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Boat Maintenance Tips

Rooster Carbon Tiller Extension Repair - Accidents do happen...

By Mark Harper 25th January 2023

The Rooster Carbon Tiller Extension is a valuable assent to the dinghy sailor, being strong, light, robust  - and they do not corrode..  They have been in production with Rooster for over 20 years, and the design has evolved to make it a market leader in its field, and used by some of the legends of sailing around the world...

The current product comes in a number of lengths and 3 diameters, and is pre-fitted with a universal joint and a smart rubber Rooster end stopper.. (Rooster Rubber stopper spares are available if you loose or damage one). 

The tiller extension UJ has a simple fitting arrangement to the main tiller tube and UJ's can be changed in minutes in the event of a UJ failure.  Cutting the Rooster tiller extension to a custom length is also a simple DIY task.  An optional sleeve rubber grip can also be easily retro fitted.

Now, I will be first one to admit it, at some time in may dinghy racing career, I have broken the odd carbon tiller, either by refusing to let go of the tiller in a capsize, sitting/falling on the tiller extension, or getting it jammed in the cockpit, rigging, or the odd control line, or even in the odd crash tack or gybe, boats capsizing on the beach, the list is endless.. accidents do happen, and the most common form of failure is due to high impact and load... Carbon tube is not indestructible ....

Typical Carbon tube breakage due to high impact & load

So, can a Rooster carbon tiller be repaired using a few simple tools and have adequate strength again? 

Yes...Rooster can offer 3 repair sleeves that are matched fit to go inside your existing carbon tube.

  • A carbon repair inner tube sleeve* for a 19mm dia. Rooster tiller extension.
  • A carbon repair inner tube sleeve* for a 22mm dia. Rooster tiller extension.
  • A carbon repair inner tube sleeve* for a 25mm dia. Rooster tiller extension.

(* Available from Rooster from March 2023).

The inner sleeve is a tight fit to give structural strength and long enough to spread any potential loads on the repaired area.

Below, the new carbon fibre repair tube for a 22mm O/D Rooster Tiller:

Tools required:

A sharp hacksaw blade and hand saw.

A flat & round metal file.

Masking tape & some plastic wrap.

A hot air heat gun (cold weather only).

A 2 Part epoxy glue - such as West G/flex Thickened Epoxy Adhesive  or a 10min Rapid adhesive - both products available from Rooster.

Optional pigment (Black) - only a very amount is required.

Acetone solvent.

Disposable latex gloves. (Note: you get a pair with the West G/Flex kit product)

180 grit Aluminium Oxide paper.

Process:

First wrap masking tape around the carbon tube close to the damage area to create straight cut guide line.

Cut the damaged sections with your sharp hacksaw and check you have two straight 90 degree cuts.

Now rub down (or use a round metal file) with the 180 grit paper the inside of the carbon tiller extension tube to remove any possible release agent that used in the manufacturing process. Clean down with the acetone solvent to degrease etc both the inside and outer tube areas.

Now rub down with the 180 grit paper the outside of the carbon tiller short sleeve to a matt finish, and again degrease with the Acetone.

Now, test fit the new repair sleeve in the tiller. It should be a snug fit.

Prepare the adhesive as required, typical a two part epoxy glue, either a rapid or slow cure (G/flex Thickened Epoxy Adhesive).  Mix well. Now warm the carbon tube surfaces with the hot air gun (on a low setting) to aid curing.  You can also warm the adhesive to speed up curing times in cold temperature environments.

 

If you wish, you can add (and mix well) a very small amount of black pigment to the mix.  Now apply the mixed adhesive to the sleeve and inner tiller tube surfaces and fit the new sleeve to both ends of the tiller tube (50/50 sleeve in each tiller tube end).

Push fit the repair together and if you wish, apply a small amount of plastic film to smooth over the repair as seen below.  Allow to cure. Remove the film when cured.

Rooster has a easily applied rubber grip tubing that can be fitted to the carbon tube to give extra grip etc.  Remove the UJ (one screw) and slip on the rubber heat shrink material.  Use the heat gum to shrink the rubber grip to the tiller as required.

The finished repair...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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