Inexpensive Tiller extension

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by minas man, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. minas man

    minas man Member

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    Just thought I would share an inexpensive tiller extension that I have used for the last two sailing seasons. I by the rubber and plastic 1/2 inch round $6.95 universal joint and I attach a ski pole to it. I use premium anodized aluminum poles that have a good grip and a taper on the basket end. The taper helps you achieve the 1/2 inch inside diameter needed to insert the 1/2 round rubber of the universal joint. You have to drill two holes in the pole to accommodate two rivets that hold the universal to the shaft. I wrap the shaft the same way as you would a hockey stick shaft and use a non adhesive stretching rubber grip tape. I have made 3 of these so far and all are working well. Quality ski poles are very strong, very light, need no maintenance and can be easily acquired at yard sales or thrift stores for less than $5 up here in the north.
    The long tiller extension with universal joint made a huge difference in the comfort control and body position when sailing and I would highly recommend it to anyone still using the old wooden extension.

    ><> Minas man <><
     

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  2. Geophizz

    Geophizz Member

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    Wow, that's a great idea. Thanks for posting it.
     
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Yes, good info.

    Broken golf clubs (carbon composite) can be adapted as well to have a second life.
     
  4. H Lie

    H Lie New Member

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    Where do you purchase said "universal rubber and plastic joint"?
     
  5. minas man

    minas man Member

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    The universal can be bought at any sailing or boating shop or on line from forum sponsors Intensity Sails or APS. Here is a link and it is on sale for $6.99 at the link under Sunfish.

    http://www.intensitysails.com/sunfishcovers.html

    ><> Minas man <><
     
  6. Light and Variable Winds

    Light and Variable Winds Well-Known Member

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    I agree.

    I bought 2 telescoping ski poles—with torn baskets—for one dollar, thinking someday I'd have a use for them!
     
  7. minas man

    minas man Member

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    Not sure on how the telescoping poles would work in the salt water as and the extra parts might have corrosion issues. Non telescoping long tiller extension (ski pole) works for all solo sailing in positions and standing also, and if there are 2 people in the boat then I remove the extension as is just in the way.

    ><> Minas man <><
     
  8. H Lie

    H Lie New Member

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    I just got my universal tiller extension joint in the mail and rigged a ski pole to it - thanks for the great advice! I used an old 50" racing pole (I broke the other one a long time ago, but couldn't bring myself to throw this one out), but I had to cut it down to 38.5" to get it to fit onto the universal joint. Is this too short for a tiller extender on the sunfish? I really like the curve in the pole and think it will work well dipping a bit into the cockpit. I really don't want to have to make another one, but I need to make sure I will have mobility with ease. I have attached some pics. IMG00017-20110727-1900.jpg
     

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  9. minas man

    minas man Member

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    I just measured my ski pole extension and it is 35.5 inches and it works for me. The old wooden ones are about 24 inches so if that is what you are replacing your new one will seem long. My straight extension falls into the cock pit. Don't forget to wrap the shaft with non adhesive grip tape, I use "Magic Wrap", as the pole is slippery when wet.
    Nice job on your racing extension.

    ><> Minas man <><
     
  10. H Lie

    H Lie New Member

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    Thanks! I will get some wrap for the shaft soon. I am upgrading from a wimpy 24" wood extender, so the longer length will be refreshing! I notice that the class rules allow up to 48". This seems long to me! Any opinions? Is it a matter of personal preference or does the longer length add to turning speed/rudder stability? I am (re)building a '79 fish and getting the rudder/tiller tomorrow! These are the last parts I am waiting for before I can take her out sailing. I will post pics of the boat and/or rudder and tiller with ski pole tiller extender once it is finished if anyone is interested.
     
  11. minas man

    minas man Member

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    My fish is a 79 also, and I would like to see pictures when you get a chance. I am looking for a longer pole for a 48" extension.

    ><> Minas man <><
     
  12. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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  13. benfish

    benfish New Member

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    H Lie
    wimpy 24" wood extender ... hand crafted and all ... hand planed from the finest ash ...
    what is that expression? "looking a gift horse in the mouth "
    come on over today so I can put some more holes in your boat!
     
  14. H Lie

    H Lie New Member

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    Benfish
    I was referring to the wimpy wood one prior to the wonderfully handcrafted piece of leftover ash that you provided. Be sure to put holes that help ventilate the hull. Go ahead and giver her a good polishing too while you're at it! I'll swing by today after work - don't avoid me as if I were the plague.
     

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