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Potential sub-$50 telescoping tiller, maybe sub-$40  Bottom

  • Some of you may have seen my post where I described rolling off the back of our boat, NOT letting go of the tiller and turning it into a pretzel. It was one of the Murray's aluminum telescoping ones and I think it's damaged enough that I don't want to try re-using the aluminum.

    I've been exploring replacement options and I think I found a solution. I was in West Marine picking up a part when I searched out the telescoping boat hooks. They don't work (IMO) for two reasons: 1) the smaller diameter tube is closest to the crossbar connection and 2) the size of that tube is smaller than the diameter of the connector needed.

    I then wandered over to the paddles and they have a telescoping paddle that I think will work. It looks similar to this one, but I'm not sure if it is it:

    https://www.westmarine.co…hook--386195?recordNum=2

    https://newcontent.westmarine.com/content/images/catalog/1500/386195_1500.jpeg

    The one on West Marine's website is listed for $39.99. I thought the one in store was $29.99, but that could just me being focused on the thought that it was thirty bucks.

    Note that the connector I'm talking about using is this:

    https://www.murrays.com/product/01-0064/

    https://www.murrays.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/01-0065.jpg

    Here's the rub: The telescoping paddle has an OD of 1 1/4" and an ID of 1 1/8". I'm not sure of the diameter of the connector, but I suspect its somewhere around 7/8". I'm thinking I'll get either a piece of PVC or scrap aluminum (the bent up extension?) and sleeve the connector. I'll place that into the paddle and drill a hole through to rivet the connector in place.

    One benefit of the in-store paddle is that the paddle end is not permanently connected to the shaft. It uses the spring loaded "ball in the hole" system to hold it in place. I think that the idea is that you would remove the paddle and insert a boat hook interchangeably. One nice feature is that the ball is several inches above where you would drill the hole. The result is that you could potentially just put the paddle portion on the boat and if you need it, remove the tiller extension, assemble the paddle and off you go (steering through the crossbar).

    The primary downside I see to this proof of concept is that it is aluminum and as MN3 pointed out, us Floridians want to avoid aluminum due to lightning.

    Dana



    Edited by dartsailors on Sep 16, 2018 - 01:17 PM.

    --
    Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

    LJ/Stu's Dart 18
    --
  • I have had some success adapting paint roller extensions:

    https://www.homedepot.com…nsion-Poles/N-5yc1vZary0

    Just cut off the threaded end then drill a hole through the solid pole left over. The 4' long ones that extend to 8' were perfect for my G-Cat 5.7

    Easy and cheap.



    Edited by bradinjax on Sep 16, 2018 - 01:08 PM.
  • I have one of those WM paddles. It's just OK as a paddle/ boat hook. It will loosen up and shift quite easily. You'll be dissapointed with it as a tiller extension.
    The thing about a rotary lock extension is that when you open it up it extends with the weather helm.
    That's why I went with the Spinlock push button model.

    --
    1983 SuperCat 15
    #315
    Virginia
    --
  • gahambyI have one of those WM paddles. It's just OK as a paddle/ boat hook. It will loosen up and shift quite easily. You'll be dissapointed with it as a tiller extension.
    The thing about a rotary lock extension is that when you open it up it extends with the weather helm.
    That's why I went with the Spinlock push button model.


    Thanks gahamby! I did see your earlier recommendation on the Spinlock. If my memory serves, it's aluminum as well and just as pricy as carbon fiber. I think I'd be very afraid of destroying one of those at my level of sailing ability. Were I a better sailor, I'd likely jump right on it.

    On the rotary lock mechanism, are you referring to all rotary locks or just the one used on the paddle? I ask because it seems that most of the telescoping tiller extensions use a rotary locking system.

    Dana

    --
    Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

    LJ/Stu's Dart 18
    --
  • My .02
    It’s fine to buy a cheaper tool for a job you are only going to do once, as long as the tool actually does the job.
    If it’s a job you will do repeatedly, a cheap tool often ends up costing more in the long run, as you usually have to replace it multiple times.
    The Darts have a very responsive, & light helm, my little Dart 15 is thumb & forefinger steering. I like the RWO lightweight telescoping extension, but when it dies, I’ll replace it with a spare Arriba. ALU is just to easy to bend. I dropped mine over the side during a big wind gybe the other day. It was extended & hit the water, then was pushed against the rear crossbar. This resulted in a few millimeters bend, meaning it can’t be retracted, which is a mighty pain when approaching the dock. Yesterday, I took it apart, & rolled the bent section between a couple of 2x12s. I got most of it out, it now retracts, but not as smooth as before.
    You use your tiller extension every time you sail. Bite the bullet once. You sail an 18’ boat, get an Arriba & be done with it. It will most likely outlast your ownership of the boat. They might not survive jumping on, but I have sat, or fallen on mine many times, they flex quite a bit & return to normal.
    They are not cheap, but after 10 years you find it only cost you a beer or two a year.
    Give Pete Begely or Dan Berger a call, sometimes they have used ones in decent condition. Five years from now you will wonder why you ever tried to save $30 screwing around with inferior solutions, especially when one comes apart while you are on the wire.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --
  • Some years ago I made myself an elegant tiller with two ski poles pinned together, very easy
  • Edchris:

    Thanks for the input. I realized I didn't add the info here, but in another message I noted that I have a friend with a spare hotstick that he is willing to sell me. So, I'm doing exactly what you suggest. My purpose to exploring this was mostly curiosity with a healthy dose of wanting a spare.

    BTW, if you ever catch wind of another Dart/Sprint 15 for sale, please let me know. I think it would make a great solo boat.

    Dana

    --
    Dana, Holly, Emma & Hannah

    LJ/Stu's Dart 18
    --
  • QuoteIf it’s a job you will do repeatedly, a cheap tool often ends up costing more in the long run, as you usually have to replace it multiple times.

    +1
  • QuoteBTW, if you ever catch wind of another Dart/Sprint 15 for sale, please let me know. I think it would make a great solo boat.

    Funny you should ask. There is a good sized Dart 18 community around here, but I have only ever seen 2 Spark/Dart/Sprint 15's, one of which I bought.
    Today I saw my 3rd, & actually went & looked at it. I'll send you a P.M.



    Edited by Edchris177 on Oct 01, 2018 - 07:17 PM.

    --
    Hobie 18 Magnum
    Dart 15
    Mystere 6.0XL Sold Was a handful solo
    Nacra 5.7
    Nacra 5.0
    Bombardier Invitation (Now officially DEAD)
    Various other Dock cluttering WaterCrap
    --

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