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DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Dodge » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:09 pm

click on pics to enlarge

Have always been happy with the fact that a Swing is quite happy without a rudder except for the odd occasion, however in March 2O11 found steering was a problem when using a sail and used to drag the paddle in the water like a sweep on one side to steer the yak and a loss of speed due to the braking effect of the paddle.
P1000023.JPG
big drag when using paddle to steer


So in April 2011 after some thought had a look at aluminium scraps in the shed and decided to knock one up from material I already had in stock, and the only less than perfect material was only having some 13mm box section ally when a 13mm tube would have been more suited, but it being only a pivot point decided to run with the box I had.

Had a bit of 2mm sheet so folded it around the box and through bolted it on the stern of the Swing, filling all the voids with Roof and Gutter silicone and let it cure for a few days after which it was nice a solid and no movement of any kind
00001.jpg
stern pivot
00002.jpg
box section visible


Then used 4mm ally plate I had to make a left/right swinging box in which a rudder blade could be pivoted upwards/down when launching, and the stern pivot and swing box to stay on the yak at all times, with the rudder inserted/removed at the water side
1.00004.jpg
Box section and rudder in place before being welded together
00001-1.jpg
Welded and painted
00002-1.jpg
Rudder in raised position, version Mk1


I bought some tube and cable to make foot pedals etc, and then again cooled on the idea as not being an essential need for normal everyday kayak fishing, and that is how things stood until watching the Olympic sailing, and then thought how easy it would be to just to use a tiller like a sailing boat for the rudder, and having most of a length of 13mm PVC conduit on hand made one by cutting a slot to go over the rudder box and then used a heat gun to flatten the ends down.

Today took it to the dam to do a trial run and see if it worked or not, and it was a winner with only a couple of saddles to be added for the rudder blade lifting cord
00002.jpg
A line clip to stop the pivot bolt from coming out on the water, and a bent nail to attach the PVC tiller
00003.jpg
longer side view


EDIT 22.8.12; 2 more lift rope saddles were added while the yak was still on the van's roof racks, one on the stern of the yak and another on the front of the rudder box
00002.jpg
Extra saddles added to lift rope after the water test


And a view on the water taken by Wazza [Seadog] as I had smoko
rudder tiller.jpg
water view of tiller


While there was little wind today, just moving the tiller fore and after over a range of about 60mm really gave a dramatic shift in direction and will now be a constant bit of kit from this point.
Last edited by Dodge on Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Cheers RICHO

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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby nad97 » Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:23 pm

well worth the effort Richo and some nice handy work there.
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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Feral2 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:49 am

Sweet!
Best and easiest setup I have seen yet!
Do you use anything to hold the tiller in place, or give different settings? EG something to hold it at straight ahead?
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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Dodge » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:03 am

Feral2 wrote:Do you use anything to hold the tiller in place, or give different settings? EG something to hold it at straight ahead?

Near my elbow in the last picture you can see a loop of stocking around both the tiller and anchor pulley rope this was only meant to stop it coming out and clouting my elbow when paddling.

But in the trial found my elbow is well clear of the PVC so no risk anyway, but a side benefit was it held the PVC against the curve of the yak and created a slight resistance and held the set course easily...that loop will now remain.

At one stage I put a single deep lure out to troll on one side which tends to curve the yak track, and yesterday set some opposing rudder angle [only a couple of mills] and an easy straight track resulted .... also put a mark on the tiller and lined up a point on the deck to show rudder was centred at other times and it never deviated unless I moved deliberately, I think water pressure coming off both underwater sides equally would keep the rudder straight anyway

If positioning of the tiller was important is would be easy to make a wedge somewhere to jamb the PVC more solidly.

And unrelated to above

In the test I used a golf umbrella as a sail like Seadog and Gunston, and think that will replace my existing sail as it was just so good and no cordage needed
00003.jpg
Seadog in foreground with umbrella, and jumaji behind with sail
00003.resized.jpg
Gunston and umbrella
Cheers RICHO

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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby mehi » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:30 am

you crafty little bugger :D
Tight lines Cheers Dave

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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Scott » Thu Aug 23, 2012 8:28 am

That rudder looks fantastic mate.
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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Feral2 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:25 am

Cheers for the info Dodge, looks the perfect sort of setup to graft on to my old tempo, one of the real early ones with no rudder mounts - She has a huge arse and doesn't like a quartering wind, hence the question about setting an angle.
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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Dodge » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:55 am

Feral2 wrote: old tempo, one of the real early ones with no rudder mounts - She has a huge arse and doesn't like a quartering wind, hence the question about setting an angle.

