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Tiller length

Printed From: Yachts and Yachting Online
Category: Dinghy classes
Forum Name: Technique
Forum Discription: 'How to' section for dinghy questions and answers
URL: http://www.yachtsandyachting.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=12995
Printed Date: 04 Dec 22 at 7:52pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.665y - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: Tiller length
Posted By: H2
Subject: Tiller length
Date Posted: 19 Feb 18 at 3:38pm
A while back I fell onto my tiller mid gybe and long story short ended up taking an inch or two off its length whilst fixing it in my workshop. I was about to replace the tiller extension anyway so just bought a longer extension so that when hiking the overall length of tiller plus extension is the same as before but obviously a greater percentage of the total length is in the extension rather than the tiller.

Have not really noticed any difference - is there any reason why having a shorter tiller / longer extension would cause an issue?

Thanks



Replies:
Posted By: JimC
Date Posted: 19 Feb 18 at 3:43pm
I honestly doubt you'll notice much difference. I've seen huge variations in tiller length in some of the development classes. I wouldn't be concerned in the least.


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 19 Feb 18 at 3:45pm
A shorter tiller will make the steering more responsive/twitchy (i.e. it will take slightly less movement in the extension to achieve the same rudder blade angle. Unless it was a good few inches though you probably won't notice much difference.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: H2
Date Posted: 19 Feb 18 at 3:57pm
Thanks gents - that is what I figured but good to have the devil off my shoulder nagging away!


Posted By: Time Lord
Date Posted: 19 Feb 18 at 5:54pm
When i swopped my older Merlin for a (new to me) Winder, i found that the tiller was a couple of inches shorter and had to adapt my position in the boat when hoisting the spinnaker as otherwise i could not locate the end of the tiller between my legs while hoisting the kite. Otherwise not a problem as it was easy to lengthen the adjustable tiller extension to allow for the shorter tiller. Didn't notice any increase in twitchiness between the two boats - both Canterbury Tales designs.

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Merlin Rocket 3609


Posted By: Mike Holt
Date Posted: 19 Feb 18 at 6:00pm
There is no right or wrong answer, but some things to think about. 
1. Shorter tiller will fatigue you faster as more load
2. Longer tiller will give you better damping of your steering
3. Longer tiller needs more space for tacks/gybes




Posted By: Wiclif
Date Posted: 19 Feb 18 at 6:52pm
If you have to swivel the tiller extension “round the back” as you tack then the shorter tiller will pull you back in the boat.

There was one boat that i sailed that this just felt wrong, as I wasn’t happy having to move aft as I tacked.


Posted By: snowleopard
Date Posted: 15 Mar 18 at 11:16am
A short tiller will encourage the helm to sit too far aft when beating. If you are aware of the problem you should be able to avoid it. I've just rigged up an adaptor for my Finn so I can use a lifting Laser 2 rudder in place of the fixed rudder specified in the class rules. The tiller is around 6" shorter so it will be interesting to see how I get on.

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One hull good, two hulls better.


Posted By: davidyacht
Date Posted: 15 Mar 18 at 4:15pm
In Solos there is a case for a shorter tiller since this gives room for a leg between the back of the centreboard case and the tiller to brace yourself against the leeward tank on a screaming run.

I have never discerned the difference in effort required with regard to the shorter tiller.

Having made the adjustment to the tiller, I am currently on a campaign to shorten the tiller extension just enough to make tacking easier and to force me to use a pan handle grip, which I am told will prevent me using the rudder as a break, though I am not sure that I can change 45 years of bad habits!


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Happily living in the past


Posted By: bicrider
Date Posted: 15 Mar 18 at 4:44pm
Originally posted by snowleopard

A short tiller will encourage the helm to sit too far aft when beating. If you are aware of the problem you should be able to avoid it. I've just rigged up an adaptor for my Finn so I can use a lifting Laser 2 rudder in place of the fixed rudder specified in the class rules. The tiller is around 6" shorter so it will be interesting to see how I get on.


Hi Snowleopard,
               I would be interested how you get on with the Laser 2 setup on the Finn. I have just got a lifting Wayfarer rudder for my Finn as I am scared of ripping the transom out being a wooden one. Had to move on of the pins on the stock to get it to fit. Have only tried the Wayfarer set up twice both in light winds. But appears to work ok seams to be a similar size too.

Chris

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Dart 18 5054 "Willy Flipit"
Finn K333
Yellow (faded) Pico "Willy Tipit"


Posted By: Sam.Spoons
Date Posted: 15 Mar 18 at 4:51pm
I wouldn't bother. I used panhandle all the time until buying the Blaze, a six foot tiller extension across your chest is a positive liability when helming off the wire, and I was always clouting the crew upside the head every time I tried it. Holding it 'dagger grip' across your chest (where possible) allows you to use both hands for sheeting in or when you need a free hand to adjust something. It took me a while to get away from panhandle grip but, mostly, dagger grip is better.

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Spice 346 "Flat Broke"
Blaze 671 "supersonic soap dish"


Posted By: azimuth
Date Posted: 16 Mar 18 at 8:58am
Originally posted by snowleopard

A short tiller will encourage the helm to sit too far aft when beating. If you are aware of the problem you should be able to avoid it. I've just rigged up an adaptor for my Finn so I can use a lifting Laser 2 rudder in place of the fixed rudder specified in the class rules. The tiller is around 6" shorter so it will be interesting to see how I get on.

Lifting rudders are legal on Finns - I have one on mine complete with measurement stickers. But there are not many around so they are difficult to find second hand and are expensive to buy new. 

I suspect a rudder much smaller than normal might not work well once there's decent wind.



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