Carbon tiller

Thread starter #1
I have a 1988 Laser that I am recommissioning for use this summer after keeping it in storage for many years.

It has a wooden tiller , that I don’t recall ever being a problem. I have bought the new Vang, cunningham, and outhaul configurations because I never liked what it had and the new setups look like they will resolve my issues. What I don’t understand is what is wrong with the wooden tiller? Why should I spend the money for a new tiller?

Please let me know what I am missing.



Just sailing
People tend to pull the traveler on really tight these days, which makes it hard for the traveler blocks to clear the tiller when tacking. Over time it can wear a groove in a wooden tiller. The big advantage of the carbon fiber tiller is the flat profile that allows the blocks to clear it easier.

For now, I'd keep the tiller you have and get back in the groove of sailing (see what I did there?). If you find you are having issues with the traveler blocks snagging on the tiller, then consider getting a carbon fiber one.


Well-Known Member
You might want to try an aluminium tiller with a stainless chafe plate. It's a big improvement over a wooden one, and costs a fraction of a carbon stick.

A "vintage" wooden tiller is likely to be too long as well, with a much too short extension. And if you have no problems with the traveller, then you're not pulling it hard enough. (The line may be too stretchy as well.)

Gorilla Tiller with 42

Thread starter #4
I bought all new lines and I think I may have some duplicates because the vang, cunningham, and outhaul kits that I bought may have had some of the same lines.

Do you know how much shorter the new tillers are than the original wooden ones?


Well-Known Member
Do you know how much shorter the new tillers are than the original wooden ones?
The "Gorilla" tiller I had was just over a metre (overall) and my current carbon one is just under. The idea is that the tiller just barely doesn't extend into the cockpit.



Active Member
Make sure that the tiller doesn't hit the deck at the rear of the boat and/or that it doesn't hit the clamcleat near the cockpit. Both spots are well-known for chafing. The cause is -as far as I know- worn transom gudgeons.

Rob B

Well-Known Member
the ole wooden tillers stick up pretty high. you can cut off the end to make it flush with the cockpit. If you're getting into racing you'll want at least the aluminum tiller. It's a little lower profile, (for tight traveler line) but better than the square edged wooden tiller. If you get serious you'll want the carbon tiller.