Tiller Extension Advice Wanted

DSE

Member
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I've been using this U-joint. https://www.amazon.com/Nautos-HPN474-Universal-Flexible-Tiller/dp/B071JZC6RM

So far it has lasted longer than harken or ronstan, plus has the rope core. The ronstan u-joints seem to last about year, maybe two. I do keep a cover on the tiller and extension. 

I have a 33ft boat and prefer feel of the light weight ronstan telescoping extensions, but most of our sailing is light air. In heavy air reaching/ downwind for hours on end, I could see the ergonomic benefit of using a D-handle style. I would consider having both for your boat. You can get a ronstan telescoping for under $100 and non-telescoping ones even cheaper. 

 
you've definitely got to keep it out of the sun - but it is typical to have a tiller cover for that (as most tillers are varnished) - which fits easily enough over the collapsed extension as well.
The whole point a rubber universal is to keep the extension upright and weightless. when you tack/jibe/drop it, it stays within reach. You don't want to store it in a bent position. It will fatigue faster and loose its stiffness.

 

floater

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The whole point a rubber universal is to keep the extension upright and weightless. when you tack/jibe/drop it, it stays within reach. You don't want to store it in a bent position. It will fatigue faster and loose its stiffness.
agree. having a weightless extension so - very - cool. Please see my photo above for Forespar's solution.

and the other point I'd like to make: The fact that this extension is both weightless, and it telescopes, and it can be set in any position - effectively means that the primary motivation for a removable extension is obviated (at least in the case of the average sloop).

 
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G

Guest

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My 31ft Nantucket has tiller steering. A previous owner must have had an extension as there are holes in the tiller for one, but there was no extension when I bought it. I'm trying to decide what sort of extension/fitting to get. In my racing dinghy days (many years ago), I've use various extensions and my favourite was the bendy plastic universal joint type like the Ronstan below, but I'm not sure how suitable that type will be for a bigger boat. My boat has the rudder post right at the front of the rudder - while it is well balanced in most conditions, the helm is heavy in a following sea so I suspect something a little more heavy-duty would be needed. Can anyone offer suggestions - both what to avoid and what works well?

View attachment 477970
The rubber joints are good for quite a while but I know at least one person that has fallen overboard from a failure, if you replace them annually you will never have an issue. Most people leave them on for years, I think they are ok for about 5 so annually is very conservative.

 

Spoonie

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The type of extension in your picture is typically used with a dinghy or smaller keel boats.  Without knowing much about your specific boat you're probably going to want a more robust tiller extension
I have a thirty footer.   Ronstan dinghy extension works just fine.  If you're halling that hard on the extension you have other problems.

 
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