Home Forums Mods and Improvements Rudder bungee auto kickup system

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  • #1164
    Paul White

    I’ve found the “spitfire rod” system to be a bit “Heath-Robinson” as the rod comes unscrewed, it doesn’t always let go when you hit an obstruction, hitting an obstruction damages the rod, the rod catches on my rope bag at the stern, it often damages the rudder tip and it allows too much play in the rudder.

    So I’ve copied an idea which I came across when sailing a Weta in the UK – the bungee auto-kickup system. No rod, no screws and it kicks up automatically every time.

    Very simple – just wrap a tight loop of heavy duty (8-10mm) bungee around the rudder and rudder stock below the top pintle (the easiest way to install it and get the right amount of tension is to wrap the bungee under the top pintle and then over the rudder stock three times – then tilt up the rudder and slide each loop over the horn of the blade.

    Slide all three loops against the bottom pintle after launching to prevent the rudder rising at speed – it needs to have enough tension to hold the rudder firmly against the stock. If it hits sand or an obstruction the rudder tilts but goes straight down again afterwards, to leave it in the up position slide the bungee against the top pintle and lift the blade so that the bungee rests on the “horn” at the top of the rudder to keep it clear of the water.

    NOTE: Do not tie any additional shock cord over or under the rudder stock as this might prevent the rudder rising or cause it to rise too easily.

    The only downside is you may need to hold the rudder down when sailing in shallow water but it’s fairly easy if you sit on the stern while steering with one hand and push the rudder down with the other.
    bungee1 bungee2

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Paul White.
    • This topic was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Paul White.
    • This topic was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Paul White.
    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul White.
    • This topic was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Paul White.
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    • #2322
      Paul White

      Shallow Steering Mod
      A development of this is to remove the rod but keep the “fork” attached to the top of the rudder foil and wrap it in tape to cushion it.


      This enables you to flip the fork down between the foil and stock and prevent the rudder from going down completely so you can steer in shallow water (NOTE – use gradual steering movements with the rudder half down as otherwise you may put undue stress on the stock)

      Once you reach deep water you can flip the fork up out of the way and slide the bungee down the stock to hold the foil in place.

      Flip up Line

      If you need to be able to quickly flip the foil up – when coming in to a beach or ramp for example – you can attach a line to the top of the foil (where the fork is attached) and keep it attached to the tiller using thin bungee. When you need to raise the rudder, just pull the line to flip the rudder up (you may need to slide the bungee part way up the stock first).

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 5 months ago by Paul White.
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