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Old 21-04-2014, 17:35   #31
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
newt, I think that IS the answer. IIRC, Letcher said pretty much that same thing, either a stronger one or double up.

Good luck, let us know how it worked.

Any input on mid-boom sheeting?
Stu, as I have previously posted, when our tiller pilot failed shortly after leaving Kauaii for SF (many years ago, and in a tiller steered Yankee 30) I Rube Goldberged up a sheet to tiller rig which got us home. I couldn't make it work with the mid-boom mainsheet, so cobbered up an end-boom temporary sheet which was more successful. I doubt if the combination of wheel steering and mid boom sheeting could be made to work well.

I'd be more inclined to try one of Letcher's staysail setups if one's boat was thus equipped.

Cheers,

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Old 22-04-2014, 01:30   #32
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
newt, I think that IS the answer. IIRC, Letcher said pretty much that same thing, either a stronger one or double up.

Good luck, let us know how it worked.

Any input on mid-boom sheeting?
What you might consider, Stu, is turning your setup into a double ended mainsheet, keeping one end for control as usual, and the other for tiller duties.

Instead of the last (standing) part of the mainsheet terminating at the boom, carry it on with a 90 degree wrap round a block, to the aft end of the boom, and similarly around another block and down, to deliver a portion of the mainsheet load to the cockpit.

For the small amount of travel you'd need (and given that multipart mainsheets are oversized for handling purposes) I'm sure it would work OK to just bend on a bit of 5/16" or 3/8" cordage to extend it the required amount.

It might even be advantageous: if the bend started about midway between boom blocks and deck blocks, the bend being unable to pass through the latter would prevent the mainsheet from unreeving if you let go of the extended end while playing with ratios and attachment points.
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Old 22-04-2014, 01:35   #33
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Unhappy Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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No offence taken at all. I usually try very hard to be funny, and most times fail, so to do so without trying is a bonus.

Coops.

I have found when a CF Gloomy Gus calls one a "comedian", it's not meant in a complimentary way. How difficult life must be without a light heart.
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Old 22-04-2014, 08:37   #34
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

I'm following this thread with some interest, as I'd like to add a simple tiller-steering setup to my 27. Having read it thru several times, I still can't quite picture the processs.. Would/could someone be so kind as to post a diagram or good photo of end boom sheeting system?

TIA
Paul
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Old 22-04-2014, 15:11   #35
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Originally Posted by deltaten View Post
I'm following this thread with some interest, as I'd like to add a simple tiller-steering setup to my 27. Having read it thru several times, I still can't quite picture the processs.. Would/could someone be so kind as to post a diagram or good photo of end boom sheeting system?

TIA
Paul
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Not sure exactly what you're asking, Paul, so I'll try to cover several possibilities:

I attach a schematic of how end boom sheeting can be used for hauling the tiller to windward in opposition to a stretchy cord.

My suggestion was aimed at Stu's question about a boat with mid boom sheeting, and was to untie the end of the mainsheet from the block midway along the boom, and lead the end through an added block as shown in the attached photo, and use that end as in the schematic.

That end would be under maybe a quarter or a sixth of the mainsheet tension, depending how many sheaves were in the mainsheet purchase. The number of sheaves involved can always be reduced simply by rearranging the threadup, if more 'signal' is required to readjust the steering sufficiently in gusts.
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Old 22-04-2014, 20:23   #36
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

Andrew;
Thanks for the reply. Seems I wasn't too clear on what was going on in my request.
My main sheet runs from center aft coaming to the end of boom, thru a pair of fiddle blocks, the bottom end having a camcleat
As I understand it from your instructive narrative and drawing, I'd need to set the main as best, and run the un-cleated main sheet to one sidethru a single bolck then across the cockpit to tiller,fastened ,then to the off side, attached with an adjustable surgical tubing bungee.
Close?

