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 ūüėÄ

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.




Feet comfort

I know a lot of people like to wear their Shoes in a kayak, but I wish you would try and branch out!

If you remove your footwear and paddle in bare feet or with a¬†neoprene¬†sock on or a paddling shoe…<>prd_id=845524441894713&FOLDER<>folder_id=2534374302700471

… you will find that your feet will have a lot more room and will bind less with the seasock.

Also the seasock will last longer.

Winter paddling is too cold on the dainty feetsies?

Try using a pair of Goretex socks with some warm woolies underneath!

I know the Mec might be¬†irrelevant¬†for some…. try the REI site. They have a better selection anyway

“The skin is too damn small!!!”

Something I posted on

A quick note on our shrinking skins; this is something that happens on a regular basis due mostly to the material in the L-strip and to a small extent the hull fabric itself. When wetted and dried repeatedly the core fabric expands and contracts; when you leave you boat rolled up over the winter they will in some examples contract as much as 2″. This is a bigger problem in longer boats (K1!!) as there is more L-strip and hull length to shrink!

We don’t think this is a major problem, or one we are willing to correct. Hear me out, there are a few reasons: The solution to the “problem” is simple and our weldable fabric is bar none the best in the industry (the company who makes it for us is constantly approached by many kayak companies and asked for “Feathercraft’s fabric”, quote, unquote).


If your boat is hard to assemble/ extend, its probably not you. Fill your bathtub with water and submerse the boat over night (24 hours+). It is best to turn the skin completely inside out through the cockpit. When you pull your boat out of the water immediately assemble it (wear a swimsuit!!!). A couple hours after you have stretched the skin out, try and extend it an extra hole or two.

What we do (in short):

Turn the skin inside out,  except for the very ends.  Close sponson valves.Totally submerse the skin in a tank or bathtub full of water, overnight or for two days.

What happens:    water gets into the fabric itself,  from the inside.  The inside has less coating than the outside.  Water is able to seep in between the coating and the fabric.  The nylon fabric expands when wet.

– Assemble the boat while the skin is still wet, and extend.

Let the skin dry on the frame. This should help you guys out, hope it does.
Happy paddling all.

Help with Boat Extension

A considerable amount of force is required to extend some of our larger kayaks, maybe too much for a few of us on a bad day. Sometimes it can be a real hassle to line the extension bars up, hold them in place and then finally exert the pressure required to move that spring button.

There exists an art to the pole push, one that will save a few bonks on the forehead, a sore back or two, maybe prevent a twisted wrist and a whole lot of French will go unsaid. Welcome to the Dao of Extension.

First set something on the ground that you can kneel on; the kayak seat, for example. Get right down next to the boat, either seated or kneeling.
Make sure you are less over top the cockpit as you are beside it, and set up the extension lever bars in the correct position. Place the shoulder of your dominant hand on the top of the horizontal lever bar, this will provide the primary power to extend the boat. Your dominant hand should be pushing the horizontal bar down (pressing the pin into it’s hole), while your other hand steadies the vertical lever bar. Push forward with your upper body, leaning into your shoulder and move that keel extension piston!

See, a lot easier.

Stay tuned for more!

Gear packing tip #299-3.45 subsection 2

Was speaking with a great fellow kayaker yesterday and the subject of packing a boat for an extended (2 week +) trip came up. On such long trips, space is always at a premium! We were discussing the tips and techniques that can make the packing of a boat a lot easier and discovering space in the hull that might not have been obvious.

One important tip; deflate the boats sponsons completely before you stash your gear. This will free up a bunch of space!¬†Re-inflate¬†once all your gear has been stowed and not only will you have a smaller deck load, but the tenson of the sponsons on your gear will help hold your gear in place. Room enough for all those desserts and golf clubs (!) you’ve been forced to leave behind in the past. And yes I did take a sand wedge on a particularly sandy trip once…. ūüėÄ

Try it out!

Anyone have any other tips to share?

Rolling and Cockpit bracing bars.


