Viviane owners

so how do you reckon you say this silly name? what does it mean?

in some previous postings i was surprised to see there are a few Viv owners around. i briefly paddled one recently, and loved it.

has anyone used only a rudder and taken out the skeg, or only skeg, or both? i can’t imagine having both personally. thoughts, opinions?

gotta love

– Last Updated: Sep-25-08 11:19 AM EST –


Avalon Viviane has quite a history:

I owned 2 of 'em. The old deck model (green over white) w/o a day hatch and recessed fittings and the new school one (orange over orange) with the hatch and recessed fittings.

Excellent tripping boat if ya like and can paddle a 19' boat. They're a handful in conditions. I only used the skeg and found it plenty good. Not sure why a rudder would be any better, except maybe for long boat steering (photo, fishing sailing) maybe?


Take the skeg!
I weigh around 188lbs, and was just wondering Flatpick IF you are much lighter than that? I really thought it was rather composed in ‘conditions’ and wondered IF your weight might make the difference? I still think it is the fastest cruiser and down wind surfer I’ve ever tried. Only time I had to ‘fight’ it was doing radical course changes in high winds, it did it with confidence albiet slowly. IF they would do a take-off on the boat, you know… keep the under H2oline shape and greatly reduce the above H2o volume and can the hatches etc. and maybe add a underhull rudder skeg, you would have a near unbeatable workout hull, for it’s comparable length and width. Mine took a hit from falling limbs in a micro-burst, need to reglass 5"'s of rear seam and patch a ‘dent’ right on the upturn of the rear hull. I really like the ‘rocker seat’ also, except I need to trim the forward edge of the seat hangers as My shorts/pants/drysuit tend to get pinched in there between the seat pan and hangers on the lean back on rolls.

175 but…
I always paddled her ‘loaded’ and generally a huge load. this was back in the days of me guiding San Juan Island trips.

Don’t get me wrong the Viv is well mannered in conditions, just 19’ is a handful for anyone.


Viviane Avalon
In Arthurian legend, Viviane was the name of the Lady of the Lake. Avalon was the island where she lived.

my opinion…
I think we may have talked by email…can’t remember.

I think it is a great boat. I would get the skeg. If you find it not to be suitable then you can always add the rudder later.

I have the skeg version. I find the boat easy to handle in conditions and in flat water. It is very easily maneuverable for its length in my opinion.

I find it weathercocks badly in light winds but this can be corrected with the skeg. In high winds the weathercocking goes away (an anomoly of this boat).

In fixing the skeg on mine I had to cut the cable. For a while I was using the boat with too short of a skeg cable which would not allow the skeg to deploy fully. It was a real bittch in the wind.

Now that I got a new skeg with a full length cable it seems fine.

I did order a rudder in the interim given my frustration with the lack of effectiveness of my short skeg.

I have not really used it yet but it is quite easy to retrofit the boat to take one. It is pre-set to accept one, complete with cable housings.

I got the rope type rudder cables so you can easily attach and detach it…put the rudder on or take it off.

I don’t like rudders and probalby will rarely use it. Would be nice on a longer trip to slightly improve efficiency in winds or to serve as a backup.

A backup is not a bad idea on this boat…given that in my opinion it is skeg-dependent in light to medium winds you’re suckin’ if your skeg goes tits up (which it did for me on a trip and I was not a happy camper).

Skeg seems to be effective in all but downwind surfing in high winds where the boat wants to broach even with skeg down. Here is where a rudder would probably be really nice to extend those nice long rides.

This is a hell of a good down wind boat and a rudder would probably make it even better in these conditions.

I plan to paddle mine with skeg only and then put on the rudder for trips as a backup and maybe on a really windy day for surfing down wind.

Overall though this is an awesome boat.


I saw that boat on craigslist!
had a huge chunk missing out of the bow

rope rudder?

what kind of rudder do you have? did it come with the boat or is it after market? you can take it on and off as needed, that’s pretty cool. the cables are rope? how do you feed them down the housing? would you mind sharing any photos?


well the rudder is the Kajaksport rudder…their Navigator rudder. I ordered it directly from the importer (Global Outfitters).

The rudder slides right into the pin housing that is pre-existing in the Viv.

The rudder does not come with cables.

Instead of cables I ordered rope / cord rudder cables from PxT kayaks.

It is a very tightly woven cord and is quite stiff. It is small enough in diameter and stiff enough to feed it through the cable housings…although it takes a little time to do so.

I also ordered the Kajaksport foot pedals which my boat did not have (previous owner took them off). The ropes feed through a hole in the top of the pedals.

I then used a taught-line hitch to secure the rope in place and to make it so that it was adjustable.

I can’t really comment on how it worked though becuase the first time I tried it the cheap-ass Keepers brand peg pulled right off the track under the tension.

I have since installed some Yakima foot pegs and rails and am awaiting the KS foot pedals to retrofit to the Yakima pegs (requires different hardware than the keepers use).

Once I get those I will hook it back up and give it a shot.

I’m really not a fan of rudders so I doubt I will use it much but it’s nice that it can be put on and taken off as needed.