Thanks again,
Paul
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Old 22-04-2014, 20:50   #37
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

OK, I think I have a better idea of what your setup is like. If I understand correctly, you currently have a multipart tackle at the end of the boom.

If so, what you suggest might be good enough just to get an idea if it might work, but it's not very convenient. It would probably require reconfiguring your block so the cam cleat was inoperative. You will still need some way to adjust the sheet easily and cleat it, independently of how it is attached to the tiller.

Better, I think, would be to either:

1) derive your "control signal" by clove-hitching another piece of line to the 'standing part' of the mainsheet. This does not move, unlike the 'falls', more descriptively called 'running parts' on the diagram below.

The line you attach could pull out roughly horizontally from the midpoint of that standing part to a single block on the coaming to windward, and then come back and be clove-hitched to the tiller. By putting a kink in the standing part of maybe twenty degrees, the tension in this line will be proportional to the mainsheet tension.

2) If you can't easily get enough tension this way, I would recommend doing something like what I suggested to Stu: add another single block where the mainsheet's standing part normally attaches to the upper fiddle*, and thread the former 'standing part' (which is now converted to a second "hauling part") through it, then take it across to the single block on the coaming to windward, to then come back and be clove-hitched to the tiller.

In both cases, a stretchy cord will be necessary, continually striving to pull the tiller back to around the midships position.

*(If your standing part attaches instead to the lower fiddle block - which it shouldn't - simply untie it from there and lead it instead to the single block on the coaming.

In the other case: if the mainsheet becomes too short for letting the boom right out, you'll need to either extend it as I mentioned in an earlier post, or get rid of one of the parts by missing out a pair of sheaves)
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Old 22-04-2014, 21:15   #38
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Originally Posted by deltaten View Post
I'm following this thread with some interest, as I'd like to add a simple tiller-steering setup to my 27. Having read it thru several times, I still can't quite picture the processs.. Would/could someone be so kind as to post a diagram or good photo of end boom sheeting system?

TIA
Paul
Watkins W27 Chrysalis
Paul, this is a complicated issue that John Letcher wrote an ENTIRE book about, so please don't ask Andrew to retype the book.

Cruising World
has done some articles on it, followed a month later by a letter to the editor correcting their original diagram! You may be able to find it on their website.

You could also hunt for the book which is well out of print, but may be available on abebooks.com.

In addition, a Google search will bring up a bunch of hits on the subject, 'cuz it's recurring on this and other boating websites quite often.

Finally, until you get it and use it, it's kinda hard to understand for many skippers, since it has to do with boat & sail plan balance, heel and weather helm issues basic to most sailboat designs.

Letcher's book is truly priceless.

Thanks to Andrew for bringing it up again, and thanks to those of you who commented on my question. It seems the best thing for me to try with my wheel steered mid-boom sheeting is to add another line at the aft end of my boom and then run blocks to my wheel, either using newt's bicycle hub or just tying off the the bottom spoke of the wheel and pretending it's a tiller!

PS - As far as Andrew's #37, my recollection was that I tied a small line onto the standing part of my mainsheet with a rolling hitch and ran it to a small block on the high (windward) side of my coaming (attached with a tail to a clam cleat) and then to the tiller. The other side had the surgical band slipped into another matching clam cleat. That made it easy to tack. I never used the hauling end of the mainsheet for anything related to self steering. Wish I had pictures, but I sold that boat in 1998 before I ever bought a digital camera.
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Old 22-04-2014, 22:25   #39
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Paul, this is a complicated issue that John Letcher wrote an ENTIRE book about, so please don't ask Andrew to retype the book.

Cruising World
has done some articles on it, followed a month later by a letter to the editor correcting their original diagram! You may be able to find it on their website.

You could also hunt for the book which is well out of print, but may be available on abebooks.com.

In addition, a Google search will bring up a bunch of hits on the subject, 'cuz it's recurring on this and other boating websites quite often.

