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CptnTantalus 03-13-2012 07:04 PM

Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
Hey all,

We have a '84 Catalina 27 and the tiller has been quite heavy (at the dock and underway) since we bought it.

Is there anything we can do to ease it?

I'm hoping that the rudder post isn't bent as I've looked at a new rudder and post and they seem to be quite pricey ($1500, although I've seen people quote Booth's in Victoria at $700 I couldn't get through to them on the phone).

Any advice appreciated...

(We'll be putting the boat on the tidal dock which might be a good time to do some rudder work.)

HPLou 03-14-2012 12:02 PM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
Before checking the rudder and post, you may want to take a good look at the tiller itself. Verify that the tiller is of proper length and hasn't been cut down.

addict 03-14-2012 01:03 PM

Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
I can't say for at the dock but when I had my c27 the tiller was painfully tough to steer when under way and backing up (had an outboard). I installed a booth rudder. Made all the diff in the world. But getting hold of him is another story.

CptnTantalus 03-14-2012 06:37 PM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
HPLou, thanks for your input the tiller is of the "standard" size, I could see how a small tiller would lead to a lack of leverage.

Addict, I'll keep trying Booth as the backup plan. :)
Is $700 for a Booth rudder still a reasonable ball park?
Did you experience a long lead time?

CptnTantalus 03-14-2012 06:50 PM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
Just got in touch with Booth, $700 is still the ball park but figure they guy who builds them won't be back till April. I'm in no rush so that's cool.

Faster 03-15-2012 10:01 AM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
Is the tiller stiff and resistant at the dock? Not sure what you mean by 'heavy' at the dock.

Your bushings could be dirty/somehow siezing the tiller. Some people make new nylon bushings but plenty of plastics swell when wet, leading to binding and difficulty steering. (can be a built-in tiller lock, though!;) - but overall it's a pain)

No reason for a tiller not to turn freely at the dock unless it's a bushing/sleeve issue.

CptnTantalus 03-16-2012 02:53 PM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
Hey Faster, Thanks for your post.

Yes, it's stiff / resistant at the dock. By heavy I mean it's not light and free and to move and it takes more force than I would expect to get it to move. (It's hard to describe the amount effort required, I guess a 2 year old child couldn't move it, but a 3 year old could). I've been on an other Catalina 27 and the tiller moved freely.

Would love the problem to be a tiller lock... alas we don't have one!

Your post made me wonder if there is some homemade / oversize / incorrect bushings down in the rudder post sleeve.

Sounds like it would be job for the tidal dock to investigate, in the mean time I think I'll order the proper washer / bushing from Catalina direct.

Catalina Direct: Rudder Washer C-27, CP-25, CP-26

Unless you can suggest a Canadian source?

Faster 03-16-2012 05:27 PM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller

Originally Posted by CptnTantalus (Post 846522)
...Unless you can suggest a Canadian source?

Catalina direct is as good as you can get, I suspect unless you have the right material and dimensions and get a local machine shop to make some for you.

Swollen bushings can be 'reamed' for clearance but it may take a couple of gos before the swelling's done. Easier/better to fix it proper.

The tide grid idea is good, but check to see just what clearance you'll need under the boat to actually get the rudder out...Sometimes you need to dig a hole under the rudder.... There are likely two bushings, an upper (at cockpit end) and a lower (where the post exits the hull)

CptnTantalus 06-25-2012 01:27 PM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
Just to follow up on this. We hauled the boat over the weekend and dropped the rudder.

The rudder post was coated in grease which had the consistency of chewing gum. We cleaned the rudder post and tube with acetone, re-greased the post and all is good.

To clean the post we ran a cloth through the rudder tube covered in acetone. The best way to get the grease out was put the rudder in and out a few times, each time the rudder post came out with old grease stuck to it.

Faster 06-25-2012 01:54 PM

Re: Catalina 27 - heavy tiller
Good news! Easy fix...

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