Homemade Tiller Tamer

(pictures with borders can be clicked)

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I singlehand this boat, and needed to find a way to hold the tiller in place. I didnít want to spring for an AutoPilot (but frankly, at this point an autopilot is a minor expenditure.)

I took a basic Teak stock, which I just have laying around (Iím the kind of fool who spontaneously spends money in hardwood lumber stores just because the grain is prettyÖ) and glued them together to make a big block of teak. I laid the grain crosswise on each piece of wood, for strength.

A picture is worth a thousand words,
so hereís what it looks like.
Click on the picture for detailÖ
It fits into the back winch, normally used for the chute.

In the bottom of the thing I mounted a hacked off winch handle. You can reach the release lever by reaching down into the thing.

What a waste of a winch handle, huh?

Itís a labor of love. 12 coats of varnish finished the job.

So How Does It Work? My tiller extender fits into the top of it, and it works great! A major benefit is realized due to the geometry between the tiller, the extender, and the pivot points.

You see, if you move the tiller UP or DOWN a few inches, it moves it laterally a degree or two. Thus, you can hang in the companionway or be dealing with the sheets, and balance on one foot while the other foot reaches back behind you and kicks the tiller UP or Down a little bit to fine tune the steering relative to the current wind and balance.

Okay, fine, Iíll get an autopilot.