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Windkiller 10-01-2011 06:34 PM

tillerlock vs tiller clutch
Hi there I'm trying to decide between these two tiller conrolling devices
I've checked out many of the others and researched and or tried some of the simpler options (bungies , cajun tamer etc) I realize they're not autopilots but a convenience for getting the odd thing done as well as useful for tacking, heaving to etc. I live in Vancouver Canada (this is somewhat relevant)
Both these units seem good and are constructed out of metals

The Clutch (a newer product made in the USA by Wavefront Marine out of aluminium and stainless)looks easier to use (one hand operation right by where your hand would sit) but it costs almost twice as much 69.99 + 12 S&H + 8-10 duty + roughly $90-$92
WaveFront Marine - The TillerClutch

The Lock (been around for a while, made in Canada out of stainless and navy brass) looks easy to use(but perhaps not as easy as it's farther from you hand and might require 2 hands briefly), is very striking in appearance(haha) and is a fair bit cheaper at 44.95 + 10.95 S+H (no duty)
roughly $56
canSail Marine Supplies
Sailboat Tillerlock, tiller lock your rudder. | eBay

I must admit being Canadian I like how the Cansail tillerlock is made here(patriotism and no duty!)and made out of brass and stainless but my tiller is 7/8" wide and quite rounded top and bottom so I'm not sure how it'll mount as it looks flat on the base, I guess a contoured shim could be made to rectify that problem. I'm waiting on question to the manufacturer

The Wavefront tillerclutch looks like it'd mount without mods and is handier but it comes with the larger price tag..(and it's aesthetic isn't as nice...I know insignificant when you're using it but both look functional)I do have a correspondant who has the same boat who uses one and he highly reccomends it)

My question is has anyone tried either of these units and can they reccomend them?

mitiempo 10-01-2011 08:23 PM

I have no experience with either but there is a third option here Salty John: Tiller-Hand and other fine boat and yacht chandlery products.

I have purchased other items from them and received my order within 5 days (yes, from the UK) and no duty was applied.

Also if the clutch is made in the US there is no duty on it.

Windkiller 10-01-2011 09:52 PM

Hmmm I checked it out
Thanks for the input
It looks like the Davis tiller tamer ,roughly the same principle and made of plastic, except it looks to cost around $50 (25 UK pounds!)before S&H or as they would say P&P . At that price I'd happily buy the stainless and brass Canadian version
There's no duty from the states on stuff you can't buy here but there definitely is often provincial sales tax applied coming through the border. As there's currently no PST I though it might be HST I could be wrong though..I very often am !!Thanks for your reply

heinzir 10-01-2011 10:42 PM

I have used the Davis Tiller Tamer but did not like it. It required two hands: one to hold the tiller and one to turn the knob. The process took too long when I was in a hurry.

I used a lever type lock for many years and was pretty satisfied with it. It is no longer available but was very similar to the tiller lock you show except that it mounted on the bottom of the tiller. The base was a little wider than the tiller so I had to mount it with the screws angled in.

I got a new tiller this year and it is even narrower than the old one. No way could I mount the old tiller lock to it without fabricating some kind of mounting plate so I decided to try the new Tiller Clutch. Am I glad I did!! It works like a dream! I can flick it on or off with just my little finger on the hand holding the tiller. I can lock the tiller, use both hands to trim a sheet, and grab the tiller and unlock it in fractions of a second!

Bottom line: I highly recommend the Tiller Clutch. It is functionally superior to the other types IMHO.

mitiempo 10-02-2011 12:28 AM

At today's rates 25 British Pounds equals $40.89 Cdn. When I purchased from them last year there was no Hst or Canadian tax of any kind. It just arrived in the mail.

I have never used any tiller tamer type product so cannot comment on which is best.

Windkiller 10-02-2011 01:17 AM

I knew I'd be wrong about something!
That's good to know it's a little cheaper and I appreciated the additional input
I know when I've ordered British Seagull bits from the UK there's been no duty or tax but sometimes with things from the states I would be charged PST
Not sure how it works now with the combined HST.

As far as mounting goes I know the cansail tillerlock can be mounted top or bottom and is about 3/4" wide

dhays 10-02-2011 12:28 PM

Rather than spend $100 on a tiller lock, I'd seriously look at a tiller pilot.

Back in the day, we had a Tillermaster we used for years. My memory is a bit faulty, but I almost think that it was developed and built initially here in the Tacoma area in the early '70s, but I can't be sure. The Tillermaster was crude by today's standards, but it did what it said it would. It would hold a consistent compass course. Current tiller pilots are a lot better, both in their mechanics, electronics, and water resistance. The advantage with these is that it will hold a heading, and not simply a tiller position. Back when we would need to go to the bow to put on or change a hanked on jib, it was nice to be able to do it knowing the boat would maintain a consistent course.

I'd look at something like the Simrad TP10. It will cost over $300 more than your tiller lock, but I think will end up being a lot more useful. They are easy to simply pop on the tiller and set. (one thing I liked about the old Tillermaster was the rotary knob for adjusting course).


Windkiller 10-02-2011 01:00 PM

I probably should've mentioned I have a Danica 16 "Nutmeg"which is a 15 foot long double ended full keel, ballasted boat that sleeps two, I paid $1200 for it and it's trailer. Whilst they have been sailed to Hawaii and up to Desolation sound from Vancouver and are considered a very weatherly sea boat for their size, I don't plan to go so far a field , mostly a bit of coastal cruising/island hopping/gunkholing
I since sunk a 4-5 hundred into it and the trailer (I do all my own work)but spending another 4-5 hundred isn't at all possible right now or in the near future.
If I did I would first buy a handheld VHF and then a GPS
For now I'm mostly interested in a unit that frees up my hands for a bit to do the odd necessary task or go up front to change a sail etc
And I'm hoping to solicit some opinion about the two tiller lock units mentioned above
Thanks though, if I get a larger boat. more money,and want to spend longer stretches at sea I'll definitely take your advice and get an auto pilot

marianclaire 10-02-2011 03:15 PM

For years I have used a simple line and two clam cleats. You can see a pic in this thread. Cost all of 15$. Not a great set up but allows me to pop down below for something or go forward to deal with the sail etc. I have to admit the tiller clutch looks great and my be my next upgrade. Dan S/V Marian Claire

dhays 10-02-2011 07:42 PM


Originally Posted by Windkiller (Post 781825)
I since sunk a 4-5 hundred into it and the trailer (I do all my own work)but spending another 4-5 hundred isn't at all possible right now or in the near future.


Given the size of your boat, the force on the tiller shouldn't be all that great. Using a line such as Dan used would work, or I can think of a couple very simple designs that might work for $15 in materials.

However, for a commercial product that first one you linked to looks pretty slick.


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