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Old 14-08-2015, 16:20   #16
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

Look on YouTube for Marutji self steering.
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Old 14-08-2015, 17:06   #17
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

I have tried it in long distance sailing (meaning: crossing oceans) and it did not work for me.

Maybe the problem is that ours is a long keel boat with very good directional stability and very little helm. Maybe the problem is that we sailed mostly downwind. Maybe it is that our boat is small and waves have major impact on what our boat is doing.

BTW Upwind our boat does not need sheet to tiller as she will sail by herself with her tiller in the rake.

So to say, I will have to try again, harder.

b.
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Old 14-08-2015, 17:18   #18
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

Hi
I've used sheet to tiller steering on my Compass 28, I went and bought around a hundred bucks worth of surgical rubbers of different thicknesses, so to make up a few sets for the different wind strengths, light & heavy
with ones in between.

There are quiet a few different ways & technics for setting up Sheet to Tiller steering, I had a ball doing so, it took a few go's at getting it right but once I got it happening, it was a good feeling watching it work.

I too first saw sheet to tiller sailing on U tube, then bought a really old book on E bay for a $120.00 it was by Lee Woas and called "Self Steering Without A Windvane " I highly recommend getting a hold of this book.


hope you have as much fun as I did



Cheers


Shane
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Old 14-08-2015, 17:46   #19
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

Looking at the underwater profile of your boat, it is a justifiable question and an achievable goal....

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Old 14-08-2015, 18:59   #20
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

Delancey,

I would not say wind steering is unreliable at all. You can rely on it to follow the wind, though, and I think that's possibly what you were getting at. It is true one would have to adjust it to keep it on course, but the effort was not onerous, it was all part of what one does on watch.

From 1985 or 6 till 2003, all our offshore passages were with a windvane steering. It was of home made construction.

However, in 1983, our little electric tiller pilot stopped working and was not reparable, and we were three days north of Hawaii on the way to the States.

Jim rigged sheet-to-tiller steering, which we used for the rest of the journey, using many blocks and surgical tubing he had brought "just in case," and I"m here to say that although not perfect by any means, it sure beats the hell out of hand steering 24/7, no matter what watch schedule you're on.


I think it would depend a lot on the sailing characteristics of the sailboat whether or not sheet-to-tiller would work well. I can imagine a full keel "traditional" boat doing really well on an off the wind passage with it. Many people who did that, also ran twin headsails downwind. Not at all sure how it would do on the beam (our boat required a lot of fiddling when the wind was on the beam). Said boat would also probably sail to windward pretty well with the helm lashed. Our boat had a fin keel, and we never had a chance to try it off the wind, so really cannot comment on that.

The deal is that although electronic steering is precise, everything electronic on a boat is complicated, and is subject to failure.

If you start out from the get-go with a sheet-to-tiller plan, or a home made windvane, you can have more beer at the end of the voyage, more shekels in your trousers, plus losing the need to feed the steering system electricity all the time. I think there's definitely a place for it, even if only as backup in case of a "what if?"

Ann
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Old 14-08-2015, 19:49   #21
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

Ann, agreed.

Begging, borrowing, or stealing. The point was made that sheet to tiller is unreliable because conditions can change.

To which I have to say yeah duh.

When the wind changes you have to change. So why does that make self steering unreliable? More so than any other method?

Steering via magnetic or apparent wind, when things change you must adjust. Something that should go without saying.

All have there pluses and minuses. Can't deny sheet to tiller is cheapest option on the shelf.

Being the simplest, it is also the most reliable despite it's fickleness. Understanding how to do it will enhance anyone's experience with the other options.

Relying on an electronic autopilot will not make you a better sailor.
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Old 15-08-2015, 01:32   #22
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

'in the seventies' - there were no easily obtainable self steering systems of any type or sophistication available to small boat sailors. Sheet/tiller would have been pretty cutting edge then. I certainly thought so at the time. so yeah - Duh...
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Old 16-08-2015, 08:45   #23
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

Read Sailing Singlehanded Around the World, by Joshua Slocum and find out how he did it in 1896. It's on Kindle.
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Old 16-08-2015, 20:14   #24
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

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Read Sailing Singlehanded Around the World, by Joshua Slocum and find out how he did it in 1896. It's on Kindle.
I own it and am 1/2 way through it. A good read, if very old fashion grammar of course.
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Old 16-08-2015, 20:22   #25
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

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I own it and am 1/2 way through it. A good read, if very old fashion grammar of course.
I especially like the bit where Capt Slocum was introduced to South Africa President Kruger. He was told that Slocum was sailing around the world. Kruger replied that is impossible, he must be sailing across the world. That only 118 years ago.
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Old 16-08-2015, 20:34   #26
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

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I especially like the bit where Capt Slocum was introduced to South Africa President Kruger. He was told that Slocum was sailing around the world. Kruger replied that is impossible, he must be sailing across the world. That only 118 years ago.
The Flat Earth Society

And this as recent as today.
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Old 16-08-2015, 21:33   #27
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

I think Sea Scamp summed it up for me. I find it good fun and very rewarding when you get it to work.

I used to use it a bit on our last boat. The longest time I managed between adjustments was probably not even an hour but it was enough to pop into the cabin and make a cup of tea or just stretch my legs. The two problems I found were that most of the configurations I managed to make work on our boat involved sacrificing sail trim and thus speed and that from time to time the whole thing would go out of whack no matter what I tried. But I think it is a worthwhile arrow to have in your quiver in case the main system, be it wind-vane or autopilot, fails, as it did for Jim and Anne. I would not personally choose it as my main form of self steering for a long journey.
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Old 17-08-2015, 19:49   #28
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

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The Flat Earth Society

And this as recent as today.
Is Donald Trump a member? Sorry naughty of me.
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Old 17-08-2015, 20:01   #29
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

Delancey's comments are all very well stated.

I did it on our Catalina 25 for many years, getting so good at it that I could tack my way upwind on SF Bay. Fun times.

I found it was much easier with the end boom sheeting that it is on our cabintop sheeting on our current boat.

Try it.

Why?

You'll learn better sail trim, right away.

Good luck.
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Old 17-08-2015, 20:11   #30
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Re: Sheet to tiller self steering

My Dad sailed Panope (when schooner rigged) from Washington State to San Francisco with sheet to (emergency) tiller steering. Entire leg was sailed on a reach. Used blocks, line and surgical tubing. Worked great.

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