Cal 28 Tiller - Which Kind ?
I'm here in Victoria,BC Canada. Our cal 28 tiller just broke and we need a new one. I'm looking at laminated tillers online, and I'm not sure which model/kind we need, or if it's more a matter of preference? They all seem to be about 2" in width at the base where they'd attach to the bolts. We have one that swivels, which is great (So you can lift it vertically, - I'm still learning all the terminology).
I don't know how different they all are. But I know that the marine store in town that sells them brand new is damn expensive, and the online ones have them cheaper.
Currently ours broke at the base (the inside of the wood was rotten), so we're going to cut it down a few inches and put it back on (with some sika flex, maybe the last person didn't seal it?) But we'd like to get one in better condition (i.e. no rot), and keep this one as an emergency tiller. So we can wait a little while to get one online, or keep looking at the boater's exchange for a used one that fits.
Information about how they all differ would be great. I've noticed that the curvature and length seems to be different on some.
H & L Marine Woodwork, Inc.
It's very rewarding to make your own tiller and a small enough project to get you interested in doing other projects around the boat.
Tiller shape is a mater of preference mostly, assuming it clears obstructions easily, as your lifting tiller should. Length is usually the mitigating factor.
If you elect to make one, there are a few processes noted on line, though it's easy enough to sort out, if you're reasonably handy in a wood shop. The first step is to make a form. You can do this on a bench or table top, with wooden blocks screwed down to form the curve(s) of the tiller. Next are the laminations. Most use mahogany and ash or other light colored wood. I've done many over the years and I use pine for the light colored wood usually. Use fairly thin thicknesses as mahogany doesn't like to bend as well as other woods. 1/4" to 5/16" are pretty common. Butter them up with epoxy and clamp them to the jig. When dry, you'll pop them off the jig (mold) and machine it to the finished dimensions.
It doesn't have to be a laminate either, it could be just a pretty hunk of what ever you happen to have. Preferably straight, tight grain, quarter sawn, with no defects (knots, pith pockets, etc.). Two pieces of wood glued together at the forward end, but made into a fork at the aft end, so it can grab the rudderhead or bracket will also work.
In short, work it out in your head. You don't have to spend $400 on a tiller that cost them $100 and is using $20 in materials. Heck a length of pipe will get it done in a pinch, so give it some thought, maybe a father son project, but hell a tiller is a walk in the park, just wait until something really important breaks . . .
Last tiller I bought from H&L 5 years ago for my Cal 40 was $80, that's the price with 3 coats of varnish, it's a little cheaper uncoated.
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