Mod to firm up/disable rudder pedals

Here’s an easy way to modify Yakima foot braces to disable a kayak rudder, and provide firm foot braces for more aggressive paddling. My kayak (Hurricane Phoenix 14) doesn’t really need a rudder, but I want to keep it handy for bad conditions, and maybe for guests or sailing in the future. I’m in the process of re-cabling the rudder, so I went ahead and provided myself this option.

1/4 inch holes were drilled in the top and bottom of each outer rail, about 1/2 inch from the end. Hitch pins are used to provide a firm stop for the inner rails.

I’ll tie a cord between the pull rings, and attach it to the boat, as well, so the rudder can be re-enabled if wind and water conditions get bad. This is a SOT, and I don’t expect this mod to be practical on a sit-in kayak. Lowe’s had these rust-able hitch pins in stock, but I’ll keep an eye out for stainless steel pins.

The only trick, here, was that there was a ridge inside the bottom rail edge, which made the drill bit want to go off-center for the bottom hole. I used a Dremmel with a cutting bit to remove a bit of the ridge, where the drill bit needed to line up for the hole.

Another modification is shown in this photo: I cut/filed the additional set of notches, in which the foot pedal is currently adjusted.

Good mod.
You can find SS pins at McMaster-Carr supply ( Not sure if you have to make a minimum order though. Maybe you also need a box of 100 SS bolts too?


West Marine
carries the same type of pin & ring combo in stainless.