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Old 13-05-2015, 15:16   #1
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Ultimate Tiller?

Tore out my pedestal couple years ago. Sold it to some crazy person on Craigslist.com for a couple hundred bucks so they could put it on their thirty foot boat. Made a make-do-tiller out of a piece of dunnage that actually varnished up nicely and looks real pretty.

That was two years ago and just make-do long enough to see what was the right length and size. Now that that part is done, time to make a real one for keeps. It will be a busy tiller with many jobs and I am interested to see if others have insight to offer with the design.

Must work with comfortably by hand and tiller pilot. That, and a tiller extension so I can sit anywhere in the cockpit and drive or access sheets, halyards, and control lines.

I kept the quadrant and might get around to a below-decks auto-pilot installation someday, but in the meantime why the hell would I do that when tiller pilots are cheaper and easier to install or replace when they break?

Besides all this, the tiller must readily accommodate attachment for sheet-to-tiller as well as wind-vane self-steering.

I have seen a variety of methods such as horn cleats, cam cleats, and rings and have attached a couple images for reference. Of course a simple knot can work just fine, but if anyone has practical insight to offer as far as sheet attachment, tiller extensions, or whatever, your feedback would be most appreciated.

I'm sort of partial to the ring on the end, seems neat and can be done with ring bolt and ferrule or maybe a pad eye. That said, I've never been afraid to consider other's ideas and I can build to suit so can be anything.

Cheers,
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Old 13-05-2015, 22:12   #2
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

I don't have a tiller boat, emergency tiller though, but if I were to make a new tiller, id make one out of a nice pretty wood and carbon fiber. Sanded and cleared that would look super sharp, be very strong, and light on the hands. The lightweight would ease 'some' work for the tiller pilot with less inertia to battle. You could easily put in a small solid block of either epoxy with filler or a milled aluminum block (with a rod on each sides to glue in the wood/Carbon fiber) that you could drill and tap for whatever you need for a tiller pilot or tiller extension.

Or you could just have a aluminum tip for the end for the same reason. Wouldn't be hard to make this yourself. Aluminum can be cut with a basic home saws, filed, sanded and polished very easily.

Juat my opinion. Hope it works out good for you either way.

- Ronnie...on the geaux
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Old 14-05-2015, 17:35   #3
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

None of you drive with a stick? No one here uses the simplest and cheapest self steering afloat? Really? Maybe I should post over on Anarchy. Racers seem partial to tillers. Go figure.

Never heard of a tiller boat that had an emergency tiller so doesn't make sense cruisers would be interested.
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Old 14-05-2015, 17:46   #4
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

High on my priority list, when I was looking for TN, was a tiller. TN was setup with a wheel, but otherwise a good fit for me, so I compromised.
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Old 14-05-2015, 17:51   #5
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
None of you drive with a stick? No one here uses the simplest and cheapest self steering afloat? Really? Maybe I should post over on Anarchy. Racers seem partial to tillers. Go figure.

Never heard of a tiller boat that had an emergency tiller so doesn't make sense cruisers would be interested.
I meant I don't have a tiller boat, but my wheel/pedestal boat does have a socket for the stainless emergency tiller just in case I lose steering.

- Ronnie...on the geaux
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Old 14-05-2015, 18:04   #6
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

Pretty much all boats with wheels have an accommodation for an emergency tiller because wheel steering is an inherently complex system and as such requires some kind of back-up system, steering being so crucial to safe navigation.

I was being snarky with my comment that it didn't make sense that people on this forum would be interested in something that was simple, cheap, and less prone to failure.
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Old 14-05-2015, 19:27   #7
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

You are not over thinking this are you?

I'm a tiller user and my main requirement is for everything tiller related is for it to be simple .

That said, I'm all for making the tiller look sharp and to that end, it is the only bit of exterior brightwork of my entire wooden boat.
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Old 14-05-2015, 19:36   #8
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

Ha ha, I've been accused of many things but never have I been accused of thinking too much, usually the opposite. Do you ever sheet-to-tiller self-steer? Do you have a wind-vane?
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Old 14-05-2015, 19:53   #9
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

We had a tiller on our first boat that I miss greatly. On our new boat has a transom hung rudder, so the simplicity of a tiller makes sense vs the crazy wheel set-up it currently has. We'll be converting over as soon as we get to that project. Being an aluminum boat, I'll probably do something like this one (I love the looped end):





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Old 15-05-2015, 07:12   #10
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

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Ha ha, I've been accused of many things but never have I been accused of thinking too much, usually the opposite. Do you ever sheet-to-tiller self-steer? Do you have a wind-vane?
Never had reason to sheet to tiller self steer - yet!
I do (did) have a wind vane that was connected to the tiller by way of a small chain. To connect, I would place a suitable link in the chain over the same pin in the tiller that the tiller pilot used. Worked pretty good!
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Old 16-05-2015, 07:06   #11
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

I like the looped end and the direct wind-vane sheeting in funjohnson's pic. Also, Wotname's chain idea is great, I had forgotten about that one.

I looked long for a tiller boat that would work for us. Most American's are all stuck on gadgets so tiller's are hard to come by over here.

When I saw my boat the first time and looked at the cockpit I just knew the original design intent was for it to have a tiller. After a bit of image searches I found one that had a stick on it in Europe. Decision made.

The boat is a productionized version of Philippe Briand OSTAR design. First project I did was to tear out the wheel. Felt really good to have that thing off the boat and on the dock.

Once the tiller was on I discovered a bunch of play in the rudder post log that you would have never known was there with the wheel.
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Old 16-05-2015, 08:25   #12
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

Make one "too long" then shorten till you get the purchase you want.

I like laminated wood tillers and I like them varnished. Nice to touch and look good too.

I have seen a boat where you could engage the AP by simply pushing down on the tiller. Very smart.

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Old 25-05-2015, 19:44   #13
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

I like the too long idea, trim to your liking. Ours is ash on a 1961 13000 pound Danish rhodes sloop. I just use knots to attach lines.


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Old 25-05-2015, 19:51   #14
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

I saw a design that had a tapered recess about 10" from end where you could tie line and it would not slide on the tiller then.


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Old 25-05-2015, 20:01   #15
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Re: Ultimate Tiller?

Why not keep it as simple as possible and modify to suit as future needs dictate? Everything I do, at least, to try to "pre-plan" future needs usually ends up well-intentioned but criticially flawed in some way
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