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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 06-11-2005
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TADIAS is on a distinguished road
Wheel to Tiller

I own a 42'' fin keel skeg hung rudder sloop and I would like to get rid of the binnacle shorten my emergency tiller rudder head and put in a tiller. Displacement is 21500 so I go with a 25000 actual disp. Does anyone have experience with doing this and more importantly how do I go about figuring out what the length of the tiller should be?
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Old 06-15-2005
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waltward is on a distinguished road
Wheel to Tiller

I took the wheel out of my Capri 30. I was able to go to another boat just like mine, held a piece of card-board alongside the tiller and scribed a pattern. I then fashiond my own from a chunk of Ash. It worked just fine. I then found out that it was the stock tiller for the Catalina 27, that is sold by all of the marine supplyiers, that I had copied. I doubt that you will find many 42 ft. boats with tillers to copy.

I think in your case I would gauge the length, by where you want to sit, I would think about mid cockpit or maybe a bit forward, where you can get at the jib sheet winches. A 42 ft. boat might be a lot of boat for a tiller by some folks estimation, but I like the idea, the boat will come alive the first time you hoist the sails with the tiller installed. Remember, after it is installed if you have made it to long, it will only take you about four minutes to make it shorter with a cross cut hand saw.

Walt Ward
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Old 06-16-2005
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Wheel to Tiller

Keep in mind that if you convert to a tiller on a 42 foot boat you are going to be dealing with a lot of force... Possibley more than you can handle through a tiller, particularly if the boat was not designed for tiller stearing. This is particularly true if the rudder is not of a balanced design. on my 32 footer the emergency tiller has lines that go to the winches as it is tiring/dificult to move the rudder without them on a 42 foot with an unbalanced rudder this could be impossible.
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Old 06-16-2005
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Wheel to Tiller

If you''re adamant about the switch, I''d suggest making the tiller longer than you think you''ll need, and then take her out for a trial in a fresh breeze, gripping the tiller at various places along it''s length, i.e., "choking up" to see what length suits you. Then just lop off what you don''t want. Now she''ll be ready for fine shaping and finishing.

"Measure twice, cut once."
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