Author Topic: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!  (Read 500 times)

Offline Garyandjoanlee

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Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« on: July 02, 2017, 07:20:23 PM »
I added an AMAZING little device that has made all the difference in the world for my solo sailing experiences on my Com Pac 16ll and highly recommend it. It is the Tiller clutch. I'm no spokesman for this device but I would be. The Tiller Clutch is a super heavy duty little clamp that secures with 2 screws under the tiller.  A small line is included that secures through the clutch and on to anything that will form roughly a 45 degree to each side of the tiller. Then the fun begins. Sailing along you simply push out the clutch lever to "lock" the clutch on the line that freezes the tiller in position. Great for taking a break from the tiller- adjusting sails- checking electronics, nature calls and great when dropping sails! I know there is a Davis tiller tamer out there but it requires you to tighten with a knob / screw. The clutch has an "instant" on/off lever already at your fingertips. Anyway- I installed it today, sailed for 6 hours and wondered why I did not find this years ago!   You can find them on-line but not on Amazon for some reason. Shop around, I found one for $70 plus $7 priority mail.
Gary Lee
"Passing Wind" CP 16
Gary & Joan Lee
Passing Wind
Com Pac 16 ll

Offline MacGyver

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2017, 10:16:31 PM »
I might have to get me one of those!
I have seen em before, really cool!

Mac
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Works on ALL aspects of the sailboat, 14 years experience.
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Offline bruce

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2017, 07:43:06 AM »
I agree the Tiller Clutch is a great addition. I did find on my Picnic Cat that running the the control line was much more critical than the instructions suggested.

The boom gallows stanchions seemed to be in about the right place so I tied the line there and gave it a try. With the line tensioned with the rudder amidships, the clutch worked fine, but as I moved the tiller to either side the line went slack. The tiller was no longer controlled. I tried the stern cleats as well, but it still wasn't right. As I experimented, in some cases the line would go slack, and in some cases the line would tighten, limiting the swing of the tiller significantly.

I then mounted a piece of scrap 1x pine above the tiller with the upper row of tiller horn fasteners. By adjusting the distance between the points of attachment on the board I was able to find a sweet spot that allowed the control line to be evenly tensioned throughout the full range of the tiller. In my case, the distance between fairleads was 32". Once set, I replaced the pine with teak.

The height of the attachment board was determined by the tiller horn fasteners I wanted to use. I think I could have chosen another convenient height, and found a horizontal spacing that would have worked.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 07:57:43 AM by bruce »
Bruce
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Narragansett Bay, RI

Offline Bob23

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2017, 08:23:28 AM »
I love mine and once I solved the weather helm problem which seems to be inherent on the 23's, it holds the tiller steady whilst I open a can of PBR! I think it may work with any other beer as well so stay tuned for updated info.
The Clutch is well made and simple, installs easily. I keep a spare line aboard as it will eventually wear down. Cheap insurance.
Bob23

Offline brackish

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2017, 12:26:25 PM »
I agree the Tiller Clutch is a great addition. I did find on my Picnic Cat that running the the control line was much more critical than the instructions suggested.

The boom gallows stanchions seemed to be in about the right place so I tied the line there and gave it a try. With the line tensioned with the rudder amidships, the clutch worked fine, but as I moved the tiller to either side the line went slack. The tiller was no longer controlled. I tried the stern cleats as well, but it still wasn't right. As I experimented, in some cases the line would go slack, and in some cases the line would tighten, limiting the swing of the tiller significantly.

I then mounted a piece of scrap 1x pine above the tiller with the upper row of tiller horn fasteners. By adjusting the distance between the points of attachment on the board I was able to find a sweet spot that allowed the control line to be evenly tensioned throughout the full range of the tiller. In my case, the distance between fairleads was 32". Once set, I replaced the pine with teak.

The height of the attachment board was determined by the tiller horn fasteners I wanted to use. I think I could have chosen another convenient height, and found a horizontal spacing that would have worked.

Warning, shameless thread drift.....

I am highly motivated to eliminate the drop in fiberglass cover in my fuel tank area and replace it with something hinged that is teak.  The next time you are around your boat would you lift that cover and take a pic of the underside.  And what is that mechanism that shows on the right side of the picture under the cover?  a hinge? some kind of strut to hold it up?  and is the cover solid with v-grooves or does it have drain slots?

Of course a major deal breaker would be not being able to reach the screws to install nuts, but I think I can get there without having to put in an access hole.

Offline bruce

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2017, 01:08:16 PM »
Here you go, brackish. The seat is 4 slats laid on a front and two side cleats. No cleat in the back. Stock from Com-Pac. The lid support is 304 SS, model Sugatsune L-FSP350A. It can be latched up, down (to keep stuff from floating free if the cockpit is flooded), or in between. I put it in early on (2011). It does work well, but I don't really use it much.

