Q700X rudder response

Paddled my 700 in 20kts of wind on the ocean with low swell and many white caps. To test the rudder I got parallel to the wind, then tried to turn up wind using the rudder. The boat responded very sluggishly to the rudder. When I lifted the rudder I was easily able to turn the boat up wind.

I think it true in general that a rudder anchors the stern and hinders an up wind turn.

Generally a rudder isn’t meant to steer a kayak, it’s meant to keep it going in a straight line. It should be thought of much like a steerable skeg rather than a rudder.

Bill H.

You might want to pass this along
to all the thousands of racers that pass the rudderless boats on bouy turns so they can have a good laugh !

Jack L

never had a problem with mine
Rudders are for steering. If they weren’t they wouldn’t move side to side.

Adding too much rudder too quickly can dissipate your forward speed making the rudder ineffective. Try easing the rudder in while keeping speed up.

How are the bones; bud ???
Jack L

Depends on the boat
The rudder does not help turn my Solstice GTS as far as I can tell. In fact it seems to turn just as fast with edging and sweeping alone. So for this boat I only use the rudder to balance the boat direction when I have wind from one side.

For my Tarpon 160 the rudder is essential. I cannot believe I waited so long to get one. But because of the rudder on the Solstice I didn’t know how much it would help. It is great for turning and for tracking.

So how much a rudder helps depends greatly on the boat design as far as I can tell.

The second generation QCC700 has the seat 8 inches behind the center, the third generation has it 5 inches behind, so the bow gets blown around easily. When you put the rudder up, the wind blows it around, so the boat turns upwind.

race boats and touring boats
There is a slight difference between a racing kayak and a touring boat. Yes you use a rudder to turn a race boat, no you don’t use a rudder to turn a touring boat, or you shouldn’t. Learn how to paddle.

Bill H.

I do know how to paddle
but I have found that corrective strokes, edging and all the other stuff you do to turn a kayak is a waste of time and energy. If I want to turn, I can simply turn the rudder while applying forward power, and the boat turns. I have several first place finishes in touring class in my QCC. Believe me, if it were better to use conventional means of turning the boat I would. However I have found that with the rudder up the corrections/turning robs too much from my forward speed.

Given my experience with ruddered boats in racing and touring, I can’t understand the logic behind “rudders aren’t for turning”

If the boat covers distance faster, and turns faster when using the rudder for steering, then wouldn’t the rudder be better used for steering?

I suspect the idea that “rudders are not for turning” was likely propagated by some pretentious snob in a Brit boat that felt they detracted from some ethereal notions said snob had about the sport. Sorry, I am not buying it. The evidence shows that if turning is not what they are intended for, they certainly work very well for that.

I disagree
I am on my second one, and I see no difference in how it acts between my old one in the wind.

I believe it is the paddler and not the boat, if someone is having trouble with it in the wind.

jack L

rudder can only turn your boat
when there is a speed differential between your boat and the water. For a really sharp turn there is too much speed loss for a rudder to turn the boat, also because a rudder mainly has an effect on the stern, not on the bow.

In my o.p., I was describing a turn from broadside to upwind in 20 kts, but no swell or waves to use to help turning. Three of the ruddered boats I have had (Glider, Solstice GTS, and now Q700) were all easier to turn into a strong wind if the rudder was retracted. I still think the difference is that the rudder anchors the stern in the water, allowing the bow to blow down. The wind effect on the rudder in the air is less significant than the effect of the rudder in the water.

I have also paddled non-rudder boats that are exceedingly difficult to turn into a strong wind. Nevertheless, a rudder makes such a turn more difficult in general.

I generally use my rudder for steering. But the situation I am describing is not a steering one. For instance, you are going down weather in strong wind and need to quickly turn directly back to help someone behind you. This can be done faster by lifting the rudder than by making a wide slow rudder turn.

A little better each day, but a ways to go…

Good -hang in there !
jack L

Wind and anchors

– Last Updated: Aug-21-10 10:19 AM EST –

It really doesn't matter what the anchor is - rudder, skeg or an unevenly loaded boat. In wind, anything that makes one end of the boat less maneuverable makes it easier for the wind to turn the other end. How much easier depends on the diff between the anchored end and the free end in terms of its ability to skid across or thru the water. That can be affected by the amount of anchor as well as the hull design.

If I pull up the skeg on the Explorer (or the Vela) in higher winds, I automatically turn into the wind. If I am a sailboat attached to a fixed mooring, I'll be turned fully into the wind.

I am not sure why this thread has focused so heavily on rudders versus the general effect, except as an opportunity to debate about the proper use of a rudder... :-)

"I am not sure why this thread has focused so heavily on rudders versus the general effect, except as an opportunity to debate about the proper use of a rudder…"

It was not obvious to me that for a quick 180, from down to up wind, lifting the rudder would enable a faster and tighter tighter turn.