Hagar has one of the early Tempos so know what the problem is mate.

As you only would want to set and forget a rudder angle occasionally, if I was doing that I would run a cord from either side of the rudder box to a point near my hip on the deck would just put a cam cleat on either side for each rope.

Then easy to release the rope on one side by a few mms at one cleat, then tension the other side at that cleat to lock the rudder in any position you wanted, and perhaps the water pressure on the rudder may automatically add enough pressure back to the cleat.

Only reason I did no go that way is because I only need the rudder to sail so have a free hand to hold the tiller.

https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_item ... h123=cleat

I used the smallest clam cleats [screwed] either side for my sail rig, and can be seen in the fifth picture here
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=46795
Cheers RICHO

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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby gonfission » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:35 pm

Great effort Dodge, anything made is worth ten bought ones ;-) With your steering cord, if you made it a loop you would only need one cleat. A bit of colour coding thread woven into the cord, or colour texta'd on would keep it organised.
Cheers John.
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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Dodge » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:33 am

gonfission wrote:Great effort Dodge, anything made is worth ten bought ones .

Thanks John, I have a fetish for doing DIY instead of buying stuff, just find the process far more satisfying than putting dollars on a shop counter.

Your rope loop idea may be well worth Feral2 trying out, if he makes a rudder for his Tempo.
Cheers RICHO

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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby ArWeTherYet » Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:24 am

Very neat Richo.
Surprising how affective a rudder is when paddling as well, no need to constantly adjust your stroke.
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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Dodge » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:51 am

Have now done a few more test sails and improved the setup to completion.

Re-cut the rear side of the rudder blade at the top to be parallel with the front instead of angled so when lifted it clears the water completely with my weight in the yak, version Mk2
00001-1.jpg
Top of rudder re-cut again to aid lifting


Also extended the PVC tiller by 80mm to make it longer and stop arm cramping, and still clears elbow when paddling.

The rudder has proved to be a real asset when sailing with the brolly
Dodge brolly.JPG
Swing with brolly as sail


And proof a golf umbrella works with many yaks is Brooksie [Digger1] sailing his Pacer yesterday for the first time in 11knots wind, but using his paddle to steer, and over about 1km only fell back about 100m behind the swing which is good for a 2.7m kayak, but we both sailed 3.1kms in 45 minutes
00003.jpg
Digger1 Pacer under a brolly
Last edited by Dodge on Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers RICHO

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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby Dodge » Sat Aug 03, 2013 3:16 pm

Since altering the rudder to clear the water [Mk2] have pondered how to lift the blade even higher without rebuilding the whole thing extensively and last week came up with a fairly simple solution, so this is Mk3 and probably final.

Also note the rudder blade is added /removed at the waterside and not in place when on the road.

On the swiveling box which houses the rudder blade, the section behind the pivot bolt now serves no real purpose since cutting a chunk out of the rudder blade late last year, so behind the pivot bolt hole I trimmed the box to within 8mm of the hole.

In the aluminium packing at top separating the walls of the box I ground an angle above the pivot bolt with the cutting disc to give clearance and let the blade angle higher. The plastic on the rudder blade is cut from a milk bottle to stop a rattle, also using Knead-It added a loop of stainless wire to guide and restrain the lifting cord when raised
IMG_1043.JPG
Mk 3 rudder lift


While fiddling also put 2 cam cleats next to the seat and can lock the tiller to any fixed position now and save holding, still no real need to incorporate foot pedals to steer
Cheers RICHO

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Re: DIY rudder with tiller for the Dodge Swing

Postby OldDood » Sat Aug 03, 2013 5:33 pm

You are an ideas man Dodge.
That one is going straight to the pool room!
I must be improving everyday!
The Older I Get The Better I Was!!
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