After much ado, I decided I didn't like using two tillers and a shifter with less than three hands, so a wheel steering conversion seemed in order. Here's what I opted do do:
1) Upgrade my tiller outboard to a different one with remote
2) Install a factory pedestal setup from a Macgregor 26M.
3) Use a dual cable rack and pinion steering system — with one cable to control the motor and the other for the rudders.
That's the basic plan. It turned out to be quite a job — defintely not for the faint of heart. So please don't take this simple presentation to mean it was easy. I think I invested about 80 hours and $1,000 plus the motor upgrade.
Step 1 – Here's the first set of about a dozen or so holes I added to the boat — this batch went into the cockpit floor — which gave me quite an odd feeling as I drilled.
Step 3 – Bolted on the pedestal and custom made support plate, then ran the cables through the floor, across the bilge, up the aft panels, and out the hull. This took some trial and error, and I actually went through the bilge area because my cables were too long. In the end, it looks quite clean and didn't take up any sleeping space.
Step 4 — We fabricated new rudder control arms to adjust the “throw” distance so it better matched the steering setup. Otherwise the cables pushed the rudders too far.
Lastly, for those of you with high speed — here's a video of the rudders and motor turning in perfect synch.
Next up, a helm seat..