My Tiller is splintering - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-11-2011 Thread Starter
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My Tiller is splintering

The old girl is coming apart and I want a solid replacement. I lean heavily on her when I scull in and out of my slip. I could go the easy and costly route by ordering a custom size from WM, but I would rather tap the infinite knowledge base that is Sailnet. I went to Minney's in Costa Mesa, but there were none my size. Here are the deets:
56 3/4" Length
2 1/4" Hight
2" Width

I would prefer the same size, give or take. Is there a commonly known vendor for this?

1968 Cal 2-30
Sandpiper 2
MDR
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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Every boat is a bit different.

You could laminate one from alternating strips of ash and mahogany and then shape it. Use epoxy, coat in epoxy and varnish after that. Material costs aren't high and it would be a work of art.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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H&L Marine Woodworking is the default for me. They make really nice tillers. I have bought two replacements from them (the 112F model), and have been very happy. H&L is available from many different places, but when buying my replacment tillers, I found that Defender consistently had the lowest prices for tillers.

I note that both this site and sailboatowners.com also sell tillers. I have bought stuff from both sites and have been very impressed with the quality of the customer service.

btw, I wouldn't get too hung up on a direct replacement. When I bought my first curved H&L tiller, it was a big change from the straight stick that had been there. Better in every way.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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The H&L Marine Woodworking is the way to go

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If a dirty bottom slows you down what do you think it does to your boat
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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Is there no chance that it can be repaired successfully, with confidence that it will be as strong as new? I'm asking this more as a question than as a suggestion. Properly cured glue is reputedly stronger than the wood around it. Glue it; maybe reinforce with steel straps let into the underside, or both top and bottom; and then wrapped with a layer of 'glass? I almost think a couple of squirts of urethane glue and good clamps will do it.

Last edited by MikeWhy; 07-11-2011 at 02:59 PM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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Knowing the amount of force that often is on my tiller, I wouldn't want to be relying on PU glue to hold it together where it previously broke.

As you note "properly cured" glue - depending on what kind of glue we're talking about - typically is stronger than the wood around it. That also requires a properly prepared surface for the glue joint, proper clamping pressure and proper (optimal) conditions (such as humidity, temp and cleanliness of the surfaces being glued).

And the fact that the glue is stronger than the wood adjacent to it means only that when the joint fails, it will do so adjacent to the glue line, rather than on the glue line itself. The wood adjacent to the glue joint will crack and split away and remain firmly glued to the glue joint.

It seems to me it depends on what kind of failure we're talking here (delamination versus a jacked, splintered break?).

But in general, if my tiller cracks or breaks, I almost certainly would just make another one - and perhaps reinforce the area down near the rudder head with a wrap of epoxy-infused fiberglass.

- Bill T.
- Richmond, VA

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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As much as i like making stuff when you can buy a nicely finished laminated tiller for 85 dollars YOU really have to have a bunch of GOOD wood laying around for free

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post #8 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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True, but only small strips are required, the right length of course. It is one of the easiier items to make for a boat. Now a wheel, that would be tougher.

Brian
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
As much as i like making stuff when you can buy a nicely finished laminated tiller for 85 dollars YOU really have to have a bunch of GOOD wood laying around for free
Which I do (having been um, "collecting" (i.e., hoarding) wood for many years now).

Plus it would be a fun and easy project, and I could customize it and have a tiller that is not just "off the shelf" like everyone else's.

- Bill T.
- Richmond, VA

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
- Mark Twain
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-11-2011
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My thoughts exactly.

Brian
Living aboard in Victoria Harbour
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