Self centering rudder for Epic boats

More
11 years 4 months ago - 11 years 4 months ago #6072 by Rightarmbad
So for a long time I had wondered if a self centering rudder would be beneficial.
I have thought long and hard on how to set this up on my Epic ski.

I have finally come up with a very simple, cheap, inexpensive and light method to do so.

The mod only requires the drilling of one hole in each pedal.
(Be very careful doing this as the pedal is a soft core with a whisper thin covering of carbon on the outside.)

The picture is pretty self explanatory and the mod works surprisingly well.
The bungy is exactly the same as what is already used on the ski elsewhere.

Drill the holes.
Simply remove the existing bungy at the front of the cockpit.
Also remove the star clamp fittings and radius the one opening where the bungy goes to the pedal to prevent undue wear at this point.
Refit with new cord in place.
Move the pedals to the shortest position to get the length of cord required.
Fit the cord through the pedals and tie a knot in each end.

To use.

Loosen bungy.
Move your pedals to the required position.
Pull/adjust the bungy until it just begins to take up the slack. Check for balance so that the pedals sit aligned together.
(no tighter than this as it just adds friction to the system)
Done, you now have a reliable self centered steering that can be disabled by simply loosening the cords.

In practice, it works perfectly with one small exception.

At the extreme short end with the bungies at full length, the first two clicks on the footboard adjustment, it has trouble reliably centering. This could be cured with a thicker cord, but anybody running the board that length would be better off in a V10L anyways.
You can always just leave them loose for those positions and it will work as normal.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson
Attachments:
Last edit: 11 years 4 months ago by Rightarmbad.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6081 by Steve Hansen
You could also come over the top first with the cord and end up with the knot on the backside.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6083 by Rightarmbad
Never thought of that, it would also increase the amount of cord pulled as the top of the pedal is further from the pivot.
May solve the short person problem.
Or is that what you were saying?

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6099 by Steve Hansen
I wasn't even thinking of increasing the leverage on the pedals, merely trying to get rid of the knots that would bug me as my feet are splayed out to the sides when I paddle but you're correct it might help the problem you mention but my gut feeling is that it won't be enough to change things.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6109 by Rightarmbad
The knots are not in the way where they are.
My size 13 feet dodge them no problems.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6112 by garykroukamp
An elegant solution, but I can't help feeling that I would like a rudder to be self centring even if the rudder cable breaks.

I think your system could be employed in the rudder box with the bungees on each end of the rudder "arm".

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6115 by Rightarmbad
Very little room in there to do anything.
I certainly considered it, but could not come up with a workable system.

After paddling for a few weeks like this, I am sold on the idea though.
The best thing would be for manufacturers to incorporate a sprung system in the rudder box.

One thing I have found is that if you go feet out to deal with wave or the like, the boat goes straight instead of flopping around all over the place, you can paddle very effectively just by lifting your feet out of the water without having to do the much more tippy get your feet all the way in.
Lets you get under way while it is still too rough to get the feet back in.

I hope that manufacturers start to look into this, because the general improvement to the paddling of the boat is quite remarkable.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6118 by Robmobius
A blog entry from surfskibaja.blogspot.com from some time back that has relevance hear

"Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. I’ve been giving some thought on the recently discussed topic of steering line breakage and what to do in case of emergency. Rather than using the shock cord setup as shown in this youtube video ( which involves drilling a hole in the deck of your boat ) I tried using a foam insert in the rudder access compartment. Epic V10 shown.
Originally this was meant to be an emergency setup - ie inserting the foam after the breakage. On testing it though I found that I still have probably 75% steering left and right and the steering self centers when my feet are off the steering controls. I now leave it in place while training but will be removing it when any racing involves tight turns around marks.
I used a piece of roof rack foam. Resources are limited here in Baja but when I return to Vancouver I will be trying different types for resiliency."

