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My tiller broke today on my cs17 in the middle of the lake.  Made a duck tape repair on the water and was able to let the wind blow us back to my side of the lake.  Thankfully, the wind was blowing the right way.  I bought this boat as the third owner, but I think it came with the plans so I should be able to re-make what I need for the repair.  Wondering whether there are any updates to the design that might help me.  Also wondiering about the wood choices.  Wood that broke looks dark and slightly reddish.  Mahogany?  Are there any drop-in consumer replacements that I should consider?  Does B and B sell the rudder/tiller assembly as a kit?  Thanks in advance for your help.  I'll attach some pictures.

break.jpg

repair.jpg

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Congratulations on your emergency repair.

It looks to me like you could remove the bolts attaching the tiller to the top of the rudder and replace. A variety of woods could be used something with a straight tight grain. southern yellow pine, douglas fir. If you are uncertain of the suitability of your wood give it a stress test to see how easily it will break before building it into your tiller.  Put one tiller arm on to get the holes lined up with the rudder, then drill through  into the second arm after both arms of the tiller are in place.

 

One aspect of making a repair is determining the cause of the failure. In normal use a tiller has very little force on it, but because it is such a vital piece of gear it should be able to withstand a certain amount of abuse. Did something happen that exerted unusual force on the tiller?

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We had 4 guys in the boat---so a fair amount of weight. Moderate wind. We were going against the wind. Tiller broke during a gust. At the time, there didn't seem that there was a lot of pressure on the tiller. 

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A friend looked at it and thought it might be teak wood.  Maybe not the right choice?

Anyway, thank you guys for the help.  Thanks also to Alan at B and B who replied to my email and offered more help come Monday.  Nice to have a boat that has such good people behind it. 

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We had 4 guys in the boat---so a fair amount of weight. Moderate wind. We were going against the wind. Tiller broke during a gust. At the time, there didn't seem that there was a lot of pressure on the tiller. 

 

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Home Depot has some select pine from New Zealand. Okay to use for the tiller? It's called Claymark Select Pine.

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Try making the cheeks that attach to rudder a little thicker and taper them forwards to keep the same contour as the tiller is now, that will strengthen the weak point at which it broke and still have the slim handle.

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On 7/23/2019 at 12:18 PM, Mark Rendelman said:

Try making the cheeks that attach to rudder a little thicker and taper them forwards to keep the same contour as the tiller is now, that will strengthen the weak point at which it broke and still have the slim handle.

 

Yeah.

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I agree with Joe.  It should not have failed.  Besides the punk wood theory, may I ask why you had such a heavy helm?  Sail and centerboard trim should reduce the stresses on the tiller in the future.  (Please forgive me for asking.)

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Hey Thrillsbe, I think a couple of things were at work.  1) for whatever reason, I think the wood was not good.  Dry rot? Wrong type?  I'm not sure.  2) We did have a fair amount of weight and there was a strong gust.  But on the other hand that shouldn't make so much difference. 3) I wonder whether I was experiencing more helm than I should have?  Perhaps I didn't have the rudder down all the way?  Perhaps that could have created more pressure on the rudder and tiller and would make #2 and #1 above more important. 

 

Anyway, I just replaced the rudder halves with "select" pine from home depot.  Just used the old tiller as a template.  I raced 5 races this weekend and the tiller held up just fine.  Thanks everybody for their help.

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Good to hear!  An out-of-position rudder is all it takes.  One of the things I love about these boats is the options you have for sail trim.  When I’ve got heavy weather helm, I know that something’s wrong.  Keep racing!

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Be careful about pine from the Southern hemisphere.  It's quite different than what you're used to in the US. I'm a little alarmed to hear that Home Despot is carrying NZ pine, not just because it's likely to be entirely different than pine that is farmed in the US, but because they find it economical to ship it halfway around the world.  I've seen pine here in Australia that has three rings per inch and as mentioned earlier, the trees are very different than Northern hemisphere conifers.

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