Spent the weekend rolling my 2009 Khats at GGSKS.¬† Found that my knees really got sore trying to hold on to the bracing bars.¬† Moved the calf plates to the bracing bars to give the knees more support for leans and hip flicks.¬† You guys make something like the calf plate for¬†the bracing bars?¬† Would be a great piece to add to the Khats for stability during edging.¬† If not, I’ll have to create my own as the calf plates fit but slide back and forth and up/down.¬† Need the knee plates to be secure w/o movement.

Any ideas?


Proud owner of 2008 Wisper, 2009 Khatsalano


Hi there!

A few ideas on bracing bars and the Khats. We don’t actually make anything specific to cover the bracing bars, as we have yet to have much input on the comfort of the bars while rolling, but I can see an issue developing here.

A question to you before I get too crazy with foam and velcro here at the shop; is the pressure of the bar creating the discomfort or is it where the bar is contacting your leg (knee, charlie horse etc) that is causing the discomfort?

Padding the bar with a layer of foam is always an option (and easy for me to do here at the shop), a little 3/4″ foam in a packcloth case with velcro closures and wrapped around the bar (pictures to follow). But this will not ease the constant pressure the bar is¬†exerting¬†upon your leg, in ¬†which case we would need to think of something more substantial…. around the calf plate lines.

Check out the Hip fit Kit for a better fit in the cockpit¬† (halfway down the page) do you think this would help? If you have alot of room in the cockpit this might snug up your hips and take some pressure off your knees during a hip flick…………

Love some feedback!


Anyone out there have any experience with an issue related to this one? I think there is limited feedback here at FC with the new bracing bar/built-in-coming system and prolonged rolling.

Goin on a trip? Here are a few drybag tips

When stowing your gear in the boat, a few simple tips can make a lot of difference in the comfort and duration of your adventure. Here are a few quirky ones you may not of thought of.

Use the cockpit as a storage area.
The cockpit of the kayak is the largest place in the boat, both in beam and deck height. Attach some shockcord so that it runs vertically between the chine and gunwale bars. This will hold a large drybag against the frame and away from your legs.

Drybag Labels

Use some scrap fabrics to add labels to your drybags. This helps with in-camp organization and the repacking of your boat. Make a list of where certain bags went on your initial packing of the boat so that you can repeat this with ease in the feild.

Drybag size

Where at all possible, use many smaller drybags in stead of a single large one. Of course this is not always possible, but consider making 3 food bags where you would normally have one; the smaler bags are much easier to pack and will fit in the void spaces left by larger bags.


If there is an over-run of gear, you can always stash a bag or two on the deck of your boat (I always start a longer trip with a deck bag or two). The only thing to remember is that this bag must be doubled if you want it to stay dry at all!

Boat Ends

Smaller bags and fuel bottles always find themselvs tucked away into the far ends of the kayak and if you dont feel like climbing into the boat after your bag, tie a rope to the bag. This will make it much easier, and graceful, to retrieve the bag.

Sizing up a Boat

There is a lot of speculation and opinion surrounding the correct fit of Feathercrafts and the limits of body and footsize, most of the questions surround the Kahuna, Whisper, Khatsalano and K1 kayaks. People are wondering if they’ll feel comfortable or even fit some of our sleeker kayaks.

Some of the basic parameters we must consider are foot size, leg length, waist and thigh size. Two kayakers will be used as models, Dan is 6 feet and 175 lbs with a shoe sixe of 9.5, and Evan is 6 ft 4″ and 215 lbs with a shoe size if 13.

Is there room for your feet?

Foot size has to be considered when looking at a kayak; you have to have room enough to feel comfortable and be able to control the kayak. Deck height is the perameter we will look at first. Deck height was measured 105 and 115 cm from the seat back, 5 cms from the keel bar.

K1 Deck heights at both distances is 28 cms.

Wisper Deck heights; at 105cm = 27cm, at 115cm = 25cm

Kahuna Deck heights; at 105cm = 27cm, at 115cm = 25cm

Khatsalano Deck Heights; at 105cm =21cm, at 115cm = 19cm

One thing to note is that people with longer legs tend to have larger foot sizes, and hull space tends to decrease with distance from the cockpit. Another fact to note is that Feathercraft now uses a pivot foot pedal system which enables you to utilize the full deck height. The sliding foot track system was mounted on the chine bars, which meant that 4 cms of deck space was lost to bar and foot pedals. A boat using these Pivot foot pedals has considerably more foot-room than the same model with slider pedals. See the following pictures.

