I heard that Bud Taplin had 5 tillers remaining made the original W32 specs. I rushed to order one because mine started to delaminate a little bit. It arrived this week. Good thing. I looked again at the old tiller today. OMG Over the winter in New Bern it delaminated the rest of the way. Thank God I ordered that from Bud. On a boat like ours, the hull, the mast and the tiller/rudder are the three most critical of all components.
Here's the new tiller laid out on Dave's dining room table. It's a beautiful piece of work. It is made of laminated ash and mahogany.
My job this weekend is to add the decorative knotting like we had on the old tiller (See the second picture below.) Libby and I are very fond of that knotting. It is very comfortable on the hands. Considering how many hours per year we spend holding it, that's a big deal.
I've never done decorative knotting before. This style is called overhand grafting. The ends are concealed by turks head knots. I've been practicing turks heads all week. I'll photograph the final when the new tiller is installed.