Tiller controls in 17 ft range

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CanonJBL
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Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by CanonJBL »

Hi,

I am currently working on my "practice" canoe and I am looking forward to my main goal of a larger boat. I'll start with the probable program for the boat and then get to my thoughts.

The program: Eastern Idaho, so mostly lakes/reservoirs, maybe some rivers, but I don't imagine I'll try running rapids or anything too fast in it. We do get some high winds in this area, so it won't always be glassy, but it certainly won't be anything like big-water. I would like to have a ride that is comfortable and dry enough to convince my girlfriend to come along though. It will be used for casual lake-style fishing and I'd also like to troll for Kokanee out of it, so I will mount two downriggers. In a perfect world, I'd like to be able to troll with four people on board, but that will probably be the exception. I can see ferrying four people to camping spots (or whatever) as a somewhat common use-case. When being used solo or tandem, stability enough to move around (I don't want to feel captive in my seat, like a canoe).

Layout: I imagine your typical center console layout, minus the center console. So forward lockers/bench and rear lockers/bench with an open floor plan in between that can be arranged as need for the day's use. Folding deck chairs, cooler, etc. Not a truly wide-open boat, but not a center console.

Engine: Looking at the project right now, I can imagine finishing the boat and not wanting to lay out the cash for a new 70 HP outboard right away. One of the appeals of a tiller control layout, is that I can find a "good enough" (read: cheap) used outboard and strap that to the boat while I save-up for the real powerhouse. I get the sense that swapping outboards on a center console is much more expensive and time-consuming with all of the remote control lines having to be re-bought and re-ran depending on the engine models. I am not really concerned with speed, coming from the kayak/canoe world. So, if I ran the boat at very low speeds with an under-powered engine for a year or two, I don't think I would be too torn up about it.

My thoughts: It comes down to the usual suspects; FS17, OB17, OD16/18. It seems that if you finish them to the same standard, they will use similar amount of materials. I am most attracted to the hull of the OB17; it seems to have enough capacity and stability while maintaining the vee hull that I might prefer for comfort (and aesthetics). However, it is the only hull of the three that I haven't seen use tiller steering. I've read in other posts that at this size of boat, tiller controls are becoming unsuitable, but I have seen at least the OD16/18 with a tiller set-up.

My questions are: can the OB17 be arranged for tiller controls? How do the FS17 or the OD16/18 (more likely the 18) run with tiller controls? Is one preferable to the other? Is one better at low/displacement speed if I severely under-power it for a while? Is there something else I'm missing?

Oh, I was also wondering what the cockpit depth is for the standard sheer FS17 and OD16/18. I think that's the right term. Sole to gunwale depth.

This has gone on much longer than expected. I appreciate any input. Thanks.



TomW1
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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by TomW1 »

These three boats would all be excellent choices, My choice would be the OB17, the V-hull would provide a better ride on rouch water and giving you more room than the FS17. I love the OD16/18 also they are the most spacious of the three but you need to slow down sooner as the waves kick up, but they can they can tale on a heavy sea as long as you know what your doing. If you are gpomg be going solo in any of these boats you will need a tiller extension so that you sit where you sit where you have sat if the console was there.

Well good luck on your decision.

Tom
Restored Mirror Dinghy, Bought OD18 built by CL, Westlawn School of Yacht Design courses. LT US Navy 1970-1978

OneWayTraffic
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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by OneWayTraffic »

I'm building a C17 but have plans for both of those boats.

Cockpit depth:

FS17 from 16" at the back to 21-24" in the front. It curves up, so is low for most of the length.

OB17 20" at the back, and 26" at the front. More of a straight line increase.

Other differences:

Both are built with similar scantlings in terms of plywood thickness, layers of glass etc.

The OB17 has an extra centre stringer, a thicker sole (though you could use 1/2" on the FS17, nobody is stopping you), and a more constant deadrise. It's built standard with a gunwale.

The FS17 has a more progressive deadrise, lighter build (no gunwale on the plans), and will go better at the lower end of HP. It has more flare to the sides, and will go better at moderate speeds.

