Tie up tiller/lock wheel when away? Or not. - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 10-09-2009
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Tie up tiller/lock wheel when away? Or not.

I don't think that this topic is extremely important as I am certain there are people on both sides of the aisle, as there always are.
On to the question.

When you are away from your boat for any length of time do you (A) tie up your tiller/lock your wheel to eliminate the swinging of the rudder due to current, OR, (B) don't do anything to the tiller/wheel and let it swing free if it needs to?

The people who might vote for option (A) (this could be a poll but it ain't that important IMHO) will claim that they are saving wear and tear on their rudder steering systems (lower bushing or quadrant and cables) while the tied up tiller takes or locked wheel takes the strain of keeping the rudder straight, while the people who might vote for option (B) may think that they are reducing the wear on the components of their steering systems by letting the rudder move about as the tide and current do while reducing stress on their rudder or wheel mechanism.

There may be several considerations to take into account in your choice such as: are you at a slip in a low current and tide area or on a mooring where there is much potential for currents and tides. Another may be the type of rudder you have: skeg hung or free standing spade rudder or sweep oar.

Isn't this a bit like splitting hairs? Plenty of variables may make your decision for you like this one: have you ever thought about this before?

Do any of you old Salts think this is even worth commenting on?

My best.
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Old 10-09-2009
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i have a spade rudder and i dont when in a slip but on anchor i tie it all the way to one side to help stop the boat from sailing on anchor
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Old 10-09-2009
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My tiller is tied whether the boat is in the water or not. If it's not sailing . . . it's secured.
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Old 10-09-2009
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Semi-skeg, fin-keel. I lash the wheel when not underway.
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Old 10-09-2009
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Good post Caleb,

Since this topic came up recently, I started using a bungie. There's a little playl, which might be a good thing, I don't know. Prior to that, the wheel friction lock provided some resistance previously.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 10-09-2009
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spade rudder,i lock the wheel with the brake,on hook or at slip..rayder
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Old 10-09-2009
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We lock the wheel - these days I generally just engage the wheel pilot drive. While we do not get wash at our present marina, formerly we did. Since we moored bow-in, that left the rudder fully exposed to wash from passing traffic (much of which ignored the 5 knot limit) That wash would have really beat up the rudder and anything connected to it in short order so we've gotten into the habit of locking it.
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Old 10-09-2009
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I have fin, spade, in a slip, no current, no traffic. If I think about it, I'll set the wheel brake with the rudder centered. If I forget, oh well, no big deal! My reasoning is simply that I don't think things should be left to flop around of their own accord. Scotty, good idea about locking the wheel hard over while at anchor, I hadn't thought of that. So, Caleb, significant matter or not, somebody (me) learned something from your effort. Thanks! - r
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Old 10-09-2009
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I'm in the same boat as Faster. Our floating slips have been pushed further into the lake, so now we're getting much more wash than before. Previously, we were very sheltered. I was on the boat yesterday and the rudder was, for the first time, pushed all the way to port, causing the tiller to fall out of the mainsheet where we usually tuck it.

I'm now lashing the tiller.
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Old 10-09-2009
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I lock the wheel when not sailing.

I'm on a mooring most of the time and some boats near me don't lock their wheels. I look over and watch those wheels move back and forth in constant motion, even in relative calm.

I think about how much wear and tear that causes over the course of one summer, 24/7
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