question re footbraces and rudders

I'm building my first kayaks (a Westriver 18 and a Chesapeake 16) and am wondering if it's too difficult to install footbraces and rudder after the deck is on. I want to do it the right way, but can't spring for rudders right now and I don't want to stop my progress. It seems like I can install them later, but I want to make sure that I'm not missing anything or setting myself up for a difficult/ugly install of these. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Jeremy

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RE: question re footbraces and rudders

The short answer is that YES it is possible to to install both footbraces and/or rudder anytime, including after the deck is on.

Things to think about:

Footbraces: take the extra time to sit in the cockpit to figure out the exact positioning of the footbraces. "Measure THREE times, cut once." When I did mine they I positioned them just a little too far back, so my very tall son's legs are too long for the braces.

Rudder: make ABSOLUTLEY sure there are no minor twist issues with your stern. Otherwise, you will drill the hole for the rudder post, only to find that it may be slightly out of alignment. But if you have built the perfect boat (not me!) this should not be an issue.

Have Fun!

Tim Clark

RE: question re footbraces and rudders

Thanks. Good news for me. Hopefully I'll be on the Columbia River before the end of summer.

RE: question re foot braces and rudders

Just finished up installing a new set of foot braces.  No problem in taking the old out and putting in the new.


RE: question re footbraces and rudders



Things I'd think about would be cabling for the rudder and running a tube internal that you could then run the wires through when it's time to install things.  It will make it much easier to install if you have the holes pre-set.  IE Pre drill and fill the holes for the appropriate hardware so you can just drill out the fill and drop the rudder in the appropriate place.



RE: question re footbraces and rudders

I think it is good you are not adding a rudder with your build.  This will allow you to paddle the boats without and you may decide you do not need them.  I have a chesapeake 16 and have found it is easy to use without a rudder.  The hard chine hull tracks well and leaned turns soon are natural.  It does not track well in cross winds and tends to weathercock so I did add a CLC skeg kit.  This works well and can be added after the boat is built.  It is a lighter simpler option and avoids the need for cables and sliding foot braces etc.  It fully retracts which greatly reduces the risk of damage while transporting and landing.  Rudders are almost always the most fussy and delicate part of kayaks.

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