Kayak Fishing Ultimate Resource

Monday, 02 August 2010 02:00

DIY Kayak Rudder

Written by Aaron Hubert
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(14 votes)

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.

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



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



Rudder top view
Rudder turned


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



I attached a spring to the bottom of the rudder.
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 48769 times Last modified on Friday, 30 July 2010 14:44


+2 # 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.
# Luci 2015-10-13 12:10
:lol: Awesome build, thanks for sharing. Great pictures and description! I'll be using some of your design and some of another design to fit what my boat needs. I just got some of the material and can't wait to start building!
# Bob C 2016-01-08 05:55
Thank you for this great design, yet easy to make. What is the thickness of the aluminum that is used for the actual rudder? I checked Home Depot and Lowes ad they only stick thin and flimsy sheets.
# Joseph Valle 2016-08-23 09:11

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