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 regardless.

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.

This 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 shiny...nah.

Yet another overly-descriptive, silly project, brought to you by Glissando.

Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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