reversed rudder controls

I just bought a rudder kit for my perception eclipse 17. I bought it used and it did not come with a rudder. I tried paddling it for a couple weeks without one, and it is terrible in the wind. I made a temporary strap on skeg which helped a lot, but got in the way near the beach. I would prefer a retractable skeg, and if possible my next boat will have a skeg instead of rudder, but for now a rudder seemed the way to go.

SO… I installed the rudder so that the right pedal pulls the right side of the rudder and turns the boat right. I went out and tested it and it just feels wrong to me. when I turn right I lean the boat left and paddle on the left, and my natural tendency is to push on the left pedal. So, I went home and crossed the cables. now when I push the right pedal the boat turns left, and it feels like a better setup to me.

Does any one else do this, or is there some reason I should not set up the rudder this way?

Not normal but
if it works for you, I can’t think of any reason not to.

It may not be normal
but lot’s of people do it.

It’s not normal
If this will be your only ruddered boat, then what ever floats your boat works for you, but if you will be buying more ruddered boats in the future you’ll have to change them.

Just curious, where did you cross them ?

Jack L

I crossed them under the rear deck behind the hatch, just before they come out thru the deck.

I dont really like the rudder anyway and would prefer a skeg. could have something to do with my size 14 feet. so I have no plans to buy another ruddered boat.

Good idea
I always thought that your setup is the way it should be, as it uses the normal bracing impulse to turn the rudder the correct direction. I’ve never bothered to try crossing the cables, but maybe I’ll give it a shot.

Jimi Hendrix …
… played his axe the wrong way round, too:

And he rocked!


I understand your logic, except that… if you’re pressing that hard against a rudder pedal – as you would doing a leaned turn – wouldn’t the rudder be set to its extreme, which, in most cases, would be too much?

And, if you’re using the rudder, then is there really any need to carve the turn?

On the 2nd part of the question…in some ways a rudder is just a skeg that moves.

So when you drop the rudder down you can still edge,lean, roll to your hearts content.

If you fix the rudder so it doesn’t move left or right you still have a boat that works much like one with a skeg.

We have boats with skegs ,rudders or none at all (ww boats)

Though our preference now is for a rudder we still use the skeg boats… it’s just that for packing for camping a skeg just seems like a waste of good space, but other than that we like one about as much as the other.

If you’re edging with the rudder locked, then cable crossing would have no effect.

a common practice in Australia
swapping rudder lines like you describe is a common practice in Australia and suggested to paddlers that want to transition from a ruddered boat to a skegged one and learn proper edging of the kayak (versus just pressing on pedels to make the boat turn).

If it works for you JUST DO IT :slight_smile:

crossed rudder cables
I did this and prefered it when I had a ruddered boat. I switched that out and used seadogs with the cables normal. That was better for me