Rudder retro made easy

Retrofitting to a rudder can seem like a silly thing to do on your own (putting a hole in your boat seems sacrilegious right!!?!?!), but its not all that difficult.

Follow along:

You will need

-Hammer, 5/32 punch, rod of metal 1/8″ thick (screwdriver, hex key etc), Solid piece of plastic (at least 1/2″ thick)


Mark the hole placement by seating the rudder “V” block above the stern-most deck patch, be sure to curve the deck into the “V” of the block. Mark through the holes on the block to the skin.

IMG_1578Insert the plastic block into the skin until it is beneath the holes you have just marked, if you have a stern hatch, this is easy. Make sure there is NOTHING between the deck and the plastic (Sponsons have a habit of being punched at this point!)IMG_1572IMG_1574Use the punch to make two Unholy holes in your beautiful boat. Be sure! Use only one strike, push downward on the punch so that it doesn’t skip or move, you do not want the holes to leak in the future.


Phew. One hole done! make sure the plastic covers the second hole (it has happened!) and make another hole 😀

Place the “V” block in its spot, and insert the rivets into the block through the skin, top downward. Bring the washers into the inside of the skin and hold them (one at a time!) against the skin with the rivet through the washer hole and fire the rivet. Repeat on the other side. This is a tricky step.

********need a picture of this!*********

Mark and punch holes through the cable strip where the rudder cables will come through. About 1″ from the edge and centered.

IMG_1579Return to the cockpit and insert the rudder cable sleeve into the sponson sleeve. Push until it comes out the stern end of the sleeve (this is a variable step depending upon your boat, contact me if you are having issues here). Having a stern hatch helps here again.

Push the Steel rod you have into the holes you have made in the deck. Try and slide the rod into the cable sleeve and guide it out of the deck

*********again, need a picture********

Almost done!

I will take pictures at work tomorrow for the above and next steps, but as you can see; this is not such a daunting task.




2 thoughts on “Rudder retro made easy

  1. I succeeded! A couple of tips from a non-pro. The first time I attempted this, I used the 3/16 punch as the instructions indicated for the cables. The cable sleeves are 1/4″ so I could not get them through the 3/16 hole I had made. I had to re-punch ta 1/4 ” hole at the same spot and that worked. I don’t think water will get in since the cable sleeve fits very tightly.

    Another tip: when using the leather punch on the kayak skin make sure you are on a very hard surface (my cement garage floor was best), otherwise the punch bounces back with the hammer impact and doesn’t puncture the rubberized strip and skin of the kayak. (I also got a good bruise on my hand from the rebound hammer bounce — this was on a carpeted basement floor).

    Lastly, when you “crimp the swedge” (in plain English: when you use the a vice grip to pinch the metal “swedge” attachment to the cable to fasten the cable-sisterclip-loop in place, make sure there is no cable protruding from the swedge. The cable wire should stop flush with the edge of the swedge. Any protruding, raw cable wire will scratch or cut the skin of the boat. I had to redo this because of this mistake …

    Hope it works out for you. I installed the rudder for future kayak sailing. I received my kit (1.4 sail with Genoa) … It is a beautiful sailing rig and I am very, very excited to get it out on the water!!!

    Good luck,
    Donna Drury

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s