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Old 05-04-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
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Emergency Tiller Porn

This is what happens when you have too much time on your hands.

I've spent the last two months working on Angelina's steering system. On her last survey it was noted that a supporting block of wood was cracked and should be replaced. That block of wood supported a bearing in a pillow block at the end of the steering shaft. That block of wood is behind the starboard water tank in the lazarette. To get the water tank through the lazarette hatch the rudder post, rudder and assorted supports, chains, quadrants, bearings, wires ect all had to be removed. Props to CHB for making the water tank exactly the size of the hatch opening. And I mean exactly....

The block of wood cracked because the two bolts holding it from the under deck had rusted away. I never realized rust takes up more space than steel. The wood block had split. The bolts pulled through the decking. The only thing holding the steering system together was inertia. Angelina's steering system was more theory than reality.

It's all good now. A solid chunk of aged Oak, two galvanized bolts, everything coated in epoxy and caulked. I even painted the inside of the lazarette. I am rebuilding the lazarette hatch. My steering cables are tight and my stuffing box is stuffed.

But just in case I dug out the emergency tiller. And scraped it. And painted it. I hope I never have to use it but if I do, it will match the lazarette.

So where is your emergency tiller? Can you get to it fast? Does it actually work? Can you see from where you will have to steer?

Whip'em out and show them boys. Here's mine.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Can't show you ours. It's on the boat 15 miles away. But it is stainless steel and we can get to it fast. Can one see to steer? Possibly if one steers with one's foot, otherwise its a two person task.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:41 AM   #3
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Ours is in a rack ten inches below the lazarette hatch against the transom, stainless steel and I could see through the salon windows from the aft deck but more eyes would be better.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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mine is within 18" of the rudder post. To use it, the auto-pilot feedback would be disconnected - this is a matter of removing a hose clamp, the emergency tiller is then slipped over the rudder post and a bolt is slid through locking the tiller to the post.


I suppose if I were backing the boat up and attempting to steer, one person could concievably manuever the boat, but still you would have to run up to the pilothouse to change speed.

So, in reality this is a 2 person project. We have headsets, so this would make it a bit more possible.


Just like the MOB drill, this is something that will be something to see if needed for real.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
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Mine's painted steel (like Al's) and laying up against the wall in my shop.....but then the boat is still in the driveway.
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Old 05-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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Ha! Mine is under the front V birth because it is huge. To be used, it would have to be moved to the aft cabin and like Bshanafelt, it would be a two person job and something to see.
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Old 05-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #7
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Well, I guess I really don't have an "emergency" tiller as much as a "secondary" or "manual" tiller. Mine, also, is under the V-berth. It is a substantial piece of stainless steel which could be moved aft fairly readily. However, preparations need to be made before unscrewing a stainless inspection plate, and dropping the tiller down to the rudder post. The preparations include sliding forward the master berth mattress and removing one of the supporting bed boards to expose the rudder post underneath. I don't see this circus as something readily done as a rapid response to an emergency, although I suspect we could get it done fairly quickly if we had to. More likely, we'd do it after dropping anchor.

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Old 05-04-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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I have an access hatch for the e tiller but I don't have a tiller (it probably burned up). The hatch is painted shut. The only reason I bring it up is that the hatch is made of bronze and it was forged right here in Biloxi Mississippi. I thought that was so cool. I plan on pulling it, cleaning it up and using it as a conversation piece whenever I get a chance. I didn't know we had a foundry in Biloxi.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by alormaria View Post
So where is your emergency tiller? Can you get to it fast? Does it actually work? Can you see from where you will have to steer?
Our is big, made of teak and bronze, and is stored in the lazarette in such a way that it is easy to get to. It attaches to the starboard rudder post so, being, tall, I could see around the cabin and down the starboard side of the boat for visibility. I've never used it other than to make sure it fit and worked, but I expect it would be pretty easy to use it if we had to.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:15 PM   #10
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Al, don't I remember you from way back in the day on another list, CHB or the infamous T and T?
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:23 PM   #11
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No emergency tiller required. . .

