curious about rudders

Take a look at Doug Bushnell’s
West Side boats.

He controls them with a tiller bar from the front.

Like a mentioned above: It would be fairly easy to have one coming from the rear, under the seat and then you would control it with your inner thighs or legs

Jack L

Link or photo?
Jack, I have tried to find a photo of this tiller under the seat but have had no luck. Do you happen to have an image of one?

I have been toying around with adding a rudder that is removeable to my solo canoe. Not having to add a pedal system and lines is intriguing. Usually in rough water I kneel and that would render foot control useless. Lowering the seat is not an option for me it would only allow me a sitting position and I like to change positions on long trips.

I think I might have misleed you, or …
you misunderstood my posts.

In the first one above I was thinking one could be made.

In the post just above, I was referring to the West Side Boat shops kayaks, one of which we had.

The tiller bar was in front of the paddler. It had a cross piece with a cable coming from each side back to the rudder

Jack L


– Last Updated: Oct-20-15 8:02 PM EST –

There is some very good info on this subject over at Particularly if anyone is interested in a build. Thanks for the heads up booztalkin


Friend canoeing with rudder last night
Out paddling last night I encountered my friend in a Wenona Wilderness that he has equipped with a rudder. He loves it. His system seemed pretty simple, but of course the devil is in the details.

He told me he was running the same rudder system as another person, who was in a QCC kayak, so I guess that means smart track. And he said he cut his foot pedals from a $4 plastic cutting board. The foot pedals were attached to the stock wenonah foot brace bar with bungee cords. Lines extend from the foot pedals under the gunwale to aft of the paddler’s position, and then just run over the gunwale to the rudder. The rudder is mounted to a wood block custom fitted to the stern and attached with g-flex.

He said mounting the wood block was a bit of guess work. He wanted the block to be above the water line. Sounds simple until you think about loading gear in the boat, and then the water line is not were the water line was anymore. His worked out alright. If you want to talk to him, PM me and I’ll send you his contact info.

He spent a lot of time at sea with the Navy. He said he was never on a ship that didn’t have a rudder. What’s that got to do with canoeing?


I Should Say…My Paddle is my Rudder
When it comes to canoeing (especially in shallow water). Check out these rudderless canoes:

Devil is in the details
now you are talking about an ama and a completely different hull design.

Sea canoes built for tripping do benefit from a rudder to counter cross winds and cross currents and getting thrown around in clapotis

ama is a noun defined as “a Japanese diver, usually a woman, who tends underwater oyster beds used in the cultivation of pearls.” Right?

I like that last sentence
How many navy ships routinely avoid obstacles by going sideways or diagonally? How often do they spin in-place or while on the go? Any canoer who insists on steering his boat the same way as a ship at sea is completely missing the fun of what canoes are made for. Of course, maybe this guy has never paddled on rivers or in shallow water.

I guess no one has canoed on the ocean.

The choir has a definite ecological niche.

Thats OK. What you think while I canoe on the Atlantic really has no bearing on my trip.


– Last Updated: Oct-24-15 9:17 AM EST –

????????? guideboatguy I dont understand your post, its very confusing. The idea behind a rudder for my purpose is not for steering but for making small adjustments to compensate for wind and unpredictable currents on a highly engineered river. The rudder is not for steering, that is still accomplished with paddle strokes. The rudder is there to help keep the boat straight, a big plus on a 300 + mile trip.

John R

I wasn’t talking to you

– Last Updated: Oct-24-15 10:52 AM EST –

If you pay attention to the way the indent feature works here, you can see that my reply was to Boozetalkin, not to you or anything you might have said in replies here. Read his post, and in particular, his last sentence, and my post will make a lot more sense.

As for your purposes, yes I understand and have no issue with that. In fact, Verlen Kruger put rudders on his boats for that same reason. Further, correction is most efficient when applied at the rear of the boat, or even well behind the rear if it were practical to mount the rudder on an extension. That's because the more "leverage" the rudder has due to its rearward location, the less drag it provides for a given amount of "realignment force" that it applies. That sums up the reasons why rudders are more efficient than the paddle when it comes to correcting, for both one-sided paddle strokes and the effect of wind, so yes, for your purposes, a rudder will make your boat more efficient.

Happy now?

Keeping the Canoe Straight
In the past, I’ve used a small rigid (fixed in location) surfboard fin on the bottom of my surfski to keep it going straight and not break away on a wave. It is glued on directly under me or the position of maximum weight. It acts like a miniature dagger board, like I used on my catamarans.

In the above video of rudderless outrigger canoes, the hull design incorporates a sharp chine from the cockpit to the tail to help the canoe track straight.