The new Pivot Pedals allow for better bracing as well as more foot-room.

Evan can comfortably fit every boat except the Khats, whereas Dan has no problem with any of kayaks.

Slider foot pedals. Old school.

People with a foot size larger than a Size 13 will need to change out of their shoes to go paddling; water shoes or neoprene socks allow for a lot more foot room.

Leg Length

All of out boats can be configured to fit people of varying leg-length (I see some forum debates sprining up here! Prove me wrong, I dare you :D). The slider foot pedals can be unbolted and reversed to add 10cm, and the Pivot pedals can be moved to the very ends of the foot track and still operate with full actuation (I see a need for a few measurements here, check back Monday).
There is only one kayak that has a true limit for people with longer legs; the Klondike in the doubles configuration. People over 6′ 2″ might find that their feet hit the seat in front and will have very little rudder actuation as a result. I recommend a K2 for people with very long legs.

Waist and Thigh Sizing

Perhaps the hardest to quantify and measure

……….will finish soon!………

Boat in a Bag

A few words here on how to best to pack away your kayak into the backpack; both to leave as much space as possible in the pack, and to make packing the bag as hassle-free as possible!

Ok, lets get started.

Pull the frame out of the skin and separate the frame parts into 4 piles; bow section, stern section, mid connectors/extension bars, and lever bars/coaming side arms.

Fold up the bow and stern sections and use a piece of shockcord to cinch them tight. Do the same to the loose lever bars, coaming side arms and bracing bars.

One really important part of putting away your boat is the care invested in rolling up the skin. The skin is by far the most important and expensive part of the kayak, so a little care and thought should be used when  putting it away. DO NOT fold the skin. Prolonged storage in folds can leave creases in the skin that will take a while to stretch out.

With the deck upwards, fold the ends into the cockpit.Have the red webbing straps handy for use in a moment.

Begin rolling the skin up as tight as possible from one end.

Use the two red webbing straps to cinch up the hull tight.

The frame and skin should look like this at this point, ready to pack away:

Open up the bag and place the seat into the bag against the pack-straps so that it will add a little more padding for your back. Place all the cross-ribs and hatch rims in the bag now.

Place the skin in the bag on top of the rims, hatches and seat. Place the bow frame section on one side of the skin, and the stern frame on the other. Place the remaining frame parts on top.

You should have plenty of room left in the bag for a PFD, pump and maybe a gear bag.

With boats that have longer bow and stern sections, a great idea is to protect the exposed frame with your PFD or foam. I have never experienced frame damage after a flight yet (knock on wood), perhaps due to the fact that the boats are so heavy!

Hope this helps.

Khats Foot Bracing

“Could the seasock for the Khats have straps or bungies integrated so the foot can be attached to a forward rib to keep it from bunching up?”

This question is Excellent!

If you were to attach a tab to the end of the seasock you could sew a piece of shockcord to it that could run to a forward rib and limit the amount of bunching you are experiencing by holding the seasock forward. The Khats is a Japanese compact car in terms of legroom and this has been a rather constant issue. If you have some patch-kit repair material left, simply cut out a square and sew half of it to the sea-sock and the other half to a shockcord piece. I could see sewing two tabs on the left and right sides (one each side) to the seasock actually helping a lot more than a single center tab.

Contact the office and have us mail you some shockcord and some sewing patches, or send your seasock to us and we can do the sewing for you, and then tape the stiching so your sock stays waterproof. I’m very interested to see if this works!

Another option is to look into the newer Pivot foot bracing system. Althought this doesn’t directally affect the bunching issue, it does create a more positive bracing sysyem for rolling/power strokes.

Pivot Foot BraceThis system also has less of a issue with catching the seasock after wet exit, it seems to lie flatter against the pedals without rooting around them.

The Pivot system is available for the Khats, but we would need to retrofit your frame by attaching some foot-track to the chine bars forward of the cockpit.

I know the last half of this post got a little sidetracked, but I figure Khats owners deserve a little positive bracing!