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Old 20-07-2012, 04:43   #1
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center-cockpit tiller

Hi,
I'm currently building a Tom Thumb 26. I've decided to go with a center-cockpit but would like to keep the tiller. To do this I need some sort of linkage and I'm interested in any opinions as to what might work. I do remember many years ago sailing on a proa that had a tiller on each end of the cockpit with some sort of extension (can't remember what) to the rudders on each end. It was over 40ft and was quite easy to handle.
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Old 20-07-2012, 05:03   #2
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Edson have a wide range of heavy duty push-pull, cable-in -conduit systems that are high quality gear.
I used this system to convert my 31ft C&C Redwing from tiller to wheel in very confined space.
Suggest you look at that.
Keep us informed pun intended.
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Old 20-07-2012, 05:06   #3
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, nickn.

What does Bruce Roberts have to say?
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Old 21-07-2012, 05:11   #4
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

I haven't been game to ask Bruce yet 8-)
Although I've kept the hull exactly as specified in the plans, I've departed fairly radically by having a center cockpit. As I sat in my half completed cockpit the other day, contemplating a wheel, a tiller seemed just so right.
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Old 21-07-2012, 05:33   #5
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

I've added a couple of pictures of the boat in my gallery (I hope)
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Old 21-07-2012, 06:02   #6
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

I don't know if this is any help to you but the Nor'Sea 27 is made in a center cockpit with a tiller.

Nor'Sea 27
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Old 21-07-2012, 19:53   #7
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Thanks,
That's a great boat. I like their philosophy, rock solid and practical, got plenty of good ideas. If I see it correctly from the photos, they have a long tiller that passes over the aft cabin, I can't do that because my cabin is too high and I'm going for a ketch rig like a Macwester 31 so the mast would be in the way. I want to go with as little friction and backlash as possible and I don't mind a bit of machinery about the place as long as it is simple.
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Old 21-07-2012, 22:01   #8
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Hi Nick and welcome to the forum. I have a center-cockpit with hydraukic sterring (wheel) and tiller. Here is a line drawing with the tiller sketched in.
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Old 21-07-2012, 22:14   #9
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I have two identical sailboats, an aft cabin ketch, and a aft cockpit sloop. The sloop is tiller, and the aft cabin ketch is a wheel, with an emergency tiller that comes over the aft cabin. My opinion? Center cockpit go with a wheel.
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Old 21-07-2012, 23:14   #10
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickn View Post
.
... a long tiller that passes over the aft cabin, I can't do that because my cabin is too high and I'm going for a ketch rig like a Macwester 31 so the mast would be in the way. I want to go with as little friction and backlash as possible and I don't mind a bit of machinery about the place as long as it is simple.
If you went for a vertical tiller (aka whipstaff) you can either have it work like a tiller, or (opposite action) like a one-spoked wheel with no rim.

For this to work simply you'd have to be able to take a shaft through the aft cabin from just above the level of the cockpit floor (at the roughly horizontal turning axis of the 'tiller', but this torsion shaft could travel downhill to the rudder)

You could link it simply to the tillerhead on the rudderstock or carcase with a crank lever extending perpendicularly (to their respective turning axes) from each. The outboard ends of the cranks would be connected by a short tie rod with ball joint ends. (Source these from a bearing supply house, rather than a marine source: they're made in marine materials if you hunt around)

A vertical tiller should join the torsion shaft with a hinge, like a horizontal tiller, to save unfair loads, and this also means a person sitting ahead of the tillerman can easily take their turn without changing places.

The main advantages:

- Less 'swept footprint' of the tiller in the cockpit as it swings, in fact a negligible footprint, amounting to a line (if it's upright)

- Short tie rods

These don't need to be beefy in order to sustain compression loads. If you had a (conventional) vertical axis tiller, the tie rods would be long: either you would need two, symmetrically disposed either side of the rudder stock (one always pulling), or you need one with a beefy midsection (not heavy, but big diameter) so it doesn't buckle under heavy compression loads.
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Old 24-07-2012, 00:10   #11
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Sweet project nickn! I want an update and photos!
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Old 24-07-2012, 04:10   #12
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Something I never thought of, but it makes sense. My cockpit is shorter than it is wide so not having the tiller occupy the whole cockpit would be good. Would it be an advantage to have some sort of ratio built in so that 45 degrees on the whipstaff is 30 on the rudder. As I am building this boat with only 2 berths (one for me on the port tack and the other for me on the starboard tack .. hah..hah) the aft cabin is mine to do with what I like so a shaft doesn't bother me. In fact I wanted to have an emergency tiller inside the aft cabin so I can steer when going sideways and upside down around cape horn (all other conditions I prefer the cockpit).
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Old 24-07-2012, 04:23   #13
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

oops, that other reply should be on Andrew's post.
Calypsosailor, I'll try to keep things up to date as I go, but I can be a very slow worker. Now I've decided to treat this as a job and put it first, then do all the other things that always come up. I spent all day welding a couple of plates onto the side decks. Everything is just tacked until the final weld (the hull is already welded of course otherwise it would fall apart when we rolled it over)
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:03   #14
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Here's a thought. Have a tiller aft of the cabin (or in it if you prefer), and run a relieving tackle in to the center cockpit. The tiller won't take up any cockpit space, and you can run the line around the cockpit and steer from anywhere.
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:06   #15
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Re: center-cockpit tiller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
If you went for a vertical tiller (aka whipstaff) you can either have it work like a tiller, or (opposite action) like a one-spoked wheel with no rim.

For this to work simply you'd have to be able to take a shaft through the aft cabin from just above the level of the cockpit floor (at the roughly horizontal turning axis of the 'tiller', but this torsion shaft could travel downhill to the rudder)

You could link it simply to the tillerhead on the rudderstock or carcase with a crank lever extending perpendicularly (to their respective turning axes) from each. The outboard ends of the cranks would be connected by a short tie rod with ball joint ends. (Source these from a bearing supply house, rather than a marine source: they're made in marine materials if you hunt around)

A vertical tiller should join the torsion shaft with a hinge, like a horizontal tiller, to save unfair loads, and this also means a person sitting ahead of the tillerman can easily take their turn without changing places.

The main advantages:

- Less 'swept footprint' of the tiller in the cockpit as it swings, in fact a negligible footprint, amounting to a line (if it's upright)

- Short tie rods

These don't need to be beefy in order to sustain compression loads. If you had a (conventional) vertical axis tiller, the tie rods would be long: either you would need two, symmetrically disposed either side of the rudder stock (one always pulling), or you need one with a beefy midsection (not heavy, but big diameter) so it doesn't buckle under heavy compression loads.
Had this system on a 27ft Royal Navy whaler that I once had.
Forward athwartships lever pivoted on jigger mast tubular mount, with push/ pull cables to rudderhead.
Worked great.
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