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Old 04-12-2019, 10:42   #1
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tie tiller down when at dock

Hey guys, this may be a silly question... I am a brand new boat owner, and novice sailor.... and of course I am so nervous about doing things right!
I want to secure my tiller when we are docked, so the rudder wont move... we have some wind and rain atm and i just want to make sure everything is secure.

any advice on how best to tie the tiller? I am currently using a line (tied off both sides to life line) but it doesn't seem to be strong enough to keep the tiller/rudder completely still when the water gets a bit choppier.

thanks for the advice!
K
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:49   #2
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

I've used both ways. My first boat, I would use a hitch on the tiller handle, and to the cleats on each side of the cockpit. It would still find an inch or so of movement here and there, but certainly wasn't swinging wildly. However, one major drawback is the risk that someone trips or grabs or catches on one of the lines. First handle snapped that way on me.

My current boat, the tiller handle is able to be flipped up and over backwards, though I guess i could've just turned the rudder backwards too. So I flip it over backwards, and it rests nicely alongside the stern rail, and I can just tie it tight to that instead. Opens the cockpit up at anchor or the slip, keeps it from banging around.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:35   #3
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

I've seen many tillers secured to the backstay; others to a cleat on the non boarding side of the cockpit. Our 30 footer had clam cleats on either side of the cockpit, so you could set the tiller however you wanted it, would steer herself on the wind for hours.

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Old 04-12-2019, 12:38   #4
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

i used to center my tiller and tie off on the winches.
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Old 04-12-2019, 13:19   #5
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Dunno - my old tiller handle neatly flipped over backward and the end nested in the centered mainsheet traveller car. The new one is a few inches shorter, and doesn't quite reach. I've just been leaving it in ready position, covered with its neat new sunbrella tiller-condom. I see a few parked straight up. Violent sideways motions seem rare in the slip?

However, when the boat is on the hard, wind gusts do slam the rudder around and the tiller will flail around the cockpit, unless it is tied down.
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Old 04-12-2019, 14:32   #6
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Using strong shock cord tied off to cleats or winches might be a good solution. Some boats also have a “tiller comb”: a piece of wood or metal with notches in it on the afterdeck, that a piece screwed to the underside of the tiller fits in to. The comb is usually hinged, so you flip it down when you don’t want it interfering with steering. It can also be handy for holding the tiller in place when you need to dash down below for weather gear">foul weather gear or binoculars that you left on the settee.
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Old 04-12-2019, 14:41   #7
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Well... another system I have on board is just the Forespar tiller extension, with a "lock box" installed in the combing. Great for securing the tiller underway or when using the wind vane. But I hadn't thought of using it at the dock.
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Old 04-12-2019, 14:54   #8
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Welcome aboard CF, Kristikem.

Here is another option. Make up a piece of timber that replicates a tiller pilot and use the same mounting points.

Picture explains it best.
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Old 04-12-2019, 19:49   #9
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

And please! It ain't a "tiller handle", it's just a tiller.
And we always tied it off simply with a bit of light line.
Jim
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:34   #10
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

If you have autopilot, fashion yourself a dummy piece for the center position.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:51   #11
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

A nifty device that can be used underway to hold a rudder/tiller position as well as lock the tiller in position in the slip. The movement resistance can be dialed in from none to lock by turning the knob.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/DAVIS-INSTR...2fd272d6ce38c0
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:53   #12
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Clove hitch on the tiller and line to each side works.
Long bungies would work too I suppose.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:12   #13
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

I lift my tiller arm all the way up and rest it against the stainless rail behind it. I then take small cord and secure it to this rail and it never moves
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:14   #14
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

This is my system.

The tiller is usually secured tightly in it's slot with the line that holds up the outboard when in the slip.

Similarly when at anchor but not always.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:35   #15
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Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
And please! It ain't a "tiller handle", it's just a tiller.
And we always tied it off simply with a bit of light line.
Jim
Jim has it right. Keep it simple. If light line won't do it your rudder would be a bitch to handle while sailing.
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