Just thought of another issue I had today. I was trying out the rudder on my Carolina and by using some creative footwork, managed to get the foot pegs undone from the track to be able to use the rudder but:
1) in order to make the rudder work, I had to really extend my legs to make the cable tight (thankfully I have fairly long legs so it did work but not comfortably)
2) had a hard time getting the pegs back into the track when I was finished using the rudder.
My question: Am I doing something wrong or is the system not right? If it is either of these, how do I correct?
Sorry for all the questions - I feel like a complete ignoramus but do want to learn to do this right!
Pegs out of track?
I don't know your particular rudder system, but in most of the ones I've seen each footpeg is attached to a track which slides in or on a rail that's bolted to the hull. The rudder cable attaches to the track. Footpeg position is adjusted by either moving the peg on the track or using an adjusting strap between the cable and the track. When the rudder is up and centered in its block so that it can't turn the footpeg track can't slide. The only thing you should have to do to use the rudder is to lower it.
There are also "gas pedal" systems which use tilting footpegs or a fixed peg with a rudder toe control, but they're less common.
How far forward is the track?
Is the track far enough foward so that it’s center spot is not where your feet are comfortable?
Donna - It sounds as if the system is not working right. Is this the boat you demoed? Was it working right and then something went wrong? My Carolina has the Yakima rudder system which we installed ourselves, so I am somewhat familiar with it. In this system, there is a track which bolts to the kayak. The pegs are mounted on a slider to which the cable attaches. The pegs can be moved along the slider to get the proper fit; this adjustment should be done while the rudder is up and secured. (Do not try to adjust the foot pegs while the rudder is down.) Is there a chance that you tried to adjust it while the rudder was down and accidentally pushed it too far forward and out of the track? Not sure if this can happen if the cable is the right length, but it was just a thought.
If you secure the rudder, adjust the pegs to the right length for you, and the rudder still doesn’t work properly then perhaps you need a trip to the dealer.
rudder on carolina
The kayak is one i traded in because I was supposed to get one with the option to get a rudder and didn’t. So I took it back and they gave me this one and installed the rudder at no charge. There doesn’t appear to be a name on the rudder like the Tsunami (it says Wilderness) but they seem to be the same type of system. I didn’t try the rudder out when I had the Tsunami out so don’t know if it works the same. I will give a try this weekend.
It is a track with foot pegs that have a lever thing on the back that locks into the hole on the track. After I let the rudder down, I tried pushing against the foot peg but it didn’t do anything. So I used my foot against the back to push the lever and release it and then the rudder moved. There wasn’t any instructions with either boats so maybe I just don’t know what I am doing! Very possible!
I got two boats within two weeks because my husband thought I needed another one for either him, one of my kids, or a friend to use so i wouldn’t have to go alone.
Put the rudder all the way up and be sure it’s centered before adjusting the foootpegs. Otherwise the slider will move and you’ll never get them where you want them.
If you adjusted the footpegs with the rudder up and secured, and then they wouldn’t move once the rudder was down, there’s something wrong with the installation. You shouldn’t have to use the adjustment levers on the back of the pegs to make the rudder move. It should work exactly like the Tsunami.
Starting from the basics
It sounds llike you may not be familiar with rudder systems so going back to basics may help.
A basic footpeg system without a rudder has a notched rail bolted to the boat and a footpeg that is adjusted along the notched rail. There is one set on each side of the boat.
On a rudder system they often start with the same two parts, so they look the same but the notched rail works differently.
On a rudder system they add one more part.
The first component is a slide rail that is bolted to the boat. It’s a “C” shaped channel that looks like a smaller version of the track on your garage door.
Next is the notched rail, this time it slips into the slide rail, a rudder cable attachs to the back to the back of each notched rail, and usually a bungee cord attaches from the front of the rail to the bulkhead to keep tension on them. In this application the notched rails are free to slide in slide rail and move the rudder when they move. Also when you move one slide rail forward the other side and it’s footpeg should move back, when you push on one you have to relax pressure on the other. The footpegs go on the notched rail and adjust as before. Like mentione above make sure the rudder is centered then adjust both footpegs to the same distance.
This is kind of lengthy but I hope it helps.
That’s not right…
As above, either they installed this rudder system wrong or they put in some kind of alternative that is incomplete. The footpeg with the lever on back to release it is the usual fixed footpeg design, no rudder. For an older style rudder, that should slide more freely with a kinda stretchy arrangement (strap or whatever, it varies) attached to it.
There are also rudder systems that give you a fixed footpeg with an additional kinda footpeg just above that controls the rudder. These two footpegs travel the along the rail together. The upper footpeg is attached to a strap or whatever that controls the rudder. The old SealLine system was like this, and it is nice because a fixed footpeg is much easier on your lower legs so nice to have for the bulk of your paddling time.
This setup allows for a fixed footpeg with the ability to control the rudder with the upper part of your foot or, for size 6-7 feet, your toes.
It sounds like they did a cob job with your boat, where you have to wrestle the original footpegs to another fixed position rather than slide freely and then do something with the rudder. Though I really don’t understand from your description how you are supposed to control angle of rudder, which is a rather critical part of using the thing in the first place. Can you control your rudder angle with this setup? Like hold it so that it is right or left turning?
I suggest that you go take a hard look at a Carolina with the rudder installed, like new on the floor so it’s right, and compare it to how yours operates. This isn’t sounding right, but it is possible that these boats aren’t friendly to after-market rudder installation.
It sounds like the dealer forgot to disable the foot brace locks. The locks should either be removed on pinned in the the back to hold it open, depending on which model foot brace you have, that way they won’t lock, and wil be free to slide. Follow other posters directions for adjusting your foot braces.