Smartrack Rudder Removal

My kayak came with both a skeg and a rudder. I’m not using the rudder and will be removing it. The question I have is what to do with the control lines. I’d like to leave them in place in the event that I change my mind and re-install the rudder. What should I do to secure the lines where they exit the boat?

I had a screw at the hinge point that I fastened the wires to.

Just to clarify I am removing the complete rudder assembly. There will be nothing left , only the control lines. What should I do with them?


Depending on the routing of your cables, my first choice would be to pull the excess lines inside the rear storage compartment. I would then coil the cable tightly to avoid kinks, then secure the coils with zip ties. Tie them out of the way if you can find something to attach them to.

Second choice would be to do as above except on the deck, then attach the coils to a deck line in the most unobtrusive place possible.

Update: I removed the rudder assembly. I will be leaving the lines on the exterior of the boat as it would be a PITA to have to rout them back if I ever changed my mind or if I wanted to sell my kayak. The tension on the lines determines the footbrace angle,so I have to secure the lines with the correct amount of tension to keep my feet happy. That is my next hurdle.

Now you need more than storage you need an anchor point.

Use two cable clamps, the two nut kind, in stainless.

Sit in the boat and have a friend pull the cables together and put the clamps on them, otherwise it will take all day, and fall is coming for most of you.

Where will cables rest? You don’t want to have a sawing action. Is there one or two cables on Smart Trac?

I have two lines with eyelets at the stearn. I think I am going to attach them together with fishing line and snaphooks and route it around the back of the boat. Then I will cover it over with tape. I believe the tape should be enough to hold the line in place.

Your foot peddles will still move, and the eyelets (tied together) will move back and forth as if they are steering the rudder. It would be better to attach each eyelet to the stern individually. Perhaps you could put a stainless steel bolt or clevis pin in the hole that the rudder pivoted in, and then secure each eyelet to the bolt.

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Thanks Wolf; Good point they will indeed move. Never crossed my mind!

I thought Smartrack pedals were fixed with just a toe kick for actuating the rudder. That would leave the cables (or strings) as just tag ends. The pedals shouldn’t move.

A piece of radiator hose or such would hold up better, and leave less mess to clean up, than electrical tape.

You may still hit the toe part…

Come to think of it, the movable pedals on the Smart Tracks are spring loaded and will retract all the way away from the toes if there is no tension on the cables. With the cables attached to the rudder, you fine-tune the neutral position of the toe pedals by adjusting the length of the cable. It’s unlikely your toes would touch the toe pedals with loose cables.

my peddles are one piece moulded plastic with a mounting point approx. in the middle of the peddle. This results in the whole peddle pivotng. Nothing is spring loaded

Spring in rudder I think.

Ah, those are the Sea-Lect type. Smart Track’s own foot controls are the two-pedal type.

They are different from sea-lect but similar with tie control.