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Old 07-03-2013, 19:29   #1
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Tiller Problem

I've got a problem with the tiller on my Alberg 35. There is a crack in a complete circle around the tiller base in the deck. A freind of mine who owns a marine repair service gave it a quick look and said that it was in danger of coming through the deck. Now, my question is, is this something that can be repaired economically or am I looking at a major repair here? If its something that can be repaired for under $2000, I'll just get it repaired. If its going to cost more than that, I'll just replace it with a pedestal and wheel, as thats roughly what it would cost me for the wheel. I'm getting ready to relocate from SC to RI, and I need to get her seaworthy as economically as possible as I don't have the funds for a full refit at the moment.
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Old 07-03-2013, 19:36   #2
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Re: Tiller Problem

Personally I'd keep the tiller. Any chance you can post a picture?
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Old 07-03-2013, 19:44   #3
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Re: Tiller Problem

No, I'm not near the boat right now. And I know everyone says to just keep the tiller. Thats not the question here. I'm more curious which is more "economical" or "cheaper." Whichever is going to get her seaworthy quicker and for less cash. Actually, I should say that my threshold is more around $3700, than $2000. If I have to replace the tiller with a wheel, I'll also need an autopilot and about the cheapest I can find is the Raymarine SPX-5 wheelpilot. Again, I'm not looking to do a full refit on her. My total budget is only around 5-6k.
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Old 07-03-2013, 19:47   #4
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Re: Tiller Problem

I built my last tiller our of a piece of Ash I had laying around. I don't think a tiller is very expensive, but what do I know?

I guess if you're hiring someone to do the work and buying the tiller as well, then the cost could be 3-4k. Not sure what's wrong with yours, maybe IT can be fixed for a bit?

John
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Old 07-03-2013, 19:55   #5
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Re: Tiller Problem

No, it's not that. The tiller it self is fine. Its the base of the tiller where the rudder post comes up through the deck. There is a crack in a complete cirlce around that in the deck. At first I thought it was just a crack in the gel coat, but I was just told that it is structural.
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Old 07-03-2013, 19:58   #6
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Re: Tiller Problem

Oh wow! Then I'd bet doing the pedestal is going to be more cost effective in the long run if you intended to do it anyway.
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:03   #7
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Re: Tiller Problem

If I understand you right, the crack is in the fiberglass where the tiller comes through the deck. If that's the case, you should be able to grind out the crack, partially fill it with high density filler thickened epoxy and a couple of layers of fiberglass cloth and epoxy.

If it's some kind of metal fitting, remove it. Buy a block of UHMW plastic, bore a hole the diameter of the rudder shaft and bolt it to the cockpit sole. When I ditched the wheel, bought an 8"x8"x1 1/2" to run the add on to the rudder stock through the sole. It was bored to the exact circumference of the shaft. It's entirely water proof but it's a very tight fit so very little water will get past it if the boat is pooped and virtually no water will leak past since it's 1 1/2" off the deck in normal use. The UHMW acts as a stabilizing bearing and has stopped the leaking at the hull seal the the unstabilized force of the quadrant put on the rudder stock.

If it's the rudder stock itself, you have problems because it's probably bronze. Might be able to drop the rudder and braze but I'd talk with a welder before I tried that. In any case, if the rudder stock is the issue, you'll have to replace the stock and rebuild the rudder.
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:06   #8
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Re: Tiller Problem

Yeah, its not good. The boat really needs a top to bottom refit, but until I have the cash for it, I just need to get her seaworthy to make it up to RI. Right now I'm planning on getting new instruments (speed log, depth sounder, wind data), repairing/replacing the tiller and painting the bottom.
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:11   #9
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Re: Tiller Problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
If I understand you right, the crack is in the fiberglass where the tiller comes through the deck. If that's the case, you should be able to grind out the crack, partially fill it with high density filler thickened epoxy and a couple of layers of fiberglass cloth and epoxy.

If it's some kind of metal fitting, remove it. Buy a block of UHMW plastic, bore a hole the diameter of the rudder shaft and bolt it to the cockpit sole.

If it's the rudder stock itself, you have problems because it's probably bronze. Might be able to drop the rudder and braze but I'd talk with a welder before I tried that. In any case, if the rudder stock is the issue, you'll have to replace the stock and rebuild the rudder.
Yes! That is exactly right. I'm going to have it looked at more in depth soon. If it IS the rudder stock, would you say its even worth it to repair/replace it? The boat is a 1963 after all and in need of a refit and new bottom, hull and deck paint.
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:59   #10
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Re: Tiller Problem

You probably just have to beef up the area around the top rudder bearing. Putting a wheel in would not solve the problem, you have to repair and strengthen that area. Probably the core (plywood?) is soggy and so the outer fg is cracking and ready to break.
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Old 07-03-2013, 21:20   #11
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Re: Tiller Problem

Lovely boat.

Coming through the deck? What would come through the deck?. How can that come through the deck? You'd have to lose both rudder pintels, lower bearing and have extreme upward pressure. It's most likely gel coat cracks caused by small movements of the tiller stem. Crawl under cockpit floor and look at the underside.

Examine the rudder shaft and confirm that it's ok and simply beef up the area around the upper bearing. Also make sure there is no play in the rudder shoe and it's attachment to the keel.

Please forget the wheel.

Does your friend have a clue about the Alberg 35 rudder configuration. His statement tells me he has not.
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Old 07-03-2013, 23:10   #12
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Re: Tiller Problem

Here are some rudder tube repairs done on a Pretorian.

View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:47   #13
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Re: Tiller Problem

Ok, guys, will you PLEASE stop with the "forget the wheel" comments? I GET IT that 99% of the people on here prefer a tiller. THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE HERE! I'm just trying to find the most cost efficient way to get her ready to sail to RI. If thats just repairing the tiller, than thats what I'm going to do. If it means installing a wheel, then thats what I'm going to do.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:59   #14
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Re: Tiller Problem

You could probably do the job yourself for under 200 dollars with all material. West system is great stuff to work with. Simple enough as I can do it.
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Old 08-03-2013, 13:07   #15
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Re: Tiller Problem

Yeah, I'm hoping that its just a crack in the fiberglass and I can grind it and fill it.
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