Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My Tiller is Tainted!

We had a large storm push through the area today with 40/50 mph winds and a tornado just south of us. The winds were from the southwest which means the marina was hit hard. The marina where Annie is docked is protected on all sides BUT the south. Some time after the storm I decided to run out to the marina to check on Annie and do a little work. Here's what I found when I got there:

Now, before you classify the storm as a killer storm, I've had some issues with this tiller. I found rotten wood in it before she splashed. I removed the rotten wood and repaired it with an epoxy filler. Little did I know the base of the tiller had been previously repaired and broke at the old repair. The reason... rotten wood! My tiller is tainted! I hope an alternate solution will present itself.

Once the tiller was removed I secured the rudder with a temporary fix and inspected the tiller more closely... I pretty sure it's done!

The rotten wood is clearly seen here.
The only other option is to cut the tiller off at the previous repair and have a shorter tiller... obviously I would have to check for wood rot and see how far it extends when I cut it.

After the tiller tango, I went inside and placed a third step in the V-Berth to give Fuji access to the berth. It worked.

Look closely... he's up in the Fuji cave!
When it was finished, I reviewed the install and decided there is a better way... loose the two doors that are blocked by the third step, epoxy in plywood scabs and make the third step permanent. The closed off area is still accessible and, once painted, it will look natural. When I do this, the boat will be completely pet friendly... I can't steer her but she will be pet friendly!

Fair seas and God bless!


  1. A couple metal straps on either side of the tiller might save it. Otherwise, it looks like a new tiller may be needed. Looking at that split in the tiller, I'm thinking a single solid tiller would be better than trying to fix that again. Last thing you want is to be out on a sail to have it break on you. If anything, use the short tiller idea, fix it the best you can and use it as a back up or temporary until another tiller can be fitted.

    Nice work on the steps for your old buddy. Good to see he can get anywhere in the boat now.

    1. Thanks Dan. I have a good friend who said he has a tiller that might work, but I'll repair it short and keep it on board as a back-up.

      Fuji likes the steps and likes the V-Berth cave,

      Glad you fixed your leaks... I have a couple to run down myself.