Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-12-2011, 10:35   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 35
How 'well balanced' is your tiller

What sort of load do you feel on your tiller when your boat is fairly well balanced? ie how strong a tiller pilot do I need?
__________________

__________________
micheck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 10:37   #2
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cruising NC, FL, Bahamas, TCI & VIs
Boat: 1964 Pearson Ariel 'Faith' / Pearson 424, sv Emerald Tide
Posts: 1,531
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

One finger with proper sail trim.
__________________

__________________
s/v 'Faith' is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 10:42   #3
Moderator Emeritus
 
FrankZ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Bristol 35 Bellesa
Posts: 13,565
Images: 1
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

Those Ariels do balance nicely. I sail on one frequently during the season, and it is usually very well behaved, unless you fail to trim properly, then she can get stubborn.


What boat are you planning on putting a tiller pilot on micheck?
__________________
Sing to a sailor's courage, Sing while the elbows bend,
A ruby port your harbor, Raise three sheets to the wind.
......................-=Krynnish drinking song=-
FrankZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 11:27   #4
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wherever our boat is; Playa Zaragoza, Isla Margarita
Boat: 1994 Solaris Sunstream 40
Posts: 2,439
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

FrankZ is, of course, correct - the type of boat (as well as sail trim) are hugely important. If you have too much weather helm, there is an earlier thread (with a comprehensive post by Gord May) on correcting the same that I would commend to you.

Brad
__________________
Southern Star is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 11:41   #5
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,576
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

Sail trim is the usual factor. On certain points of sail and with a reasonably flat sea, I can let go of the tiller without drama.

Getting an oversized, amp-munching tiller pilot to compensate for errors in trim is itself an error to my mind. Rig up a bungee and rope line and put on a Tiller Tamer of some type. Observe how the bungee stretches or doesn't in response to your trimming habits. See if you can't trim "for the helm", and make sure to do it on both tacks. You may also find that moving batteries or anchors/chain to the middle of the boat, under the settees, for instance, really improves problems with pressure on the tiller. Same with too much gear on one side of the boat.

You may find after these little adjustments, you can purchase a very modest tiller pilot without fear of it being overwhelmed, or you may find that the sheet to tiller or "Tamer" solution works quite well.

I use an antique Autohelm 1000 on my 33 footer, and I have my wife trim the sails until it stops trying to correct the course, i.e. stops movement in the ram. Every two minutes or so, it will then go "zzz" for a second thanks to a little wave, and that's your goal: If you are trimmed well on a balanced boat, the AP should work very little.
__________________
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 11:45   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

How is it hung? The rudder that is?
Post or Pintles? And what shape? A well balanced rudder needs to have a little of it forward of the pivot. But not enough to make it go hard over if turned all the way.
__________________
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Unprepared boaters, end up as floatsum!.......
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 12:29   #7
Registered User
 
Marksman's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kingston, Wa.
Boat: 1966 Buchan 37
Posts: 300
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

Delmarrey is correct, I have a well balanced spade rudder and the tiller is effortless regardless of sail trim, I have to pay attention to angle rather than feedback.
__________________
Fred Guy
Maelstrom
Marksman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 13:24   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 35
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

Thank you for your answers - Cal 34 with balanced rudder
__________________
micheck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 17:22   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Seattle
Boat: Tartan 30 & Columbia 26
Posts: 170
Images: 2
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

My tiller is PERFECTLY balanced on all points of sail, but it wasn't always that way! Read here for all the gory deatails: Hey "Tuesday", contact me! - Sailing Anarchy Forums

Seriously, this is a good read!
__________________
wristwister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 17:49   #10
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

Quote:
Originally Posted by micheck View Post
Thank you for your answers - Cal 34 with balanced rudder
There are 3 versions of the Cal 34. The Mark I that I sailed can have some weather helm when pressed, the newer versions shortened the boom and raised the mast. The boat can be well balanced. It's when you're in race mode or it's exciting to heel the boat mode that it loads up fast and hard. Beyond a certain heel angle it is unhappy, so just travel down or reef as needed. A home made electric autopilot steered the boat to Hawaii, and a homemade windvane that I made steered it back. We didn't use the windvane much on the way there as it was undersized for the boat and downwind didn't have enough apparent wind to control the boat. Upwind it worked fine. It was only the type where a horizontal pivot windvane is connected to the tiller, no appendages in the water.

Another boat I sailed, Islander Excalibur 26 had a rudder so balanced there was never any feedback. Early in my sailing days I said to someone on the boat "This is a well balanced boat, no weather helm at all" He looked at me funny and said look at the tiller, it was in my lap 20 or 30 degrees over.

My Cal 40 which has a balanced spade rudder doesn't like too much heel and the tiller loads up when heeled too much. There is a Schumacher rudder that the racers had designed years later, it apparently is similar to the Islander. Boat can be way out of trim with weather helm and no load on the tiller when you've angled the rudder to compensate.

There's varying degrees of balanced when it comes to spade rudders.


John
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 18:12   #11
Registered User
 
Bloodhound's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lake Texoma, Oklahoma
Boat: Westsail 32
Posts: 277
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

I trim for straight-line sailing with the rudder in the centre position (no effort either way). If the rudder is required in order to hold course, I'm losing speed and need to trim. In other words, the sails are used to steer the boat as well as drive it forward.
__________________
Bloodhound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 18:22   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Ex-Calif's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Singapore
Boat: Maxi 77 - Relax Lah!
Posts: 11,514
Images: 4
26 foot, 4000 lbs. ST1000+ Interfaces with hdg, gps and wind instruments. Hell of a machine for less than $500.

No problemo. Balance the sails as best you can before hitting the button.

Mine works hardest in gusts, chop and downwind/downsea.

It will also sail ddw wing on wing better than me or anyone in my crew ever will (although terrible at reading shifts and needs adult supervision). One crewperson recently commented, "watching the autopilot I didn't realize how little input is needed. I think I have been oversteering."

My crew is so smart they learn from an autopilot. Maybe cuz the skipper has no cred - LOL
__________________
Relax Lah! is For Sale <--- Click
Click--> Custom CF Google Search or CF Rules
You're gonna need a bigger boat... - Martin Brody
Ex-Calif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2011, 18:28   #13
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: How 'well balanced' is your tiller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodhound View Post
I trim for straight-line sailing with the rudder in the centre position (no effort either way). If the rudder is required in order to hold course, I'm losing speed and need to trim. In other words, the sails are used to steer the boat as well as drive it forward.
Going upwind 3-5 degrees of weather helm has been found to be fastest by the racers for most boats. This provides an angle of attack for the rudder providing lift to windward minimizing leeward drift. Much more helm results in too much drag.

On approx. beam reaches for two boats I've done a test where I've reefed and unreefed a couple of times and recorded speeds. On my Cal 40 and a Privilege 39 the boat was faster with more sail and the resulting more helm. The test on the Privilege was probably unfair, the charter company had put on way too much mast rake.

John
__________________

__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Converting Emergency Tiller to Permanent brianontheroad Construction, Maintenance & Refit 3 30-10-2011 09:40
Wheel to Tiller Steering Randyonr3 Construction, Maintenance & Refit 14 29-09-2011 13:44
For Sale: Raymarine ST1000 Tiller Pilot captmmac1 Classifieds Archive 5 23-09-2011 12:23
Want To Buy: Sonic Sail Drive Tiller Arm jphillips48 Classifieds Archive 0 22-08-2011 09:01



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:30.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.