I have a Tsunami 145 and I am interested in purchasing the rudder system to go with it. Is it difficult to install on your own? Should I consider bringing the yak into a shop and having it done on site? Any advice? thanks!
It is not hard at all. Their install videos on their website are pretty good. If you’re capable of hanging shelves on studs you can do this.
As the other respondent said, it's not a hard task at all. All it takes is some time and basic hand tools. In fact, I just installed a rudder on my new 145 Tsunami last weekend. It took about two hours from start to finish.
The trickiest part of the install that really tested my patience was replacing the stock extruded aluminum keepers for the new foot rails. The new rails were about half a hole wider than the stock rails. After struggling for about 15 minutes to get the new extrusions to line up with the existing holes, I reamed out one of the holes on each side of the boat and the new extrusions fell into place. Applying a healthy dab of silicon behind the bolt heads before tightening them down pretty much took care off any chance of leaks.
The one area where I deviated from the instructions was with the rearmost bolts that hold the new extrusions on. On the kit I had (a BTS model), the rearmost bolts are longer than the front ones to act as stops to prevent the foot rail from sliding back out of the extrusion. Too my mind, that did not allow enough travel and I'm not concerned about that happening so I used three or four washers as a shim between the side of the boat and the extrusion. The rear bolts bottomed out pretty much flush with the inside of the extrusion.
Most kits are universal to fit a wide range of boat so they include a lot of extra extra hardware. You'll have plenty of nuts, bolts and other hardware left over to keep for your next project.
If you have the tools and the time, have at it. Plus, you'll have confidence in knowing how it all goes together should you ever need to service it down the road.
What to do with bolts that are too long:
Shorten them! You got the basic effect that you were looking for, but by shortening the bolts you could have done the same thing without causing the track to be positioned farther from the hull, and would have eliminated any tendency toward decreased stability of the part of the track that's suspended rather than on firm backing.
Oh, and in case it's not obvious, cut the bolt with a hacksaw, then use a tiny triangular file to "open up" the small portion of the threading that's been buggered out of shape. Good as new!
Another tip for cutting bolts
prior to cutting one, put a nut on it, and screw it beyond where you will be cutting it.
After you make the cut us a fine file to dress the end of the bolt, and then unscrew the nut.
Just as it reaches the cut, gently screw it back and forth over it without completely taking it off.
Then take it off and this ensures that you won’t have any problem later when you will be finishing your work.