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Website Maintenance December 2013
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A tiller for your windvane
If you have the vane mast a bit far to the rear of the boat, it can be slightly out of reach. Also, the plastic mast may be a little stiffer to rotate than you like.
I made this tiller for my boat's Mr. Vane. It is the second one, the first one is shown in this blog post
Even if you do not need it you may enjoy using it, adjusting the angle of your vane mast becomes easier and more precise!
Here is a brief description of how I made a tiller for my windvane after the first type broke.
You start off with three pieces of wood, about 25x20 mm, 2 lenghts of about 350 mm and one of 75 mm (1"x3/4", 2 pieces 14" long and 1 piece 3" long)
Glue the pieces together with polyurethane wood glue or epoxy as shown in the first picture.
Then drill 2 6 mm holes:
1 on the left hand side about 10 mm or 1/2" from the end
1 on the right hand side, about 120 mm (5") from the end
and then a 30 mm (yes, it needs to be 30 mm) in the middle of the "block" at the end from the other direction.
This 30 mm hole needs to fit very well.
Drill a test hole in a bit of left over material to check the resulting hole size.
Pre-drill with a 6 mm (1/4") drill bit.
Use a drill press.
Do NOT dril the 30 mm hole from both sides, just carefully drill through the material from one side.
If you drill from 2 sides the hole is likely to become too big!
Then make a cut from the middle to the big hole to allow tension to be released.
Add a bolt and self locking nut at the far end so the wood won't split.
And finally before sanding to a nice finnish, add a piece of threaded rod and two self locking nuts to the hole 120 mm from the end. This is so you can adjust the maximum force whith which the tiller can be squeezed during operation.
Stick the tiller on the top mast before adding the windvane. Squeeze the ends together to grip the top mast, then rotate in the same direction as you would the main tiller to steer in the same direction.
Now if you would like to have one but making it yourself is a bit out of reach, please let me know in the comments. If there is enough interest I may be able to figure out how to make a series in a cost effective manner.