some help with WS NorthStar please

This kayak has been out 4 times this summer. First 2 times all was good-exceedingly good. This last time the youngest got in the back (its a tandem) and could not actuate the rudder.

We got out at the dam and I inspected. Rudder turns freely, cables slide freely…the footpegs are the problem-binding when you push against them…binding against the rail in which they slide.

Thought I’d get solution ideas here…and yep PM’ed our WS representative here at but no response so I figure he’s busy.

Thanks for any suggestions.

a wild guess
but it could be sand jamming up the rails.

Do they move aft at all? Or, is there no movement whatsoever?

this was covered a while back
but…sand can jam and some 303 sprayed on clean rails will help. It’s plastic on plastic and needs to be clean and lubed. (clean thoughts now!)


just got back been traveling
thanks for the responses…no sand where i live! but will try some ‘clean’ lube…it is simply torquing the foot peg against the rail…I don’t mind buying a new set of rails-any suggestions Flatpick??? I didn’t think the Northstar would be getting the attentions its getting on our lake but many have paddled it now…

Swap Out
the plastic rails for the Yakima aluminum brace models like on the Seda boats. Did this on my originally outfitted old Tango. The plastic rails deform, the footpeg tabs for the detents wear quickly and will pop off when you least expect it. Another option would be to use the Smart Track Toe Pilots-the bolt span for the track rails should be the same, but not sure how the cable throw will wed to the Feathercraft (?) rudder. Sliding pedals don’t allow you to use your legs effectively. Congrats on the Northstar-nice boat.

it is a deceptive boat
at first i just saw a tandem, then the weight! but once in the water i was shocked…I think I’ll look into the aluminum tracks mentioned…worth a try but no rush now, the kids are headed back to college and school.

Older Model North Star foot pegs
The older model (3+ years) Northstar rudder system had more issues of this kind. (How old is your North Star?) Use your hand to (A) put pressure on the “outside” of the footpeg (near the slider). Now, for contrast, put pressure on (B) the “inside” of the footpeg (toward the center of the boat). With the older model Northstar, the slider would bind in case A but slide freely in case B.

Not necessarily a solution, but there are some simple ways to retrofit the system. Wilderness Systems should be able to provide the parts for you to do so. (This was the case with my WS tandems – and the retrofitted system works just fine).

water_walker you described the
problem perfectly, but I wonder why Flatpick didn’t suggest contacting WS for the retrofit? Regardless I will when I find time. Thanks for the observation/answers.

Just an Aside
Spent the last couple of days installing a Smart Track rudder and Toe Pilot foot controls on another tandem: a wooden Pygmy Osprey Double. The mounting hole span for the Toe Pilots is the same as the plastic keepers (14 5/8") so they bolted right up. Now they should come with the ‘Vertical Adjustment Kit’, basically two slotted pieces of plastic that allow you to position your footbraces lower for better positioning. Rudder set up couldn’t have been easier. I’ll be testing the system out today-curious how the foiled rudder will turn something of this girth-the tandem version is a bit beefier and deeper, but nothing like the big, honkin’ snow shovel blade of the Feathercraft on my Tango.

I’d also mention that if you ever have to epoxy anything, the G-Flex epoxy is the most amazing stuff I’ve come across. It’s a thickset paste and I was able to inject it easily through a syringe to secure the cable housing along the hull. Also fabricated two smooth looking venturis from the stuff to direct the housing where it comes out of the hull at the stern. Used it to epoxy in the torqued out footrail on my EFT too, and it’s unbelievably strong.

Was reminded that we had the sliding plastic pedals on my wife’s Perception and they were always binding-very sensitive to the slightest amount of sand or grit and they deform under pedal pressure. Good luck remedying the problem.