A Stitch In Time … Saves The Varnish

I’m sure as UNA ages her owner will favor more paint over varnish, but for now, he can’t “let her go”. One area of constant wear on the finish has been between the tiller extension and gunwale. Though the extension has a pronounced “hump” to clear the gunwale and smooth edges, it has regularly sawed off the rail’s finish. Just over an hour’s worth of work and $7 of scrap leather hopefully fixes the problem. For oar leathers, diamond hole chisels were purchased. Reused here, a long 30″ strip of suede was punched to be sewn onto the tiller.

chisel and scrap demo.

The strip width is 1/8″ shy of wrapping around the tiller. This allows one to draw the leather tight around the stick. Once punched, the leather was soaked in warm water for 10 minutes. Then the strip was dabbed dry and stitched with a double strand of waxed twine onto the tiller. Initially the stitches were on top of the stick. I moved them to the side before the leather dried too much. Looks better I think.

tiller extension with leather
close up

This should solve that problem. Now on to solving the slick floors with some anti-skid.

6 thoughts on “A Stitch In Time … Saves The Varnish

  1. Dave Reynolds

    I saw the Off Center Harbor father-daughter video, very nice boat. I really like the tiller extension… how did you build the curve into it? Are there plans available?

    1. Hey Dave,
      My daughter is special. Thanks.

      The curve was put in after getting tired of fetching the tiller from the drink. There may be a photo of the set up here. I simply sliced the tiller’s length in half and regaled over a temporary frame. UNA is really a wonderful boat (and I keep studying them). Haven’t found better to do what we do with these boats. Love the rig and the sweet double ends. Iain Oughtred has plans, that is what you are asking. Good luck-

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