The PaddleWise Discussion on Rudders

Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 19:29:48 +0200
From: Hal Christiansen 
Subject: [Paddlewise] Rudder Styles ?

I am currently shopping for my first sea kayak. Actually my first 'yak. The 
model I am considering is the VKV SeaGull "Ocean" ( There 
are two different rudder styles available.

The first is rather long and narrow. When UP it rests on the stern deck. 
The pivot point is at the top of the boat.

The second choice is more of a square. When UP it is parallel to the water 
and sticks out from the back of the boat. The pivot point is at the bottom 
of the boat.

So, I am asking for experienced opinions regarding the pros and cons of 
these two styles.

- - Hal

Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 11:34:58 -0700 From: Eric Sonett Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Rudder Styles ? Hal, If you plan to paddle with out the rudder in the water, a rudder that *locks* the foot braces when it is in the up position will give you more control and stability. I have only seen this function on rudders that fold on or in to the stern deck (they usually fold in to some sort of V, locking the lateral motion). Rudders that fold down against the deck have another advantage for those of us who prefer to minimize rudder use: by folding down, they minimize weather cocking (weather helm to sailors). Rudders that stick up in the air act as a small sail, making your kayak turn into the wind even more than it would otherwise. This advantage/disadvantage is less important for doubles as one usually finds it more efficient to use the rudder... Regarding long and narrow vs. short and fat: The length (depth) of the rudder when its in the water is also important as a shorter rudder will not be in the water as much as a longer one when the sea is rough. The technos can go on for pages about the *lift vs. drag (stall)* issues of the way surface area is distributed but if your considering a single kayak, I strongly recommend getting one that can handle a breeze without needing a rudder.. Eric
Date: Fri, 21 May 99 15:23:38 EDT From: John Fereira Subject: RE: [Paddlewise] Rudder Styles ? As an alternative a rudder system that uses fixed foot braces rather then ones that slide works well. Prijon uses this type of rudder. The foot pegs are fixed in place and use a "gas pedal" type lever on each peg to control the rudder. I personally don't care for rudders and prefer a skeg or nothing at all. - -- John Fereira
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 02:52:27 -0400 From: Andy Knapp Subject: [Paddlewise] Rudder systems Seaward Kayaks of British Columbia also has a fixed-position, "gas pedal" type of foot brace system on their kayaks. Dagger is, I believe, using this system on some of their newer designs. I also think it is available as a retrofit kit. Website: This type of foot pedal is definitely the way to go on a kayak with a rudder. I have used such a fixed-position foot brace on an old Phoenix Isere with a rudder system I cobbled together in 1981. The gas-pedal style foot braces were made by a paddling friend with access to a machine shop. It remains the easiest kayak I have for bracing, rolls, etc. in part due to the solid foot support of the fixed braces. - -Andy Knapp Minneapolis More rain coming. Hey, turn off the clouds out there on the Pacific coast!