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Thread: Bay area machine shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    14

    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.

    Thoughts/comments

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    2,983

    Default

    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
    Location
    Montara, CA
    Posts
    733

    Default

    If you are near Oakland this might work: https://www.thecrucible.org/. 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....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default

    ok, this was REALLY HINCKY.......but I once got stuck heading to Florida from Panama on a short handed delivery on a Catalina 38 w/ a crapped out auto pilot.
    In Providencia (much closer to Panama than FL) I was lent a tiller pilot.
    I found a small "U" bolt with one end that fit nicely into the hole that the peg from the tiller fits into on the ram. I hose clamped that to the vertical spoke of the wheel at the right distance from the hub of the wheel that it had the leverage it needed but not too much travel.
    That McGyver worked great for 2 weeks of up wind work to Key West sailing around the clock and if I remember right even got us up the InterCoastal to Annapolis.
    I have pictures somewhere if you are interested.....but I take no responsibility for your results!!! ; )

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hadlock View Post
    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.

    Thoughts/comments
    Make the arm as long as possible and attach the TP at the very end. Should work fine, especially for day sails and motoring. My wimpy TP has steered my 20 000 lb boat to Hawaii and back twice including cruising the west coast and Canada....a few gales in there too.
    Last edited by WBChristie; 01-13-2020 at 03:27 PM.

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