Originally Posted by NorthernMac
Well that answered my actuator question
Any recommends for the tiller arm,
I dont mind spending money
but the edson
one is $500 and frankly I just dont see $500 worth of time and materiel in it, any recommends on a better buy, or is it just a suck it up and pay the man?
Not too hard to make a tiller arm for a 30 foot boat. Start with a piece of aluminum
, say about one inch thick and about three inches wider than your rudder
post. On one end drill two deep holes the tapping size for a pair of bolts to hold the saddle to the tiller arm. Draw a square on one end of the bar and find the center. That is where you will drill the hole for your rudder
post. For example if the bar is four inches wide mark for a hole two inches from the end on the center line of the bar. Drill the hole for the rudder post at the point you just marked. Now cut the saddle portion off of the tiller arm by cutting across the bar, bisecting the tiller hole. The thickness of the cutline should be enough to clamp the saddle tight around the rudder post to the tiller arm. Tap the holes for the bolts in the tiller arm and drill out the bolt holes in the saddle to the clearance size of the bolts. Trim the length of the tiller to the desired size and drill the hole for the autopilot drive pin. Optionally you could taper the tiller arm to reduce weight. You are done. Use a washer and a lock washer for the saddle bolts and don't scrimp on the antiseize compound. You don't want those bolts seizing up in the tiller arm holes. Take a good look at an illustration of the Edson tiller arm and you should be able to understand what I am saying.
You will need a few drill bits, a tap, a hacksaw and a drill press that can drill on the end of your full length tiller. A jig saw with a metal cutting blade would take a lot of drudgery out of the job if you want to taper the tiller arm. You will also need a file to smooth out the cuts. I recommend 6061 T6 aluminum
. you can try to find it cheap
at a metal scrap yard near you or buy new from someone like onlinemetals.com.
There are alternative methods of making this with less material costs such as making most of the tiller arm out of a second piece of aluminum and either bolting or welding it on the the first, now much shorter piece but I think a one piece assembly is more reliable and worth the extra material cost. If you do not have access to the tools maybe you can find someone who can do this for a reasonable cost. I hate to think what a machine shop would charge but your average backyard tinkerer could do this.