What Parts Does a Rudder Consist Of?
When you’re in open water, you will notice that the wind, waves and currents will try to push your kayak around, altering your path and direction. To combat this, a rudder blade is used, and it acts in many ways similar to the feathers of an arrow that allow it to fly straight.
How does a kayak rudder work?
What are the pros and cons of a rudder, and what are those of a skeg?
If you find yourself at this point where you need to get a rudder, you will undoubtedly have certain paddlers, those mentioned at the beginning, that will either try to steer you away completely from such a solution, or get you to use a skeg instead of a rudder. In order for you to be able to make the final decision on your own, here are the most important pros and cons of both rudders and skegs, and hopefully they will help you decide what works best for you. We’ll start with the rudders first.
A skeg, unlike the rudder, is a fixed blade which is found at the bottom of the hull, usually behind the cockpit. Skegs can also be deployed using a control cable and actuator, and they’re usually added to a kayak in order to compensate for poor trim or give some newer paddlers added assistance. A skilled paddler, however, can compensate for the stern being pushed sideways by deploying a skeg, because the skeg itself adds a lot of resistance to the sideways motion. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of such a system.
Aftermarket Kayak Rudder/Skeg Options
Crack Of Dawn Kayak Universal Rudder Kit
This is the most popular Universal kayak rudder kit we could find online that is repurposable to any kayak.
Hobie Kayak Rudder, Watercraft Rudder, Ocean Kayak Rudder, Advanced Elements Skeg, Seyvlor Skeg, Wilderness Systems Rudder Kit
Aftermarket Tracking Fin
Dimensions: 1.7 x 6.1 x 9 inches
Weight: .3 lbs
This skeg received 4/5 star reviews on Amazon most of the reviewers say it improves tracking however it is not detachable which is a large negative.
Dimensions: 2 x 7 x 8.5 inches
Weight: .7 lbs
This skeg received 3.5 stars on amazon. The main benefit of this skeg is that it allows you to take it off at a moments notice.
Dimensions: 2 x 7.9 x 8.5 inches
Weight: 1 lbs
This skeg received 4.5 stars which was the highest among all the skegs reviewed, although it is a larger skeg it is more durable then the others improving tracking to a large extent and alsoo having the added benefit of being removable.
Conclusion: do you want, or need one?
Instructables Make your Own Kayak Rudder Step Guide - http://www.instructables.com/id/Kayak-rudder/
Make a Kayak Rudder Paul Larsen Youtube Guide - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nsk6ydMnGrA
Written Do It Yourself Rudder Guide From Trails (No Pictures) - https://www.trails.com/how_12710_do-yourself-kayak-rudder.html