Cutting slot for tiller lock?

I am tired of not being able to lock off my tiller the way one can lock off wheel steering. So, what I'm thinking is to cut a ~2" long slot in the fiberglass housing for the rudder post and then put a bracket around that with a knob and screw to tighten down around the rudder post. That way I can lock it off in any position I want (like when at anchor and eating dinner in the cockpit, or when on a beam reach and the boat is well balanced and I just need to step below to get my damn sunglasses).

Am I crazy? Is this a dumb idea? Is there a better way?

That white outer tube appears to be GRP and the wall thickness is about 0.125"
I'd think that about a 2" long 0.125" wide cut from the top down the wall would do it. Then just fabricate a clamp to squeeze the tube and lock the rudder post. I could alternatively cut a upside-down T-shaped slot to give the tube more ability to flex, but that seems over engineered to me.

What do y'all think?

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Nodrog

Member
409
39
Auckland
another traditional solution to the getting the sunglasses problem is a bit of bungy / rope to loop over the end of the tiller (the end you hold onto) which is adjusted to 'just right' whilst you nip below. 

Putting something on the tube is asking it take a huge amount of torque, whatever you do make sure it has a way of slipping or letting go before it tears the tube out of the floor.

does the tiller lift up out of the way whilst you're eating dinner? if not, perhaps a bungy to the cockpit floor ( going to the end you hold again) is a better solution. 

 

DDW

Super Anarchist
6,530
1,093
I'd be skeptical it would work. On wheel steering, the brakes don't work that well, and they have whatever mechanical advantage is in the steering gear working for them (on my boat 9:1). So your friction brake has to take many times the torque. Tiller comb would be a better idea. 

 
We’re the wall thickness 1/4”, I’d think about it.  1/8” of glass composite seems light to me.  
Replacing that rudder tube if it gets buggered looks like a nasty job.  I would not tempt it.
Look to other concepts.

 

andykane

Member
462
216
Victoria, BC
I built a tiller comb that fit in place of a tiller pilot. Worked nicely for a quick lock while sailing. At anchor or at the dock I'd still lash it because there was still enough slop to rattle.

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I built a tiller comb that fit in place of a tiller pilot. Worked nicely for a quick lock while sailing. At anchor or at the dock I'd still lash it because there was still enough slop to rattle.

View attachment 440345

View attachment 440346
THIS!!!
This is friggin' GENIUS level solutioning. I cannot describe to you how happy this solution makes me. I have no place to mount a tiller comb, but this... I've already got all the tiller pilot holes and such.

 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,664
5,621
Canada
Yeah elegant.

To the original posting: let me introduce you to "Leverage".  Picture holding the tiller 2" from the pivot point. Could you? Could 3 of you?

 

andykane

Member
462
216
Victoria, BC
@andykane I like that, I can see making one for myself.  Is the hinge positioned so that it can flop down alongside your bench when not in use?
Yeah, exactly. When you want to use it, swing it up onto the pin, give it a bit of a wiggle until the closest hole lines up and it drops right onto the pin.

THIS!!!
This is friggin' GENIUS level solutioning. I cannot describe to you how happy this solution makes me. I have no place to mount a tiller comb, but this... I've already got all the tiller pilot holes and such.
Hey, you're welcome to it. Here's a cad drawing that might be useful. Easy enough to make with hand tools and a drill press. I printed out the hole pattern, taped it in place and marked the holes with a punch before heading to the drill press.

View attachment tiller comb.dwg

 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
9,664
5,621
Canada
Yes, but you want a loose fit so you can grab it out easily enough. You don't want it to bind when you try to release.

If those are 1/4" holes (0.25" or slightly larger) you'd want your pin to be a bit undersized. 0.2496-0.2486". This is a "loose fit"

 

weightless

Super Anarchist
5,607
583
Maybe a wooden dowel in place of the pin would rattle less annoyingly? Counter bore a bit on the holes in the plate and a put an o-ring on at the bottom of the pin that fits in the counters? Dubious solutions to a non-problem, no doubt. I have an unlimited supply of those. ;)  

 

andykane

Member
462
216
Victoria, BC
The tiller pin fit was pretty good, most of the rattling came from the poor fit between the pin and socket on the other end. My pin was simply a long 3/8" bolt with the head and most of the threads cut off, so far from a precision fit. With a lathe you could easily machine a better fit which would help a lot.

 

Ultraman

Anarchist
819
48
Vancouver
Yeah elegant.

To the original posting: let me introduce you to "Leverage".  Picture holding the tiller 2" from the pivot point. Could you? Could 3 of you?
Would be like trying to use the little emergency tiller that came with my wheel boat to steer in the ocean.  Impossible...

 

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