Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller

Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / Tiller stay
Author Tiller stay
---Turk ---
Canfield, Ohio

Boat Name: Miss Kitty

Model/Year: 1974 C22

Hull No. 3520

Hailing Port: Mosquito Lake, N.E. Ohio
01/01/2004 3:42 PM Pacific Time

Has anyone purchased and used the "tiller stay" sold by Catalina direct and what do you think of it? Would like to install something like this to aid in single handed sailing. Not ready to spend the boat $$$$ for an auto pilot yet.

Kinda testing this new message server also!!! :)

Dick King
Melbourne, FL

Boat Name: Twilight Zone

Model/Year: Sport/2005

Hull No. 15546

Hailing Port: Melbourne, FL
01/01/2004 4:38 PM Pacific Time

I would save my money on the tiller stay and put it in the autohelm savings account. An effective tiller stay is a length of 1/4 inch line cleated to the aft docking cleat, wrapped several times around the tiller and cleated on the other docking cleat. Adjust the tension on the line so you can just barely move the tiller with pressure on it.

Boat Name:


Hull No.

Hailing Port:
01/01/2004 5:02 PM Pacific Time

I know nothing of the CD tiller stay........ but I did buy a plastic piece of crap from WM for about $25............. didn't work very well....... and broke about 1/2 way through the sailing season. I bought a tiller tamer from a Canadian outfit which works reasonably well.... check out the website......

Boat Name:


Hull No.

Hailing Port:
01/04/2004 11:20 PM Pacific Time

I have a "tiller tamer" that is ok reaching. It has had the windows in the water pointing. I think the CD model has a spring resistance no common in most locking type tiller tenders. If I were going to gamble I would try the CD model, or get a gal in a yellow bikini to watch the helm.

I think Dick is right the auto helm is the best solution.

There are tiller to sail systems that are supposed to work & auto correct. Doubts

Bob Vick
Caldwell, TX
C 22 #13059 "Over Keel"

Lance Anderson
Kenai, Alaska

Boat Name:

Model/Year: 1973

Hull No. 2367

Hailing Port: Kenai, Alaska
01/06/2004 12:53 PM Pacific Time

I use a piece of bungee rope. I want to say 1/4 but may be 3/8 just like the other guys. I taped a metal ring onto one end. Tied a loop with a slipnot on the other. I hook the loop end over a cleat near the stern, put a couple of wraps around the tiller then hook the ring over the horn of another cleat on opposite side of boat. The slipnot allows easy tension adjustment for various wind conditions and the ring allows me to throw the unit loose in an instant although this has not been neccessary because the bungee provides some flexibility for manuevering without having to loosen or reset. Have two seasons on it with nary a problem.
Lynn Buchanan
Nevada City, CA

Boat Name: SAILYNN

Model/Year: SWING 1984

Hull No. 11994

04/24/2004 9:49 PM Pacific Time

I use my tiller extension stick. Davis instruments sells a locking box that is installed into the cockpit seat back and the end of the stick can be locked into it.
david martin
hutchinson island fl

Boat Name: barefoot gourmet

Model/Year: cat 22 1977

Hull No. 7942 (?)

Hailing Port: Hutchinsom Island Fl
04/26/2004 1:00 PM Pacific Time

Before I bought my autohelm I also used a piece of bungee but did not put a slip knot as you can adjust for helm bias by turning the bungee around the tiller .about 4 turns gives enough friction to hold and bungee needs to be tighter for higher conditions _ wind and waves
Gordon Sell
Flemington, NJ

Boat Name: none

Model/Year: Catalina 22/1977

Hull No. 7282

Hailing Port: Spruce Run Reservoir
04/27/2004 6:29 AM Pacific Time

I originally just used a long piece of shock cord with two or three wraps around the tiller, then I bought a Tiller Tammer and threw it out three weeks later.
Later I bought the Tiller Stay at a boat show and have been using for 4 or 5 years now. Works pretty good most of the time, but the plasitic bollard thingies have been squeaking annoyingly for the past two years. Logically, I shouldn't lubricate them. If I don't sell the boat soon, I will probably try one of the DYI systems tried above.

Gordon Sell
Flemington, NJ
Mark Dauphinais
Harvest, AL

Boat Name: SoJourner

Model/Year: 1988

Hull No. 14412

Hailing Port: Rogersville, AL
07/21/2004 8:47 AM Pacific Time

I have had the CD Tiller Tamer installed for about 1 year and at one of the turning blocks it has chafed through the outer layer of the line. Only the inner core is still connected and it won't allow movement through the turning block anymore. Does anyone know if there is a way to replace the line on this CD Tiller Tamer? I can't see how to remove it from the spring tensioner. I would go with the Cansail tillerlock next time. 1 years use is pretty poor performance.
Lowell Richardson, Owner, Catalina Direct
Sacramento CA

Boat Name: Steamboat Willie

Model/Year: 1984

Hull No.

Hailing Port: Folsom Lake
07/22/2004 1:06 AM Pacific Time

Sounds to me like the installation is missing the fairleads we include in the kit which direct the line into the “friction spools”. With the fairleads properly installed, there is nothing I can think of that would cause the line to chafe. This is not a problem reported by other customers.