Another nice feature of having twin engines. She handles quite well by altering the engine speed while cruising and even better at docking by altering speed and reversing one or the other.

Have I had to use it before? Yes, blew a hydrolic steering line 6 miles out of Victoria BC. Came all the way back to Anacortes, Wa steering with the engines.

Thanks for bringing that up single engine boys!!
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:16 PM   #12
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Another nice feature of having twin engines. She handles quite well by altering the engine speed while cruising and even better at docking by altering speed and reversing one or the :
Very good point. It works with airplanes, too. However I find that in maneuvering I use the rudders just as much as differential thrust. By adding the rudders into the mix you can really pivot the boat around, move it sideways (not really, but sort of), pin the boat to a dock in a crosswind, get the boat off a dock fast in a strong wind that's pushing you onto it, all sorts of very handy things.

So I'm glad we have our manual tiller although we hope never to have to use it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #13
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Al, don't I remember you from way back in the day on another list, CHB or the infamous T and T?
CCC
Hi CCC!

Good to hear from you again! Yes it was on T&T back at the turn of the century. Had to go back to work and put our daughter through college and then some... That little 10 year old girl in the website liked Troy, NY and RPI so much that she went back there when she grew up. So Angelina went up on the hard for a few years. I'm getting her ready to go back in the water. How's things been on the bayou?

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Old 05-04-2012, 11:26 PM   #14
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No emergency tiller required. . .

Another nice feature of having twin engines. She handles quite well by altering the engine speed while cruising and even better at docking by altering speed and reversing one or the other.

Have I had to use it before? Yes, blew a hydrolic steering line 6 miles out of Victoria BC. Came all the way back to Anacortes, Wa steering with the engines.

Thanks for bringing that up single engine boys!!
And I heard that the only times you needed twin engines was when you bought it and when you sold it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:31 PM   #15
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We've needed the spare engine four times in the last 13 years. Came home on the other one instead of on the end of a very expensive and slow rope. None of these incidents had anything to do with the engines themselves--- they were precautionary shutdowns. So in addtion to really liking to run multiple engines, I'm glad we have them because they can turn what would be a real cruise-wrecker in a single engine boat into a non-event.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:43 PM   #16
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And yet there are so many single-engined planes defying possible death without the possibility of a spare engine.

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Old 05-05-2012, 12:25 AM   #17
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True. I fly behind a 9-cylinder radial made during WWII. But airplane engines don't have as many failure modes as a marine engine. There is no cooling system to fail or spring leaks, no raw water system to get plugged, loose an impeller, split a hose, etc. No wet exhaust and lift mufflers to rust out or cause other problems. Other than float planes airplane engines don't live in an environment that is bent on rusting, corroding, or rotting them into failure.

It's been our experience and observation that very rarely does an actual engine in a boat fail. Engine shutdowns are almost always due to a failure of ancilliary equipment: a water pump, a hose, an impeller, a fuel pump, clogged raw water intakes, clogged filters, etc. Or they are due to a problem with the running gear: transmission, cutless bearings, hitting something with a prop, getting a line caught in a prop, and so on. And I have heard of as many people with single-engine boats (including sailboats) who have suffered prop damage from hitting debris or snagged old drifting lines or whatnot as I have people with twins. So while the prop on a single is protected by the keel and skeg, things can and do get in there.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:51 AM   #18
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It's conversations like this that make ya appreciate the twins even more. I can drive pretty much anywhere without touching the rudder simply using differential thrust.

It's also nice to know if I needed to (or chose to) shut one down, I'd be fine driving home on the other.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:29 AM   #19
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Except for Navies,where cost is not a consideration,there are few ships with 2 engines and most do not get to port on a tow rope.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:11 AM   #20
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My manuall tiller is easy to get to, but a bear to install. And would have to be operated without much visibility.
However, my hydraulic stern thruster is the first emergency tiller
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