× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Epic Rudder Modification

8 months 1 week ago #34423 by Kupuna4x
  Even though you may not change the rudder on your Epic Surfski very often you may think to yourself that there must be a simpler process. Dealing with that little pin can be problem matic. If you have never had an issue with it, good for you. To the others this is what I did. 
  
  I eliminated the pin. Through the series of pictures you will get the drift. With a few hand tools I cut off half of the back side of the shaft where the tiller bar clamps on and made a new flat clamp piece that replaces the mating half round clamp piece. Caution is to be had to do the back side of the shaft, make the flat perpendicular to the rudder, and make the flat just the right length. If the flat is too short the rudder will not be up tight to the boat. Make the flat too long and it could cause problems with the rudder shaft guide tube (maybe, don't know).

 If you don't have the hand tools or the hand skills to do this get a welder buddy to do it or even better a machinist buddy to mill off the shaft to make the flat.

  Looking at the pictures you can see I stopped the flat just short of where the hole(s) for the pin is placed. This was initially an arbitrary depth and as it turns out, perfect. It's easier to take more off than wish you could put more material back on.

  One of the pictures shows the red mark on the shaft with the rudder installed to the proper depth. I made the plunge cut just short of the line and used a nylon washer to space between the rudder shaft tube and the tiller bar. The nylon washer prevents the tiller bar from grinding away at the tube surface.

  The stainless I used to replace the mating half round back piece is 1/2" x 3/16". Drilled to match the tiller bar.

I no longer have to worry about losing the pin, having the pin get bent from the tiller twisting on the shaft if someone didn't tighten it firmly, or having the pin get corroded in the shaft hole due to not rinsing the boat with fresh water.

Oh yeah, while you are at it get a specific allen wrench that fits the tiller bolts and cut the short leg down to a useable length instead of fighting the tight space. See my wrench with the yellow handle in the tool picture. You will have to grind it down as it is made from very hard tool steel.


   
The following user(s) said Thank You: paddlepop

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8 months 1 week ago #34425 by Ranga
Replied by Ranga on topic Epic Rudder Modification
Just a note, Epic basically did this for the first few years and abandoned it. However they did have two flats on the shaft. 

The problem you have there is nothing to stop the rudder from pulling out. You might get way with it as you should have enough radius on one side to stop it rocking and having it move.

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8 months 1 week ago #34426 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Epic Rudder Modification

Ranga wrote: J
The problem you have there is nothing to stop the rudder from pulling out. You might get way with it as you should have enough radius on one side to stop it rocking and having it move.


Odd, does that mean that Nelo paddlers are constantly loosing their rudder? Nelos have exactly this configuration...

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8 months 1 week ago #34429 by PSwitzer
Replied by PSwitzer on topic Epic Rudder Modification
Nice Kupuna, that pin is an Achilles heel for sure.  I missed out on a downwind a few months back when I swapped rudder to find the pin frozen!  Grrrrr...

My caveman solution for the problem was to remove the pin and thread a length of the spectra steering line that Think uses through the hole then tie it so it makes a little loop.  That adds enough diameter so that the rudder shaft can't fall down through the boat.  No corrosion worries.

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8 months 1 week ago #34448 by Fath2o
Replied by Fath2o on topic Epic Rudder Modification
I have an old Epic with round rudder shaft and clamp, but, no pin. Never been a problem and think it is unlikely rudder will fall out if clamp tightness is maintained. I actually prefer this set up. Was leaving beach with messy shore break to get to start line. I was shoved backwards by a wave into the sand as I was mounting and heading out. The rudder got twisted in the clamp. I simply hopped on the way to the start line and straightened it. I believe a completely fixed tiller/rudder arrangement would have broken some part of the steering system.

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