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Woohoo! We did it! We finally located a sweet and sexy F-16 Falcon and brought her home. She is beautiful.

Soo, ahh, we brought home everything but a tiller. Oops. No biggie, but what are you using for a tiller? 

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Nacra adjustable carbon tiller extension.

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Arriba is no longer in production of their carbon tiller extensions last I checked with them. While the fiberglass ones work and for some boats they are the only class legal options, once you use a carbon one you won't go back.

Goodall supply a fixed carbon tiller that is pretty good as well but I prefer adjustable on the F-18, especially in light air. 

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Make one! I'm not a fan of adjustable, and needed a new tiler extension and tiler bar for my Tornado, so I bought the carbon poles, tiler extension joint and made it up, for a bit less than buying it would have cost! For the tiler bar, I picked up some delrin rod for either end and drilled it. 

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Use a round carbon or grp sailbatten, 10 mm. Find a stiffer one, some of them are rather soft. They can be had in any length and are flexible, so don't break when in use. 

So go and ask you local sailmaker, these battens cost hardly anything.

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Used to use Ronstan carbon ones but broke a few.

These days aluminium tube around 20mm, cheap as, bend it? can straighten it out a few times.

Weight difference is not that much to carbon.

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A rubber Link is mostly better, but this solution doesn't work with an adjustable tiller extention. For most situations a fixed one is better anyway. Especially quick maneuvers and it eliminates one cause of an error. 

If you are looking for a cheap solution, visit your nearest gardening or construction store and buy a bamboo stick. But a rubber link in, secure it with a screw and tape. If you prefer a bigger diameter than you can reduce the diameter by using a flexible hose usually used by electricians.  

An adjustable one make sense when you are in an area with light winds and it makes more sense on an F18. But if you want one I think the Hobie Wildcat tiller extension is the best. (Much better than the Nacra) 

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39 minutes ago, furr_ball said:

Used to use Ronstan carbon ones but broke a few.

These days aluminium tube around 20mm, cheap as, bend it? can straighten it out a few times.

Weight difference is not that much to carbon.

I like this idea. The Ronstan carbons are nice, but they do break. Where do you get your aluminum tube?

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the solution to breaking tillers is to drive overhand (like throwing a dart) rather than underarm.  means if you come of trapeze you leave the tiller behind rather than tapping it under your armpit.

 

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5 hours ago, SCARECROW said:

the solution to breaking tillers is to drive overhand (like throwing a dart) rather than underarm.  means if you come of trapeze you leave the tiller behind rather than tapping it under your armpit.

 

I think you just have to train your brain not to hold onto the solid feeling thing that you're holding as you fall off the back! Took me a few capsizes before I held onto the mainsheet and let go of the tiler, (although once you have snapped it, hold onto the other half as it could be useful!). 

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22 hours ago, mookiesurfs said:

I like this idea. The Ronstan carbons are nice, but they do break. Where do you get your aluminum tube?

Lots of suppliers online, although unlike carbon, the shipping cost is usually more than the tube, so worth buying several lengths so you have spares. Also, how tall are you? I'm 2m tall, and find I need a tube longer than 2.5m to be comfortable, but often the max length is 2.5m, so I end up with one smaller that fits into the other (either carbon or aluminium). 

I have an aluminium stick on my Dart 18  (class legal for single handed sailing) and a carbon one on my Tornado. Similar lengths, and the carbon is significantly lighter and easy to manage! Also, if you're in a cold climate, aluminium leaches the warmth from your hands far more quickly than carbon!

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congrats on the acquisition - pics?

boat comes with the battlestick - that's been a pretty reliable tiller for us. there's also a super-gucci alternative from Martin Malcheski if you like light and adjustable.

sarasota.jpg

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On 7/16/2018 at 10:49 PM, mookiesurfs said:

I like this idea. The Ronstan carbons are nice, but they do break. Where do you get your aluminum tube?

 

I'm in Oz, if you come to Brisbane, go to Capral....

I will shout you lunch.

You would need to find aluminium supplier near you, not online as freight would be issue.

You want approx. 20mm outside dia. and 1.6mm wall thickness works.

Then put a few wraps of grip tape where you hang on to it.

 

For scarecrow.....and others

Overhand / underhand, nup, breaking trapeze lines and in before you can let go, breaking extension across side of hull.

Regardless, aluminium tube still way cheaper and little weight benefit, also a little longer than stock carbon extensions available. if you like a longer extension

Tube $20 for 6.5m section equals 2 x 2.5m extensions, so $10 bucks each, carbon tiller around $160? for one, rather spend the spare money at the bar.

Weight? 2.5m ronstan battlestick is 310 g / aluminium 2.5m is 600g, yep almost double but still only 600g and only 300g extra.

 

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if you're holding the tiller so tight it breaks rather than pulls out of your hand you have a helm balance issue.  25 years of cat sailing and I've only ever broken tillers on the beach.

