Chandlery April 1, 2005 Issue

The TillerMate

How many times have you wished for an additional hand on board so that you could leave the helm, if only for a moment? Nigel Charman of Bradbury Limited in the UK experienced this problem often enough that he developed what he calls the TillerMate.

As we wrote in the past (see PS April 15, 1997), the best tiller taming devices offer both locking and braking features. The Tillermate is essentially a stainless steel sheave (see photo below) that can be screwed down to clamp the control line, thus locking it in place. Precise adjustability is critical with any tiller controller, and adjusting the tension on the line by way of cam cleats is what "brakes" the motion of the tiller in this case.

Though pricey ($94.34, plus VAT), this device mounts easily on most tillers, and the accompanying installation kit ($35.77) is a simple set of fair leads and cam cleats with stainless steel fasteners.

The Tillermate is well engineered and sturdily built of hard plastic and stainless steel. If the control lines are properly mounted, they can be easily released at at moment's notice, which is crucial with these devices.

Contact - Tillermate, 44 1 258 863 405, www.tillermate.com.

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