I checked our records and found your Tiller Stay was purchased 12/02. You may have an early kit, which did not include fairleads. We added fairleads because we noticed on our own boats that if the helm is moved far to one side (farther than is normally necessary to tack the boat) the angle of the line approaching the friction spools becomes too great and the line could jump the spool. Although I haven’t experienced it, this might cause excessive wear.

Page 4.15.1 (Revision g) of your Catalina Direct Owner’s Handbook shows the fairleads installed. Fairleads can be added to your installation and a replacement line kit is available.

We prefer the Tiller Stay to other tiller controllers because it has one unique advantage over all the other tiller controllers on the market. With every other product, you must fiddle with the amount of friction the device applies to the tiller every time you reset it until you get it right again. Release the tiller to dodge a dead head and you must start all over again. With the Tiller Stay, the same exact amount of friction can be reestablished in two seconds without even looking at it. And you can reestablish that same tension ten minutes later or ten days later with equal ease… Much more convenient.

If you have additional questions, I can be reached at our tech support number, 916/843-1971, Tuesday through Friday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time. I even forward this line to my cell phone when I am away from the office so you can reach someone throughout the day.
Mark Dauphinais
Harvest, AL

Boat Name: SoJourner

Model/Year: 1988

Hull No. 14412

Hailing Port: Rogersville, AL
07/22/2004 6:33 AM Pacific Time

Thanks for your response. I do have the fairleads and I believe this is where the chafing was done. I have pictures of the installation, I can email them if you would like to see them. Right now I just want to replace the line without having to purchase an entire unit again. Is there a way to replace the line? You may contact me offlline at Sojourner.
Mark Dauphinais
Harvest, AL

Boat Name: SoJourner

Model/Year: 1988

Hull No. 14412

Hailing Port: Rogersville, AL
08/04/2004 2:19 PM Pacific Time

I just wanted to post a follow up and let everyone know the outcome of this thread. CD contacted me several times and talked to Robin the maker of the Tillerstay . I talked to Robin and he sent me a replacement spring and line assembly at no cost. He assured me that he did not want an unsatisfied customer. It is his belief that the fairlead on the side that chafed had a sharp edge which caused the chafing. He suggested that I get a new fairlead before reinstalling to prevent future failures. I have contacted CD about the fairlead as this is a part that they supply with the kit. I have not heard anything back from them as yet. I just want to thank Robin for his support and let folks know the extent that a quality manufacturer will go to, to keep a customer.
Artur Piotrowski
Burlington, Ct

Boat Name: Spirit

Model/Year: C22 1986

Hull No. 13485

Hailing Port: Bantam, Ct
08/04/2004 7:25 PM Pacific Time

Just a short comment,
I ordered Tillerlock from a couple of months ago. For some reason it didn't work with any line.
I tried different sizes and different locations on the tiller.
After I have sent a message to the manufacturer he contacted me on the phone and then sent replacement at no cost. Thanks.

-Spirit #13485
Bayard Gross
Greenwich, CT

Boat Name: Baby Blue

Model/Year: 1981

Hull No. 9911

Hailing Port: Greenwich, CT
08/08/2005 8:04 PM Pacific Time

Well, as one picture is worth a thousand words, I can show a picture of how I set up my CD Tiller Stay at:

You'll see it scrolling down in the second picture.

Note: the grey cleat on top of the tiller has been moved forward so I can more easily release and reset the Tiller Stay when tacking. Turning blocks are now mounted in the location of the grey cleat in the picture to afford a smaller radius on the line for turning.

I've found this to be a helpful for seeing how different sail trims effect weather and lee helm.

While by itself it will hold a course for only a short period, it does reduce the fatigue of constantly holding the tiller and makes long tricks at the helm easier.

Unfortunately, I no of no way to replace the line other than getting a new unit.
Kenneth Sovie
Woburn, MA

Boat Name: Maddiesfault

Model/Year: 2001 Catalina 16.5

Hull No. 628

Hailing Port: Lake Quannapowitt, Wakefield MA
10/06/2005 10:33 AM Pacific Time

This is my first message to the forum -- I stumbled onto the site looking for info on the Tiller-Stay system -- I was about to purchase one on-line for my Catalina 16.5 -- however after I read this thread I went "Duh" and slapped my forehead, rushed over to the lake and wrapped a secured bungee cord 3 times around the tiller - and presto-magic - perfection (at last in a light breeze) -- I then took the suggestion of trying to steer it by weight only and I managed to navigate a 1/2 mile long "C" shaped course around a buoy w/o touching the tiller-- couldn't tack it though --

Thanks for the info/advice -- I have my first $49 in my "22 footer account"

Another matter --the first 12” of my boat’s hull is out of the water at mooring and a little more w/ with me at the tiller – I will try and attach a picture – I had to add 2 fifty pound bags in the foredeck to get it to lie flat – it seems to sail much better. I know that this site concentrates on 22 footers but I was wondering if any could tell me if the Cat 16.5 is designed like this or it is something unique about my boat – by sailing w/ ballast do I violate any class rules?

Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller
Catalina Direct Discussion Topics / Catalina 22 Discussion Area / Hull / Keel / Rudder / Tiller / Tiller stay