DIY Rudder help; maybe

I bought a new Venture Easky 15’ kayak that was rudder ready a few weeks ago after a 20 minute paddle of the boat. I’ve only started paddling kayaks last fall after 23 years of paddling my canoe.

I’ve had it out twice now for extended paddles on the exceptional nice days we have been having this winter here in PA.

Today was pretty windy and saw how the kayak wanted to weathercock. Because of it being a new boat that I’m not familiar with yet (plus extremely cold water temps, I did not want to swim, I mean get hypothermia), I did not edge it much while paddling to see how straight I can get it to go with that technique.

I’m planning on a Chesapeake Bay crossing later this year so this got me thinking if I should get a rudder, or better yet build my own in case I need assistance while crossing that much open water.

I did some searching on line and found some ideas and videos that may work very well. If anyone has any good links you can post them here in case I missed some.

The real answers I’d like from a few different people, is how long and wide is your rudder on your boat?

factory rudder
Have you looked into just ordering a rudder from Venture? I also have a “rudder ready” Easky 15 (the LV version). That boat is so well equipped and the set-up for the rudder so nicely designed, I would expect their factory rudder kit for the model would be a cinch to install and operate smoothly.

The stainless spring return feature on the factory unit is particularly nice. I have not checked on the pricing for the kit lately. If it does not suit your budget, you could at least base your home rigged one on the dimensions of the factory unit. I think the more difficult aspect of home-built rudders is not the design of the rudder itself, but the control connections and foot pedals.

DIY Rudder Parts

– Last Updated: Feb-24-12 5:49 AM EST –

I did look at the factory rudder.
I defiantly wanted to get a rudder after my friend was telling me how nice it is when you place the paddle down and are using binocs of taking pictures to be able to travel in the direction you want. I can see myself doing lots of this.
Being that where I work, there is a metal shop, I was looking into building my own to save $$.
Found some plans and thought I should have the metal shop use the CNC punch to make my parts.
Asked the operations manager how much to punch the pieces out, and was told what I was expecting, nothing.
Brackets are 1/8" aluminum, and the supervisor of the metal shop suggested I go with 3/16" on the rudder. I gave the rudder a little taper on the leading and trailing edge. I do not know if it will make any difference going through the water or not.
So it should not be hard at all to get this attached to my boat since it's already rudder ready.
Should have this made up under $25.00.

Here are a few pictures:

That’s like a $400 rudder from anywhere
For $25 in materials and free labor you got a very nice rudder! Maybe you should be in the rudder business.

Gecko … Please share where you
found your plans for the rudder …

Correction it will cost me around $30.00… Forgot the plans cost $5.00…

Nice videos on how to make the rudder are also on the website.!kayaks-&-canoes

Thought about
getting the file from work to run on the CNC machine for the rudder and charge a small fee for them. (Of course I’d have to send $ to the original designer also for each one sold.)

I’m not sure how much it would cost to have the pieces punched out, but the programmer said most the cost would be in the drafting and programming of the parts, which would then be done.