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What length for wood tiller extention?

po-man sailor

Active Member
Hey guys. When I built my new tiller and extention I built the extention really really long knowing I wasn't in budget for a factory aftermarket extention right now. This morning I'm going to cut it off to length and varnish.
What length does it need to be? To be longer than stock and usable for moving forward and sailing flat.
Thanks
 

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Whatever length you want it for your type of sailing :) Depends on the length of your tiller also. Probably long enough so you can sit amidships and push the tiller away a bit, but not so long as to be longer than the tiller.

A few notes, some of the extensions we have come across had tapered ends, not good if you want to keep a good grip on it. Highly varnished, slick extensions are not a good mix either in a wet environment. We'd suggest leaving the grain a little rough, wrapping the working end with gaff tape or wrapping it with some light line (turk's head).

CHIP's extension is a bit short and tapered/slick. We ended up wrapping it with gaff tape.

IMG_7278.jpg
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Match lengths with the tiller, that'd be a good start, and it'd eventually let you know whether you needed a longer aftermarket extension... just my $.02, but a matched tiller & extension always seemed easier to transport & store as well. :cool:
 

po-man sailor

Active Member
I cut it out of the same blank wood as the tiller and I made the tiller stock match for original. So now the extention is the same 46 or so inches. I'll leave it for now. It's easy to whack it off later. All the parts looking really good with 50 50 spar varnish. I'll do a coat a day as long as I keep this beautiful weather.
I have a 33 inch after market with a rubber ball looking grip on the tip. It calapses to the stock length if I need it came with the pile.
Btw I ground off my bottom to see the 2 impacts I had would like everyone's input. I'll post pics and info on that thread in a few.
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Whenever I cut a new tiller for my Laser, I always made sure it didn't quite reach the cockpit... didn't want anything in the cockpit to interfere with tiller movement, you understand. The extension allowed me to shift farther forward while under way. Obviously, the deck plan of a Laser is different from a Sunfish, but the principle remains the same: don't create problems for yourself by having a tiller that is TOO long, and I'm not talking about the extension here. BTW, the rubber ball on some of those extensions can be slippery, best extension I ever had featured a handle with fingers to either side, worked great and I never lost my hold. Maybe you can substitute such a handle on that extension of yours. Similar to the pull start handle on an outboard motor, only better, and molded to one's fingers. :cool:
 
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LaLi

Well-Known Member
The current "factory" length is 914 mm, which is probably a good benchmark. Looks like this with the standard tiller:

85210_Tiller_TillerExt_Sunfish.png
 

po-man sailor

Active Member
"You must not be from around here" lol how much is that in inches.
Sorry lali. Couldn't resist. I seriously have no idea.
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
:rolleyes: Yard - Wikipedia

About 80 % of the tiller length (which is why I included the picture).

To a Laserite (like myself) it sounds very short, but a Sunfish is both narrower and has a longer tiller. (In the Laser, tiller length and make is free, but the Sunfish tiller is builder-provided and probably longer than it would need to be.)

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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Those are good points, the Laser tiller IS shorter than the Sunfish tiller... so you (Po-Man) might get away with a shorter extension, or just get a telescopic extension. Is that the right modifier, a "telescopic" extension? Maybe they're called adjustable nowadays, but I used to have an extension which I could adjust in length, simply by twisting it (if I remember correctly). And another extension was adjustable using a spring-loaded button and a series of holes along the outer extension sleeve. Wish I had pictures, but those extensions are long gone anyway... you might search for adjustable extensions on the web, there must still be some out there. :confused:
 

LaLi

Well-Known Member
Telescopic extensions are still on the market, although they've never reached great popularity. Ronstan makes them (I think andyatos swears by those ;) ), and so does RWO. My view is that they might be fine if you're not sure what length is best for you, but after you've found that out, they're kind of pointless. Also, they're hard to build out of po-man's preferred material :rolleyes:

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