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Old Today, 12:33   #16
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Lower Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Bristol 27
Posts: 5,814
Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Except last night.

My tiller isn't tied to anything since I varnished it.

It moves at times but returns to center.

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Old Today, 14:07   #17
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Madeira Park, BC
Boat: Custom steel, 41' LOD
Posts: 159
Re: tie tiller down when at dock

I used to lash mine when at anchor or docked. I used a couple of those heavy rubber shock cords you get at automotive stores. But Scorpius's rudder is big and heavy (a "barn door") and the tiller is a two-parter: the first foot is steel channel iron that fits into the rudder post saddle and into which the wood tiller fits. The autopilot drives just the steel part so the wood portion can be flipped up out of the way when underway.

The point is, that there's a bit of play - particularly between the rudder post saddle and the steel channel portion of the tiller - such that, when lashed, the two parts clank against each other and keep us awake nights.

Now I just leave it alone. Unless it's quite rough the heavy rudder just swings slowly, gently, and silently.

There's the added advantage that if hit by a log or something (fairly common around here) the rudder can just swing out of the way rather than being lashed immobile and possibly damaged.

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Old Today, 14:49   #18
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Whangarei
Boat: Bavaria 38 Cruiser, 12meters, 2004
Posts: 177
Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Originally Posted by kristikem View Post
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!
Whatever system you use, and there are some really good ideas here, make sure that your tiller is immediately available without delay, so from that perspective I am wary about tying off the tiller unless you are very careful with the knots used. The reason being I was in a hurry one day to pick up sailing guests from the jetty and cast off my swing mooring after warming engine, various checks etc, but had neglected to release the tiller. To my horror I was drifting in a good current with no steerage and my knot jammed. I hit another boat on the stem (fortunately no damage to the other vessel.) before I got control. That's what is great about a forum like this, hopefully you get to learn from everyone else's mistakes.
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Old Today, 15:28   #19
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Currently cruising the eastern Caribbean
Boat: Lagoon 42, Minx
Posts: 122
Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Unless you are on a mooring, there is no reason there center the tiller. You will get less play if you tie it to one side, with a pad on the end to protect the side if the cockpit. Better to tie off to a winch, stanchion base, parsley or block base. Lifelines tend to have a bit too much slack to effectively keep the rudder in position.
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Old Today, 15:43   #20
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Annapolis
Boat: Rhodes Bounty II
Posts: 38
Re: tie tiller down when at dock

Yep tie it off amidships. A little play is inevitable and good. Protects the whole steering system from shock loads.
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Old Today, 15:47   #21
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tasmania
Boat: Swanson 36 in Australia Bavaria 42 in Med
Posts: 277
Re: tie tiller down when at dock

I have heard it called a "steering stick" lol

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