Friday, December 02, 2011

Tiller extension

There are a lot of fancy tiller extensions on the market.  But none that I have seen are much more than a metre long.  To be able to steer from my favourite position on the F-22 it will have to be somewhere around 2,5 metres.

My initial plan was to use carbon fibre ski poles, and I even got a pair of telescopic poles, although only about 1,7 metres long, so some sort of extension had to be made.

Then I changed my mind.  I will try to make extensions from 15mm diameter PVC tube with unidirectional carbon outside.  The PVC is ductile but soft where as the carbon is stiff but brittle.  I hope the combination will make stiff and durable extensions.  I make them 3 metres long, and will cut them to the desired length after trying out on the boat.

PVC tube, UD carbon fibre, wide enough for two wraps around the tube, peel ply and plastic film ready for lamination.  The PVC tube is rubbed with a coarse sanding paper to make sure there is some bonding between the two parts of the construction.

All the layers wrapped around the tube and packaging tape used to get some compression in the laminate.  The tube is supported on two sides to make sure it comes out straight after curing.  It will be exciting to see if this schedule makes a stiff enough tube, of if further laminating is required.