How wide is your tiller?

Ubergeekian

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Jumblie's tiller is 5'6" long and 2" wide at the thick end. Although it's about 3.5" high there, that seems a bit narrow to me. Since I am renewing the wooden cheek pieces at the top of the rudder between which it mounts, I have the opportunity to beef things up. On the other hand, she has survived 25 years with the existing one.

What do you think? Is 2" wide enough for a 26', 3 ton long keeler?
 

johnalison

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2" doesn't sound much does it? My tiller is 2 1/2" wide and made of ash. It is only 3' long and only has to cope with fairly light loads with a semi-balanced rudder on a modern fin hull.
 
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- but I don't know why people use ash for tillers, as it's not a particularly durable wood.

Because it's ideal for the job. It's tough and resilient. Traditionally used for shafts in horse drawn vehicles, and parts of the wheels. Also used in the chassis of the Morgan cars.
Granted, it's not as durable as some woods but it's physical characteristics make it excellent for tillers. OP's old one has lasted 25years which isn't bad.
Looks good to.
All IMHO ;)
 

Ubergeekian

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Depends on the timber - if oak or hickory, then it should be ok. Ash would need to be wider - but I don't know why people use ash for tillers, as it's not a particularly durable wood.

It's a laminated one - I'm in the middle of removing layers of varnish and horrible brown gunky stuff so can't be sure but it looks like mahogany and ... something lighter.

The width is more disconcerting than worrying - it's the same width as the Jouster's, but almost twice as long for a bigger and unbalanced rudder. As Mr Mortice says, the old has lasted 25 years, but this is probably my best chance to beef things up if it seems like a good idea.
 

DownWest

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. Also used in the chassis of the Morgan cars.
All IMHO ;)

Um ,no. It is used in the body frame, the chassis is, and always has been, steel. I have had my kidneys 'vibrated' by a +4.
The only car that used a wooden chassis in 'recent' times was the Marcos. Marine ply too.

As the tiller is only rarely in the water, ash sounds OK. Looks nice, glues well. As for strength, could you break a 2" wide bit at the length stated?

Also good for the batterns in Junk rigs.
A
 

Pye_End

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The only failure that I am aware of for the tiller on the V26/F26/800 is when somebody fell on the tiller, and it de-laminated.

Doe the rudder have a cut-out behind the prop? If so, it is well worth filling it in.
 

Ubergeekian

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The only failure that I am aware of for the tiller on the V26/F26/800 is when somebody fell on the tiller, and it de-laminated.

Ta. I'm planning a new tiller soon anyway - not sure whether to laminate or have a go at steaming 2" x 3" ash ...

Doe the rudder have a cut-out behind the prop? If so, it is well worth filling it in.

It does, but if I fill it in the prop will make a hell of a clunk the first time it turns by thirty degrees ...
 

machurley22

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It's a laminated one - I'm in the middle of removing layers of varnish and horrible brown gunky stuff so can't be sure but it looks like mahogany and ... something lighter.
A cautionary tale.

My tiller was very similar in appearance so one winter I stripped back to the wood, repaired a small delamination at the forward end and varnished it back to shining beauty. Six months later at what became the end of the season it snapped clean off at the base.

On examining the remains it was apparent that it had been rotting from the inside out for years and the majority of the interior was more like sponge than wood. The culprits were presumably the two holes drilled side to side to bolt it to whatever you call the SS hinged bit that takes the load to whatever you call the bronze bit that clamps around the rudder stock. There had been no creaking or shoogliness or any other sign that all was not well until it broke.

So take the opportunity to examine it very closely and give it some serious abuse with the rudder locked. It's probably a good idea to do this as an annual maintenance item anyway since it can be quite inconvenient when the tiller comes off in your hand. :)
 

Pye_End

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Later boats had no cut-out, and many of the earlier boats got them filled in due to the improvement in performance. If your prop will hit the rudder (if filled in) then it has a non-standard set-up - either a larger cutless housing, or a shaft which could have some lopped off it. Assuming you don't have a folding prop?
 

electrosys

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As the tiller is only rarely in the water, ash sounds OK. Also good for the batterns in Junk rigs.

Yep, my junk battens are ash - because, unlike a tiller - they really do need to be flexible.

Remember the Morris Traveller ? Their frames were ash, and they rotted like there was no tomorrow. It's rainwater that's the killer, not salt.
 
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Um ,no. It is used in the body frame, the chassis is, and always has been, steel. I have had my kidneys 'vibrated' by a +4.

Well, blow me down. I've been under the impression for years that the chassis was ash.
Mind you, if they wanted to make it out of wood, ash would be a good choice. ;)
 

Dipper

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The tiller on my 26ft 2½ ton boat is 3' 3" long. At the thick end it's only 1¾" square which is a lot smaller cross section than yours. It's lasted 32 years so I'm not particularly bothered about it especially since my boat is very well balanced and I never need to heave hard on the helm.
 

Ubergeekian

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On examining the remains it was apparent that it had been rotting from the inside out for years and the majority of the interior was more like sponge than wood.

Eek. I have already discovered a small amount of rot in a couple of the whatever-the-lighter-wood-is laminations where it sits inside the rudder head. Only about 1" long and to a depth of 1/8" ... I shall now check everything more carefully. Thanks for the tip.

PS This is why my new one will probably be solid rather than laminated.
 
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