Rudder pedals

JohnAbercrombie

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Hi, John
My Smart Track system just failed in two places while paddling Nuchatliz the other day in 20+ knot winds. Needless to say, I am intrigued by this Bigfoot system. How has satisfied has the kayak owner of this system been and do you know what the weight of this system is?
Hi-
I don't know the weight- a couple of pounds?? The guys at Expedition Kayaks could probably tell you.

My friend with the Telkwa really likes the Bigfoot pedals and has put a lot of miles on them.
I put a set on one of my boats recently (after adding a rudder to it), and they work well and feel OK too.
I like my DIY 'footboard' better, but the Bigfoots are very solid/rugged and 'bombproof' and the adjustments have been well thought out.
 

Kault316

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Jul 12, 2020
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Cultus Lake
Hi-
I don't know the weight- a couple of pounds?? The guys at Expedition Kayaks could probably tell you.

My friend with the Telkwa really likes the Bigfoot pedals and has put a lot of miles on them.
I put a set on one of my boats recently (after adding a rudder to it), and they work well and feel OK too.
I like my DIY 'footboard' better, but the Bigfoots are very solid/rugged and 'bombproof' and the adjustments have been well thought out.
Thanks, Sir. I'm about to pull the trigger!
 

Mac50L

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"To move the pedals (to suit different leg length or major footwear changes) involves two wingnuts at the bolts which attach to the side rails, and loosening/tightening 4 Philips machine screws which secure the footbar."

That has to be one of the worst setups I've ever seen for complication of the adjustment.

What hasn't been mentioned with a lot (most, all?) of these systems shown, are the holes for screws through the hull for side bars. I don't have any holes as everything runs on a centre track and it can be fastened to the seat or a stud glued to the bottom of the cockpit and a support block glued to the bulkhead.

As JKA says, sliding pedals are the worst. The Puffin designed in North America had them and they were exported to and then built in New Zealand.

The kayaks paddled round Australia, the Alaskan coast, Greenland, etc. had full-foot pedals with hinges at the bottom. At least Paul Caffyn knew what good rudder pedals were.
 

JKA

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"To move the pedals (to suit different leg length or major footwear changes) involves two wingnuts at the bolts which attach to the side rails, and loosening/tightening 4 Philips machine screws which secure the footbar."

That has to be one of the worst setups I've ever seen for complication of the adjustment.
A short while ago I was paddling with some friends, one of whom has a Bigfoot fitted in his kayak. At lunch he admitted that he hadn't adjusted it since his wife used his kayak, and therefore it was too tight for his leg length.

I broke out my tool kit but was thwarted! Bolts and screws and stainless fittings against aluminium; that thing wasn't a field-adjustable setup.

Just be aware, as Sandy said above, it's not easily adjustable, if that matters to you.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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I broke out my tool kit but was thwarted! Bolts and screws and stainless fittings against aluminium; that thing wasn't a field-adjustable setup.
Good point!
Using Tef-Gel or similar anti-corrosion product on those fasteners would be a good idea.


Tef-Gel is expensive but it does work. I have some from my sailboat days, and treating those threaded fasteners in the BigFoot just went on to my 'ToDo' list.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Good point!
Actually, it wasn't a 'good point' as there are no instances of stainless fasteners threading into aluminum in the BigFoot rudder pedals, as I realized when I slid the pedal assembly back into the cockpit to treat the fasteners with Tef-Gel.

I'm curious:
JKA- when you tried to adjust the pedals, did you bring the assembly back into the cockpit (which can be done without disturbing the rudder cables and straps) or did you try to adjust 'at arms length'?

DSCN4350.JPG
 

JohnAbercrombie

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More BigFoot notes....

To allow the pedal 'bar' to extend out to the rails which are attached to the tapering hull, the aluminum 'arms' are attached to the central bar with 2 machine screws on each side.
The machine screws don't thread into the aluminum. They pass through the aluminum pieces and thread into stainless backing plates.

DSCN4353.JPG


In true 'belt and suspenders' fashion, the makers provide stainless Nylock locking nuts which can be attached to the ends of the machine screws.

DSCN4354.JPG


I don't think it's necessary to tighten those locking nuts; I attach them only as 'insurance' to keep fasteners from going astray. IMO, they could be omitted entirely.

If those nuts have been tightened, it's not possible to loosen the Phillips head machine screws from the cockpit side. You will need to pull the assembly back into the cockpit and loosen the nuts which are are on the forward side of the pedal assembly.

At the rails, the stainless 'wing-style' nuts thread on to stainless machine screws, so corrosion shouldn't be a problem there either.

Still, a coating of Tef-Gel or something similar won't hurt, especially between the aluminum surfaces where the arms rest on the side rails.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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The kayaks paddled round Australia, the Alaskan coast, Greenland, etc. had full-foot pedals with hinges at the bottom. At least Paul Caffyn knew what good rudder pedals were.
Just a bit of update to your list (Has anybody paddled around Greenland??):
New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Ireland, S. America have all been circumnavigated with surfski-style pedals which are hinged closer to the ball of the foot (not the heel, where one should be delivering paddling power, not steering inputs) , and all by the same person, too....
:)
 

Mac50L

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"Has anybody paddled around Greenland??"
Not that I know of.

"New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Ireland, S. America have all been circumnavigated...all by the same person"
If you mean by the German girl, no, she only did the South Island of New Zealand.

New Zealand kayaking and circumnavigations -
Note 2012 and 2013, a kid who did the South Island in winter and then carried on with the rest of NZ. I believe she decided then that she needed a holiday so went off and did Vancouver Island for relaxation.
 

JKA

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Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
Hi John,

Actually I didn't get very far with adjusting; the owner of the kayak looked at my tools and said the job couldn't be done in the wild. He explained that to adjust it required spanners and screwdrivers and everything was very stiff from corrosion. It may have been the plates on the bar binding.

I suggested bashing reluctant parts with a rock but he said that wouldn't be happening!

Re your application of Tef-Gel, I guess that's adding a 'brace' to 'belt and suspenders'. :)
 
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