Native Watercraft Rudder Upgrade
After my trip away to Wingan Inlet and having to do 21 point turns in the river to change direction, it was definitely time to look at upgrading the rudder on the Slayer 13.
There are a few different options for upgrading the rudder currently which are done by extending it towards the rear or by adding a completely new drop down rudder on the rear. I wanted something that could use the existing attachments reliably and simple to install. I decided to go deeper into the water to keep the torque on the steering connections minimal but I had to come up with a way that wouldn’t damage the rudder on snags.
I modeled up a kick up rudder to fit in the existing location. I needed it to be the same size as the old rudder or smaller so I can still drag the yak up the beach without damaging anything.
Over the weekend I 3d printed the prototype rudder shaft.
I cut the rudder blades out of plastic and aluminium.
I bolted everything together and headed down to flinders for a test run. I took the native for a test run with the existing rudder then shot back into shore to swap it over with the prototype.
The turning characteristics of this kayak had completely changed for the better. The handle didn’t feel tight in forwards or reverse but the turning circle had greatly improved! I had to have a flick while I was on the water and managed to bag a decent squid :)!
When beaching the yak the rudder performed better than expected and folded up nicely.
The first prototype was a success but there is alot of room for improvement. I hope to have another prototype finished this week and ready to go out for testing over the weekend. These rudders will be available shortly when we are 100% happy with the results.