SmartTrack rudder question

Ok I bought a used QCC 700x kayak 2003 model. It has a sealine/SmartTrack rudder. My first kayak with rudder and really never paid much attention to other kayaks that had rudders. There is a spring in the rudder housing that after you release the line that holds the rudder up out of the water the spring pulls the rudder down into the water. My spring pulls its down but NOT straight down which is were I would think you want it to go. Straight down? So whats wrong if anything with my rudder?, needs new spring?, spring not installed correctly?

I shot a short video of what iam talking about to help explain my question, posted on youtube here

Straight down
Yes, the rudder is supposed to deploy so that it is straight down in the water. I’d guess someone installed a new spring incorrectly. I haven’t taken mine apart so I don’t have any constructive advice, sorry.

It is one of two things

– Last Updated: Feb-07-15 6:50 PM EST –

1. the spring is broken
2 the spring is incorrectly installed.
If it is number 2 it is an easy fix.
- Take the safety pin out of the shaft of the round knob
- Pull the knob away from the housing.
You'll see little studs attached to it and holes in the housing.
- Rotate the knob to the right until you feel tension on the spring and then push it back so that the studs seat in the housing.
It is a trial and error thing to get the proper tension on the spring so don't put the safety pin back till you have it set correctly.

If when you rotate the knob it just turns with out getting tension from the spring, then more than likely the spring is broken and you'll need a new spring.
If it is broken after you replace it adjust it per above

Good luck ! I have cursed that nonsense many times

Jack L

I will take it apart tomorrow. I emailed smartTrack and asked if they had a manual for there rudders. A nice pdf drawing would be something they should have.

good luck
Good luck on finding a manual. JackL is the world’s best source of Smartrack info, and has helped me on several occasions. I agree with him on the difficulties with this rudder system. However, when it is functioning properly the rudder works great on the Q700. It is a good size for the boat; firm foot braces, and easy toe control. The rudder greatly enhances the Q700 and I never paddle mine without deploying the rudder. I only paddle salt water but rinse with fresh after each outing, and have had only one cable break, and once replaced the spring you are talking about.

Good luck with the Q700. It looks clean and beautiful.

Yes it was a simple adjustment. Wish I could get some kind of manual so I wouldn’t need to ask questions here. At least a drawing would be very helpful. Now I need to order the spare parts kit so incase something fails. Now all I need is unfrozen water.

For what it is worth:
If you don’t do much paddling in salt water, don’t waste your money on the spare parts.

The only other thing that you might have to replace is if a cable breaks, and if that happens you can buy the cable by the foot at various places, and then you can buy little crimp on barrels at Lowes or Home Depot in either copper or aluminum

Inspect you cables for rust or broken strands. If they look good don’t even bother getting a spare.

If that rudder spring was not broken, why pay the big bucks for the whole kit when you’ll never need three quarters of the stuff in there.

Jack L