Dinghy Outboard Motor Tiller Extension
After a short period of
use, I knew that I needed a tiller extension for the outboard on my
dinghy. With only one person aboard, the dinghy was not buoyant
enough to allow that person to sit in the stern and operate the engine;
sitting amidships was the only way to go. Plus, the tiller they install
on these small outboards is so small anyway, that an extension makes sense
The handle, including the
rubber grip, is slightly tapered, but begins at somewhat less than 1"
in diameter and grows to larger than an inch. So 1" pipe of
some sort seemed the route to take for a cheap and simple
extension--something that would be a friction-fit on the tiller for easy
installation and removal.
I couldn't find any 1"
PVC at my local store, and wit zero inclination to drive all over creation
seeking this less-than-standard size, I sought another solution. I
noticed a piece of 1" copper plumbing pipe at the same store, and had
the crazy thought that not only would it work for what I needed, but might
also be something cooler, classier, and much more unique. I bought
an 8' section for $10.00. (yikes)
With a pipe cutter, I
removed about a 3' piece of the pipe; this was a guesstimate for the
size I needed, and I can always go a bit shorter if I need to. With
that done, I used some emery paper to smooth the cut, though it was pretty
smooth to begin with.
I wanted something nicer
than the raw pipe end where I would be holding it, so I looked around and
found a plastic handle grip on an old fishing gaff that I had. It
looked like the right size, so I drilled out the rivet that was holding it
in place. Rats--slightly too small. I wasn't about to be
beaten like that, so I forced it on. With a small screwdriver, I
could stretch the open end over the end of my pipe, and then I slowly
worked it back and forth to get the handle started. I reached an
impasse, though, but to make the vinyl handle easier to slide on, I put
the whole copper pipe and handle in my refrigerator. As it chilled
(very fast--copper is indeed a good conductor), I found it easier and
easier to get the handle on, and finally it was all the way on.
is a close-up of the handle end.
When the handle was on, I polished up the
pipe with some metal cleaner. It looks really cool. I figure
it ought to get a nice patina, though, when left outside on the boat
somewhere. Either that, or I could lacquer it to keep it
Yet another overly-descriptive, silly
project, brought to you by Glissando.