The second picture was taken in 2015 after I got a Lehr 2.5 in addition to the Honda 2, and I'd installed storage for a spare propane cylinder. It shows the construction of the seat a little better.
Bruce
Aroo, PC 308
Narragansett Bay, RI

Offline brackish

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2017, 02:07:04 PM »
Thanks!  I hate the drop in, it binds, it's heavy and has to be raised with difficulty and held with one hand in order to reach in and open the tank vent.  I've got to do something similar to your cover.  I really like the propane storage tube, if there is enough clearance to my smaller fuel tank I'm going to put one in to store fuel for the Magma.  Maybe make it easily removable in the event I want to use the big tank.

Now back on topic....I have a Davis tiller tamer that came with the boat that I never installed after seeing the clutch.  However, my tiller is getting kinda loaded up with hardware, with a bracket for a tiller pilot, a socket for an extension, and planned, hardware acquired, but not installed yet, a tiller to motor linkage.  Will have to see if there is room left for the clutch.

Offline bruce

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2017, 02:34:22 PM »
Yah, the 1 lb. propane tanks fit nicely in 4" PVC drain pipe. (I'm using refillable Flame King cylinders these days, a little longer annoyingly.) Nice grate end caps for cheap. I mounted the pipe with 3M Dual Lock, two 1 1/2" squares. Easy to pop off if I want the space back.
Bruce
Aroo, PC 308
Narragansett Bay, RI

Offline Garyandjoanlee

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2017, 10:33:10 AM »
First time I have seen ANY good use for that hinged slat seat! Always thought it was a bizarre feature- Can't sit there. Can't raise it. What else do my friends here use it for?
Gary & Joan Lee
Passing Wind
Com Pac 16 ll

Offline bruce

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2017, 11:36:34 AM »
I agree, Gary, it's looks much more useful than it is. Good ventilation, but it's a wet spot for storage, and not a good place for extra weight. Most PC sailors I know using a trolling motor place the battery in the forward locker. I do like the teak!

I do know of one freshwater fisherman who removed the seat to install a cooler for his catch. I'm sure Com-Pac would leave it off on a new boat.
Bruce
Aroo, PC 308
Narragansett Bay, RI

Offline brackish

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2017, 12:30:51 PM »
First time I have seen ANY good use for that hinged slat seat! Always thought it was a bizarre feature- Can't sit there. Can't raise it. What else do my friends here use it for?

If you had ever dealt with the drop in on the 23 you would understand.  It binds going both ways.  You better keep your hands from under the edge when your are trying to free it.  Oh, wait, that's where you need to put them to free it from a bind.  You have to lift it (another bind)to either open or close your tank vent.  You have to pull it all the way out in order to remove or fill the tank and there is no good place to put it when out. It normally falls on my foot.   It is a great place for wasps to build nests and, unlike the cockpit seats which is another good place, there is no safe way to get it off to remove them.  Did I mention it binds?  Leaves and junk build up in there and it has to be completely removed to clean it out. 

My plan is to make it solid with tongue and groove slats for expansion and a black caulk seal similar to teak decks.
There will be a couple of brackets on the front drop down to mount my cockpit table when in use.  I don't plan to sit there, the tiller is mostly in the way, however, mine will be strong enough that you could if you tie the tiller up to the backstay. 

I crawled in my port cockpit hatch this week, and yes I can fit in there and will be able to reach the screws on the hinges and put the nuts on.  Thought I was going to have to find a ten year old for that.:)


Offline Bilge Rat

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 02:52:22 PM »
in regards to the tiller lock/clutch/tamer installation, I rigged up the control line to allow adjustment and tensioning on both ends using the boom gallows stanchions.
 The key to this installation is the Nite Ize  cam jam rope/cord tightener https://www.amazon.com/Nite-Ize-Aluminum-Tightener-Carabiner/dp/B00XVP9ZPM/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1499797628&sr=8-23&keywords=nite+ize

links to photos

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f334/Jasonofstarcommand/Tiller%20Tamer%202_zpshhmljvsm.jpg
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f334/Jasonofstarcommand/Tiller%20Tamer%201_zpsxh0bqvx0.jpg
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Offline captrank

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Re: Tiller Clutch! Outstanding addition!
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2017, 10:32:36 PM »
I created a tiller comb that works like a clutch. If you go on youtube and look up Steve Rank you will find several videos of compact sailing. Check them out to find the tiller comb in action. I made it in the shape of a fish when you look.