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Old 01-18-2014
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why so long?

this thread is about my 1971 cal27. the tiller is really long. around 51". it takes up most of the cockpit. if i sit in the boat and my girlfriend sits next to me, with me closest to the tiller, it will jiust miss her, if she sits plastered to the back of the cabin. but, if i am pulling the tiller towards myself, say as if i was going to tack, it traps my legs and is uncomfortable close to my body.

i have seen a T2 with a wheel. basically the same boat with a taller rig and a different cabin arrangement. i would have to move the travelor to behind the companionway, like on an outbord equipped c27. however, i have never sailed with a wheel before and i don't know if i'd like it. plus it's a bug expense and a lot of work. something i'd rather contemplate after a season sailed as is.

but, i can see that long tiller being a real PIA. so, the question is, can i run a shorter tiller and how short could i go? i need to replace the one i have. it's really toasty. so, i could go for a shorter one....but can i, without making the baot hard to steer?

opinions?
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

2 things. I saw 26 ft sailboat with an axe handle for a tiller that I didn't notice till it was pointed out (it was used for years). Wheel. There are other configurations for a wheel like a wheel connected to the tiller connection (horizontal ). And other wheels with gears connected to the tiller connection. If I find pics i'll sent them to you.
--Just some ideas. I like a wood wheel for lightening purposes. With a wheel you can get a big "Captain hat",sip whisky and Bark orders at anybody who will listen !
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

Could you make a curved tiller, with an extension, to give yourself enough room? Like this:

Karl's Cape Cod Boat Shop -- Custom sailboat tillers increase your steering control!

You can get hardware for making your own extension:

https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_i...AbsolutePage=1

If you do switch to wheel steering, make sure you keep access to the rudderhead easy, so when the wheel gear fails you can easily install an emergency tiller.
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Last edited by manatee; 01-18-2014 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

the long tiller is probably cause the po liked it that way...

a lot of racers and dinghy sailors and small keelboaters use tiller extenders(which is better than just a long tiller) as it pivots but the long tiller is because a lot of helmsmen like to sit up forward by the coaming or cabin...it also allows solo sailors for example to be close to the main halyard winch, or sheets etc if lines are led aft for a quick adjustment or douse...etc...

I prefer tiller extenders usually with a foam grip...the best we made on the j24 we raced for example was a very light aluminum tube with a rubber strap cord running through it and into the tiller end...it will pivot in all angles and be flexible

in any case these are my ideas on why you have a long tiller...having said that with you having a helper on board there is no need for such a long one as space will be cut down as you already know

cheers
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

Since the current one is toasty, I'd cut 6" at a time of it and see how you like it. I see no reason why you couldn't go down to 37-38" without issue....
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

The longer tiller gets the helmsman's weight out of the stern more amidships, and provides maximum mechanical advantage. The only downside of a shorter tiller would/could be the effort to control it when the boat loads up the helm. Not sure if the C27 has a properly balanced rudder - if it does then a shorter stick won't be any trouble at all.

Really don't think going to a wheel is the answer here.. the boat's a bit small for that and your limited budget would be far better used for just about anything else. Also, on a boat of that size it puts the weight of the helmsman AND the steering system well aft where it does most harm.
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Re: why so long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidney777 View Post
2 things. I saw 26 ft sailboat with an axe handle for a tiller that I didn't notice till it was pointed out (it was used for years).
that is good evidence that it can be shortened.

Quote:
Wheel. There are other configurations for a wheel like a wheel connected to the tiller connection (horizontal ). And other wheels with gears connected to the tiller connection. If I find pics i'll sent them to you.
--Just some ideas. I like a wood wheel for lightening purposes. With a wheel you can get a big "Captain hat",sip whisky and Bark orders at anybody who will listen !
i have been searching the web to try to find a wheel set up, like that, which i could manufacture, myself, with the least actual modification of the boat. if you find said pics, that would be great. thanks
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by manatee View Post
Could you make a curved tiller, with an extension, to give yourself enough room? Like this:

Karl's Cape Cod Boat Shop -- Custom sailboat tillers increase your steering control!
that's kind of what i was thinking about. a shorter tiller that curved sharply, so that it would raise the tiller height. i was just concerned about losing the leverage of a longer tiller.

Quote:
You can get hardware for making your own extension:

https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_i...AbsolutePage=1
duckworks carries one, too. it's of a little bit different design, i believe.

Quote:
If you do switch to wheel steering, make sure you keep access to the rudderhead easy, so when the wheel gear fails you can easily install an emergency tiller.
that's one concern i have about going the wheel route. not only am i concerned that i won't like it but i prefer simplicity. less to go wrong. you can't get much simpler than a tiller. but, i suppose, if i did eventually choose a wheel, having an emergency tiller would help with that; as would proper maintenance.
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Last edited by captain jack; 01-18-2014 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christian.hess View Post
the long tiller is probably cause the po liked it that way...

a lot of racers and dinghy sailors and small keelboaters use tiller extenders(which is better than just a long tiller) as it pivots but the long tiller is because a lot of helmsmen like to sit up forward by the coaming or cabin...it also allows solo sailors for example to be close to the main halyard winch, or sheets etc if lines are led aft for a quick adjustment or douse...etc...

I prefer tiller extenders usually with a foam grip...the best we made on the j24 we raced for example was a very light aluminum tube with a rubber strap cord running through it and into the tiller end...it will pivot in all angles and be flexible

in any case these are my ideas on why you have a long tiller...having said that with you having a helper on board there is no need for such a long one as space will be cut down as you already know

cheers

i believe the boats originally came with that tiller. i, also, would prefer a shorter tiller with an extension. but, i do see the point for a longer tiller for solo sailing. however, the traveler is in the stern, so the mainsail's control lines are all easily reached from the stern. also, there are winches, for the jib, close to the stern. i think it could be easily single handed with a shorter tiller. it is true that the longer tiller would allow a solo sailer to sit closer to the cabin, moving his weight forward for up wind sailing. but, in a boat that weighs 5400#, i am not sure how much the weight of one person would affect the handling.
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Old 01-18-2014
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Re: why so long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by azguy View Post
Since the current one is toasty, I'd cut 6" at a time of it and see how you like it. I see no reason why you couldn't go down to 37-38" without issue....
that's a good thought. replace the tiller after i have sailed it and experimented with various lengths to see what i like best.
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