Rudder Mounting

Really? No one out there has any idea of an outfit that will install an after market rudder system on a kayak?

Have you searched on Youtube, lots of info there. I bought a Sealect one but they included the wrong bolts in the kit so that stopped my install. They also didn’t respond to the email I sent them…

If you can’t do it yourself call your local kayak shop. I’m sure they would be happy to do it for you.

Your post leaves a lot to be desired
Where are you located ?

What is the kayak ?

What is the make of the rudder?

Jack L

local kayak shop
Most local kayak shops (not the big box folks, but the specialty paddlesports folks) will do this.

Tried it
Contacted all local kayak shops in person. None of them will install a rudder kit…any rudder kit. Of course we are a fairly small town (Sandpoint, ID).

Rudder Install
Is your kayak rudder-ready? Seems that when I checked out your boat after reading your original post, I didn’t see any reference to it having the necessary fittings, guides and so on for easily mounting a rudder.

If it is, installing it yourself is a simple task.

If the boat is not rudder-ready, the cost could escalate beyond a simple labor charge. First, the installer would have to design and fabricate a secure mounting for the rudder in the proper location and angle for smooth operation. That could be tricky, especially if there is no easy access to the inside of the stern for tightening hardware, making sure to route the cables can’t get fouled, etc.

The easy parts would be to run the cables through any bulkheads or sidewalls and install the foot rails at the correct height and location for you.

The total price for all this may be more than the original price of your boat. They’d also be obligated to warrant their work to some extent.

For a one-off project like this on a boat that wasn’t purchased from them, a shop may decide it’s not worth taking on.

Good luck with your search.

Kayak and Rudder Kit
Hi Jackl,

The kit is from Kayak Pro Shop (Sea-Lect TruCourse Rudder Kit) and the Gudgeon is the Sea-lect Rudder Mounting Gudgeon (Universal)

And I live in Sandpoint, ID.

A challange.
Well, I have a complete kit including gudgeon that I have over $ 250.00 invested and a wife that really…really…really wants the thing installed, so I bottom line, I really need to find someone or some outfit willing to do this. Thanks.

Type of Kayak
Oh, forgot…the kayak is an Equinox 10.4 Xtreme (Canadian).

Drain plug?
Is this the boat?

If so, it looks like there’s a drain plug right where the rudder should be mounted. If that’s the case, you may be out of luck. You could consider returning the rudder kit and gluing a fixed skeg to the bottom to improve tracking, if that’s what the rudder is meant to fix. There’s no need to use a rudder to turn a boat that short, one sweep stroke will likely turn it 90 degrees.

I have the same kit you do. If your boat is the one with the drain plug in the back of it you have your work cut out for you. You will have to fab up a custom bracket to attach your mount to. Whatever you make will cover your drain plug. Personally I would probably use the plug area as the mounting point for a custom bracket to try and keep it looking clean.

Do you have anyone in town
who does custom auto body repairs? I know of a fella who lives near me who’s great at fabricating stuff.

How about a retired engineer-type who could help you out? Other paddlers that can engineer something?

Picture of kayak
Hi carldelo,

This is my Equinox 10.4.

Two things:

– Last Updated: May-12-15 4:12 PM EST –

I'm a big fan of building things for a specific need, and with that background I would say that if a special mount needs to be made, as some here are saying, this would NOT be a job for a typical kayak shop. It takes practice/experience as well as tools that very few people have to put together a custom-built bracket that will fit the shape of a particular boat. A welding shop would be a better bet, but the work done there won't be cheap. Once the bracket is built, installing it, drilling holes for the cables and installing the controls is a job that a paddling shop could do. You could probably do it just as well, if the instructions are well written.

In thinking about Carldelo's remarks, it would be very easy for a welding shop to build a drop-down skeg (all from scratch) that attaches to the stem, leaving the top of the deck and the drain plug clear. That would avoid the problem of a permanent skeg getting hung up on stuff when in the shallows or among stumps and fallen trees.

However, the money spent having someone custom fabricate a bracket could also be spent on a few kayak lessons (if available). That boat doesn't need a rudder. Proper use of the paddle will make it track just fine, and also turn just fine, and even make it maneuver in ways that would be impossible with a rudder. As an alternative to lessons, well, I realize that not everyone finds books or videos easy to learn from, but that might be an option too. Though proper technique is the real key to making that boat behave nicely, I see that this could be a sticky situation for you if she's made up her mind that a rudder is the solution.

I know if it was me, I would …
make an aluminum bolt on bracket and improvise on the installation.

If you are not handy and don’t have any materials to work with you might be better off selling the kayak and getting one that comes with a rudder.

There are lots of them on Craigs list.

Looking at your yak, I doubt that you will find a shop that will install it.

That boat is not made for a rudder.

Jack L

I think JackL is right, putting a rudder on that kayak is a waste of time. I’d try to sell it for what was paid and pick up something else.

OK…I Relent.
I actually agree with those that feel this boat does not need a rudder. My wife thinks that it would be a better ride in the water and she would have more control. So…unless there is a willing and able person out there that would like the challenge, then it will just have to stay rudderless. Thanks all for your input everyone.

It is not that it doesn’t need a rudder
That boat and all the other little rec boats would go much straighter with a rudder.

It would just cost to much for the manufacturers to equip them with rudders

Your wife is correct!

If the two of you just want to lilly dip, the boat is fine for that.

Some day, get her a 14 foot long kayak with a rudder and you’ll have a happy paddler!

jack L

We have one.
We have a 16’ Loon Tandem w/rudder that we have cruised up to 110 river miles on the Upper Missouri Flats (Ft. Benton, MT) and have made subsequent 55 - 60 mile trips in. I think the help the rudder gives on those long trips just spoiled her.

Hey, if we love them we spoil them !
Get her a boat with a rudder.

Jack L