....
A bit of the most applicable Letcher stuff is excerpted here, along with a few other peoples' takes:

https://sites.google.com/site/crisfl...self-steerling

I've never tried to understand exactly why, but there's something particularly satisfying to me about being on board a yacht which is steering itself happily, without any technological assistance or human intervention. It just fills me with a feeling wellbeing; always has.

I remember sneakily lashing the wheels together and finding ways to silently tweak the sails the first time I was left in sole charge of a racing maxi. I'm pretty sure those blissful few miles, in the groove, in the middle of the South Pacific, were the only miles that particular boat sailed without a human hand on the helm for the next 50,000 or so.

I took particular care not to fall overboard, though... my name would have been Mud.
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Old 22-04-2014, 22:41   #40
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

Just curious, has anybody actually successfully done any long term cruising using sheet to tiller? I've been experimenting for years and I would never trust my life too it, its also a lot of work compared to the vane on my last boat. Id really like to find a way to use it as I'm one of those 500 per month guys so obviously my budget is very restricted.
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Old 22-04-2014, 23:59   #41
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Originally Posted by Barefootnavigat View Post
Just curious, has anybody actually successfully done any long term cruising using sheet to tiller? I've been experimenting for years and I would never trust my life too it, its also a lot of work compared to the vane on my last boat. Id really like to find a way to use it as I'm one of those 500 per month guys so obviously my budget is very restricted.
I'm not sure if this qualifies, but if you will check my post #31 above, we did do around 2200 miles from just north of Kauai to SF using only a mainsheet to tiller rig.

It required someone on watch, tweaking it every now and then, unlike an a/p or a vane which can be set and basically ignored for hours on end. But, this beats the hell out of being tied to the helm for all that time.

Folks often give names to their self steering gear -- this rig was called "Rube" for fairly obvious reasons!

FWIW, on our next boat I designed and built a home made auxiliary rudder wind vane. Cost me around 300 bucks to build, steered that boat for tens of thousands of miles. For the fiscally challenged, this is an attractive way to go IMO.

Jim
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Old 23-04-2014, 00:13   #42
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Just curious, has anybody actually successfully done any long term cruising using sheet to tiller? I've been experimenting for years and I would never trust my life too it, its also a lot of work compared to the vane on my last boat. Id really like to find a way to use it as I'm one of those 500 per month guys so obviously my budget is very restricted.
When you say "anybody", I guess you mean anybody on this forum.

If you really do mean "anybody", it's probably stating the obvious to say that pretty much everybody cruising shorthanded up until the late 1960s used sheet to tiller.

The designs used in that era provided more yaw stability, of course.
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Old 27-04-2014, 11:47   #43
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

Newt what size wheel did you use? The one thing I see that I see as a positive with a wheel is that both bungees and sheet can be run to the same side of the wheel allowing free access from the other side. My last boat when trimmed would easily maintain course with just 3" of travel on the wheel.
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Old 27-04-2014, 20:50   #44
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

I have a smaller kids bike wheel, I think it is 18 inch. A rim to fit a fat tire would be better. If I did it again, I see that most of the self steering wheels are in the 6-8 inch diameter. I got a steel rim so I could weld little pieces of metal on it for attachment to the spokes of the destroyer wheel with hose clamps. Took me about an hour in a welding shop. Another way of attachment would be a few holes just under the rim and some hose clamps. Webbing and other soft attachments I think would just move, and you need this to be rigid with the wheel.
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Old 28-04-2014, 00:25   #45
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Re: Sheet to Tiller Steering

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Letcher reckons this could have been an accidental happenstance: when the boat heeled, gravity acting on the rudder swung the helm to weather in proportion to the amount of heel.
I've considered trying a pendulum on a more modern boat to simulate this effect, but it occurred to me it would have to be well damped.

I've often wondered whether or not a weight on the end of my rudder (which is at the end of a long-ish keel) would utilise gravity to counter weather helm.
It would be a fun experiment.
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