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Old 10-21-2013
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Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

I'm now entering my 3rd off season with my project boat and have some time for things that I would like to do instead of have to do. I was thinking about remaking the portion of my tiller that is below the water line. it is a 2 piece flip up style (see attached pictures). While I'm at it I think I would like to make it a few inches deeper and a lot sharper. The one that came with the boat is made of 1 solid piece of wood and in poor shape. I don't think it will snap but it has a few hunks taken out of it and I think it use to be a little longer. What I am thinking of doing is remaking it out of Dried pressure treated plywood. Then wrapping it with a few layers of fiberglass and some good paint. The tiller wont be staying in the water for more than a day or so at a time and is stowed below deck when the boat isn't in use. I think this will be plenty strong for my 26ft trailer sailor and might even improve performance. I would appreciate any helpful hints on materials or building techniques.
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Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller-cheektowaga-20120506-00484.jpg   Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller-cheektowaga-20120508-00500.jpg  
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Old 10-21-2013
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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

Are you on a MacGregor 26? That tiller looks very similar to the one off my old Mac 222.

Why not just clean out the rot on the one you have use some epoxy filler to get your shape back and then glass it. That would be a whole lot less work and you would not have to worry about delamination of the plywood. I was facing a rebuild of mine because the top half was split down the middle. I decided instead to just rebuild the top end and sand fill and epoxy the lower and it worked fine. I had some rotted spots that I just ground out and filed them.



This was my proposed new bottom if I would have redone it. had a foil design that would have offered a bit more performance (in theory) Just figured on a 1973 mac that I was only keeping for a couple of years it was not worth the time and effort.

Here is what I ended up with. I think I still have router files for this (I operate CNC machinery and Program AutoCad)

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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

why not just cover the old Rudder with glass and pant it. If you build one you want marine grade plywood. pressure treated is for termites and dry rot. not need for a glass covered rudder. and just FYI the Rudder is the one that gets wet and the Tiller is the one in your hand
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Rudder rebuild

I remade a similar rudder last year. I cut strips of Redwood then glued them together to form a blank. I used a hand planer to shape it into a foil, then wrapped it in glass. I am very satisfied with the result. Many people go the plywood route, but I think the solid wood makes for easier shaping.
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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

Yeah I meant rudder not tiller. The reason for replacement is that I'm not sure about the integrity of the original and I would like to add a few inches. I was thinking that the material used for the core of the rudder wouldn't need to be water resistant as it will be completely covered in fiberglass and not exposed to the elements. The reason for the pressure treated is, that's what I have laying around in my garage with the right thickness. I also thought that plywood is stronger and more rigid than 1 solid piece of lumber. I bet it would be a lot easier to shape a solid piece of lumber. I'm a accomplished carpenter by trade so I have plenty of shaping tools. Using glued together redwood strips interests me. Has anyone had any experience using oak or other hardwood for a rudder. The boat is a 26 ft Luger Tradewinds
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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

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Originally Posted by ABH3 Boyer View Post
Yeah I meant rudder not tiller. The reason for replacement is that I'm not sure about the integrity of the original and I would like to add a few inches. I was thinking that the material used for the core of the rudder wouldn't need to be water resistant as it will be completely covered in fiberglass and not exposed to the elements. The reason for the pressure treated is, that's what I have laying around in my garage with the right thickness. I also thought that plywood is stronger and more rigid than 1 solid piece of lumber. I bet it would be a lot easier to shape a solid piece of lumber. I'm a accomplished carpenter by trade so I have plenty of shaping tools. Using glued together redwood strips interests me. Has anyone had any experience using oak or other hardwood for a rudder. The boat is a 26 ft Luger Tradewinds
I used white oak for my upper. It was a bit on the heavy side but other than that is worked out pretty good. The lower end was made out of a lighter wood but I am not sure what it was. Maybe some high ring count Douglas fir or mahogany would be good to use. As far as the pressure treated goes you would be putting a plywood with a high moisture content into a fiberglass encasement. Probably not the best situation. I guess if the treated ply was really dried out then it might not be an issue but I would go with marine grade or solid wood.
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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

Abh3,

I would probably just repair what you have. But if you want to build a new rudder, I would recommend getting some corecell foam, shaping it like you were considering for the wood, then grassing over it. Much lighter, stiffer, and a good learning experience for working with core foams.

This is also a good project to investigate vaccume bagging or infusion with, since it is a relatively small part.
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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

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Abh3,

I would probably just repair what you have. But if you want to build a new rudder, I would recommend getting some corecell foam, shaping it like you were considering for the wood, then grassing over it. Much lighter, stiffer, and a good learning experience for working with core foams.
I thought the prevailing wisdom was that grass actually wasn't all that waterproof, or strong for that matter!
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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

I hate auto-correct.
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Re: Remaking the bottom half of my Tiller

while it may be nice to fix the old.. making new and keeping the old on board as a SPARE, may be worth it's cost in gold someday.... jus sayin...
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