Re: how's it handle

Posted by LeeG on May 2, 2007

I think my set-up might be more complicated than what I've seen on the NZ websites but it works. Seaward kayaks uses the Yakima rails for their pivoting rudder controls so maybe that's even easier. Then again there's a brand called Sea Dawg as well as the Smart Track rails that CLC sells.

First off you need at least 2" between the existing Yakima footbraces and the underside of the deck, if you don't have that much room it makes the toe plate kind of small and the control kind of twitchy.

Cut a piece of ply to fit over the footbrace and about 1/8" below the bottom of the deck. Somewhere around 3"x5". Cut the ply at the top edge of the footbrace. Attach ply to footbrace with ss hinge connecting the two pieces. 6mm or glassed 4mm. Just 4mm isn't strong enough.

Attach bungie between top of hinged toe plate and bottom of footbrace so as to pull the toe plate forward hard.

So now you have a yakima footbrace with a hinged piece of plywood attached to it with a mess of #8ss screws with pan heads and lock nuts and plastic cable clamps holding bungies.

Terminate the ss rudder cable near the hip plates with an eyelet(thimble?). Now this is where the adjustabilty comes in, the connecting line between the top of the toe plate and the eyelet behind the hip plates is a length of 1/8" hollow braid Vectran. It's super light and super strong but the neat thing about it is that it's very easy to make a constrictor eyesplice (with splicing fid) so that you can lengthen or shorten the size of the loop at the end of the line simply by holding/pulling the outside/inside line. It's like a chinese finger toy.

You put the foot braces where you like then adjust the line to put the toe plates at the angle you like. It's a two handed operation that is pretty much done at the beach. Now that I think about it the other systems sound more convenient. I set up a friends CD Extreme with this and he paddles a LOT and the kayak was used by a strong fellow in a race and no one complained. The 1/8" vectran eyesplice didn't slip.

In retrospect the continuous loop style with the Smart track or NZ style ones sound less complicated but if you've got Yakimas and the clearance above the foot rail it works.

For anyone who has a push/pull system using adustable straps (like some older Necky push/pull footbraces) it's at least worthwhile replacing the webbing with the 1/8" vectran. The stuff is as strong as the 1/16" ss wire and has NO stretch.

I did it because I had a kayak with yakima footbraces, starting from scratch and $110 the production ones look more user friendly.

In Response to: Re: how's it handle by Devon Horning on May 1, 2007


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