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Old April 3rd 04, 01:34 PM
Andrew Butchart
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Default Push-Pull Tiller

I'm working on Bolger sailing pirogue (the CSD version) and am trying to
figure out how I will handle the steering. The design shows lines coming
from each side of the head of the rudder forward to the cockpit (about 2 1/2
ft) but nothing else. I've seen this boat with a push-pull tiller, and I've
heard of it being used with kayak foot rudder controls. The push-pull
tiller that I saw looked a bit awkward and I worry about it falling
overboard without some sort of holder. The design has no notes at all and
I'd rather not pester Mr. Bolger especially considering that I didn't buy
the design directly from him.

Are there any suggestions on a steering mechanism that I should look at?
I'm planning on installing the decking this weekend and will want to install
any bits that I need for steering next. Picture of the "build in progress"
can be seen at


Andrew Butchart

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Old April 4th 04, 01:19 AM
William R. Watt
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Default Push-Pull Tiller

I can't tell from the photos how the boat is sailed, facing forward or in
the more usual fashion sitting on one side or the other depending on the
tack and facing midships. In the latter case you want the tiller out of
the way when changing tacks.

If you don't want or can't have a tiller at the rudder head in thge normal
fashion there are a couple of other arrangements in addition to what you

One is to pivot a tiller on a bolt through the aft deck with lines back to
the rudder. You could put an extention on the tiller in the usual way.
With a bit of immagination and addtional weight you could substitute
wooden battens for the lines.

Another arrangement is a vertical tiller, simmilar to the joy stick on an
airplane, sometiem called a "whip staff" or a "whip stick". It can pivot
on a bolt through the coaming at the front or the back of the cockpit. On
power boats it often pivots on one gunnel or the other depending on where
the boat driver sits. TF Jones shows the arrangement of pulleys for one of
these on a long narrow outboard motorboat.

Then again there is a steering oar. I use one on the small boats I sail facing
forward. Most of the time the steering oar or paddle on my boats is not
used as I sail the boat by balance, like wind surfing or riding a bicycle.
I put the oar in the water only when I have to. Unlike a rudder you do not
need to be moving to make the boat turn.

Its also possible to laminate a steering wheel out of layers of plywood
and mount one on the front, back, or side(s) of the cockpit. You can make
cutouts so it looks like a spoked wheel. TF Jones shows a nicely finished
laminated plywood steering wheel on one of the small motor cruisers he
built for a customer.

Some kinds of rope stretch more than others under different conditions.
What you see on outboard motor steering systems is wire rope, plastic
coated if I remember, like the stuff on clothes lines.

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Old April 4th 04, 01:44 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Push-Pull Tiller

"Andrew Butchart" wrote in message
I'm working on Bolger sailing pirogue (the CSD version) and am trying to

I'm not familiar with the Piroque but if it has a push pull steering, I'm
thinking it may be like the Filipino Banca's..

These are the motor driven outrigger canoes that are common there.. The
operator sits forward of the air cooled engine to get away from the heat.

There is a short tiller arm that is positioned to the stbd side, 90 degrees
to the the rudder blade. Generally this short tiller is about 12 inch long
for a 25 ft boat. A bamboo pole is attached to the outboard end of the
tiller with a pivet bolt. The other end of the pole is next to the operator
and he pushes back or forward to steer..

I built two of these Banca's and found that the steering was not that
awkward as it may seem. Within a few minutes you get the feel..

I always liked to have a loose lanyard on the push-pull pole to keep it from
falling or being swept away from my reach.

My opinion and experience. FWIW

s/v Good Intentions

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