The OB17 has slightly more deadrise at the stern but despite that I believe the FS17 will do better in a real short steep chop. It's more pointy forward and better at slower speeds. Marginally. It's also a slightly bigger boat.

I see no reason why either boat will not work with a tiller at all.

I'd go for the OB17 for your program. Not a big deal either way, both would work.

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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by Fuzz »

The key to having any boat working as designed is keeping to the designed weight. Almost every builder here builds fat boats. We can not help adding just one more nice feature or making it a little stronger here and there. Keep them light and they will preform with short HP. Heavy and not so much.

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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by OneWayTraffic »

Some features add more weight than others. If you build the FS17 for example, I'd put a light (4-6oz) glass on the cockpit sole and on the side panels to the sheerline. This would not add a lot of weight, though you might spend some time fairing. If you add gunwales, a 70hp motor, teak deck, T-top and bling you could easily exceed the stated weight by 100% or more.

Stated weight varies. For the FS17 it's for a super simple open version. Any feature will add weight. For the OB17 it's for a CC version, and conceivably you could come in at under the stated hull weight. You'd be in a rare group if you do.

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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by CanonJBL »

As far as adding weight in the design phase, at least in theory, I don't have very many heavy things I want to add. No center console, no live well, etc. I do want to glass every exposed service and I am a novice at this, so I may add a lot of weight by over-epoxy-ing and in fairing compound. For the FS17, it is tempting to go with the gunwales (primarily for mounting down riggers) and raised sheer. At which point we may be approaching the OB17 weight. If the OB17 can handle a tiller set-up, I think that's the way I would go. I've got an idea of a Lund-style tiller/basic boat in my head, which appears to have a deeper cockpit, hence the FS17 raised sheer or OB17 with the naturally higher sheer.

I've "committed" to each one (OB17, FS17, OD18) in my head about a dozen times before changing my mind. All part of the fun, I suppose. I want a fairly basic boat which will get me in the water, but, I don't want to rush the project or skimp on materials/labor and end up with a boat that I'm less than pleased with. There is a huge time and monetary investment either way, so I may as well end up with something I'm proud of and doesn't have me wishing for a different boat right away (although maybe that's unavoidable once you have the boat-bug).

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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by cape man »

I built a very fat, very "fancy" OD18 that I love, but can't tell you how often I wish I had a wide open, tiller steering model with a working boat finish built as light as possible. The design is amazingly sea worthy and yet will run in very skinny water as well.

A Spartan OD18 with a 40HP tiller would be one bad ass boat!
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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by cracked_ribs »

Go fishing, I really like boats about that size with a tiller control.

I was out on one today just tinkering with the engine height, at the tail end of a minor storm that's been dumping rain and wind on us here. I don't have much in the way of shelter on that boat but the space available for fishing is unreal for a small boat.

Just setting her up to troll 4 rods now, actually.

Anyway, if you like the OB17, I'd say go for it. I'm sure it'd handle those requirements well.
I designed my own boat. This is the build thread:

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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by OneWayTraffic »

My 3.5m open dinghy had as much or more fishing space as some hardtops. I wouldn't use a tiller extension or anything like that just move your weight forward as much as practical. Put the battery and fuel tank forward instead.

CanonJBL
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Re: Tiller controls in 17 ft range

Post by CanonJBL »

So, I guess the question then becomes, how to adjust the OB17 plans for tiller control, if that's the path I want to take.

It seems like the FS17 and OD16/18 both have a motorwell bulkhead (the bulkhead directly forward of the transom) that is lower than the full height of the transom, and that creates a sort of bench which could be sat on while steering from the tiller. Could the OB17's motorwell bulkhead be dropped down to create a similar bench (so you basically have a straight across bulkhead like the FS17)? Would the transom need extra reinforcing to account for the reduced size of the motorwell bulkhead? Carry the gunwale/decking all the way to the transom and taper them in at the transom to create space for sitting on the bench. Obviously for tiller control, the bulkhead would at least have to be cut out to mirror the transom and allow the tiller into the cockpit.

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