"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." -Andre Gide

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Gear: The Tiller Tamer

After having Training Wheels for almost a year now, I have gotten pretty good at the tiller tag. This game happens anytime I need to go to the bow (front) of the ship while motoring or sailing. It only takes about 60 seconds before the wind, current, or weather-helm (tendency for the boat to turn into wind) moves the boat in a different direction and I am racing back to the tiller to get back on course. Then back up to the job I was doing and back again. You get the picture. I installed a Tiller Tamer on the Training Wheels to allow a larger window of time away from the tiller while moving. It's not really an autopilot but it does the basic part I need and fits in well with my goal to avoid any electronic components.

How it works: a line is secured on both sides of the boat at least 12 inches from the tiller and runs through a tension device mounted on the tiller. Set the tiller on the course desired and tighten the lines to hold the tiller in place. I installed the tension device on the bottom of the tiller because I wanted to mount the cam cleat holds for the line near the bottom of the cockpit.

So far the tiller Tamer has done the job but as I have said it's no autopilot. It only lasts about 3-4 minutes before the boat is off course since constant adjustments are usually required to go straight in a channel.

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