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Thread: Bay area machine shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    San Francisco, CA

    Default Bay area machine shop

    My boat has a wheel, but no auto pilot. That limits me to doing double handed races as the wheel brake is unreliable at best. The emergency tiller is pretty effective at moving the wheel and rudder when tied up at the dock - except that the tiller is pointed 90 degrees away from the bow.

    I was looking at throwing one of those $350 tiller autopilots on the boat and then getting a new "emergency tiller" fabbed up that points in the right direction and then attach the two for bay racing so I can at least get forward in the cockpit to get the spinnaker up and down etc.

    I would Fab one up myself but I sold my drill press and welder before I moved out here. This seems like a case of beer payment, 20 minute kind of project a machine shop could squeeze in at the end of the day if I provide the raw materials. Should I just farm this out to svensens or what is the typical sailor protocol here in the bay area.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    On boats I've inspected with wheels, the emergency tiller was usually difficult to use. It was often too short and had to overpower the friction in the wheel linkage. If this is the case with your boat, a cheap tiller pilot will have trouble and wear out pretty quickly. And if the tiller mounts to the side there is probably a reason. The wheel itself, the mainsheet or traveler may prevent having the tiller point forward.

    So while making it work better is a good idea for emergencies, a proper autopilot installation is really what you need to enjoy our bizarre little corner of the sport.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Montara, CA


    If you are near Oakland this might work: I've been thinking about joining for a while now, but saw a beautiful cast bronze bow protector (or whatever it's called) on a friend's Freedom this past weekend that he made at the Crucible. I'm totally hooked now....

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