Rudder rigged 'backwards' from 'factory' ??

Discussion in 'Boat and Accessory Building' started by JohnAbercrombie, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Agreed.
    There's a LOT of spring tension when the rudder is deployed - necessary if the spring is going to flip the rudder back up on to the deck. And, not a lot of exposed deployment line to allow insertion of a shock cord section.

    But that's certainly one tactic to explore.
    If it were an old boat, the 'let's experiment' activity would be easier. With a boat that's a couple of months out from the factory, and with the co$t$ what they are today, it's difficult....
    Still, rudder swapping isn't a huge deal in my opinion, but it's not my boat! :)

    The line:"WHAT were they thinking??" does keep running through my head...on the part of SmartTrack and also the boat design/manufacture teams.
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    You also mentioned that it'd be helpful if there was blade deflection flexibility in both directions - if for example one wanted to go back or forwards with a deployed rudder in kelp: the flexible blade cartridge of the Sealect rudder will allow a little rearward movement here rather than just rigidity:
    kickback2.jpg
     
  3. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    I know this thread is 'old' now, but I just thought I'd post an update....
    My friend took his (new) Guide 17 boat back to Seaward and they 'fixed' it...
    Now he needs to turn around and use his paddle to get the rudder blade off the deck and into the water....
    Ya gotta wonder......

    I was thinking about this yesterday - I'm working on a 1991 Necky Tesla rudder boat. The two line ends from the rudder sheave are led forward, one to each side, to jam cleats. Pull one for 'up', the other for 'down'. Very KISS and seems effective. The only thing missing is a section of shock cord in the 'downhaul' line to let the rudder blade get over kelp and rocks...not a big deal to add.
    I think this is a better system than the 'loop' of cord led to only one side, as it seems difficult for paddlers to get the blade fully down into the water. I often see rudder blades 'lazing along' at a 45deg angle to the water...and a rudder just doesn't work very effectively if only 2" is in the water - when it's flat water.
     
  4. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    Basically there are 3 rudder designs that are mounted on the stern -

    270 Stow
    Daggerboard Rudder - https://canterburyseakayak.wordpress.com/daggerboard-rudder/
    Smarttrack or Vertical Stow

    The latter type I first made and used because they were "quick-and-dirty" and I fitted them to a couple of kayaks in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s I went to the Daggerboard rudder, designed in 1992 by Don Currie in New Zealand and which KajakSport re-invented a decade later and SeaLect re-invented a couple of decades later. Don built a demo rig and I build and fitted the first one to a kayak and used it on the kayak's maiden voyage. A month later Don had one at sea too and in the same area.

    KajakSport use one line to pull up and a bungy to launch. However there is one fatal design flaw which I came across a couple of days ago. Once down, the blade is locked down so if you hit something (we always do) either the blade breaks or it tears the stern off. Basically a bit of stupidity by KajakSport.

    Mine version uses a pull-down and a pull-up line. The rudder and support unit is heavy enough to keep it down and it will only kick up if it hits something.

    Why the Vertical Stow is so proudly promoted I don't know as it is the crudest design you can do.

    The Daggerboard Rudder design / concept is free to use despite what KajakSport or SeaLect might think as they were late-comers to rudder production - two manufacturers in NZ, SeaLand Kayaks (mine) and Challenge Plastics were a decade before the first of the others, KajakSport.
     
  5. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    From Tom's TopKayak Shop -
    "A SmartTrack Control System will change the way you paddle your kayak."

    No always paddled with a rudder after the first year.

    "Combining nautical science with high tech materials and design,"

    What!!! It is a crude design. Materials don't make a good design.

    "Smart Track is the revolutionary sea kayak rudder system."

    No been around for decades, probably before the writer was born.

    "It utilizes a solid ergonomic foot control"

    That's what we in the southern hemisphere use and more ergonomic than the Smarttrack version.

    "and a responsive foil-shaped blade, providing more efficiency, more precision, and more comfort."

    So a comfortable blade - Hmmm...

    "No more foot sliding of old fashion rudder controls."

    Well it was a northern hemisphere thing.

    This is what I question. It is a crude design that leaves the blade vertical when stowed. As for rudder pedals, again so far behind the rest of the world in design. We were using full foot hinged pedals back in the 1970s and 1980s while the northern hemisphere were using sliding pedals into 2000 or later and which don't allow bracing against.

    So a poorly designed rudder and the foot (toe actually) pedals are no better.
     
  6. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Sandy, I think John is talking about a 270 rotator [a pinhead]. What I don't understand if there's 2 lines is that you only pull one to deploy . . . isn't there another step to release the other.
    And so if the lines are one loop, say on a bungeed pulley [for both friction and kickback]- would that not be a simpler approach? Just imagining here - what if there were a blob on each lineside; one would be back a bit while the other was up close and vice versa, no matter the deploy or retract: just reach back for the furthest one to negate the present setting.
    idea anyway.
     
  7. a_c

    a_c Paddler

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    When I bought my Guide earlier this year I opted for the traditional (old) two-line set up. Tried, true and proven.

    The Smart Track setup looks good and is 'cleaner', as the line is routed under the deck and out of the way, but it just struck me as something that might cause problems. Even on the showroom floor the rudder didn't seem to have a lot of 'oomph' when it came back up.

    KISS, indeed.
     
  8. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    Here I think all of the kayaks have the equivalent of two lines (one for up, one for down) though their ends might be tied together or one long loop. Pull one for up. Pull the other for down.

    There was on kayak where the lines were in front of the paddler and pulled towards the paddler to action them (made it easy) one for up or the other for down. The lines were in tubes and looped round back aft to the rudder.

