Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Ruder / Tiller upgrade

Discussion in 'Canoe Sailing' started by Michael Leone, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. Michael Leone

    Michael Leone You call that a sail?

    On our recent camping /sailing trip to the Mother bunch Islands on Lake George NY we had to sail up wind for 3 miles to reach our camp. keeping the bow pointed as high as possible requires a lot fine
    adjustments to maintain a good heading and after two hours my hands were starting to get cramped from gripping the steering rope. That's when it occurred to me that some kind of tiller would be much
    easier on the hands.
    so after a couple of hours messing around in the shop this is what I came up with. The steering rope wraps once around a hub on the tiller and is secured in the back by a pinch plate and thumb screw,
    this keeps the rope from slipping on the hub. The whole mess is bolted underneath the leeboard thwart.

    I haven't tested it on the water yet but it works well in the shop.

    Attached Files:

  2. OP
    Michael Leone

    Michael Leone You call that a sail?

    P1010984.jpg P1010986.jpg A few more pictures P1010983.jpg
  3. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    This looks good but you may need a few more handles depending on how far your rudder can move. Another solution would be to use a thicker line so that you can get a better grip on it. You may also want to consider moving your leeboards to balance the boat better. This should significantly reduce the effort required on the tiller line when sailing in a straight line with a steady breeze. Todd's book at has a good explanation of how this all works. Let us know how well it works on the water.

  4. OP
    Michael Leone

    Michael Leone You call that a sail?

    Hi Benson
    Thanks for your input, I know the real test will be on the water but I think I have enough rudder movement with the one handle. I measured 30 degrees of rudder swing ether side of zero.
    Todd's book is a treasure trove of information, I must have read it cover to cover several times and refer back to often. I used it to balance the rig and it seems to have a neutral weather helm.
    But sailing against a stiff breeze with a 1 foot chop hitting the bow can make it harder to stay pointed up as I'm sure know.

    I'll be sure to post a full report when I get it out on the lake.

Share This Page