Chesapeake Bay Magazine

By Joe Evans – March 6, 2020

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1

Dual-wheel steering with all of the rigging and alignment required to make it work is a significant boatbuilding challenge. Outboard rudders make sense, particularly upwind as a boat heels and the leeward blade goes vertical. The theoretical benefit is a smaller blade with more bite, less drag, and less load. Twin wheels also open up the cockpit and give the helmsman a better view. But everything must be precisely lined up, or you’ll have one rudder arguing with the other over what direction the boat wants to go. Additionally, the system must be free of any slack that would numb the connection between the helmsman’s grip and the boat’s attitude. This day, the touch was as light and responsive as a traditional tiller and post steering system would be. Delightful.

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