my new rudder
The secrets of my epic 18x sport kayak…or some rumors about my boat? What am I actually paddling? Which layup is my boat? Which details did we add to the prodcution model?
I am currently paddling a modified production model of the existing epic 18x sport kayak in the performance layup. The plan was to get me an 18x sport in ultra-strong expedition layup plus new epedtion details before my trip, but due to problems with moving the factory in China this plan had to be delayed to some weeks into my trip.
The temporarly solution was to reinforce the existing model hull with a keelstripe, to built in a dayhatch and a third bulkhead, to add a toggle to the bow, to reinforce the seat and to install a floating backrest.
We had to cut off the little fin of the existing pivoting stern rudder to make me able to launch off a beach by myself with a loaded boat. For sure this “castrated rudder” wasn’t gripping better than the existing one, and I was paddling in some days using more sweepstrokes to keep my boat fully straight than I was really happy to do… but the new rudder was promised to be on the way!!!
I tested the rudder already in Molokai, but eventually now the uphauling system and the locking of the whole pivoting stern once uphauled was ready to be installed. It for sure grips way better than anythig else! I’m looking forward to paddle it the next days with following winds! And I could launch backwards, if I feel like it…as it is locked once uphauled!
The little loop on the secondary black rudder blade is for launching the blade when the built-in spring may not be strong enough to pull it out when the blade may be stuck with grid or sand…like it happens to all under the hull skeg-like systems.
Either a partner pulls the blade out on the loop, or if you are by yourself you thread a thin rope through the loop from the cockpit to the cockpit. Once afloat, pull the blade out with the rope and release the rope by letting simply one end go and pulling the whole rope on the other end towards you.
This new rudder will be available soon for retrofitting for any existing epic 18x. And it will be coming standard with the expedition version of the 18x sport, once the whole boat is on the market!
The rumors all my sponsor stickers are necessary to hold my boat together are not raelly true..it is still in perfect shape after the first 3 1/2 weeks! Well, I don’t want to hit a rock with a fully loaded boat in the lightweight performance layup…