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Fri, Aug 29, 2014
Monday, 02 August 2010 02:00

DIY Kayak Rudder

Written by  Aaron Hubert
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Adding a rudder to your kayak might seem like a daunting task, but the average Do-It-Yourself’r can do it in less than a day.  After deciding I wanted a rudder but not wanting to pay the $250 + for a kit I decided to make my own.  My friend owns a welding shop so I was able to get most of my materials at cost.  Everything was made from aluminum and stainless steel.

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I drew out a 17” x 6” rudder on my sheet of aluminum and cut it out with a jigsaw.
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The bracket was made from 1”x1/4” aluminum bar that I bent by hand with a propane torch.

 

 

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I drilled the mounting holes and smoothed the edges of all my cuts with a file.
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Primed and painted all my aluminum pieces and bolted them onto the kayak.

 

 

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Rudder top view
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Rudder turned


 

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I ran the control lines inside the yak and attached them to the foot pegs.
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I used a lock nut to bolt the rudder on so it can stay loose and move up and down.

 

 

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I attached a spring to the bottom of the rudder.
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The rudder in the water

 

I took it out to Cedar Key Sunday. I'm glad I had it, we had 15-20 mph winds almost all day. Its nice being able to go straight in a cross wind. This was a simple build that took around 3 hours to make.

Read 20882 times Last modified on Friday, 30 July 2010 14:44

Comments  

 
+1 # James Bondo 2011-06-27 00:02
How's it now? same size? What would you do different?
I have a Pelican Pursuit 12 foot that tracks hard to the right, and am about to fashion a rear "skeg" or fixed rudder to trim me straight. I am wrestling with how large, how deep, etc. I'll probably start with a ridgid license plate, mounted "portrait", and begin trimming it down until I go too far, and it becomes ineffective. Yours is the best done that I've found, by the way.
 
 
# Kalalau 2012-03-15 11:42
I had a very similar idea, but didn't have a friend with materials. Ace has shelf brackets-right angle, and built in friction ring, and the rest of the nuts and bolts. Ofcourse, just threw away an old celling fan, so got new blades at Lowes, $15. Blade makes a great rudder. Loops in the line go around my feet.
 
 
# michael houseknecht 2013-02-19 20:30
great build, I`ll let you know how it works for me. I dont want to pay in the $200 for a rudder kit. Thank you for taking the time to share this with all of us.
 

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