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When making my tiller arms I screwed through each spacer block and bound them with glass mat.  It has lasted a good while and I beefed up the two either side of where they sit on the actual rudder; simply for peace of mind.  I have just noticed a small crack in the glass mat binding on the mid section but no sign of the actual tiller cracking yet.  My questions are what have others used? If you have chosen a rope lashing, what weight and type of rope and was it impregnated with epoxy/paint/varnish? Finally any similar signs of strain on other tiller arms?

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First, glass mat has no inherent strength and is prone to cracking if twisted.

I have always through bolted the tillers at the spacer blocks, then lashed with 1/8" low stretch line. Replace the line every 2-5 years depending on you latitude, just like any other lashing.

Many thanks.  I will give it a go.  Regards Jerry

I have used heavy glass roving for the bindings. The weave is very course and it looks like a lashing sorta.

That is what I have at the moment but the roving is not particularly heavy.   On another spacer block moisture has penetrated under the glass roving and it is partially detached from the wood but still whole - if that makes sense.  I will remove everything and start again with lashings on top as well.  I have given the rudders some hammer over the last couple of seasons; so much so that they slipped sideways off the stern post due to weather helm on the figure 8 lashings  The torque at the stern end of the tillers must have been tremendous.

I made the tillers out of oak as that was all I had to hand at the time.  The weight is not a problem but when salt water gets into the wood they turn black. Do you know if I can use some sort of penetrating oil after the roving(Danish Oil?) and then varnish/tung oil over the top? 

Yes (except don't try to varnish or paint over oil), or you could prime and paint them and be done with it.

Jerry S said:

Do you know if I can use some sort of penetrating oil after the roving(Danish Oil?) and then varnish/tung oil over the top? 

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