May 29th, 2018
There is one truism about owning a wooden boat, You will never be done sanding (and varnishing). While wood is a very versatile and strong medium to build a boat, it does require more maintenance than one made of "frozen snot", metal, or even ferrocement. Anything that grows can wither and rot, all we can do is postpone the inevitable.
Yesterday I worked on Spark's Tiller. While in good shape for something made 64+ years ago, it was showing it's age and what was left of the varnish was neither protecting nor showing it off to best advantage. It also needed work in regards to the extension and other parts.
Being a Dinghy without any sort of ballast, Spark relies on three things to keep her upright. One is the form of her hull, two is "live" ballast, and the third is the intelligence and wisdom of her captain. Usually two and three are the same thing. In order for the captain to function as ballast, he needs to be able to move about the boat, he can't do that if shackled to the tiller. This is where an extension comes in. This small piece of wood (or metal, or carbon) bolts or screws to the near end of the tiller and allows whomever is manning it to move that much further away without compromising their ability to control the boat.
The tiller also has a secondary function, it controls a rope that holds the rudder blade in the down position. In Spark's case, this is a bungee cord that allows the blade to kick up if it hits something, but then immediately get pulled back down. This control line runs up the rudder and along the bottom of the tiller to a guide tube and a cleat. Both of these were made of plastic and quite brittle, so into the bin they went. I already replaced them with a tasty bit of bronze kit.
The Bronze Tube Jam Cleat is exactly what it's name sounds like. The rope (or Bungee in this case) passes through the tube and is allowed to run free unless pulled to the Right and into the "v". At this point the rope is wedged tightly and cannot be moved unless pulled further through and straight, at which point it will run free again
It's going to take a little while to get here, it's being shipped from down under.
You showed where you repaired the end of the tiller. where the screw had been. Will you make a new hole to attach it and where (,how far up) can you go? Stupid question? Just curious.
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