Tiller Length

Thread starter #1
I've had my Capri for about a year and have really enjoyed the spirited little lady. In fact, I named her "Sobriety Test" since you've got to be at the top of your game to sail her when the breeze is up.

This weekend I was sailing with my fishing/sailing buddy and he made the comment that he thought the tiller was too long. After some reflection, I agree. With the hiking stick, you can pretty much captain her from a lot of positions. With the full length tiller, you are very cramped between the barney post and the end of the tiller. Cutting off about one foot would expand the cockpit size considerably.

Has anyone done this? If so, were you pleased with the results?

On a side note, I was watching the RNC last night and saw a commercial that looked like a Capri 14.2 in the background tied up to a dock. I don't remember the sponsor but it had a black man and his daughter with a bunch of floats jumping into a shallow lake. Did anyone else catch this?
I agree with the tiller length by the way... I am getting old, and fatter by the minute, and it is sometimes a bear to deal with all the lines single handed while tripping over them during a tack. The tiller usually winds up in parts unknown, or jabbing me in the side.

I too was out yesterday, in really squirrly winds, thinking the same thing. I hate to do it though, since I just refinished my tiller. Shaving 4 inches off the length, and moving the hiking stick back correspondingly, would give the skipper a lot more room, with little lost in steering, but it'd also ruin my glossy smooth brightwork!

Squirrly winds are defined as... Sailing along fully hiked out... on a close haul, and both jib and main backing instantly at once with no course change... the skipper getting a good splashdown, and having to fall off almost 90 degrees to get back onto the same tack!!!! I hate mountain sailing, just for days like that. First trace winds, then 15mph... hey I am good, and can predict puffs by reading the waves and all, but GEESH.
Thread starter #3
I was thinking I might just chuck a 2x2 pine post in the lathe, turn just the end and leave the remaining part square so I could change the length by changing the screw location. If I like the way the modification performs, then I can either modify the existing tiller wood or just purchase another teak or mahagony post and turn it to the desire dimensions.

Another change that I've already made is to fashion a clip out of aluminum and screwed it to the tiller to hold the hiking stick when not in use. I've also found it handy to clip the hiking stick in when coming about since it sometimes has a tendancy to jam into the seat effectively disabling tiller movement in one direction.


New Member
Yes, several years ago, when I got a tiller extension, I cut about 4 inches off the tiller. It helps. On a tack, it's hard to pass the tiller behind your back when it's poking you in the back.

Of course, a shorter tiller won't stop flukey winds, but it won't handicap you either.
removed the forward stop screw

I removed the forward stop and this allowed me to adjust the tiller length as needed. the hiking stick bracket is large enough to stop the tiller from sliding completely out the rear of the mount. Only problem I've had is if I shorten the tiller to far it makes turning difficult when the extended piece smacks against the little 2 hp mounted on the port side. Very rude surprise if you're not paying attention.