Saturday, 3 January 2015

Tiller arm safety

Looking at many boat pictures I see seats either side of the tiller arm. Really comfortable and sociable I guess but how risky is this 'driving' position? Recently Mags off Seyella took a dive - literally I understand when the rudder hit an underwater obstacle arcing the tiller arm with enough force to push poor Mags into the cut.

I am the last person to preach H&S, I prefer it to be the responsibility of the person to consider their own safety, and I am sure that it only takes a repositioning of the steerer and bad timing to experience the tiller being something akin to one of the 'its a knockout' type of apparatuse's.

Our boats have been Cruiser, Cruiser, Semi Trad and now Trad. The first two put the steerer right in the way of the arc of the tiller, mainly by virtue of the morse control. Waterlily was better, but you could very eaily find yourself altering your position for a change and being within the arc. Percy's position is more natural to the point Tony Redshaw adjusted the tiller arm to be about 30 degrees off centre to go forward so that when standing within the boat my arm is at a good angle, not directly behind me - if that makes sense.

The down side is that when there are two or more they are either within the confines of the hatch or standing on the gunnels (preferable unless you are very friendly)

Ultimately it is down to whoever is steering I guess, and the views on risk. However you do it just be safe?


nb AmyJo said...

AmyJo has such seats at her stern. Chris often sits there when we are cruising, however, when manoeuvring she always goes up front so is clear.

A boater once told me never stand alongside the tiller for the reason you describe. I stand in the back cabin by the back doors whilst standing facing our throttle control so am forward of the tiller arc.

Nev Wells said...

Sounds like you have an awareness which is much of the issue covered off, much of the risk reduction is being aware I guess, now watch me get flipped off the back for preaching !! Take care, hope the cruising it good in 2015 and that we may cross paths. Nev