Kayak/canoe sail rig rudder

Hi all,

I'm building a CLC kayak/canoe sailrig for use with an aluminum Grumman paddling canoe.  With respect to the rudder, the Grumman canoe presents some questions.  I can either fabricate a metal or fiberglass rudder bracket, or (much more easily) just mount a rudder slightly offset on one of the crossbeams.  I don't know what to expect if I put a rudder NOT on the central hull (the actual canoe) but instead offset, and I wonder if anyone knows about this experiment so I can learn vicariously instead of making mistakes on my own.  Thanks!

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RE: Kayak/canoe sail rig rudder

   I think the big point to resolve is that it will be less about whether or not the rudder is offset from the centerline, and more about how far aft you are able to get the rudder.  Offset rudders have been used "forever" - thus the origin of the word starboard (taken from "steering board") attached to the right-hand side of the after portion of the vessel.  But if you want to make the boat turn (instead of push it sideways) the rudder needs to be as far aft as possible.  There is no ready thwart (crossbeam) on any Grumman design I'm aware of that is far enough aft to make a good location for an offset rudder mount arrangement.  You could design some bracket that might go across the back deck, but then why bother? Why not set the rudder on the stern centerline?

I preusme you have a rudder like this:


When I was young we used to have a Grumman with complete sail rig with exactly this rudder set-up, including the curved piece that fit on the stern.  We also had gudgeons on our square sterned Grumman, so the rig would work with either.  (Many great memories with those boats, under sail or not.)  And if your rudder does have the "T" top for steering lines, if you set it up for any offset arrangement it might need to be set so high up as to significanlty reduce the amount of rudder blade you are able to get in the water.  And then there will be issues when the boat begins to heel - you whole rudder-head assembly might want to start clipping wave tops and creating all sorts of drag on the leward side.  And on the windward side the whole blade might come out of the water.

Bottom line, I think you'll be MUCH more satisfied with a stern-mounted rudder.  I also think that any difference in level of effort to work up an installation method for the stern mount will be minimal.  My quick look online showed all kinds of random parts, pieces and whole rigs for reasonable prices.

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