheel. It is a little too far to reach from sitting out on the combing. OTOH it is pretty easy to step around.
A few years ago I found a deal on a 44" ss wheel and we tried it for a couple of seasons.
We changed back because we both tired of stepping up on the seat and down again. I would guess that 20 years ago our younger selves might not have minded the tradeoff so much. It was indeed easier and more fun to steer when driving to weather.
These kind of decisions are always a compromise, so there are no right or wrong answers.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I wonder how many 85 32-3s had Edson pedestals. Pretty handy, since they're still in business.

The folding wheel would also make moving past the wheel easier--an issue on the E38, too.
 

Afrakes

Sustaining Member
I wonder how many 85 32-3s had Edson pedestals. Pretty handy, since they're still in business.

The folding wheel would also make moving past the wheel easier--an issue on the E38, too.
It might have been changed by a previous owner. Those control levers look like the newer versions not the ones offered 45 years ago. Just a thought.
 

jtsai

Member II
I too have Edson pedestals but cannot confirm size and brand of wheel, 36" looks about right. The size of wheel and settee cuts out are just right for my 200 lbs gut to go around in a hurry. You can simulate taping 2" popsicle sticks on wheel spokes and see how many remain after a day on the water.

Do you sail with crew who trim mainsheet and traveler for you? I solo majority of the time and is an active trimmer. I cannot count how many times swing myself fore and aft of the wheel by grabbing the pedestal top.

You will also find you spend less time behind the wheel with auto pilot. Install the auto pilot first to see if larger diameter wheel is still desirable.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I wonder how many 85 32-3s had Edson pedestals. Pretty handy, since they're still in business.

The folding wheel would also make moving past the wheel easier--an issue on the E38, too.
The ss guard is the narrower Edson size, the controls are the Edson type, and just barely visible behind a spoke is the "n" in their logo font. Probably an Edson!
Same wheel "fit" quandary, tho. So the question remains..... :)
 

nquigley

Sustaining Member
Bryan - you said "I figure the folding parts will get it 'out of the way when not under way'."
If that's the only time the wheel is really in your way, you could simply unscrew the retaining nut and stow the wheel on the side of the cockpit.
I think Christian once posted a pic of stowing his wheel against the pullpit side railing, resting on the combing(?) - looked like an ideal solution when hosting guests at anchor or at the dock.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
That's the common solution for a cockpit party or for working back there. I have a YS nut with split ring which requires a (big) wrench to get off, then I tape the key in place. A wheel pilot is easy to disconnect, just one wire connector.

In flat water we used the swim ladder for the dinghy. The wheel removed gave access that was more, uh, grand.

But it does look kinda weird lashed to the lifelines, and one of those folding wheels might be cooler. Any downside reported by owners?

Wheel Catalina Capture.JPG...tracy catalina 2013 JPG.JPG
 

steven

Sustaining Member
I have a 40" wheel on my 35-2.

The extra leverage is nice (also because I have a rudder for a 38).

But steering position is also worth considering.
Trade off comfort, muscle leverage, and muscle fatigue.

I normally sit forward of the wheel on the low side (in light to moderate weather).
With my body and arm positioned as if I were steering with a tiller.
I have considered that a 36" wheel would move the rim 2" inboard and put me in a more comfortable position even though it would reduce leverage.

The tradeoff is personal preference.
 

Geoff W.

Makes Up For It With Enthusiasm
Blogs Author
I think about this all the time when going to weather. Just a few more inches... I fully support your decision to get a folding 40" wheel and write us up a nice report on how it goes :)
 

markvone

Sustaining Member
Bryan,

It looks like your cockpit arrangement is similar to mine width wise. Do you have to step up on the seat to get behind the wheel? I do. The size of my wheel made no difference in the ability to access the aft cockpit. I have a side boarding ladder so I don't need to get aft except to steer. Removing the wheel (vs folding) would probably allow you to slide by the pedestal when not underway, to get to an aft boarding ladder. A non-folding wheel from a consignment shop or craigslist will be much cheaper (~$100 - $200). You just need to determine if you have a straight or tapered 1" shaft and match the wheel. Yacht Specialties has straight 1" shaft.

For sailing, nothing beats a wheel sized for easy reach from your primary steering spot. I added a 48" wheel which has been fantastic. The original 42" wheel had been downsized to 36" by a PO and I hated it. I steer from the low side sitting and the high side standing and having the wheel close at hand is great. Also note the E36RH has a 1:1 steering ratio so the effort is higher and response is quicker so the added leverage is helpful.


Mark
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
We upgraded to a 40” wheel on our 32-2 and love it. The boat steers/handles much better and effortlessly with the larger wheel. Plus, sitting to the far sides of the helmsman seat, one doesn’t have to stretch/reach for the wheel at all.
73713914-4AA0-4BBA-A0CC-F40125F22DFC.jpeg
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While it does cut down on room to pass around the wheel but for us - the good far outweighed the negatives. (If nothing else, it really looks bad arse!)

