Boat modification questions

?'s for boat tinker’ers

I plan on doing some boat upgrades after Christmas which gives me plenty of planning time. I am going to do several things starting with adding a rudder. Due to the fact I semikneel\single and at other times I sit on bottom\double this boat (Bell Rob Roy) I will probably go with a simple tiller steer. The way the boat is configured it will be fairly simple to use a rope and knot or stiff shaft steer so shouldn’t be too complicated. The ability to simply go from sitting to kneeling occasionally as needed would make the boat more comfortable for me in long distance events.

Rudder questions-

Any advice regarding the end pour? I have never done one although I have a fair amount of boat repair type glassin experience. How much volume ie a 1/3 cup or so ? I read that I need a slow cure mix -can anyone recommend a brand or mix?

What filler agent in the soup? Should I do it in 3 or 4 sessions or can I whip it up, pour it in and hope it dont catch fire?

I plan on making a height adjustable seat. I sit on a cushion when I kayak paddle and by adding some sort of side braces/bulkheads I should be able to “Set in” and “take out” some sort of elevated web canoe seat by placing the seat on and affixing somehow to the said side pieces. I can then semikneel the boat with the “high” seat in place or remove and stow the seat when I sit on bottom and paddle. Of course I can install a kneeling thwart or a seat but then I lose the ability to switch back and forth. It has to be removable to work.

Height adjustable seat questions-

Is there an easier way to make a adjustable seat? Fiberglass or thermacell for the side bulkheads/braces? If fiber glass what should fabricate the part out of prior to glassing it over and in place - styrofoam, wood? On the other hand thermocell probably easier faster but will thermocell bear the weight of a plank resting on it and or how to mount it up temp to the thermocell bungie, ratchet cord where it will stay secure yet temporary? What “wt” thermocell is the stiffest?

Ok enough for now advice welcome!!

Surprised you want a rudder in your
part of the country. As your boat is light, careful not to make it much heavier with modifications. Consider what you might add to the resin for the end pour to make it lighter. For “glassing” your seat mounts, Kevlar is much lighter than glass and quite adequate for inside work. Not sure what you mean by thermocell, but if you mean minicell, as long as your seat board or whatever has a relatively wide area where it rests on the foam, the foam will not compress noticeably. You can pick up some useful floatation with foam side panels also supporting the seat. Minicell is a polyethelene so epoxy does not stick wonderfully. Consider other adhesives or maybe G-flex.

yeah the rudder is temporary
I use this boat alot and yes I hate to add a rudder. The only time I want the rudder is the MR 340. I want the rudder to help improve my line during the daytime high winds typical of this event and likewise for the all nighter nightimes I can do some steering w/o paddling during rest pauses and use the current to rest occasionally. The other 99.9% of the year I wont have it on. Which is another reason I plan on using a simple drop in pin mount stick steer ie easy install easy take off.

will a hand controled rudder be …

– Last Updated: Nov-10-09 7:41 AM EST –

...... of any use at all ??

I get the idea you intend to rudder steer the floating canoe/kayak (Rob Roy) while not paddling ... what will that do ??

Seems ruddering could only make the boat yaw at best .

Are you just intending for a current to take you along while you rudder ??

I guess you'll be able to redirect the bow to left or right , but can't see the boat propelling in the direction the bow is pointed without some form of power being applied .

A boat floating on a current is basically still in the water , very similar to just sitting still in a pond .

Seems like you might be able to keep the boat lined up straight down river though .

let me clarify
"I get the idea you intend to rudder steer the floating canoe/kayak (Rob Roy) while not paddling … what will that do"

No let me clarify as my intent is not simply “Drift” with a rudder. The MR 340 is a 340 mile race to be completed in less than 88 hours. It is the worlds longest annual nonstop paddling race. We are talking paddling basically truly nonstop thru the night thru the day thru the night thru the day thru the night thru the day you get the picture.

It is a race -the record is about 36 hours if I remember correctly (my time was not nearly that good but I made all the cutoffs and successfully finished last year)

During this race last year there were periods of high wind I need the rudder to help with this as with no reserves left lets say 50 sleepless hours into the race that wind gets to be a lil of a b@#$%h. Likewise my point about drifting is the MO flows swiftly there are times late at night where I simply had no gas to continue at brisk race pace but by simply staying in the boat and using a slower cadence single blade (as opposed to double blading all day) I can get a lil rest yet the boat is still making 3 mph or so due to the current. It is a race after all and two hours sleep on a sand bar doesnt get you as far down the river as two hours at reduced speed semi resting in the boat as you navigate thru your sleep deprived hallucinations (true) down the river.

oh , didn’t understand the 340 was …
… a race , marathon type it seems !!

Anyway , if the extra weight of the added rudder you rig up can be worth the time/distance gain , I’d think it’s a good idea then . Keeping the canoe straight while drifting down the river seems a reasonable reason to try it out I guess ,

Lashed Steerstick?
I’ve used a steerstick rudder for sailing my canoes. Generally had to raise it out of the water to paddle.

I did have some success using a bungie to lash the stick in place. That made the boat, a Swift Osprey, harder to turn so I could get more strokes per side. More skeg than rudder at that point.

I was hoping it would help that boats tendency to broach heading down wind. It did not and in fact only made it harder to recover from broaching.

It really was not worth the added weight.

Your Milage May Vary.

I’ve owned a few sea kayaks w/rudder so I am familiar with the weight and how they perform both in current and on flat water. Sounds like posters have reservations about adding the rud due to weight and performance issues and thanks for the opinions but believe the pros outweigh the cons in this circumstance.

So rather than discussing the merits of rudders was just looking for some fabrication advise…