I generally like the SmartTrack rudder on my Q700, but its movement is sticky rather than smooth. The problem is in the toe pieces not the cables to the rudder, which move easily and smoothly. Anyone else have this issue?
I haven’t had the issue, but I probably
have assembled and diassembled the entire sealine rudder systems on the three different QCC’s we have more than any other person has, and my guess is you just have some salt or sand binding them up, or a strand of the cable has broken and is catching on something .
Your best bet which would be a good learning experience, if you are brave enough, is to take each side, (all 13 pieces) apart, and clean them thouroughly, then put some silicon spray on all the moving parts and reinstall them.
Start at the rudder end and remove all the goodies that hold the cable to it, (taking good note how it all will go back).
Then remove the two screws that hold the front housing to the hull.
After that you can remove the whole nine yards from the cockpit and pull the cable out with it.
Once you have it out you can take the housing apart, and clean all the parts.
When you reinstall the housing, feed the cable through it’s tube first, and then install the screw that is closest to the seat. You can then swing the housing up or down to match the screw hole nearest the bow. (don’t try to do the screw closest to the bow first or your neighbors won’t like your language)!
If you forget how any part goes back, give me a shout, and I’ll run you through it.
It is way too much to list each step here.
If you don’t want to go through all this hassle, you can rinse the front of both sides with a hose, and then try to spray some silicon spray on it after the water dries.
Hopes this helps a bit.
I know you said that you like the system, but in my estimation there are way too many parts. I keep two boxes of spare parts with me on our annual winter Florida trek and I know that in the 700 miles we paddle there that I’ll be replacing at least one cable or part.
With all due respect, i’d try the simpler solution first. Get inside with a good hose-end spray nozzle & hit every last little millimeter of the assembly. Then spray 303 Protectant instead of silicone to lubricate (silicone tends to attract gunk, 303 does not). Give it time to penetrate, try it out, and THEN think about taking it apart.
Seadog footpeg/rudder assemblies work on the same principle, fixed post with rotating pedal. IMHO they are mechanically simpler & have less tendency to gum up. Just make sure the rudder cables are long enough for your boat, they tend to be skimpy in length and you may have to splice in a few more inches.
jackl, I did not realize the system was that complex and do not think I am up to taking it apart. I will try lubrication. The stiction is not awful, just slightly annoying.
trilliuml, Why do you suggest 303 rather than silicone spray?
Rudder would not snap down smartly
I had an issue with my 3 month old Q700X rudder sticking while trying to lower it. This does not seem to be the description of your problem. I tried to clean it off and it worked fine for a few outings. I cleaned it up and sprayed 303 on it and that fixed it for a few outings. I had to get serious with it because I was paddling in rougher water and needed the rudder for control. I took the plastic key that holds the rudder out. The key was extremely tight and difficult to remove. I inspected the rudder to see if there were any wear marks and high mold areas. There was one area. I took a very sharp chisel and gently shaved the area down. I could not get the plastic key back in. I had to carefully shave and sand the key down near the head, so it fit snugly back in. I have not had a repeat of the sticky rudder problem.
Where do you get you spare rudder parts?
Back before they changed to the aluminum housings, and I had one break, QCC replaced them, and I scavenged all the parts off the old ones.
Since then Frank at Florida Bay Outfitters has ordered me cables and Hexsledge gave me a bunch of parts and pieces after he sold his and went into surf ski racing.
If you are a high mileage paddler I strongly advise keeping at least a spare cable on hand.
One other caution: If you don’t lube the little knurled knob that adjusts the position of the rudder every year or so, and it won’t turn, don’t try and do it with pliars. It will break right off the screw threads. It is made out of plastic and is another weak link in the system.
I would never have a Sealine rudder system again and if I ever get the chance am going to change mine out to a different make.
I got you covered here too Jack !!!
Sorry … could not resist … LOL.
When I got my 700
I bought a separate smartrack for my wifes boat from QCC. I found the left adjusting screw on both were too tight to adjust. I had to disassemble both and run a thread tap thru the holes before they’d work. Like Jackl said tearing them apart isn’t to bad if you keep track of what’s where…
We were so lucky
to be ordering our QCC’s when there was the option to get Feathercraft rudders and Yakima rails and pedals.
There was some doubt at the time if the Smart Trak system would continue to be available.
The older technology may have it’s own issues, but you cannot beat Feathercraft for being dependable and simple to maintain in the field.
When and if I ever get another yak…
it won’t have a smart track system.
that is for sure.
I talked to a guy at the Chatahootchee Race a few months ago who had a QCC with the Yakama system, and he was very happy with it.
The other good thing about it was the fact that the rudder came over the stern and laid on the back deck when not in use.
Having the rudder not stick up
90 degees into the air is an especially nice feature when it’s November on Cranberry Lake, NY and I have my QCC 700 thethered to a tree upside down so it won’t blow away in a 30 mph wind.
And as a 62 Y/O Oregon farm boy, my take is: Smart (sic) Trak has WAY TOO MANY moving parts!
From my response:
“Then spray 303 Protectant instead of silicone to lubricate (silicone tends to attract gunk, 303 does not).”