new(used) boat has barely discernible tiller delamination..what do I do? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-14-2008
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new(used) boat has barely discernible tiller delamination..what do I do?

Hello,

The old sailboat I bought has barely discernible delamination...the crack is about 1/64 in i would say at this point. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to stop the delamination and repair the tiller without having to do a full- refurb ? Thanks,

Morgan

Last edited by souljour2000; 07-14-2008 at 02:14 PM. Reason: mis-spelling
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Old 07-14-2008
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You should have some epoxy by now for this rehab project. My advise is to buy the gallon can of resin and the appropriate size catalyst to go with it. Trust me when I say that you'll use it. It keeps just fine even through the winter and you'll also use it on non-boat things as well.

Fill the delaminated plies with epoxy and clamp them extensively together. If you have to open up the ply to get epoxy in there pry it apart a bit to do so. Don't worry too much about drips and runs, you'll clean those up when you sand the tiller before applying a gazzilion coats of spar varnish. In fact, it's not at all a bad idea to sand down the tiller and coat the whole thing in epoxy before you varnish it. It'll hold up much better and a light annual topcoat of varnish will see you through for many years to come.
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Old 07-14-2008
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I agree with Free that it is worth sanding the entire tiller and coating it with epoxy while you're doing this repair, since that will seal the wood and help prevent any future delamination from occurring. Then varnish over the epoxy to protect the epoxy from UV damage.
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Old 07-15-2008
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tiller repair

A couple of points to keep in mind. Epoxy would be the preferred adhesive but don't clamp it too tight or you will starve the joint. Epoxy needs a slightly sloppy joint to work its' best. If it is a 1/64 that is tiny! I wouldn't clamp that at all but getting the epoxy in there will be a challenge. Something to try would be to use a vacuum on the far side of the delam from where you're trying to put the epoxy in assuming it goes all the way through. Use the vacuum to pull the adhesive into the joint. Put something like cheesecloth over the nozzle to keep the epoxy out of the vacuum. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-15-2008
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Uh, SD, I believe that it is Sway that replied first and not Freesail99. Perhaps you are spending too much time here and not on your boat since it is actually summer in the NE.
I would repair the existing tiller but definitely want to have a plan B in case said repaired tiller breaks. A backup tiller or rudder can definitely save your a$$ when you really need it. Evans Starzinger wrote a nice article on this (too bad he has two last names - search the archives as I am too lazy to find it for you now).
Good luck.
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CalebD, SD got it right and it was what I was thinking.
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Free, sway... you see one conservative, you seen them all..... sorry bout that Free... my bad.. you do not look like the donkey.
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souljour...your description seems like you may be talking about something other than the tiller. The tiller is the handle you steer with. The rudder is what the tiller is attached to and which actually steers the boat. In my experience rudder delam is much more prevalent than tiller delam and an entirely different issue/fix. Pls. excuse me in advance if I am mis-interpreting but your post sounded just a bit off to me.
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