Anyone replace a tiller recently? Wondering what that cost is like?

Last one cost us $200, cheap considering the amount of time and effort that goes into making a good one. Our spare came through SLM from a third party supplier. There are enough third party suppliers and wood workers around to get one made.

What wood are the tillers generally made from?

In most cases tillers are laminated using thin strips of wood bonded together with epoxy. The strips are usually stacked one on top of the other alternating types of wood Ash, Mahogany, Ash, Mahogany or other combinations. Epoxy is applied to the strips and the lay up is clamped into a form to achieve the desired curve. Once the epoxy cures the tiller can be shaped and varnished. Tillers can be made of any wood and not all are laminated. The laminated tillers offer strength however one piece tillers are difficult to sculpt into much of a curve. Some tillers are works of art and use many different types of wood in their construction. I’ve seen all types of wood used, Ash, Teak, Locust, Mahogany, Purple Heart and the list goes on. One weak area to watch for is the through bolt pivot that holds the tiller to the rudder. The hole where the bolt passes through the tiller can take on water and begin to decay unless properly sealed. When building tillers I through drill this area and epoxy in a hardwood dowel to act as a bearing. Through this I then drill the correct size hole for the pivot bolt. This helps to keep water out of the end grain laminates.

Bob & Lois

BCC Jolie Brise