Foot braces now. Rudder maybe later? Ches 17lt

I am to the point in my Ches 17lt build where I am considering what foot braces I want and possibly adding a rudder in the future. I like the aluminum braces offered by CLC but want to make sure I am setting myself up for a rudder addition later. 

Do I need to install the plastic "sliding footbrace tracks" along with the aluminum braces now or can those be fitted later when I am ready for the rudder install? Do I need them at all? What do they even do? Are the aluminum braces compatible with rudder systems? I understand some aren't. I also plan on using the no-drill mounting kit. Any concerns?

Thanks in advance for any input! I am having a great time with this build. It is my first and it's actually going better than expected!



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RE: Foot braces now. Rudder maybe later? Ches 17lt

I built a 17LT for myself and a 16LT for my wife.  Based on the 5+ years experience paddling those boats, I can tell you that neither oif them needs a rudder.  The Ches design tracks nicely but turns easily with just a bit of edging,  If you will be paddling in bigger waves, I would suggest a skeg.  The CLC skeg kit is easy enough to add later.  Stern mounted rudders are problematic in waves because they get lifted out of the water.  If you are dead set on a rudder, installing it while ypou are building the boat will be much easier.  Go with the Smart Track system because it allows you to simultaneously brace with the ball of your foot and steer with your toes.  

RE: Foot braces now. Rudder maybe later? Ches 17lt

   I built a Chesapeake 17 many years ago. I've always regretted that I installed the aluminum tracks with thickened epoxy, precluding the possibility of ever using my foot pedals from controlling a rudder. Although the boat tracks exceptionally well as designed, there have been times when I really wished I had a rudder, such as when paddling a long crossing in a crosswind. Others may prefer no rudder. I might too; I've never paddled it with one. Maybe I wouldn't like it. I'm just saying that if I was building it today I would install the rudder option.

RE: Foot braces now. Rudder maybe later? Ches 17lt

   I built the Chesapeake 17 LT nineteen years ago, and have paddled it happily without either a rudder or skeg. Only occasionally have I wished that I had a skeg. There is no need for a rudder on this boat, which turns very easily. I use the aluminum foot braces, through-bolted, and have never had a problem.

RE: Foot braces now. Rudder maybe later? Ches 17lt

   Smart track makes the rudder MarkN suggested, they also make very nice foot braces that fit the same holes. You could install the Smart Track foot braces and if you decide you want a rudder later it will be easy to swap. If you think you might want a rudder, drill the internal holes and install the clips now then it will be easier to run the lines later. Just to be clear, I am not suggesting you drill any holes in your deck right now, just inside where it will be difficult to drill later. I have a Chesapeake 16 with no ruddder and so far have not regretted it. Mike

RE: Foot braces now. Rudder maybe later? Ches 17lt

adding my voice to the chorus....

built three Chesapeake 17LTs and paddled them extensively for a lot of years in a lot of rudder or skeg needed.  as pointed out above, they track well and respond well to leaned turns.   i have also used them to introduce friends to the sport. (that's why i had three).

learning and developing good kayaking technique is a great way solve the problem you are concerned about on a Chesapeake as well as increase your enjoyment with the sport, make the boat perform, and improve your safety.

imho, the most i would add on a single kayak is a skeg (mostly for boats with a lot of rocker and rounded bilges).....rudder adds a lot of complexity and weight and is easily damaged....and if its damaged, then where are you? 




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