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 Replacing the Tiller

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
frejoh Posted - 06/18/2021 : 20:08:05
After 19 years, the original tiller is badly deteriorated, with delamination and what looks like dry rot at the butt end. A replacement is on order, and I could really use some step by step instructions on removing and replacing, especially drilling the 3 holes for the bolts. Iíve also seen posts in another forum on the risk of dropping the rudder assembly overboard if not careful, and recommending waiting for the next haul out, but this is not an option, and the boat involved was a different model. Seems like as long as the rudder remains hung on the pintels and gudgeons on a 250, there should be no chance of of it falling.
So please share your experiences and instructions so I can get this one time job correctly done. TIA!
7   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
frejoh Posted - 07/15/2021 : 18:40:20
In retrospect, I would have been wise to remove the tiller and store it somewhere dry, probably the cabin, at least during the winter months. Itís easy enough, being fastened to the rudder with one bolt and a large wing nut. Just need a focused, steady hand working over the side. #128563;
Now I see that the tiller cover may not do that much, at least over many years.
Stinkpotter Posted - 07/14/2021 : 20:51:13
The source of deterioration of the original holes was water migrating along the bolts. There are a few options to mitigate that with the new tiller, including sealants on both sides, penetrating epoxy (Git Rot) inside the holes, or the gold-standard over-drill/epoxy-fill/re-drill technique creating epoxy sleeves in the tiller. I relied on sealant--"Voyager" Bruce is living with the result.
frejoh Posted - 07/14/2021 : 19:22:04
Unfortunately the tiller was so deteriorated that only a part of one hole remained; the other two holes were gone. A drill press would certainly make the holes 90 degrees to the sides of the tiller, if I had one. I did use the steel bracket as a jig or template to mark and drill, especially the initial pilot holes.
I donít have a tiller extension or tiller tamer.
islander Posted - 07/14/2021 : 11:13:42
You could line up and clamp your old tiller to the side of the new one then use the old holes as a template and guide for the drill or better yet a drill press.
Voyager Posted - 07/14/2021 : 10:50:39
On your tiller, do you have a tiller extension so you can reach it from everywhere in the cockpit? The one that came with vessel Passage (thank you Mr. Dave Stinkpotter) is a black aluminum slider deal that plugs into a receptacle mounted into the end of the tiller handle.
Harken and Forespar make them for dinghies which is ideal for the C25/250 since itís not HUGE.
I also use the receptacle for my home made tiller tamer (a few washers, a 4Ē bolt, a few nuts and a 3 ft long string attached with a sliding hitch to my aft cleats).
Works like a charm!
Voyager Posted - 07/13/2021 : 21:57:33
Nice work Fred. Glad you had a successful installation.
frejoh Posted - 07/11/2021 : 12:15:30
FWIW, Iíll share what I was able to find or figure out, in case someone else may be searching on this topic.
The 250 WK tiller is connected to the SS bracket, secured by three bolts. ( The bracket attaches to the top of the rudder with a single bolt.) So three holes must be drilled in your expensive tiller. These have to be correctly located in relation to each other, and must be straight across so that the bolts pass through the holes on both sides of the bracket. So first, check, mark, and repeat to be certain the drilled holes will be correctly located. Drill one hole, place the bolt, then check and mark again as needed for the second hole, then the third, with the first two bolts in place.
One very good tip I got was to drill from one side first, one half to two thirds through, then drill from the other side, meeting in the middle. I also found it helpful to do this first drilling a pilot hole with a smaller bit, then using the larger bit to finish. I wish I had a bit one size larger than 1/4 inch, but I was able to ream the holes so that the bolts passed through adequately.
Maybe one day someone will find this helpful.

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