How much weight does a rudder add?

Asking, as I want to add one to a Perception Shadow which weighs 56# and do they really make that much difference? I have one boat with a skeg but rarely use it unless the wind is strong.

Thanks for your input.

A couple of pounds tops
As you are comparing it with a kayak with a skeg and footpegs (I presume) then you are only looking at the weight of wire and pivot. 1-2lbs would be my guess.

Increases steadily with the amount of
weeds you snag.

I removed the rudder from my Necky Looksha Sport. Why a rudder when steering by lean and paddle is so trivially easy?

Agree with ezh2o. I had one on my Barracuda but took it off. All it did was grab wind when I didn’t need it.

I paddle all day long with out using
my rudder, but I sure love it in a strong quartering wind.

I wouldn’t own a sea kayak with out one.

Get in a strong quartering wind and you will end up wasting a lot of correction strokes with out one.

Same with racing, where they are a must.

Jack L

A rudder is just a tool to control the boat, not an indication of poor skills. Sometimes it’s really a relief to have one when the wind and waves are tossing you around or keeping you from making progress.

Onno would likely fix you up with a very well-designed, light set-up. He’d be able to give you the weight total.

I still haven’t gotten into using my rudders and skegs, but a rudder makes a big difference. I seem to have this relentless desire to improve boat control, but I would never claim that edging and directional control strokes can live up to the utility of rudder use. As Jackl points out, any use of edging compromises a solid forward stroke, as does interrupting your forward stroke with directional control measures with your paddle.

How Much does a Rudder Weigh?
I agree so strongly w/you that mentioned how much a rudder can aid in the wind. We have found ourselves caught by sudden winds, especially at tide changes. There are times when we paddle 30 strokes on one side to 5 on the other side. It is during times like these when I am ever grateful I have a rudder.

Not enough to worry about the difference
And besides wind and chop, they’re really dandy if you ever decide to rig a kayak sail. Like others above, I seldom use mine when just regular paddling and almost never in most freshwater…But they can save your bacon on the ocean.

May have to do with boat length and
with effectiveness of correction strokes.

All eight oared rowing shells have rudders, and they’re used down a windy course, not just to steer the boat to the starting blocks.

But in my single scull, I never, never felt the need for a rudder (and its drag), regardless of wind direction.

My advice for those of us in the 14’ touring category, is skip the rudder. For longer sea kayaks, though, I agree that a rudder or skeg might be essential.

My little Necky Looksha Sport was built for play maneuvers in surfy, rocky conditions. Having a rudder hanging down, and having one’s feet “tied up” managing the rudder, seems to me not consistent with the primary purpose of the boat. And I can turn it faster without the rudder.

a rudder adds
Exactly as much weight as it weighs.

apples to apples or apples to oranges
Some things sound the same but are they ?

One person’s seven foot seas is another’s light chop.

One person’s 30kt wind is another’s light and airy breeze.

Concerned about a rudder’s weight ? I’d check out my mid-section first !

I’m not so sure
If I’m in quartering seas enough to be challenging, my rudderless boat has other qualities that help it cope. All I have to do is drop my hip on the wave side. Of course, that’s with some skeg deployed.

30 strokes on one side to 5 on the other
This is a slight hi-jack to offer you a suggestion. This is not to discourage you from using a rudder or skeg for directional control. It’s just a suggestion for overall boat control improvement which will make directional control much easier.

And I know it’s very common to see someone taking multiple strokes on one side in this way. It’s a sweeping stroke on one side to try to keep the kayak on track.

The thing all of those people have in common? The sweep stroke they are using is very ineffective. The torso is not a part of it. The legs are not a part of it.

My idea of the best suggestion for a fix? Take some calm days on calm water, and play around with turning with a sweep stroke. So you’re not turning because you need to, you’re just turning for fun. Relax. Think about twisting your torso to plant the blade forward, and untwisting it while performing the sweep. Hold on to a dock, or even better, a low hanging solid branch or the like, and see what it takes to move the boat around a little bit with your twisting torso, feet and hips. Think of your hips as being light and twisty in that seat. Involve your legs. Get a feel for how when you hold onto something steady, you can turn the boat. Now seek out that same feeling with a paddle in your hand instead of a fixed object. In reality, the paddle doesn’t move much through the water once planted. So while it seems like it, it isn’t paddle motion that turns the boat. It’s the pressure your body - butt, hips, legs, feet - put on the kayak as you pull on this paddle that is, to a large degree. just fixed in the water.

Get good at this turning fun in flat, calm water, and then when you need a sweep for directional control, relax, and think about what causes the boat to turn effectively.

Practice all of your turning strokes this way. Eventually you’ll know when to choose a full traditional sweep, or maybe just a slight sweep finished with a stern draw, or any number of directional control methods.

Basically, I’m suggesting that the best way to get good at directional control while traveling isn’t to practice directional control while traveling. At least not until you have really done some good work with the mechanics of maneuvering strokes.

the boats
Jack paddles are designed to have rudders. Long, narrow, low rocker, plumb bows. Designed to go fast straight, not having a rudder would diminish these purposes.

Not all
We have an Eclipse and a Shadow which by no means have plumb bows. They both have rudders, and I remember one day in Byscane Bay where we were in 20 MPH quartering winds where I was mighty glad they had rudders

Jack L

dont have to convince me
If my boat can hold a rudder, I’m having one.