A steering wheel is used to change the angle of the rudder on a boat, thus changing the boat’s direction. But why do yachts have two steering wheels?
Well, let’s start with what a steering wheel even is. As its namesake, it’s used to steer the boat. Most steering wheels are mechanical in nature which means the wheel is physically attached to the rudder and requires physical force when turning it.
Should your strength be insufficient, especially when counteracting large waves or strong currents, you will fail in changing the boat’s direction.
So Why Two Steering Wheels?
It is simply for versatility, visibility, and control.
Two steering wheels give you the option of multiple vantage points. If you find it hard to steer your yacht because your vision is obscured by sails or perhaps glare, using the other steering wheel located at a different place can offer you more visibility in steering the yacht.
In some extreme cases where the entire boat can tilt and one rudder is exposed to air, this double steering wheel configuration will allow you to shift your weight to one side and control the rudder still under the water.
Two steering wheels offer you a greater amount of control. As you have more than one vantage point, you can fine-tune your directional change by swapping between two wheels.
Racing yachts in particular have two steering wheels as a necessary feature rather than a luxurious one.
A dual steering wheel system allows for quick directional changes at speed. It also offers greater maneuverability than a single steering wheel, thus making sharp turns a bit less difficult not to mention the added comfort of extra stability.
Lastly, for aesthetics, some yachts just look downright amazing with two steering wheels! When you’re paying a premium for your yacht, you have to make sure it looks great. right?
Do You Need Dual Steering Wheels for Your Yacht?
Now with all that said, do you need dual steering wheels for your yacht? If it’s a racing yacht or a sailing yacht and it didn’t come with dual steering wheels, then absolutely yes, it would be a game-changer for you.
For everything else, then consider the type of boating activities you do and research if dual steering wheels would help bolster your specific yacht’s performance.
Sharp turns, increased maneuverability, and high-speed stability sound amazing on paper. But if you’re just enjoying a relaxing cruise or trolling about, you’re not going to see much difference even if you had dual steering wheels.
Again, you can also consider using dual steering wheels on your yacht for aesthetic purposes. It would take a bit of effort and cost, but you can also put in a non-functional one purely for the looks.
At the end of the day, it is your yacht and what matters is what you want.
Sharper turning radius, stability even under rough waters, better maneuverability, and amazing visibility, are what dual steering can offer you, plus it looks fancy and amazing.
We hope this has helped answer the question 'why do yachts have two steering wheels?' and given you the understanding behind the reasons why.