fixing a rudder

howdy all,

i am curious about the possibility of fixing the rudder on my Tsunami 145. by fixing, i mean make it so that it doesn’t turn, so that it works more like a skeg than a rudder.

is this just silly to even be thinking about? i definitely enjoy the help of the rudder when trying to track in windy conditions, but i am finding the foot control to be rather difficult, primarily because i am 6’ 7" and really need every inch of leg room possible and the peddle system of the Tsunami requires shorting up the foot pegs a couple inches in order to be able to maneuver the rudder.

i have been tempted to just take the entire rudder off, but it really does help in the wind (especially when the wind is at my back) - plus, i am not entirely blown away by the tracking of this kayak so every little bit helps.

thanks in advance,

matt / portland

Maybe time for a Tempest…
You’ve found one of the arguments in the skeg vs rudder debate.

I wish!
if i had the funds for an upgrade i’d do it in a heartbeat.

*i really am not trying to start a skeg vs rudder debate, just trying to maximize room for my long legs and big feet. i promise!

I hear ya…

– Last Updated: Aug-11-09 10:50 PM EST –

I love both for different reasons.. :-)

I hope someone has a fix for you..

There are after market drop down stern mounted skegs, Pygmy sold one.

fixing rudder
It certainly can be done. The older Necky Looksha Sport had a fixed rudder/skeg that worked ok. Just have to figure out a way to hold it straight.

An alternative migh be to look at a tiller bar rudder control like the race kayaks use. Personally I hate moving pedals.

Bill H.

lock up rudder blade
Go to an electrical supply store, or a really good hardware store and get a couple of the smallest Burndy clamps that they have. These are made of bronze so no corrosion problems. a Burndy clamp is a bolt with a slot cut up through the threaded portion to form a U shape so that it will drop over a wire with no end access. It is tightened with a follower and a nut. Lay your rudder blade out to the aft, parallel to the waterline, and try to clamp it in some fashon. It might be ok to leave it in the storage slot but I think you would get a better sense of dead amidship with it layed out. Now, attach a burndy to each rudder cable as it comes through the aft bulkhead and snug them up to the wall. Check the blade alignment and tighten them down. If they do not clamp the cable thightly, shim it with a chunk of #12 electrical wire or a lead sinker wire.You could even detach the cables from the peddles, if this would allow you more extention and legroom. This would be a totally reversible solution so that when you go to sell the boat,after that upgrade, it will function properly. I guarantee you that, if there is a rudder hanging on the stern, Any prospective buyer is going to want it to turn. Hope this helps.


Hi Matt, do you have to shorten them
because they are the fore / aft sliding kind ?

You might take a look @ the Sea Dogs or SeaLines other conversions available. We make one too.

You can also fasten a piece of bunji to pull the pedals forward or do this on the rudder flanges to keep the rudder fixed …

neat ideas
on both the clamps on the wires, and the Seadog footbraces.

I think the foam bulkheads on the Tsunami might flex or at least compress enough to void the locking effect that is hoped for.

I put Seadogs into my girlfriends kayak, which she likes far more than the sliding pedals. However, they do have a good bit of ‘forward protrusion’ in front of the longest foot position, especially from the adjusters. This might result in the OP still not having enough room for his feet to be comfortably on the pegs.

If the factory pegs can be moved forward enough to allow the proper spacing for the OP, perhaps a setscrew or two in the track would lock the pegs, and allow future use of the sliding function by a new owner. The pegs might feel the same with the rudder deployed as they do with it stored, and the rudder deployed should be straight, if the lock positions are identical side-to-side.

Set Screw yes … thats why I was asking
if they were the sliding variety … set screw EZ to do with these.

use a Tsunami B/H for a footrest. you’ll push it out. Tempest F/G OK, but NOT roto/ foam B/H.

If you don’t think the Tsunami tracks well you don’t want a Tempest OR you need to get some serious paddle instruction.


thanks for the ideas
i think the Tsunami tracks great for a 14’ boat, especially in calm conditions. but once the wind kicks up, especially if the wind is at my back, it’s not easy to keep it going straight. i suspect that the raised rudder actually catches the wind and helps push the rear of the boat around… hence my problem; i either need to remove the rudder, or figure out how to fix it so that i reap it’s benefits and still have enough room for my ridiculously long legs.

i will play with fixing the rudder. my initial question was more concerning whether or not the concept of fixing the rudder was silly or not, seeing as the dynamics and placement of the rudder is different from a skeg, but it sounds like it could work so i’ll give it a shot.