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ferrule and rudder upgrades

kayakwriter

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Joined
Feb 27, 2006
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1,266
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So I went for an unplanned swim this summer when the ferrule on one of my sponson arms cracked while I was under sail. The ferrule and spring button were very similar to those used to hold take-apart kayak paddles together.

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In fairness to Hobie, who built the Sidekick sponson system I adapted to my kayak, it wasn't their fault. I'd overloaded the system beyond their intended use in two ways: firstly, I added extensions to the arms. That put the sponsons further out from the hull, adding more righting moment, but also increasing the torque on the ferrules. And at the time of failure, I was sailing not only with Hobie's own sail but also with my Pacific Action sail as a foresail/jib, putting more pressure on the downwind sponson arm.

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There obviously wasn't much point in replacing the cracked ferrule with the same part - it wouldn't be any stronger. So I opted to make new ferrules out of solid oak doweling.

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Since the new dowels aren't hollow, they can't hold the V-spring buttons that snapped the originals in place. So I drilled holes to hold stainless steel clevis pins that slide down and are held in place by gravity and snugness.

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I've been sailing with the new system for several months now and it seems bomber. As I was out sailing yesterday, I was thinking about lucky I'd been to have the equipment failure in the summer, when I could hang around in the water long enough to get all my gear loaded on the boat and back to shore. At this time of year, even in my drysuit, I'd probably have had to ditch the sail to ensure my own safety. Or worse, the snap-and-swim could have happened at the WCP Spring get together - I'd never have lived that down!

The other tweak I've made is adding a bigger rudder blade, hoping to increase the boat's ability to sail to windward. I was already using the largest "double kayak" blade made for my Smart Track rudder system, so I had to adapt a larger aluminum blade made for another system. This required enlarging the centre pivot hole in the new blade, fashioning several oversized plastic washers to hold it wiggle free in a housing it was never made for, installing a fat clevis pin as a pivot, and adding a shackle for the uphaul line.

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I haven't really put the new blade through all its paces yet, but I'm very hopeful that in combo with my leeboard, I'll be able to get to windward better.
 
Very nice - look forward to seeing it in action.

BTW - you are right, you never would have lived it down at the WCP camp-out. :clap:
 
no, no, no, . . . we would have stood around and given all sorts of annoying, slightly helpful, but inane advice such as: will the wood swell?, can you put a rubber band over the top of the pin, add some area on the blade front for balance, glue a 1x1 length of skeg on the rear keel, etc etc etc.

maybe one possibility to temporarily fix future occurences would be to bring a 12" length of tubing that will fit over(would 1 1/8" od work?) any break (it could just stay on the outrigger to be really of use when necessary).

anyway, did you manage to compensate in the field?
 
mick_allen said:
add some area on the blade front for balance
Yeah, I'm aware that's the right way to do things for a sailing rudder. I don't have the tools or skills to work metal this way (if a certain woodstove crafter was still active, I'd be bribing him to help) So I'm trying the off the shelf solution for now. If it doesn't work, I might break down and make a home brew rudder out of oak slat.

mick_allen said:
maybe one possibility to temporarily fix future occurences would be to bring a 12" length of tubing that will fit over(would 1 1/8" od work?) any break (it could just stay on the outrigger to be really of use when necessary).
Interesting. That was one idea I'd considered for the permanent fix. But I like the idea of carrying a short length of tubing as a splint for on-water repairs, like a repair sleeve for tent poles. I can pre-drill it to take the clevis pin and add it to my emerg kit. Thanks.

mick_allen said:
anyway, did you manage to compensate in the field?
With some help from passing sailboats, I managed collect all the bits and get ashore (fortunately I was just out in English Bay, not doing a long crossing). There will be two versions of this story. One I'm thinking of trying to flog to Sea Kayaker magazine for their safety column. The other I'll tell 'round the fire at the WCP get-together. (There will be a two drink minimum:)
 
kayakwriter said:
(snip)... The other I'll tell 'round the fire at the WCP get-together. (There will be a two drink minimum:)

What's your poison? Put me down for the first one. You have the best stories.
 
KayDubbya said:
kayakwriter said:
(snip)... The other I'll tell 'round the fire at the WCP get-together. (There will be a two drink minimum:)
What's your poison? Put me down for the first one. You have the best stories.

Hmmm, I'd actually been thinking the two drink minimum would apply to the listeners. But I like your idea better.

I'm easy (but, not despite what you may heard, cheap). A nice micro brewery ale, a good whiskey/whisky, a tawny port...
 
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