Builders' Forum Archives
Posted by LeeG on Sep 2, 2007
don't worry, whatever you put together can be re-done if you like something better. Toss out the idea that there's ONE WAY to install it. The feathercraft rudder was designed decades ago for a different kayak using a metal mounting bracket so it's somewhat of a compromise to begin with.
The other thing is that it's possible the parts bag has parts you don't need or extra parts.
Basically the rudder goes on the stern, wire housing goes through the deck to the cockpit and the wire goes between rudder and foot controls. The hardware connects those parts to the boat and the wire to the rudder and footcontrol.
If you intend on rough/expedition use I'd encourage you to consider a few alterations from the standard set-up.
Look into pivoting foot controls for the rudder. You can fabricate them using the existing Yakima rails and footbraces or purchase them from different manufacturers. Rudder control only requires a few pounds of pull on the control wires and if full of salt and sand maybe ten to fifteen pounds. By tying that rudder control to bracing that involves your entire body and range of leg strength you hide a few pound of control within a possible range involving a couple hundred pounds of force. If this is too confusing go ahead and use the sliding footbraces, people have been using them for decades although production sea kayaks are finally starting to include fixed footbrace rudder controls as is common in all racing kayak. To my mind it's like the difference between a solid axle and independent suspension in a vehicle.
The second consideration is more important. If you don't expect to use the kayak very much or expect accidents like dropping it onto it's rudder you can go ahead and drill the 3/8" hole in the stern, seal the hole and plop it in. Except that will barely give you the width of the 4mm side panels to secure the rudder spindle. For some reason the Feathercraft rudder spindle has varied in length but 2" or so seems to be common. I've seen/heard of more than one person who had the side panel crack at the spindle or the rudder rip right out in an accident. Most folks cut off about 3/4" of the stern before glassing the hull which allows the spindle hole to be mounted a bit further forward affording more "meat" to hold it in.
Misc. thoughts to confuse you,,there really isn't a RIGHT WAY to put it together.
As setup the deck mounted feathercraft rudder puts the rudder about 1 1/4" above the deck when stowed on deck. If one had a bracket the rudder would be mounted lower on the stern so the rudder blade would stow into a short rudder stop of black plastic that should be in your parts bag. The CLC kits come with a nice trapezoidal piece of teak for the rudder stop to mount on top of.
You might consider routing the cable housing through that rudder block.
Look at the two photos of the rudders on the stern of a red Ch17 and a Sport Tandem.
the red one has a red painted rudder block and the Sport Tandem has a wood one with the black plastic stop on top. The housing runs out of the rudder block on the Sport Tandem. One nice thing about that set up is that it brings the wires inboard and out of reach of hands. I find the standard method of holding the ends of the cable housing using cable clamps and silicone is kind of quick and dirty. Cable clamps work great inside the cockpit and compartments but on the exterior provide another place to scrape skin. Look at Kyles photo for another method for holding the housing.
Another method for rudder installation is to cut a notch in the stern then drop the rudder mount down so the blade can stow flat on the deck. Then on the deck your rudder stop block can be a rounded piece of wood with a v slot in the middle positioned just at the end of the rudder. This provides a somewhat more protected rudder on deck and fewer sharp edges.
In Response to: rudder/cables by theo on Aug 29, 2007