Skerry Tiller

Greetings to All,  I am curious to know if any Skerry builders out there have incorporated a traditional tiller arrangement with tiller extension vs. the push/ pull set up? I have tried the push/ pull set up on a Skerry that a gentleman was kind enough to allow me to try out. I realize that one could adapt to this type, however, I really, really "hated" the set up. I also could see the "adapting" required to live with traditional tiller. It seems more likeable to me to have traditional tiller, with extension, and tiller tamer. Tiller tamer would seem nice to have when having to row. The ability to partially or fully lower rudder and lock it into place to buck possible currents whilst under row power would seem  a plus. Any thoughts?


5 replies:

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RE: Skerry Tiller

Hi Capnpablo,

One thing that I found a little bothersome was removing the rudder when I wanted to row. Even with the rudderblade in the "up" position, the boat would turn wherever the rudder pointed to (probably because of my trim). It's not that hard to remove and replace the rudder while underway, but it's not elegant.

Underway I find the push/pull arrangement quite nice and easy to use. I like the fact that it leaves the rear seat open to use. Even though I might not sit so far back, I could still add a bag or two back there and not worry about it getting in the way of the tiller. Ergonomically, it's also very comfortable for me to sit facing forward with my hand to the side.

Under high winds (+25 km/h) I find I don't have enough leverage on the push/pull tiller to comfortably control the Skerry. Maybe it's my construction or the weather helm in the design, but I have to really sweat to keep going straight. The thing is, if the winds are that high then I really shouldn't be out on the water anyways.

Personally, I would avoid fixing the tiller on this small and light of a boat. I like to have a hand on it at all times. 

Have fun!


RE: Skerry Tiller

Thx for your input, Jean. I suppose that I'm not really being fair to the push/ pull set up, as I only had little relative time using it. Eric was both kind and tolerant of my inexperience with this set up. He even handled the jib sheet for me. I'll just have to factor re-traing time. (old dogs/ new tricks and all).

Take Care,


RE: Skerry Tiller

At Okoumefest I loved the way the push / pull freed up the space in the rear. I could (will) adapt. I did have instances with both the Skerry & NE Dory where I had to release the tiller to grab a line or two. Not a good idea, and with the push / pull the tiller went over the side at least once on both boats. But I think the idea is one should not be releasing the tiller ;<)

A traditional tiller would be interesting. I traditional tiller with a hinge to move it out of the way would be nifty too. And if the hinge was put in such a way that the tiller could be locked in the middle for rowing...

All of these ideas are based on very little experience in these boats. It is my intention to finish my Skerry according to CLC plans and then tinker from there if need be. 

RE: Skerry Tiller

I am in agreement with you in regards to the hinged, traditional tiller. It wasn't so much the operation of the push/ pull tiller, for me. It was the cumbersome part. I too would "lose" it over the gunwales whenever I let go. It would, of course, end up trailing aft. Per the previous entry in regards to it being fixed, I primarily meant for it to be fixed whilst rowing to assist any drift or current issues (or my inept rowing!). Though for extended tacks given the optimum conditions (no puffs, etc) might be nice. I don't mean to leave unattended to go forward or the like. We'll just have to see. I also agree that I'll likely go with original design and "tinker" afterwards.


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