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Old 31-07-2009, 07:43   #1
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Tieing-Off a Tiller

ive done about 600 miles of cruising in my bristol 27 now and still cant figure out how to tie off the tiller. has anybody figured out a way to maintain a course and sleep at the same time, without another person or autopilot? any help would be appreciated. ive been trying to pull this off for a while but i can only buy a few seconds, at the most minutes. ive noticed that me moving around on the boat will throw the set boat off course too, as well as gusts and swells.
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Old 31-07-2009, 09:11   #2
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Do a search of "sheet to tiller steering" Basically a line runs from the tiller to either the mainsheet or jibsheet on the opposite side. A shock cord counters this pull. If sails luff the shock cord pulls the tiller causing the bow to fall off. If the sails pull increases the line to the tiller overpowers the shock cord pulling the bow to windward.

It does take lots of tweaking
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Old 31-07-2009, 09:15   #3
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You need to find a balance between having too much weather helm or having too much lee helm. You then do as rtbates describes.
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Old 31-07-2009, 10:24   #4
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It really works a lot better on a ketch, which is why they were so popular before autopilots were ubiquitous. We used to frequently tie the tiller in position and then make small course changes with the mizzen trim, worked beautifully.

I always struggled with the jib sheet method.
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Old 31-07-2009, 12:15   #5
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I've never had any luck with sheet to tiller steering. Had to make too much of a compromise with performance and then never really got it to work for more than a very short time. Some people swear by rather at it, however. One person I talked with said they had to use surgical tubing rather than shock cord. The stretch characteristics are different and the surgical tubing worked while shock cord failed to steer.

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Old 31-07-2009, 13:27   #6
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thanks guys, ill try it out.
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Old 31-07-2009, 14:49   #7
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if you have the ultimate balanced boat with a long keel and STEADY winds it will work. Otherwise they are intended to only work until you just nod off! (see Murphy's 2nd corralory (sp?))
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Old 31-07-2009, 17:09   #8
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Try here.

When you say "sleep," exactly what kind of sleep are you talking about?
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Old 31-07-2009, 19:09   #9
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cat naps of course, you silly sailor.
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Old 31-07-2009, 19:47   #10
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i have a regular fin keeled sloop...and if i have the right balance i can tie it off to the side thats opposite of where the tiller gives pressure then i adjust accordingly. As for how long i could keep it on the same tack i last week kept the same take as I finished a 12 pack of bud light limes. But its possible on any boat if it is on mine lol.
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Old 31-07-2009, 21:35   #11
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I use sheet to tiller steering. (see the thread and tutorial I have on sailfar) I am still experimenting with it and I do use surgical tubing on the one that I use on the Valiant. The Compac is small enough that I get away with a bungie cord.
I have thought that a ketch or yawl would have some advantages- thanks for the confirmation Spearit. Maybe that will be my next boat
How long will it keep a heading as respect to the wind? Upwind all day, Downwind is harder, but i have kept a heading for as long as 3+ hours downwind, and I am getting better.
Keep a compass at your berth and stick your head out every 15 minutes or so. It is a very civil way of soloing in a smaller boat.
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