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Tiller grip


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I use black sail number insignia cloth, It sticks to the aluminium tube and from a distance it looks like a carbon extension for the must look good in the boat park look. And if you bend it (even at right angles) you just move up the tube bend it back and keep going

Just my 5 cents worth (or 12.95 at bunnings)


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I scuff the ali tube then use sikaflex, just aply a bead on the end of the tube wrap some tape or cloth around and drag down the tiller. A little bit goes a long way, it protects your hulls and is very grippy. It only lasts a couple of years but thats longer than some tillers last

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i used two lengths of tennis grip tied off with gaffa tape and it worked well but the grip material stretched and loosened when it got wet.

So back to the drawing board. Perhaps glue the grip on next time with Sikaflex, in any case so far so good .. thanks for all your tips.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

Not suggesting that this is the best way but it's different and very light.  I used a straight piece of 20mm blue stripe pipe, from Bunnings - they sell them in 2m lengths.


My universal joint was one of the stainless types, not the bendy stub types that alway break at the worst possible time.  It originally had electrical conduit so I cut off all but about 750mm and the blue stripe fitted nicely over it.  A couple of pop rivets fixed it on.


Along the pipe near the end I drilled several large diameter holes.  Further down I drilled small holes.  Through the small holes I threaded vb chord (in my case I used Marlow 2mm prestretched because I had some).  Do this around and around then diagonally to the next set of holes.


The ag pipe is surprisingly light.  On my Maricat I cut it off just at the shrouds so that if I kept it low I could pass it across easily.  I also had a short piece of electrical conduit that I could add to the end for light weather - I could steer off the windward bow sitting in front of the beam that way.  I used a piece of dowel to connect it to the big holes at the end.


This isn't suitable for trapeze work (I think) because you'd have a longer piece which would be too bendy.



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  • 6 months later...

Do you use gloves ???

& if you do... are your gloves  more than 2 seasons old then they are about due for replacing



I had an alloy tiller...... now replaced with an electrical conduit unit now :)


The alloy one I had was an extendable unit, shorten it up for non-trap work then lengthen it out for trapping, and that's where it went to shyte...... it did on a few occasions the 'extending locking system' let go, most embarrassing when your out on the trap and suddenly all you have is an alloy pipe and NO steering .... it was also easily bent if you weren't carefull in moving around on deck and then wouldn't extend or collapse in its length, it bent even worse if it contacted a wave ..... but worst of all it offered minimal grip if any water got near it.


initial solution was to add a couple of rows of pop-rivets along the length of the tube where my hands seem to be most of the time, I added 2 more rows later on ;)

that solved the grip issue instantly


it was the other issues I've mentioned that made the change from alloy to conduit a necessity :D



That created its own set of issues :cool:

the conduit is too flexy, when out on the trap and you have to rapidly change course the conduit bends and if your on a screaming broard-reach then steering is far from instant..... I solved that by shoving 1.5metres of curtain dowel up the crossbar end of the tiller.

flex issue solved :p


next was the grip..... conduit connectors and blue glue

simply use a hacksaw and cut the connectors down in length to a desirable size (mine were 10mm)

slide them to where you want them, add glue and slip it along a bit further..... repeat as many times as needed


that one was lent and never returned (although I did get the parts needed to build #2 ;) )


#2 was the same except I only used 1 metre of dowel .....

I then did the pop-rivet trick and that was ok..... I changed the pop-rivets out for the "shoe-lace weave" with venetian blind cord

this was an awesome setup, until I left it on a beach and someone else picked it up....



1/3 of its length is inserted curtain dowel and no other changes have been done as yet..... but this conduit has the swelled end where my hands tend to be when out on the trap so a built-in knob is already there... it will get the shoe-lace weave later on






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whats better than the trusty old electrical conduit !!!

problem with it is that the conduit whilst nice n light is also very bendy so to stiffen it up I figured a lump of timber (wooden curtain rod) shoved up the inside would do wonders....

so why in this day n age when we've been a metric nation for god only knows how long ... why cant we get METRIC materials that work..... 20mm conduit needs 20mm curtain rod....

we have a choice of the trusty old 3/4 rod which flops around inside or 7/8 rod....22mm don't fit into 20mm


I actually shaped the timber rod to "accept" the tiller fitting and the timber is now flush with the end of the conduit

The curtain rod is around 4foot long and stiffens the conduit up nicely

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  • 2 years later...

My orange conduit tiller is grippy enough so far, but if I needed more grip I'd go straight for the road bike bar tape (ie the stuff we wrap around the handle bar of drop-bar bicycles).

They put cork flecks in the sponge rubber stuff for grip when wet. Adhesive backed; just overlap by half a width as you wind it on. Finish the end with electrical tape.

I get cheap crappy cork tape for about $2 per two rolls from eBay. Does just as good as the brand name stuff that people pay $50 for. I redid the bar of my lawnmower with bike tape too... much more comfortable.

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For those who have too much money, the Arriba Sticks are heavy but very tough for telescoping extensions - and very expensive... I still have one - and may go back to it for heavy-weather sailing. I believe The Life Aquatic in Mona Vale carry them...

Right now I'm using a Ronstan Battle Stick - but they're fragile - and I agree the synthetic plastic 'knuckles' are suspect in heavy weather..

CST Composites do non-telescoping sticks - very highly recommended - Google them.

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