Reinforcing a tiller?
My tiller is a typical laminate type, pretty old. It delaminated a bit last year, and over the winter I took it apart a bit, cleaned it up and epoxied it back together. However, I can see that the epoxy didn't hold up as well as I'd like on the very top layer, which is separating again.
So it's become obvious I need to order a replacement. What I'm wondering is if I could reinforce it in the meantime by drilling a couple of 1/4" holes down through the top and putting some stainless bolts through there to keep everything together. The bolts that hold the tiller in its bracket come in from the sides, parallel to the layers; I'm hoping that a perpendicular hold from two or three through bolts would give it enough strength to hold on for a while.
I don't see it as a permanent fix, but just something to tide me over for a week or so until the replacement arrives. The rest of the expoxy is holding well, it's just an 8" or so length of the very top layer that's come apart.
I sail the Chesapeake Bay only, up by the Patapsco River, so I'm not having to face 8' swells on the open ocean -- though I realize even the water I'm on can put out conditions to stress a rudder and tiller.
S/V Free Spirit
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