Let's talk rudders

drlang

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Jun 29, 2008
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rudderless

My boat has no rudder. It has weather helm sometimes but if I avoid adding gear to the aft deck(windage) and trim properly, most weather helm is gone.

To say that rudders allow all energy to go to forward paddling is not true since a cocked rudder increases underwater friction. These are my observations.

My boat also has no bulkheads. It is 17 feet long and has a very smooth stability transition from initial to secondary. Can anyone guess what kind of boat I have?
 

oldsailor

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Re: rudderless

drlang said:
My boat has no rudder. ....... .....My boat also has no bulkheads. It is 17 feet long and has a very smooth stability transition from initial to secondary. Can anyone guess what kind of boat I have?
Sounds like a Mariner II to me. But without the sliding seat which would let you reduce weathercock or leecock to a minimum by simply moving the seat aft or forward as necessary.

Craig
 

DarenN

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Surrey
Re: rudderless

oldsailor said:
drlang said:
My boat has no rudder. ....... .....My boat also has no bulkheads. It is 17 feet long and has a very smooth stability transition from initial to secondary. Can anyone guess what kind of boat I have?
Sounds like a Mariner II to me. But without the sliding seat which would let you reduce weathercock or leecock to a minimum by simply moving the seat aft or forward as necessary.

Craig
is the Mariner II not 18 feet? i've always thought it was.
 

oldsailor

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Re: rudderless

DarenN said:
oldsailor said:
drlang said:
My boat has no rudder. ....... .....My boat also has no bulkheads. It is 17 feet long and has a very smooth stability transition from initial to secondary. Can anyone guess what kind of boat I have?
Sounds like a Mariner II to me. But without the sliding seat which would let you reduce weathercock or leecock to a minimum by simply moving the seat aft or forward as necessary.

Craig
is the Mariner II not 18 feet? i've always thought it was.
Ya... the Mariner II is 17'11" which is close enough to 18' for me. Must be the Mariner Max which is listed on www.marinerkayaks.com as 17' exactly.

Craig
 

steele

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I am rookie kayaker and had fun reading this thread. I built my boat with a skeg kit that fits in a slot that runs from the bottom of the hull to the top of the deck. This make leaks very unlikely and it is very easy to service and clear jams, although it does take up alot of space in the rear compartment. My boat is a real barge so the skeg helps alot in a cross wind and the space issue is minimal.

A second thought. I have been sailing long before I got into kayaking. Most sailboats have an under the hull rudder. These have to be very sturdy since any failure results not only in loss of control but can create a big hole in the hull. More than a few boats have been lost this way. Although the forces on a kayak rudder are small compared to other craft, I would be wary of any device that depends on a rudder post that could shear off or put enough force on the hull to cause the mount to fail. If it was built strudy enough to trust, it would either be heavy, or fabricated out of expensive materials. Since I do not see any titanium/carbon fiber ruders in my future, I will stick with my skeg.
 

RichardH

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I would be wary of any device that depends on a rudder post that could shear off or put enough force on the hull to cause the mount to fail. If it was built strudy enough to trust, it would either be heavy, or fabricated out of expensive materials.
The feathercraft rudder on my boat has a nylon bushing to stop the rudder from putting too much torque directly onto the post in regular use (rudder being pulled toward the bow). The only real weakness is something hitting it from the side or behind, but that probably goes for skegs as well.

This thread is great. Thanks for the insight, guys!

-Rich
 

Roy

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In answer to drlang - sounds like a Mariner XL. Would it have a dark grey deck by any chance?

00XLhull.jpg
 
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oldsailor

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steele said:
I would be wary of any device that depends on a rudder post that could shear off or put enough force on the hull to cause the mount to fail.
The relative merits of skeg versus rudder (or neither skeg nor rudder) have been debated (fought over, even) for as long as I've been around boats. Paddlers who own boats with skegs love them. Paddlers with boats that have rudders love them (but often secretly). Paddlers with neither rudders nor skegs sneer at them both.

If your boat "depends" on either a skeg or rudder for safe operation under all conditions (weather, load, paddler competence, etc.) then you might want to re-think your decision to paddle that boat. Fortunately, few kayaks are that bad.

I don't like skegs much for several reasons:

1. They often are used to correct deficiencies in hull design;
2. They often leak;
3. They often jam;
4. The control mechanism is subject to damage;
5. The skeg itself (or its rotational mechanism) can break (although rarely);
6. They create "some" drag when deployed; and,
7. They take up "some" room.

Similarly, I don't like rudders much because:

1. They often are used to correct deficiencies in hull design;
2. The rudder pedals offer a flimsy support;
3. The control mechanism (pedals, cables, etc.) can break (rare);
4. The mechanical parts are exposed to damage;
5. They interfere with some methods of re-entry;
6. When stored on the after deck they can create wind and wave issues; and,
7. They create some drag when deployed.

I think that the choice between rudder or skeg is a matter of personal preference and little technical advantage can be gained by either over the other.

However, since I like rough water studded with hard things I prefer a boat with neither skeg nor rudder. No holes in the boat to leak, nothing to jam, no excess windage, no dangly bits to get crunched, just good solid performance.

In an aside, sailboat rudders had few problems until designers separated them from the hull thereby reducing both support and protection. But since it made the boats go faster (either that or it allowed them an advantage through some rule loophole), sailors didn't much care.

