Good to hear from you, and glad it all worked out for you on that trip. I'm sure you could have done without that anxiety!!
Thanks for alerting us to this potential problem. I will certainly double-check ours next time I'm at the boat.
I confess that I did not fully follow your description of the problem. I am familiar with the bolt that the emergency tiller seats into. But I had thought it was a welded-in-place pin that simply runs across the inner diameter of the hollow rudder stock. You seem to be saying it is a through-bolt, that is somehow also connected to the quadrant? Hmmm.
It has been a while since I practiced with the emergency tiller, but my recollection was that the pin into which it locks is just a few inches below the cockpit sole. Looking at these photos of our quadrant assembly, if my memory is correct it would have to be welded in place, near the bottom of the upper fibreglass collar seen in this photo:
However, my memory could be faulty on that point. Maybe the pin into which the emergency tiller seats is deeper into the rudder stock. Could it be the bolt that appears at the center of this photo, where the quadrant clamps to the rudder stock?
If so, then maybe we should add this one to our preventive maintenance list, and carry spares. That bolt would be subject to exposure to salt water (from the interior of the hollow rudder stock), and susceptible to corrosion. Thanks for the warning.