Personally I think a little foam gadget like this would be a great addition to your safety kit when heading into the deep. Break a steering cable km's off shore and you have your hands full getting the boat home. But if you could centre the steering, getting back to beach safely may be a whole lot easier.
Attachments:

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6127 by Rightarmbad
The breakage of steering cables is best dealt with by regular inspections and replacement when required, not when it breaks.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 4 months ago #6130 by latman
That is true , If there is a breakage it will usually be where you can see it , never in the tubing that runs through the deck.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6258 by Rightarmbad
Today I tried the method mentioned, of having the knots on the back of the pedal and coming over the top.

Not good.
The cord stretching over the top of the pedal creates friction on the cord that grips and slips.

You have to tighten up the bungies to get reliable centering.
Just makes it heavier and less sensitive, and still doesn't center properly every time.

Does look pretty though....

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago - 11 years 3 months ago #6270 by AR_convert
After reading the story on the Saffa (Jean) who broke a rudder cable in bid downwind conditions I am thinking my next ski will have some sort of backup system, given that I do ( or will return to) a lot of training by myself.

I already wear a PFD and carry a smoke flare when going out into the open ocean, but smoke flares are not easily seen if someone is not looking for you. I may be investing in a breakdown paddle for training by myself.

Keep thinking guys about a solution to the self centering rudder notion!

Always looking for the next boat :)
Last edit: 11 years 3 months ago by AR_convert.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago - 11 years 3 months ago #6291 by semdoug
You can try this rudder self centering modification that is easy and cheap.



Please note that I have no connection with the creation of this mod or with the related video. I am just passing along the information.

If appropriate for your area you may also want to consider a marine VHF radio with GPS.
Last edit: 11 years 3 months ago by semdoug.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6292 by Steve Hansen
Nice video.BTW Huki came up with the same solution for this problem years ago. It's offered as an optional extra, not a standard feature thou.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6296 by AR_convert
Ugly but effective, it actually sounds like Huki narrating that video.

Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6297 by semdoug
It's not Huki or Jude. This particular mod shown in the video was created by a paddler in Washington state. The ski is an Epic V10

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6299 by Rightarmbad
Breakage is still best prevented.
Good basic design an inspection will beat the problem of cord breakage.

Self centering for me is all about self centering and nothing else.

Of the many that have tried my steering, they all like it.

If you are worried about cord breakage, then the design of the system needs addressing.

For my own V10, I cannot see a single place in the system that a simple glance at every now and again will not spot a problem before there is a risk.

If you are worried about your cord randomly breaking in places other than attachment points, then replace it now.
It's obviously past it's use by date.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6300 by AR_convert
Hopefully someone will actually design a rudderbox that incorporates something like this elastic cord system or springs.

I guess there are other things that could affect steering apart from rudder cables breaking, like a rudder peddle mount or hinge breaking etc, either way a system mounted at the rudder box will give a straight rudder enabling some boat control to get you out of trouble.

Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6309 by Rightarmbad
Designing a system to fit in the rudder box is fraught with danger.
If it is a metal spring system, there is corrosion to deal with as well as unseen possibly about to break parts that cannot be inspected.

Maybe something like a carbon leaf spring could be engineered?

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
11 years 3 months ago #6310 by [email protected]
RAB, I like your design and the 'cables should never break' theory. But the V10 (Epic ski's) has dyneema/spectra cord and not traditional cables of other ski's. Cables usually give way where they are crimped and as metal covers the crimped cable, you cant see what's going on in there (cant inspect).

Solution for me is dyneema/spectra. It wont snap or chafe easily and it can be easily inspected. I got hold of the same cord that Epic uses and is about to install it in my ski. I know it wont be cable but hope its not too spongy. I do not like the thought of drilling a hole in my ski as in the youtube clip, and your design wont work on a red 7 as the housing is different.

Maybe put a wing-nut on the rudder post that can be can be manually tightened against some foam/rubber wedged between the ski and the rudder. But that means you have to get off the ski and you lose steering. If the conditions are big and messy (as was when mine went) you preferably want some steering. Going straight really isn't a viable option in conditions.

Could you also be a bit more descriptive when explaining these solutions for the 'practically challenged' out there (me) :blush:

Cheers
S.S.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Protected by R Antispam