DIY Cleats and Tiller TamerBy Richard Frye, Capt. AH #527 "WET ROOSTER" (6ea 9ad 14ar)
I made some 3" cleats from oak that I salvaged from an old piece of furniture the neighbors threw away. I got all the drawers, took'em apart and now have some really nice 3/8ths oak slabs that will find many uses in the future!
I may never buy another cleat because these have worked out so well on everything I've tried them on. I just clear coated them. Had some Rustoleum clear and it took a long time to dry. The clear acrylic dries much faster. I sprayed them yesterday and they were dry this morning, and mounted them with 1-1/2" deck screws, and it goes thru a panel, I'll make a backing from oak and use some 8x32 bolts...stainless or brass with nylon locking nuts if they go thru the cabin, etc. like when I mount a jam cleat for a roller furling system, etc.
I call this my automatic pilot. I tried out the tiller brake [tiller tamer] and it works like a champ. I made a bungee with a loop at each end about 6" long and fastened a piece of 3/16th or 1/4" line with some pad eyes on each side about 6" back on the inside of the gunel and back about 6" from the end of the tiller brake, and make it adjustable by using a taut line hitch. It's just a slanted jam cleat but it worked great.
The bungee allows for some springie movement and keeps the tension, but it can easily be removed by simply pulling it forward and letting it go or just steer with it on if you are in a pinch and remove it later. It hooks up just as fast and I put a snap clip on the ends so I could get it out of the way if need be on one side or completely off. That worked well too!
This is a new mast and some spars that I am working on for a sprit sail made from leftover polytarp.