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17 minutes ago, SCARECROW said:

if you're holding the tiller so tight it breaks rather than pulls out of your hand you have a helm balance issue.  25 years of cat sailing and I've only ever broken tillers on the beach.

I was crewing for a bloke who's trap broke, he took the tiller with him in 25 knots of breeze. Only time I've been on a boat when ones broken aside from adjustable ones shitting themselves. Much prefer the ol straight tube, carbon if affordable.

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This is what I'm talking about.  Aussie kid comes of trap he can't help but leave the tiller extension behind.  When the guy from Uruguay falls in, the extension either ends up trapped under his armpit or at best his body drags it aft with him.  If they were going upwind and he was standing further forward it would probably end up under the stbd tiller/stock and would snap in a second.

 

Nacra15YouthWorlds2018_04.jpg

 

Youth worlds photo from Catsailingnews.com

 

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22 hours ago, SCARECROW said:

if you're holding the tiller so tight it breaks rather than pulls out of your hand you have a helm balance issue.  25 years of cat sailing and I've only ever broken tillers on the beach.

 

Man.......you seem to know so much about my sailing and cat.....

I'm pleased for your 25 years sailing and only broke a tiller on the beach.

See I haven't done that....must be an operator issue....;):D

 

No helm balance issues, very balanced thanks and I don't hold it tight.

It really was simple, trap broke, twice in fact, and was in before I could let go.

Went stuff paying for carbon again when I can do aluminium for peanuts.

 

Enjoy your sailing.

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On 7/16/2018 at 8:36 AM, born2sail.at said:

A rubber Link is mostly better, but this solution doesn't work with an adjustable tiller extention. For most situations a fixed one is better anyway. Especially quick maneuvers and it eliminates one cause of an error. 

If you are looking for a cheap solution, visit your nearest gardening or construction store and buy a bamboo stick. But a rubber link in, secure it with a screw and tape. If you prefer a bigger diameter than you can reduce the diameter by using a flexible hose usually used by electricians.  

An adjustable one make sense when you are in an area with light winds and it makes more sense on an F18. But if you want one I think the Hobie Wildcat tiller extension is the best. (Much better than the Nacra) 

born,

 What makes the Hobie "much better than Nacra"? I agree its a nice tiller, but last I checked it only locked in one direction. We used the Nacra extension because it locks in both directions reliably. I also have a carbon Arriba stick that my helm likes as the size is a bit larger. No, its not for sale!

Martin M. does fantastic work so I may ping him on tillers as availability of carbon sticks is low.

For fixed extensions, which I use on the A-Cat and have used on the F16 and F18, Hall makes the best I have used. Why? Its stiff enough to give you full control, but WHEN you get washed off the back of a full foiler and wrap the tiller over the tiller crossbar, the Hall stick just bends, not break. Its impressive, has saved me at least $800 worth of tiller extensions learning to fly...

aluminum: Yes, its available and cheap. For a sailor in a pinch its fine, and generally it can be bent back, however at some point it will fatigue or start to look like a wet noodle. The other note is while 300g isn't that heavy, 300g is equivalent to Qty. 10 30mm blocks. It all adds up and for a long day on the water that extra 300g also equates to helm fatigue.

 

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Guys the best sticks are actually fibre glass, carbon maybe light, maybe expensive, but break incredibly easy when you fall out the back and the only thing between you and the boat sailing away is holding onto the stick ( don't ask how I know ) . I've now started to put a piece of thin dyneema down the tube with a knot at either end through the side of the stick, when the stick breaks at least you are still connected.

The best stick I've found is 15mm pultruded fiber glass tube which you can easily source off the web, it comes in 3m lengths and the only downside is, it has fiberglass strands near the surface which is not great on the hands, I simply put a length of light weight clear heat shrink down the pole and that also has gives it much better bending stabilty as it holds the tube shape, which is the nemesis of pultruded tube.

If you want to get the fiber glass more stiff but still want a bit of flex when things do go wrong, you can also buy carbon braid and simply use the fiberglass tube as the former, it works well and is in someways the best of both carbon and fiberglass tube.

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Are there any other telescoping fiberglass tiller manufacturers? It looks like Arriba no longer makes the FX3,4 and 6?

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On 7/20/2018 at 7:37 PM, samc99us said:

born,

 What makes the Hobie "much better than Nacra"? I agree its a nice tiller, but last I checked it only locked in one direction. We used the Nacra extension because it locks in both directions reliably. I also have a carbon Arriba stick that my helm likes as the size is a bit larger. No, its not for sale!

Martin M. does fantastic work so I may ping him on tillers as availability of carbon sticks is low.

