01 August 2008

Tiller pin tale

After our very first trip on the boat, we put in an order for a longer tiller. It was absolute murder trying to shove her round with what we had and its tiddliness precluded me from sitting on the roof and steering at the same time. So a beautiful long tiller was duly fitted with just enough room to avoid me breaking my knuckles every time I wiggled it from left to right. We slotted in the kingfisher tiller pin that had come with the boat and off we toddled. But to be honest, I didn’t go a bundle on the brass bird so a couple of years later we bought a replacement, a majestic deer complete with antlers. The only trouble was, where was the connection? I wanted a pin that meant something to me and lovely though the deer was, he didn’t resonate with me. Then about three winters ago, we went up by car to Great Haywood. No idea why, we just did, and it was there that I stumbled upon a chap who made up tiller pins for boaters. I asked him if he could do a greyhound one and he said no problem, give him a few weeks and we could pick it up. He was as good as his word and it was a real belter – big, heavy and unmistakably greyhound.

It adorns the tiller with real grace and makes an excellent hook for my stern rope which I dangle unapologetically from it. I have to smile at those people who express concern that a snatched rope may hoik out the tiller pin and dunk it in the cut. Chance would be a fine thing - this pin, like every other I’ve had, has been a complete bugger to get in and out of the hole (so yes, maybe the hole’s on the small side.) It doesn’t go anywhere without a bit of force majeure and the odd dab of WD40 so I think it’s safe from a sudden immersion. I have brained myself a couple of times when after heaving and twisting the pin’s suddenly shot out, the pointy snout proving a particularly offensive weapon, nor do I advise you dropping it on a bare foot. But the boat wears it with pride, and the pin now has meaning and relevance, at least to me. We think the little brass sculpture most closely resembles Monty as he’s one of those rare commodities, a grey who can sit (it’s physically difficult for them to do it so they prefer to lie). Ranger can also sit but the last time I looked, my elegant pin dog didn’t have the remotest hint of a slightly pot-bellied Labrador.

7 comments:

Lesley and Joe K said...

POT BELLIED LABRADOR! Do you mind, we resemble that remark.
Fletcher & Floyd

DO tell, where you got the tiller pin made as our Mum would like something a bit different.
NB Caxton

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Boys, tell your mum I will leave a comment on her blog. Hope you're not missing them too much..

Anonymous said...

We'd love to know as well! We've looked all over for a greyhound tiller pin with no success. We met a boat that was selling tiller pins and we got a confusing tale of woe about how they're too expensive to source etc etc. Why this should be I don't know, he had an english bulldog pin that was virtually life-size and made with about half a ton of brass - surely a sleek greyhound would cost less to make!.
Sue, Indigo Dream

Bruce in Sanity said...

But with a great tiller pin like that, why disfigure it with your stern rope? It's a decoration, not a hook!

Cheers

Bruce

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Hey Bruce, you've got a point there! I may well have to rethink my stern rope deployment after all...

Pip said...

Hi Greygal - just found your blog - great reading. I would also love to know where you got the tiller pin as I have a friend who is looking for a dragon, but can't find one anywhere

Pip & Roger - nb Windsong (soon!)

Dogsontour by Greygal said...

Pip, that's very kind. I'll add you to my blogroll so keep posting. If you would like to email me at sarah@networkjabber.com, I'll happily pass on what details I have.