Submitted: 02-18-2009 by motofish
I just completed the first trip since installing a Feathercraft rudder kit on my Old Town Cayuga 146. This rudder has made a drastic improvement on an already superb kayak. The conditions today were 8 mph winds, on an 8 x 9 mile lake, completely open, no current. Previously I had issues with slight weather-vaning, but that is not the case anymore. The rudder is easy to use, and very sturdy. I have plenty of control on my 14'6" kayak, and no noticeable extra drag (in the up position vs. down position, GPS verified, straight into the wind). A little speed does scrub off when making a turn, but that is to be expected. The extra strokes required for course correction made the overall speed slower with the rudder up.
I purchased this kit from a wooden kayak manufacturing company since it was on sale (considerable price savings) but found that the items included for the wooden boat were all I needed, with the exception of a wooden bridge and plastic rudder stop (thing that keeps the rudder locked straight when stowed). I need something higher for the Cayuga, but everything else was of great quality and fit very well. Overall a great deal considering the drastic price savings. Highly recommended rudder kit. It turned a superb rec kayak into a maneuverable and seaworthy touring boat.