Tiller Wear

Who’s got a nice solution for this issue I face… I’m sure it’s happened before. Not a hard problem to solve, but wondered what others have done to avoid this annoying chafe. My tiller will be most grateful.

The plaintiff:

The defendent:

Can you put the nuts on the top?

I used a few layers of leather and contact cement (about 3/4" X 2"), fastened to the forward, underside of the spacer between the rudder cheeks. If you sawed off a bit of those bolts and went with just the cap nuts and a bit of BoatLife on the threads, you could raise the tiller a bit higher.


I sewed a leather band around the tiller. It’s a common crime. The best solution is prevention.


Here’s a pic of the leather pad on Shaula’s rudder cheek spacer (3 layers). I’m in the middle of painting the cheeks and spacer, so it was handy.

On a related topic, when the BCC is blasting along at 6k, the lower 6 to 10 inches of the rudder cheeks are under water. OK, Shaula is usually a “few” inches down from Lyle’s 4’10" draft. We measured our draft at 5’3" a decade ago, but it’s a bit less now. What I’m getting at is that the bottom of those cheeks, on a passage, can be under water, more or less, for days or weeks at a time! All of us love to look at wood, nicely varnished, but I think it makes sense to seal this wood with an epoxy, whether you opt for varnish or paint on top of the epoxy.

Shaula’s exhaust exits above the static waterline, but at 5-6k, it’s underwater, which results is exhaust spray on the starboard rudder cheek and even on the starboard side of the boomkin. This is another good reason to forgo varnish on the rudder cheeks.

In 1981, Sam made the cheeks, tiller and bits from ash. Did George, Roger or Sumi change this? Ash a wonderfully stong wood, but it does have a few disadvantages, doesn’t it? One that comes to mind is that a nick on that beautiful tiller’s varnish results in ugly black mold growing in the grain of the wood. Damn! Sealing the wood with epoxy and then varnishing, reduces this problem a lot. I know of at least one BCC that had dry rot develope in the ash cheeks and rudder, so that’s another reason to seal the ash.
Dan BCC Shaula #59

Ben, you can also install a couple of opposing pieces of brass half round.

I would take the acorn nuts off and cut the screws flush. Then peen them with a prick punch and a hammer so they will not back off. You could also put a simple shim on top of the tiller to limit how much you can lift it. I also want thank you for posting so many pictures of BCC’s. I am finishing construction on a SLM hull no 29 this spring. The pictures are like a list of options I can choose from. They have been very helpful.


Eric Pomber