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Old 09-22-2013
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Tiller extension or no tiller extension

My interest in sailing is in day sailing and cruising. While I completely understand why people get into racing, it's just not my thing. With this in mind, I was totally against tiller extensions. I guess in my mind I always associated tiller extensions with very wet boats which required a lot of hiking. I also had this picture in my head of tiller extensions being this awkward floppy extra piece. When I first started learning to sail, I had a blast with a Laser, but I just never did get used to the tiller extension.

All this being said, I installed an extension on my American 14.6 today. While I don't have to hike this boat, I thought it would be useful to be able to sit more forward to better trim the boat (I'm 200-220 depending on the time of year). I also feel under heavier wind, if I go a bit forward, I get my weight at the widest part of the boat. This would have been handy a week ago in 22+ knot winds. Lastly, I figured an extension would help when I am ready to singlehand the boat.

I'm curious to know what other's think about tiller extensions on non-racing boats used for dinghy day sailing.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

Even a non racer needs to be able to clearly see jib telltales (if applicable), waves, advancing wind puffs, traffic, much of which is more easily kept on top of if you're a bit 'out of the boat' or at least out on the rail.. Also the boat trim aspect as you mention. Dealing with a 'floppy' extension is just a matter of practice, and in conditions where it's not needed you can usually snap it down to the tiller itself or remove it..
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

As you noted with dinghy sailing where you position your weight on the boat is quite important.
If a tiller extension allows you to optimally get your weight positioned then it is a good thing. Sailing your boat flatter and better is good thing whether racing or not.
I also agree that tiller extension sticks can add just one more moving part into the cockpit that can get fouled on a sheet or broken. They can be removed (usually) though if they are in the way.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

No brainer... tiller extension. Don't let things associated with racing preclude the possibility of usefulness for cruising or just tooling around.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

They surely tend to get fouled in sheets and flop around but to be able to move around the cockpit, I'd think one would be almost essential so as to change sitting positions. Have never had one on a larger boat but as long as it has a quick way to fold it back/secure it or to disconnect it, it'll probably be a welcome addition. I'd prefer a tiller instead of the pedestal which is a complicated mechanical monster. A tiller gives more feel for what's going on with the rudder.
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The particular model of extension I bought is not easily removed while underway, but I can fold it back and I am planning on securing it in the "folded back" position with a simple Velcro strap. I am very anxious to try it on my American and compare to my previous experience on the Laser.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

I can't imagine being forced to sail a tillered boat without an extension. It gives you far more mobility in the cockpit, and allows you to sit outboard more where you have a much clearer view ahead. I have never found that it gets fouled in sheets, and in the rare time that I don't want to use it I can just lay it down on top of the tiller where it is out of the way.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

i agree with ShockT. with my tiller extension on my 30ft nimble express. i can sit on top of the coaming & see ahead better. it folds back on the tiller when not in use.
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

One uses a tiller without an extension?!?!?!? really?

as said above, have had extensions on the 8' pram I sailed as a teen, lasers raced with hull #s 600-800, a 12' sloop, 21' trailer sailer, and my 30 Jeanneau I currently have. would not do with out a tiller extension of my preferred choice!

Can someone tell me how one sails with a wheel. Never sailed one with a wheel that I was driving any how!

Marty
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Tiller extension or no tiller extension

Quote:
Originally Posted by blt2ski View Post

Can someone tell me how one sails with a wheel. Never sailed one with a wheel that I was driving any how!

Marty
Simple, Marty.. you fasten the tiller extension to the top of the wheel and hike hard!!
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