    If only a pull-down line, then a spring is needed for up and the down-line needs to be held in the down position, bungied or there is no shock release if something is run into. How strong a bungy to overcome the up-spring yet still allow up when hitting something? So it is obvious that two lines is the way to go. Also can you rely on a spring to last, not rust away or break? Could you replace one? How much easier to replace a piece of rope, most paddlers could do that.

    So we come back to the Not-So-Smarttrack which has a spring. My version always had two strings, up and down.
     
  9. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    The term pin-head (mentioned earlier) has always left me asking, the vertical steering pin or the horizontal stowing pin? The daggerboard type still has a horizontal pin / axle that the blade holder rotates on.

    My suggested terms for stern mounted rudders are -

    90 degree retract (some old kayaks and Kleppers)
    180 degree retract (SmartTrack and simple rudder systems)
    270 degree stow (most common type)
    90 degree sliding stow (Daggerboard rudder)

    These are, as far as I'm concerned, worst at the top, best at the bottom of the list. Note the SmartTrack is 2nd worst, there is nothing smart about it, only slightly less crude than 90 degrees.

    Under hull -
    Skeg (non-steerable usually retractable fin)
    Under rudder (fitted to racing kayaks sometimes called the Skudder if retractable)

    The foil bit mentioned is just the blade cross-section.
     
  10. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Smart Track makes rudders in several different styles.
    For instance, on my Panthera which is a rudder boat (like a surfski, it is used 100% of the time with the rudder down), the Smart Track 'Race' rudder only retracts about 120 (?) degrees - from vertical to just above horizontal, for shore landings. Spring down, single line up.
    The Smart Track rudder on my friend's Guide17 is a 'spring on to the deck,line hold-down' rudder which is a 270 degree rudder.

    It's difficult designing a rudder for boats which 'can't make up their minds' whether they need a rudder or not!
     
  11. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    This link only shows vertical retract type, 180 degree -
    http://www.smart-tracker.com/introduction.htm
    As does CLC's site. Olympic Outdoor has a good page of parts, again only 180 retract.
    So it is odd that what appears to be SmartTrack's own site doesn't show their range of products.

    The SealLine SmartTrack Rudder System is a 270 degree system and shown on TopKayaker.net site.
    http://www.sit-on-topkayaking.com/Articles/Instruction/RudderSmartTrack.html

    From their site "The nay sayers of rudders in the kayaking world have long argued rudder systems that require sliding foot braces to control the rudder sacrifice much needed energy"
    Totally wrong reason not to use a rudder as those who knew how, people like Paul Caffyn paddling round Australia and the Australians who built his rudder, all knew you used full foot hinged pedals.
    It carries on with, "They have also lamented that rudders, due in part to their primitive design, create excess drag making for a wearier paddler at the day's end." So how come Paul's daily average went up by +10% after fitting a rudder?

    He certainly didn't use sliding pedals but full foot hinged pedals and a fully retractable blade.

    So why has it taken the northern hemisphere so long to get it right? Or almost right as toe pedals and vertical retract are not right.

    Another ST here -
    http://www.starkayaks.com/shop/accessories/rudder-kit/

    "The Smart Track Hybrid Foil Rudder System is a celebration of effective engineering and simplistic design." Well no, just a standard 270 stow system - except, "And when not in use the blade will spring back up and rest neatly in the rubber v-block on your deck." it looks like a line to pull it down, lock it down and break everything if you hit a rock with the blade.

    This is contradicted by the statement, "This system uses one rudder control line and a spring coiled inside the rudder to deploy the rudder. The same line is used to retract the rudder."

    So does the line pull it up or down? If it pulls it up "will spring back up" isn't correct.
     
  12. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    It certainly can't be that we lack frequent reminders of our inferiority!!
     
    stagger likes this.
  13. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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  14. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    "It certainly can't be that we lack frequent reminders of our inferiority!!"

    Sorry but we've taken over NASA's work too and are now launching rockets for them :)

    https://www.rocketlabusa.com/

    You had a New Zealander running JPL (part of NASA) for 20 years and I had to go there to sort out some equipment. So sorry to remind you...

    Ooops, better be polite and not mention it.... :( :rolleyes:
     
  15. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Relax Sandy: this last stuff is about 270 rotators and simple methods of retract/deploy. New Zealand is great and we all know how proud you feel about it and annoyed that you don't think it gets it's due honour. And I think most/many agreed from the beginning that those old vertical stowed sealines are silly - that horse is dead here and I don't think we need to beat it again unless we're making a specific and new point. Of course they're still around but so are other silly things.
    . .
    so I wonder if it's possible to have a 270 rotator with a rod deploy/retract? The rod would probably break when the rudder was turned I guess.
     
  16. Mac50L

    Mac50L Paddler

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    "I wonder if it's possible to have a 270 rotator with a rod deploy/retract? The rod would probably break when the rudder was turned I guess."

    Interesting concept. Weight is the first thing that springs to mind. Weight of a rod versus a bit of string. A universal joint would get around the rudder turning and the rod not so that shouldn't be too much of a problem. A thin rod would need guides, feasible. It could be a carbon fibre rod for weight reduction.

    I'll need to find the back-of-an-envelope (or two), always use them for designing/drawing things on. Now what happens when we don't use paper mail any more?
     
  17. AM

    AM Paddler

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    My Tahe had a bayonet pin race rudder. Unfortunately, the sleeve that accepts the bayonet pin no longer allowed it to lock, which meant that the entire rudder housing would fall off when my boat was inverted. Not ideal. I finally removed the entire system when the plastic footplate cracked while I was pushing hard to catch a wave. I won't do SmartTrack again. Luckily, my Tahe also has a skeg, so I'm not left directionless.