There are good reasons why many of us prefer tillers to wheels when it comes to steering a boat: simplicity, economy, reliability, comfort, responsiveness, precision and practicality for a start. But that really is only a start. How, for example, how would you fit 10 people into the cockpit of a 27-footer for a party if you had a wheel in the way? Well, you wouldn’t have a wheel on a 27-footer (perish the thought!), but sticking one in the cockpit of many a larger boat leaves less useable space than a typical 27-footer has to offer.
The cockpit in this photo just happens to belong to a boat that’s 27ft long and, when the photographer wasn’t taking this photo from the coachroof, it accommodated 10 people. Plus a few glasses of wine and bubbly too.
That leads us to another important point. Not only does the boat have a tiller; it also has a transom-hung rudder, which means the tiller can be swung right out of the way. And, because of the way the tiller’s made, a bottle of bubbly fits perfectly through the middle where it’s safe yet still easy to reach.
Some Johnny-come-latelies mistakenly believe that you have to pose behind a large wheel to be considered a proper yachtie, but let them labour under their egotistical misapprehensions. The Danes who designed and built boats like this one got their priorities right when it came to the bits that really matter.
(As an aside, and before anyone protests, of course you do find wheels on 27-footers – and smaller boats too, for that matter – but such boats tend to be of a very different persuasion…)
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