...Because we have a leather wrapped wheel, we’ve made a wheel cover as well to protect the leather from the elements. (The Viking Helmet compass cover was but a final touch.)
C3A4F703-D1D3-45C7-ACB2-A741F46CEE9E.jpeg
 

goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Bryan - If you are going with the Raymarine wheel pilot, you'll want to make sure the inner diameter of the non-folding portion of the wheel is ample enough to for the fixed drive ring. I suspect it is. The drive mounts on the side closest to the pedestal, so the folding should be fine, as long as the hinges are +/- 6" away from the center.

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goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Kapn:

Are those stick-on faux-teak EVA foam pads on your seats? Looks like a tidy well-planned installation. Nice job!

73713914-4AA0-4BBA-A0CC-F40125F22DFC.jpeg

I have thought about putting some up on the foredeck for traction improvement.

How do you like the product? Any UV degradation so far?

-Tom
 

goldenstate

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
That's the common solution for a cockpit party or for working back there. I have a YS nut with split ring which requires a (big) wrench to get off, then I tape the key in place. A wheel pilot is easy to disconnect, just one wire connector.

In flat water we used the swim ladder for the dinghy. The wheel removed gave access that was more, uh, grand.

But it does look kinda weird lashed to the lifelines, and one of those folding wheels might be cooler. Any downside reported by owners?

View attachment 38735...View attachment 38736
Christian:

Have you shared your design/development work for the cockpit shade awning somewhere?
I don't recall a write-up. Looks wonderful for sheltered harbors/moorings.

Tom
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I now use Silver Sunbrella and 1 1/2" PVC pipe (the Sunflower color lent a weird cast to cockpit light). The PVC bends down and also forward, and makes for a taut cover with no other attachment but the stays and the stern cleats. I store this 12-foot long tube in a bag on the lifelines opposite the whisker pole. I made this version with a home machine, before I had a Sailrite. (The Velcro tabs keep the hem from inching in when tightened)

cockpit shadeTheloniousII .JPG...IMG_1221.JPG

 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Kapn:

Are those stick-on faux-teak EVA foam pads on your seats? Looks like a tidy well-planned installation. Nice job!

View attachment 38757

I have thought about putting some up on the foredeck for traction improvement.

How do you like the product? Any UV degradation so far?

-Tom

Thanks!!

Yes, they are the EvaTeak as found on multiple eBay offerings. Unfortunately, we only got two seasons out of the brand we chose and are disappointed. My son chose another vendor for his power boat and his are lasting longer. (“You get what you pay for” perhaps??)

The Eva products are easy to cut and easy to apply with the peel off sticky backing for sure. As a non skid, it’s great and the softer foam feel is GREAT to sit on but does stay wet longer after a rain or boat washing.

Hindsight/foresight...we probably should have gone with PlasTeak’s “PlasDeck” product offerings. A little tougher to cut and requires a separately applied glue and not as soft on the tush - BUT - definitely a quality long lasting product and dries quickly.
 
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vanilladuck

E32-3 / San Francisco
Thanks everyone for the replies and thoughts. So many good things on this thread, from wheel sizing, to auto pilot considerations, to where to put the existing wheel was dismounted from the binnacle. I just ordered the 40" Lewmar folding wheel with the dual hub. Having just successfully removed the current wheel (see here for tips on the struggle and solution), I'm looking forward to mounting the new wheel with plenty of Tef-gel around the shaft.
@kapnkd, the viking helmet compass cover is fantastic :egrin:
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Thanks everyone for the replies and thoughts. So many good things on this thread, from wheel sizing, to auto pilot considerations, to where to put the existing wheel was dismounted from the binnacle. I just ordered the 40" Lewmar folding wheel with the dual hub. Having just successfully removed the current wheel (see here for tips on the struggle and solution), I'm looking forward to mounting the new wheel with plenty of Tef-gel around the shaft.
@kapnkd, the viking helmet compass cover is fantastic :egrin:

“You have chosen...WELL”! ...The Viking Helmet is available on Amazon for only $13.00. Good luck with your project and fair winds!!!
 

bgary

Advanced Beginner
Blogs Author
I switched from the 36" wheel to a 42" wheel a few years back, and looooooove it. In reality, it isn't that much bigger (3" taller, 3" wider) but it made a surprising difference, both while standing at the helm and while driving upwind. Plus it it feels... I don't know, somehow smoother. Besides the extra reach, it delivers a tiny bit of extra leverage, maybe that's it.

Either way, it's one of my favorite easy upgrades. very happy with it.

If anyone is looking for a 36" wheel, let me know. I have one sitting in the garage.

$.02
Bruce
 
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