Posted on June 14 2005
You see them on most of the top sailors boats.They look nice and sleek, sometimes shiny and often you're thinking to yourself - do I need one of those fancy carbon tillers??
Well, the answer to that is actually another question - what do they provide to the boat better than a standard alloy tiller?
Firstly is the incredible weight saving - these puppies weight only 300-400 grams, and any weight you can save dragging around the course the better - combine it with a carbon extension and the weight savings grow even more.
Secondly, the extra strength gained from the carbon allow the tillers to be made with an extremely low profile. How does this help? Well, the lower the tiller is to the deck, the lower the traveller rope can be pulled down. This creates an extremely shallow angle for the traveller rope to the deck, meaning the traveller blocks are kept out hard on the edge of the deck, creating better boat speed than if they drift in from the corner.
Bulletproof (well almost!)
Lastly, they are incredibly durable - you will only need to buy one for the life of the boat, unlike the alloy tillers which have been known to weaken where they exit the rudder box, occasionally snapping and ruining your day's sailing.
So, these points put a compelling argument towards cabon tillers, but only probably when you've mastered keeping the boat upright - they aren't much use if you're upside down!!