Repair and Maintenance of a Drascombe Lugger

Securing the Tiller Securely to the Rudder

On my Lugger the tiller is attached to the rudder via a stainless steel stock which fits on top of the galvanised rudder axle. This page illustrates how the stock is attached to the axle, and also illustrates a solution to the problem of the stainless stock wearing away the bronze of the top rudder guide.

The Method Explained

Tiller-head bolt & associated components Method of Attaching the Tiller Head to the Rudder Axle

A 25 mm stainless washer (see photo) is slipped on to the axle before the stock is attached. This prevents the bottom of the rudder stock grinding away the softer bronze of the upper rudder guide when the rudder is deployed.

The photograph also shows how the stock attaches to the rudder axle. To prevent the stock from ever parting company with the axle, a 10 mm diameter hole of about 10 mm depth has been drilled into the axle. Note that this hole must be parallel with the axis of the rudder with the opening facing forward (towards the front of the boat).

To fit the stainless stock, it is eased on to the top of the rudder axle until the securing bolt hole lines up with the underlying hole drilled into the galvanised axle. If necessary, place a piece of wood on top of the stock (to protect it), and gently tap it (by hitting the wood) into place with a small hammer. The securing bolt can then screwed in until it has penetrated into the underlying hole in the axle. This ensures you will never have to worry about the two parting company! Finally, the other bolt clamping the two cheeks of the stainless rudder stock (not visible in the photograph), can be tightened using an Allen Key. The red stuff is anti-rust primer which has been painted on to prevent rusting of the top of the axle inside the stainless stock.

(Click on image for larger view)

This method of fitting ensures that the stainless stock is securely attached to the rudder axle. However, if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of a bent rudder axle or rudder which you cannot pull up and retrieve through the top slot in the usual way, then it is comparatively easy to drop it down through the bottom slot by removing the bolt securing the stock to the axle, loosening the Allen Bolt, and easing off the stainless stock (with the tiller attached to provide extra leverage).

Page last updated, 20 June 2007