Cajun Tiller Tamer

Here's the "Cajun Tiller Tamer". I learned it from Jerry Barrilleaux, Potter skipper extrodinaire, whose family comes from the Lousiana bayou country. It works! It's not as fancy as an autopilot, but it will allow you to leave the helm unattended for up to a minute.

It works best if you trim your sails until they can hold the course you want with the tiller nearly centered. It works best from a broad reach to a close reach. It doesn't work well close hauled or on a very deep reach or run.

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Three wraps around the tiller with a dock line tied to the aft cleats. The line is loose when pushed aft and allows you to steer manually, but gets snug when pulled forward. Note that the wraps start on the underside of the tiller. It works better that way on my boat, but yours may work better if you wrap the line over the top. Experiement!
Look Ma, No Hands! To fine tune the helm, just twist the wraps of line on the tiller until the boat hold the course you want.