Use shorter Tiller, 1972, 26 ft Columbia, MKII, Shoal Draft - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-13-2011 Thread Starter
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Use shorter Tiller, 1972, 26 ft Columbia, MKII, Shoal Draft

Currently have 44 in. Tiller takes up a lot of cockpit space. Can Tiller be cut down to shorter length and how would it affect the steering? Anyone know?
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-13-2011
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Sure you can. The effect is, you'd have less leverage and in strong breezes, or conditions that generate a lot of weather-helm, you will fatigue more quickly, trying to keep the boat on course.

The other addendum to that, is that if you have a light duty tiller pilot, (auto pilot), you might overload him by increase his load with the shorter tiller.

Food for thought.

S/V Old Shoes
1973 Pearson 30 #255
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-13-2011
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Why not design and make an ajustable extendable tiller. Could slide out or swivel out as you prefer. Take up less space or add more leverage and get closer to winches and sheets as needed. Fairly simple task to accomplish.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-08-2011
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i removed the nut on the end of the bolt that holds the tiller and installed a wing nut with a lock washer so I can remove the tiller when we are docked I hope this tip will help you
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-08-2011
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I have a small, sea going cockpit and had the same problem. I cut six inches off the front of my nice laminated tiller, then (coincidently) the back of the tiller started cracking! I was going to replace it, but cut six inches (the cracked section) off the back instead. Like "escason" above, I replaced the nuts with SS wing nuts, and fabricated another long tiller out of a fiberglass reinforced shovel handle (drilled two holes!). I keep it stashed below. The shorter tiller is good until it starts blowing 18 to 20. Then, I can either strap the longer handle to the shorter one, or replace it entirely. Obviously, it will also serve as an emergency tiller. The shovel handle isn't the most elegant solution, but when it's blowing 25 knots, I'm not concerned with elegance! However, in moderate conditions, I've got a lot more room in the cockpit. People kid me when the tiller is shorter every time they come aboard. I tell them "next time... you're going to be steering with a 6 inch stump!". I like the longer tiller when I'm single handing, as it allows me to steer with my legs as I work the pit with both hands.

Last edited by L124C; 02-09-2011 at 12:07 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecarson View Post
i removed the nut on the end of the bolt that holds the tiller and installed a wing nut with a lock washer so I can remove the tiller when we are docked I hope this tip will help you
Doesn't your tiller flip up? Not only convenient at the dock, but it helps when tacking with a full cockpit.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-24-2011
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I saw one tiller with a hinge on it so the till fold in half when a shorter tiller is desirable
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white74 View Post
I saw one tiller with a hinge on it so the till fold in half when a shorter tiller is desirable
I'd like to see it. I thought about something like that but can't imagine a hinge that small that would take the lateral load. I also thought about having a sleeve made which would receive the two ends of tiller and thereby lengthen it.
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