For fixed extensions, which I use on the A-Cat and have used on the F16 and F18, Hall makes the best I have used. Why? Its stiff enough to give you full control, but WHEN you get washed off the back of a full foiler and wrap the tiller over the tiller crossbar, the Hall stick just bends, not break. Its impressive, has saved me at least $800 worth of tiller extensions learning to fly...

aluminum: Yes, its available and cheap. For a sailor in a pinch its fine, and generally it can be bent back, however at some point it will fatigue or start to look like a wet noodle. The other note is while 300g isn't that heavy, 300g is equivalent to Qty. 10 30mm blocks. It all adds up and for a long day on the water that extra 300g also equates to helm fatigue.

 

I sail a Nacra 17 and I think that 95% of the solutions are better than at the Wildcat I sailed before. But the tiller is very good if you prefer an adjustable one. 

First thing I dislike at the Nacra one is the kork/plastic ball at the end. It makes it unnecessary heavy and if you throw the tiller to the other side it feels like you're trying to sink you boat. Second thing is that the inner tube is much thinner. Its not that stiff. 

At the hobby tiller you can use a different type of link also used at the boom to mast connection. Its not perfect on downwind but still better than the normal link.

And than there are personal things, I do prefer if it only locks in one direction because thats simpler and I do prefer the surface. 

 

Anyway I now sail with fixed tillers and there all good, also the Nacra one. 

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If you want to go cheap; and I mean DIRT CHEAP, and you live in the US, go to your local hardware store (Home Depot, Lowes) and buy a roller brush extension; the ones that professional use, to paint cathedral ceiling MacMansion, without scafholding. Aluminum tubes, with extension that you lock in place with a twist.

https://www.homedepot.com/s/wooster%20extension%20pole?NCNI-5

Now, if you want to go LAUGHABLE DIRT CHEAP, you use an old bicycle tire innertube, cut lengthwise, and wrap it around your highteck tiller extension in strategic places as a non-sliding handgrip...

 

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Crooked Beat,

  No one is making adjustable in the U.S anymore.

born,

  Copy all that. You have class wind limits that make fixed the best choice. On a foiler we run fixed 100% of the time when it is foiling conditions. If its light we switch to adjustable so you can get forward of the shrouds. Where I race that is a requirement. The cork ball is for throwing the extension off the back of the boat and keeping it from sucking up a bunch of water, plus it gives you a nice grip if you are driving for 100+ miles at a time in a distance race. Both of these scenarios I wouldn't anticipate on a Nacra 17 for 30min-1hr races where the helm is fully wired at all times. Bottom line is different strokes for different folks. I will agree the wildcat tiller is nice and light, looked at my old one again yesterday. I was told it is fragile but I suspect its the same as the Nacra and most extensions in that regards. Fortunately carbon is repairable if you know how or who to ask nicely.

 

 

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Samc99us: Thanks for that info. Not what I want to hear, but what I was afraid of. 

I guess it is roller brush extensions from now on.

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@samc99us I think it is more a thing of preferences and style. Not so much about the pros and cons. But there are  definitely some as you mentioned before. It also depends on the boat you're sailing on and the area you're sailing in. 

I do agree that light winds are not the conditions where a fixed tiller shines. But there are techniques to get the tiller between the shrouds. For me that means I have to stand up. I still prefer the fixed tiller mostly because of the rubber link and because I am used to it. 

Before I switched to the Nacra I always went with adjustable tillers of all brands. At the Nacra tiller I cut the cork ball down to a minimum (they where bigger than), than it was a good tiller. To be honest the number one reason for me to go fixed was the price. 

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A long tiller is very important in light stuff as well.... Got to keep the weight as far forward as possible. Don’t know why you would want an extendable.  I have a very good Marstrom extendable which I could not be bothered using.

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2018 at 3:50 PM, SCARECROW said:

the solution to breaking tillers is to drive overhand (like throwing a dart) rather than underarm.  means if you come of trapeze you leave the tiller behind rather than tapping it under your armpit. 

 

Great theory Scarecrow, but I don't think my brain is listening.  I steer overarm, don't have a helm balance problem and break my tiller EVERY time I go from trap to drink.

BTW, it's a A$150 Fibrefoam carbon extension for me - lovely

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3 hours ago, Phat Buoy said:

Great theory Scarecrow, but I don't think my brain is listening.  I steer overarm, don't have a helm balance problem and break my tiller EVERY time I go from trap to drink.

BTW, it's a A$150 Fibrefoam carbon extension for me - lovely

that's cause you're special mate.

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I must be special too..... I have broken them probably 50% of the time I have snapped a trap or fallen off.  You tend to have a tighter grip on the stick as you are pushing out onto trap ;)

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Hall carbon extensions don't break when the same mistake is made. I know as I would otherwise have a pile of $1000 worth of carbon fixed extensions from learning to foil.

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9 hours ago, Tornado_ALIVE said:

I must be special too..... I have broken them probably 50% of the time I have snapped a trap or fallen off.  You tend to have a tighter grip on the stick as you are pushing out onto trap ;)

Sorry Steve, only Richard can be special, if everyone was "special" not only would they no longer be special but they'd also need a longer bus.

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