Tiller Extension DS III

Regarding the DS3 only. Note that the DS3 is not a class-legal Day Sailer.

Moderator: GreenLake

Tiller Extension DS III

Postby beetee » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:29 pm

I'm in the market for a tiller extension and am looking for advice. My main questions concern fixed vs telescoping and what length seems to work best. Seems like having one long enough to allow reaching into the cuddy while controlling the tiller would be good but would that leave you with more length that would get in the way when seated in a normal sailing position. The fixed one's seem to be around 24", 33" and 41" . The telescoping run around 29-44" and 29-48" .

Would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks
beetee
 
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Postby GreenLake » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:48 am

Not really a DSIII specific question...

The longest fixed tiller extension you can use is whatever you can still move from side to side when the tiller is centered and the main is sheeted in. On my boat that is under 4'.

The goal should be to allow you to steer while hiking (or sitting on the gunwale) fairly far forward (where you'd need to sit to trim the boat in the fore-and-aft direction).

27" or something like that is too short.

I used to have the shorter of the adjustable tiller extensions and it made it difficult to sit forward enough. It would also fall into the cockpit every time I let go of it and then block tiller movements. Usually at some inconvenient, or very inconvenient time. :roll:

I now got the size that extends to about 4', but found out that, fully extended, it's too long to get from side to side. So I need to remember to adjust it to a slightly shorter length, so I don't get it to tangle in the main sheet.

For visits to the cuddy, what you really want is a way to hold a steady course for a short time. My solution to that is a bungee cord that is strung across the cockpit. I take a short length of thin bungee cord and wrap it around the tiller and the first bungee cord. Three wraps seem to work best up to 10kt of wind.

The bungee cord will give for small tiller movements. For large tiller movements, the wrapping will slide along the bungee. With just a bit or practice, you can "set" this setup to any particular tiller deflection. Once you let go, the bungee will hold the tiller at that position, which is usually good enough to do whatever you need doing while using two hands.

Because there's no lock to lock/unlock, the system is always ready to maintain the last tiller angle, even when you need to let go of the tiller in an emergency. (Like many similar systems it would mean that if you fall out of your boat, the boat would possibly continue, but that's not an issue that bothers me where/when I use this setup).
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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Thanks Green Lake

Postby beetee » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:34 am

Thanks for the reply.

As for the tiller control, so that I'm clear, you stretch a long bungee across from one gunnel to the other a little aft of the end of the tiller. At the point this bungee passes over the tiller, you wrap a smaller bungee over both the tiller and the long bungee at whatever tiller angle gives you the desired heading. You're now hands free on the tiller ?

If that's correct, sounds simple and effective.

Thanks again !
beetee
 
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Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:31 am

Postby GreenLake » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:25 pm

Yes, that's how it's put together.

The point is, to move the tiller to a new position, I don't need to unwrap anything, as, with enough force, the wrapping will slide. It's just tight enough to hold the tiller under normal loads. In fact, after I wrapped it the first time, I tied it off, and now slide the wrapping on and off the tiller when I set it up or take it down.

The long crosswise bungee doesn't have to cross near the tip of the tiller, but can be further back a bit. Mine is at between 50% to 75% of the length.

I was out on the water by myself and needed to set up the motor to go under a bridge. Bungees was all I had... it worked so well, that when I got back, I added some eyes on the coaming to hook the bungee into.
~ green ~ lake ~ ~
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