|Subject: T500 Tiller Sheered Off In Poole!|
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Date Posted: 15/08/05 13:00:10
So I was on my first summer holiday onboard Samara (T500/501), and had made it to Poole. The weather kept us there for a bit, and with west veering NW predicted for 3 days I knew the trip to weigmouth was off unless we wanted a 12hour beat after rounding St Albans.
As we slipped lines at the town quay and headed out to the main harbour channel I was under power doing about 3 knots over the ground. There was swell present due to the stink pot scramble after the Poole bridge had lifted, and I was feeling a LOT of resistence on the helm. Going ahead with the tiller between my knees, it felt like I was steering her astern - she voilently kicked from port to Stdb. As I corrected the violent kick to port, the tiller swung to starboard, knocked my leg out of the way, crashed into the starboard locker, and SHEERED OFF!
Yes - it broke off where the metal bracket finished. I can only assume that there was some water ingress and weakening against the tiller at that point, but I put her in neutral and prepared to run forward and drop the hook. Alas, I had no time as the brown sea Island ferry came towards me and hovered as my boat driffted in the middle of the channel. I looked the skipper on the bridge straight in the eye, and raised the remainder of the tiller in my right hand aloft! The HM RIB put us back on the quay and I bought a saw to cut back to good wood, and used the hand drill I had on board to fit the bracket back.
I still don't know what caused the problem. Moored up the rudder feels ok - I haven't had her long, so it's hard to say if its worse than before. Under sail she's OK, but with the tiller at least 18" shorter than before, I think the loss in leverage makes the helm feel harder. Under Power she still feels quite heavy (more so than sail - but maybe thats down to speed... is that normal? Balanced between my knees, it's quite heavy moving under power. So I'm left with a few questions...
1. Where do I go to ghet a new tiller made up - and can anybody provide me with a plan?
2. Should I dry-out and drop the rudder to look at the bushes?
3. Any of this sounding familiar to anybody?
Your informed opinions would be greatly appreciated. This incedent asside we had a wonderful 2 weeks - and to be honest it all added to the fun. Breaking the new to the father in law that his '84 and completley unreliable outboard is in at least 15m of water of Newtown creek was not easy yesterday, but he took it well :-)
Back to work...
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