Craig
 

Jurfie

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May 6, 2007
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SGIs, BC
oldsailor said:
Similarly, I don't like rudders much because:

2. The rudder pedals offer a flimsy support;
5. They interfere with some methods of re-entry;
These are the two reasons I dislike rudders.

The pedals feel sloppy and I seem to be always adjusting them (at least in the rental boats I've used), and, in addition to #5, they can interfere during wet-exits. Though GordB has still not succeeded in drowning me, during my last class I did manage to get a foot caught up in the webbing of the rudder pedals during a wet-exit. It was uneventful as I still managed to get out and get my head above water, but it did give me pause. :shock:

Obviously, the best solution to this problem would be to not wet-exit, but...well, give me time. :?

Granted, since I've decided to paddle without using a rudder, I have yet to encounter conditions that would necessitate the use of one (or a skeg, for that matter), so perhaps I'm being rosy.

But I also have no "problem" with people who prefer to use a rudder; whatever enriches your paddling experience and makes it enjoyable for you is just dandy. 8)
 

rider

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oldsailor said:
1. They often are used to correct deficiencies in hull design;
2. The rudder pedals offer a flimsy support;
3. The control mechanism (pedals, cables, etc.) can break (rare);


Craig
1 is arguable in a lot of cases, i mean all hull designs are a compromise of many factors, the tracking aid is just one of them.
2 Not with a Seaward gas pedal system,or other gas pedal style systems. Quite a few boats come with gas pedal footpegs, and you can retrofit Seaward's system into just about any boat. After a few modifications i installed their kit into my Elaho HV,works peachy. This style of a control system also reduces floppyness of webbing/cable inside the boat to get caught on.
3,yep,however most gas pedal systems aren't any more breakable than most solid footpeg systems...early Smart Track rudders being an exception,they did have a known failure history.
 

elmo

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Dec 28, 2007
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Victoria BC
The East Greenlander I'm paddling now has a drop-in dagger-board right behind the cockpit. Bit awkward to reach behind and insert it, but it's a remarkably simple system. I'm trying it out in different conditions to see what it does to the handling. Cruising Kelp beds with it down is bad :lol:

I'll keep you posted.

daniel
 

schessor

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Nov 5, 2008
Messages
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Sea Dog rudder pedals slipping

Hello,

I've only used them for a couple trips so far but my Sea Dog rudder pedals have come "unlocked" and slid forward several times. I reposition them, twist the tab down, and sometimes they stay put, other times they slide soon after.

Anyone else had the same problem? Suggested solutions? I haven't spent much time on it yet, thought I'd ask first.

Thanks,
Stephen
 

mick_allen

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May 15, 2005
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Anyone else had the same problem? Suggested solutions?
I don't think this is an uncommon complaint.

1) I think a solution worth trying is to glue a flat pce that is 1 1/2 x the size of the lever end that flips down so that the 1/2 part sticks up above the end. that way the handle is sorta locked in place and has to be slightly bent inwards to rotate up to release.​
if too locked in place just keep trimming the upper part back until it gets to the action desired.​
2) another idea might be to squirt in a small blob of polyurethane sealant into the top track area right near the closest part of the track. This will resist the release somewhat - like a bumper on the near cog. If you put too much in, just keep carving away until you get the action you desire.​
 

Dan_Millsip

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mick_allen said:
Looks like hunt and peck blade retraction.
Not necessarily. Without seeing the system up close it's impossible to tell if there is or is not a self-centering mechanism built into the design of the blade and receiver slot.

*****
 

mick_allen

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true enough - it's just guesswork. The blade or slot won't do it, but there could be a detent or something related on the rudderpost inside the yak to get position.
 

mick_allen

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Since the pantheon of rudders is being shown in this thread, here is another one:

the Hobiekayak Rudder deployed

normal.jpg



retracted:

retract.jpg


because of this rudder and it's features:
To me, the stern hung, the overstern pinhead and the overstern pinhead slider - all the regular rudders that we know and use - are on the hinge of obsolescence.

more discussion in the gear section:
http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/community/viewtopic.php?p=45089#45089
 

gnarlydog

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May 15, 2009
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BNE_Australia
my experience with Kari-tek

my experience with Kari-tek skeg-rudder system was disappointing.
As skeg it worked OK
As rudder was rather weak, in a sense that it gave very little directional correction to the kayak.
The hydraulic parts are crude (chunky and sharp) and activation was not as good as I was hoping for.
Not sold on the Kari-tek, not yet...
 

mick_allen

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great to hear from someone who's used one, thanks.

As skeg it worked OK
As rudder was rather weak, in a sense that it gave very little directional correction to the kayak.
Do you think that should be a criticism of the rudder itself or more one of it's location where the lever arm is not so great? Would not that be the case of many understern rudders?
From the side, the rudder seems to be of a large enough size so that i really wouldn't want one much larger:

karitek-rudder_side.jpg
 
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rider

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That skeg rudder system looks similar enough (but a bit bigger) to what surfskis use as standard, as far as location and blade size. Should work pretty well, but i wouldn't be comfortable having that on any extended/exposed trip. Just looks too fragile.
I have decided that Prijon got it right with their foil-shaped rudder. The blade and pivot is fairly robust, well shaped, pedals are the gas-pedal style. Only thing I'd change about their system is route the cable/webbing through a rigidly mounted tube next to your legs so your feet won't get caught during a wet exit. And bigger gauge cable would be nice, like Seaward's.
Downside to the gas-pedal style is pretty limited range unless you really step on the pedal putting your foot in pretty awkward position.
 
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