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Rudder or No Rudder? (Read 5052 times)
11/22/09 at 08:56:08

Mark Frankenbach   Offline
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Hannibal MO

Posts: 74
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I am looking to upgrade to a faster boat for next years race. What is the optinum Kayak lenght, and recommendations as far as rudder and skeg?
 
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Reply #1 - 11/22/09 at 10:07:47

West Hansen   Offline
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He who hesitates is lunch.
--Chuck Darwin
Austin, Texas, Third Coast

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The optimum length and type of craft is relative to the paddler, as is the use of a rudder. Here's a popular analogy:
Lance Armstrong on a Penny Farthing will beat a 10 year old on a $20,000.00 titanium bike hands every time. So, get in the fastest boat possible for your ability. There's a general positive correlation between speed of a craft and the instability of a craft. The best thing to do is to try out several boats, however without a decent race stroke it's fruitless to get in a faster boat. So, get in a stable boat (for you) and practice a good race stroke before moving up to a faster boat. Being in a faster boat (aka: tippy) won't do you any good if you spend all your time bracing. --West

P.S. Shorter answer: get a comfy sea kayak from Lynn at KC Paddler.
 

Cognitive Dissonance: when being wrong just isn't an option.
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Reply #2 - 11/23/09 at 16:02:51

Ladsurfski   Offline
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I prefer a rudder with any kayak, surfski and safari canoes. The drag that it may produce is offset by the energy that is saved on not having to do corrective strokes.

As per West's comments, I agree...purchase a boat that is stable enough for your abilities. A couple of fast sea kayaks (which I consider extremely stable) are the QCC 700X and the Epic 18x...if interested I know where you can get the first one at a more cost effective price vs.new. Give me a shout.

Ron
 
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Reply #3 - 11/23/09 at 21:58:09

Mark Frankenbach   Offline
4X MR340 Veteran
Ground Crew Veteran
Hannibal MO

Posts: 74
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I did this years race in a 16ft Nimbus sea kayak. I really found the rudder useful in tracking but the boat was just a little slow. I am 6' 3" at 205lbs and was thinking maybe a 18' boat would be better. If I am going to put out the money, I want it to be the right boat for me. I do alot of one and two day trips down the mighty mississippi so it needs to be confortable too.
 
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Reply #4 - 11/23/09 at 22:39:02

Mark Frankenbach   Offline
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Hannibal MO

Posts: 74
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Another question. I notice that some boats have a more blunt nose and flat bottom such as the QCC 700X. How does it compare to  boat's whos  bows taper back and curve back up at the stern.
 
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Reply #5 - 11/24/09 at 09:07:08

Ladsurfski   Offline
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The Q and 18X are both good boats even for bigger guys. Steve Kaub owns an 18x Sport and posted a good finish in this years 340 and he looks more like a lumberjack than a kayaker. The smart track rudder systems are great and allow for both a fixed footplate and steering simultaneously. Great for leg drive power while using torso rotation.

Regarding the plumb bows on the Q and 18x...these are more in line of the plumb bows on the surfski desings and allow the waterline to be the full length of the boat...whereas the kayaks with upswept bows actually have less waterline...Epic Kayaks has an article with three good video regarding this on their site:

http://www.epickayaks.com/news/news/epic-kayaks--why-a-plumb-bow

fyi - I had previously owned a kevlar 19'3" Necky Looksha III, in which the waterline was less than the 18' Q and 18X, however I was put in the unlimited class due to the length of the boat not the waterline...while the Q's and 18X's were allowed in the sea kayak division...and were both more efficient boats.

Good luck.

Ron
 
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Reply #6 - 11/24/09 at 12:44:23

Mark Frankenbach   Offline
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Hannibal MO

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Thanks Ron,

The vidio was a eye opener. I think I am leaning toward the 700X.
 
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Reply #7 - 11/25/09 at 07:15:40

Ladsurfski   Offline
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Mark, You're welcome...I just sent you a PM with contact info on a Q for sale. Hope it works for you, good luck! Ron
 
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Reply #8 - 11/25/09 at 15:28:53

SandmanUSMC   Offline
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Chesterfield, MO

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A rudder is better.  A plumb bow is also definitely a good idea.  This guy has it all figured out.  Tongue

...
 
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