homegrown, cheap tiller minder

Moderator: GreenLake

homegrown, cheap tiller minder

Postby calden » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:29 am

I've found that there are a couple of times each sail that I need to keep the tiller still - singlehanding, dousing the jib, heaving-to, etc. - and each time I've used various combinations of bungee cords or lines, all feeling clumsy and hard to do quickly. Most fun is when the bungee flies off and hits spouse in face.

So I looked at some of the commercial products, but found them wanting for various reasons. I devised a simple and cheap solution that works. I put it through trial runs yesterday.

I tied a line between the two rear docking cleats, and looped it, under the tiller, through a strapeye. I put a small block on the loop, and tied a line to the block and pulled that through a clam cleat. A picture's worth a thousand words:

top of tiller
329

bottom of tiller
330

individual parts look like this
332 334 333

The clam cleat is about six inches from the end of the tiller, so the line is easy to grab about yank up into the cleat. There's a knot at the end of the line to prevent it from running out of the cleat.

All it takes is a good strong pull then cleat and the tiller is pretty stiffly set.

running
330

set
331

There are lots of ways to make something like this work - I'm sure I'll alter a few things. But it's very cheap - the parts were less than $10 total (probably less - rough estimate) and it was easy to install.

Carlos
DS I #1653
calden
 
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Postby vdemperio » Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:46 pm

Carlos,

This looks like a very simple but effective tiller minder. I've spent lots of money on systems that were more expensive but did not work well. I may try this system in place of my Davis Tiller Tamer. Thanks for sharing.
Vince
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Postby dsheer » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:33 pm

Carlos,

I solved the same problem differently. Two cleats in the carling under the afterdeck, one on either side. 3/8 inch bungee cord between them. A jam cleat (like a regular cleat but one side tapered) on the underside of the tiller, tapered side forward. Pull the bungee into the jam cleat and it locks. You can set the tension foe the wind. I might add a jam cleat on the carling to adjust the tension as well. I have found that using the bungee helps keep a boat on track in variable winds because it self corrects.

Have you posted the pics of your dance yet?

Dan
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COB release tiller tamer

Postby Roger » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:30 pm

I too use a bungee cord with the ends anchored at a spot on either coaming so that a jamb cleat (facing aft) secures the tiller where ever I want it. When sailing solo, I tie off a long 75' line near the transom run it forward and over the bungee, then let it trail behind the boat. Should I fall overboard, while going forward to do whatever, all I have to do is swim to the line and give it a tug and the tiller uncleats and the boat rounds up head to wind.

Having said all that, I have never tested the setup, but am hopeful that 75' give me enough time to surface, get my bearings, and get to the line before the bitter end passes me!

Anyone else tried this system?
Roger
 
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Postby calden » Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:58 pm

dsheer wrote:Carlos,

I solved the same problem differently. Two cleats in the carling under the afterdeck, one on either side. 3/8 inch bungee cord between them. A jam cleat (like a regular cleat but one side tapered) on the underside of the tiller, tapered side forward. Pull the bungee into the jam cleat and it locks. You can set the tension foe the wind. I might add a jam cleat on the carling to adjust the tension as well. I have found that using the bungee helps keep a boat on track in variable winds because it self corrects.

Have you posted the pics of your dance yet?

Dan


Dan:

I like your solution. I think I'll experiment with it a bit. I thought up mine because I wanted a simple one-pull device to stop the tiller.

No dance. I'm sure if I posted anything like that I'd violate several internet regulations as well as the basic laws of nature, not to mention triggering an NSA file. It's not something that anybody would really want to see.

Carlos
DS I #1653
calden
 
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Postby dsheer » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:06 am

Carlos,

You're just too modest.

Dan
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Postby dsheer » Thu Jul 06, 2006 12:35 am

Roger,

From now on I'm trailing a line when I solo, and I might just hook it so it would release the bungee. I'm not sure that would be necessary - if you catch the line you will certainly slow the boat enough to pull yourself up. I used to drag for fun behind my 30, and even in a stiff breeze I'd substantially slow the boat. It had at least 3 or 4 times the sail of the DS.

True story: Over 30 years ago I was blown off an Alberg 30 on Chesapeake Bay - we had just sighted a waterspout. The visibility was poor due to rain, so it was close. I caught a trailing jib sheet and pulled myself back to the boat, where I got help getting in. No real danger, I'm a strong swimmer and could easily have made shore from anywhere in the Bay in that temperature water. I did not panic and would not have even if I hadn't caught the line. Gave the captain quite a scare though. Per your question about length, the sheet couldn't have been more than 20 feet behind the boat, probably a lot less. Still, I was a lot quicker then.

Three knots is 4 ft/sec. At three knots you would have a little less than 20 seconds to catch a 75 foot rope. Enough if you are not hurt and know what you have to do, even at higher speeds, IMHO. If you are hurt, you'd better have a life jacket on. I have always been stupid enough to solo without one. But, I missed my calling. Should have been a QB for the Steelers.

Dan
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bungee tiller tamer

Postby crawford » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:51 pm

I have boat 113 with wood seats. The two x board under the seat (for cantileaver support) is ideal to screw in two, one on each side, stainless eye screw. I placed them two feet from the stern; two foot back from the tip of the tiller. Then I wrap a bungee around the tiller three loops, then the ends to the eye screws. It holds the tiller straight yet can move with aslight pressure from me. It works a lot better on a Catalina 22 that is not as responsive as my DS. But it still works fine for holding a straight line while I fiddle around with other stuff while sailing.
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Postby Peter McMinn » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:21 pm

I do something very similar in # 568. I simply stretch a bungie from the aft ends of both seats and don't even bother to wrap the tiller in most cases. Just the downward pressure alone seems to keep the boat balanced. It's also easy to put on and off when you need to go forward.

Peter
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