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Discussion Starter #1
I have totally refinished my stern mounted rudder and cleaned up the hardware that attches the tiller to the rudder. I have these two 1 inch by 3/8 aluminium straps that bind the tiller to the rudder.
How should these be finished? They didn't appear to have any finish on them to begin with but had remnants of varnish and old paint here and there. Now they are bare aluminium. Will it be ok to just use them as is, or do they need to painted or anodized? Since the tiller pivots up and down the inner surface should not be painted as it will surely wear away.

Any thoughts?
 

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Anodized, the same as masts and booms and stuff.
 

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If the alum. parts are rubbing against another surface, anything you do will wear off over time - even anodizing. Anodizing is certainly the best alternative but the most expensive as well. Paint or metal polish will work too but will need to be redone periodically (polish more often than paint). You may also want to get some tape like Dynaglide Teflon or UHMW Tape for the friction areas - unless that will make the surfaces too slick. One of those types of tape, along with anodizing would be the most bullet-proof.
 

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Do you have photos of the straps??? Are the straps located under water??
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Don—

If the other metal is stainless steel, IMHO, you'd be better off getting the straps made of stainless. Aluminum has two problems when used on a boat. First, it reacts to more noble metals, like stainless steel, especially if it is often wet, which is probably the case with the tiller. Second, it fatigues far more readily than does stainless steel.

If you're going to go with the aluminum... make sure you use some sort of galvanic isolation compound on the bolts at least. TefGel, Lanocote, even loctite will work. :)
 

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I'm with the Dog.

Just remake them in stainless and solve all you problems at once.
 
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