Steering Wheel on left

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Steering Wheel on left

Postby lmtgb » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:46 am

Nearly every picture of Thompson Boats I've seen have the steering wheel on the right. Is there any significance to having it placed on the left?
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Postby johnpthompson » Sun Jul 13, 2008 4:35 am

Most are on that side, but we own a '53 Thompson Super Deluxe with rear cockpit steering on the port side. There is also a 20' 1963 Off Shore model for sale that has port side steering. I have read several theories of why the steering ended up as it has (on the starboard side), ranging from balancing the torque of the motor to "it just became the standard." I think there are some posts on this topic on this site's archives.

In the end, life is great whether piloting your Thompson from the port or from the starboard side.

John Thompson
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Postby treys » Mon Jul 14, 2008 4:47 pm

The theory I have heard is inboard boats tend to walk to starboard in reverse and so when manuvering towards the dock drivers of inboards would prefer to see over the starboard side to monitor how close they are to the dock. When outboards and I/O's came into favor it just stuck.

Now, I am not sure if that is the case but I have a boat with an inboard and with very little control in reverse I know I always try to take the dock on the starboard side so I can walk towards it rather than away.

My dad's theory is based on the rules of the road and who has the right of way. The captian has to give right of way to boats on the starboard side so by sitting on that side you have a better view of traffic which you need to be more concerned with.
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