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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-04-2002
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Tiller Question

Hi,
I purchased a Watkins 25 in October and only was able to use it once before taking it out of the water. I hated the tiller... seemed way too long and also was a bit too thick to be comfortable in my hand. I want to replace it but when I found a compay to make one for me they sent me about 7 designs to choose from. Does anyone know if there is a certain formula or things to keep in mind when designing a tiller for a boat? Will making it a bit shorter and thinner at the end have a great impact? Anyone know where about you should put the curves? Thanks Alot for the help!
Susan
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Old 03-04-2002
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Tiller Question

Well Ashiko, one thing to make sure is that the tiller fits snuggly (no gaps) on the mount. Very important. Don''t know if your buying a wooden or metal tiller. But if your getting a wooden one then don''t forget to buy the metal casing for the mounting end of the tiller. It looks like a U that is bolted on the end of the tiller. A friend of mine baught a boat that had a tiller minus the metal casing. Well, when we were on a 25 degree heel, the tiller snapped! None of us new any better then but sometimes experience is the best teacher. As for length and mass. Length is a comfort issue, get a length that is comfortable for you. The mass of the tiller depends on the size of the gap you have on the mount. If for example you have a 2 1/2" gap on the mount then the thickness of the wooden tiller on the mounting end should be 2" PLUS 1/2" for the metal casing.

Take measurements of your mounting gap and this will tell you which design to use from the company.

Hope this helps out.

Bronze
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Old 03-04-2002
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Tiller Question

Generally a tiller is designed to provide the correct leverage and strength of materials required by the steering loads that are anticipated. They vary widdely in diameter depending on factors that are beyond the simple ergonomics of a person''s hand. Typically the diameter of a tiller is somewhere between 7 and 8 inches.

The shape of a tiller derives from the shape of your cockpit and the angle of the rudder post. I would suggest that you try steering your boat in heavy conditions while holding the tiller "choked up". If that works then it should be easy to cut the tiller shorter and reshape the hand hold with a block plane and sandpaper.

As to bronze''s post about buying a new rudderhead fitting, I am not sure where he was going with that, but you should be able to adapt your existing rudderhead fitting to a new tiller should you go that route.

Jeff
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Old 03-05-2002
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Tiller Question

Generally a tiller is designed to provide the correct leverage and strength of materials required by the steering loads that are anticipated. They vary widdely in diameter depending on factors that are beyond the simple ergonomics of a person''s hand. Typically the diameter of a tiller is somewhere between 7 and 8 inches.

The shape of a tiller derives from the shape of your cockpit and the angle of the rudder post. I would suggest that you try steering your boat in heavy conditions while holding the tiller "choked up". If that works then it should be easy to cut the tiller shorter and reshape the hand hold with a block plane and belt type sandpaper.

As to Bronze''s post about needing to buy a new rudderhead fitting, I am not sure where Bronze was going with that, but you should be able to adapt your existing rudderhead fitting to a new tiller should you go that route.


Good luck
Jeff
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Old 03-05-2002
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Tiller Question

Sorry about the double post.

Jeff
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Old 03-05-2002
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Tiller Question

Not picking nits, but Jeff can''t mean 7-8 inches for the tiller "diameter." If he meant "circumference", that puts the diameter at about 2.5 inches.

I will say, once again, Jeff, that I really appreciate the time and effort you expend on informative answers (that goes for many of the other contributors here, too).

Duane
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Old 05-16-2002
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Tiller Question

Just for grins, try a cheap, ready-made tiller: Run down to your local Home Depot (or Lowes, or whatever) and find the section where they sell replacement handles for things like axes and such. It is very likely that you will find a perfect replacement for minimal investment. Make your life easy--find something about the same length as your existing tiller and make sure it is comfortable. IMHO, little else matters. Good luck! J.
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Old 05-17-2002
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Tiller Question

"Little else matters", except strength and that the tiller ends up somewhere near the right height. Most tool handles have the majority of their strength equally distributed or in what would be the vertical dimension while tillers very much need the majoriity of their strength in what would be the horizontal dimension. I can''t imagine a tool handle that is beefy enough in the horizonatl dimension and which also has enough rise for most tiller installations.

Respectfully,
Jeff
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Old 05-20-2002
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Tiller Question

A maddock handle reinforced with a stainless steel band works great as a replacement tiller on my Daysailor II. I''ve used it for two years.
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