In July 2014 whilst cruising the North coast of Morocco, we noticed stress cracks developing in the tiller strap; the metal sleeve that connects the wooden tiller to the top of the rudder stock.
As we were leaving Morocco for the Balearic Islands, we though it would be wise to repair the element, so we set out in search of someone that could competently weld stainless steel.
There was a shipyard in Saidia, one of the largest and most modern Marinas in Morocco but sadly they did not have anyone on-site that could perform the repair. However, someone knew someone that did stainless steel work for the fishing fleet along the coast, so we sent away our tiller strap. We gave strict instructions that this was for a classic sailing boat and therefore the repair must be cosmetically reasonable.
Well the tiller strap came back with a strong reinforcements on both sides, however, the cosmetic nature of the repair was, shall we say, "challenging".
Anyway we had little choice but to live with this until the end of the summer after which we decided to get a new tiller strap made in thicker gauge steel.
We are very fortunate to have an excellent fabrication and repair facility specialising in stainless steel, near our homeport. So for a very reasonable price, we got a replacement fabricated.
We were more than happy with the replacement. It is fantastic that this expertise and professionalism still exists.
Below you can compare the old and new.
Ready for (at least) another 50-years service!