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Rudder Fitting - Reload,GT,400

Viking Kayaks – Rudder Installation for the Viking Profish Reload, GT and 400 models

These photos are of the Profish Reload

  Rudder footrests

 Toe Tab footrests fitted (photo is of a Profish Reload kayak, Profish 400 & GT fit the same)

  Rudder

1.0 General Outline:

The rudder system for Viking Profish kayaks has been designed with serious paddling in mind. We use 316 marine grade stainless in the head-stock, hinge pin, and mount bracket to ensure long life and low maintenance. The rudder blade has been designed not to require an up-haul, reducing the number of lines and deck fittings on fishing kayaks. The blade is kept in the down position by shock cord, but is able to kick up if an obstruction is encountered. 

In the event of a catastrophic impact, the blade is designed to bend or fracture in a way that protects the kayak from damage and ensures it can still be paddled (no leaks, no bent blade affecting handling, and no need for the offshore paddler to enter the water to affect a temporary repair). The blade is a low cost user-replaceable item.

The mount bracket is fitted to the stern of Viking Profish kayaks using machine screws into inserts (or waterproof well nuts for earlier models), providing a durable system without the need for internal access. Spectra rudder cables run inside full length cableways and are knotted or crimped with copper crimps and black abrasion protectors to form the connections at either cable end. The low profile rudder pedals use webbing straps for infinite length and trim adjustment.

Please read and understand all instructions fully before beginning the installation. Ensure all required tools are available. Remember the adage “measure twice, cut once”. In this case make sure holes are drilled to the correct size. Since polyethylene isn’t easily glued it’s very difficult to correct oversize holes without specialist plastic welding facilities.

Please note: before beginning the rudder installation make certain you have constructed the guide wire and hook outlined in section 6.3 “Construct a guide wire and hook for cableway insertion”. Alternatively, if you can source a strong magnet there’s a set of instructions in section 6.5 “Using a magnet for cableway insertion”.

The installation procedure begins with fitting the mounting bracket and rudder to the stern of the Viking Profish. Next the rudder pedals are fitted and then the cableways and rudder cables. Finally the webbing adjustment straps are fitted and the operation of the rudder tested.

2.0 Kit Contains:

1 x Rudder headstock and blade assembly
1 x Rudder mount bracket
1 x Stainless split ring
1 x Pair Foot pedals
2 x Red/black fleck 2mm Spectra rudder cables
2 x 5mm Black tubular cableways
4 x Stainless M5 x 10mm pan head machine screws (bolts)
2 x Black rubber mushroom grommets
2 x 10mm Heat Shrink Tubing

3.0 Tools Required:

Ruler Cordless Drill
Marker pen 3.0mm drill bit
Stanley knife
5mm drill bit
Small piece of wood as a cutting board
10mm drill bit
Inside de-burr tool (optional)
Square drive screw driver Phillips screw diver
Selly’s All-Clear sealant
Butane/Propane torch or lighter
Masking tape or duct tape
Small vice grips (optional)
Approximately 2.6m of soft 2mm wire as a guide wire for cableway installation Approximately 0.5m of soft 2mm wire to shape a hook to “fish” for the end of the guide wire

 

4.0 Fit Rudder Mount Bracket:

Please note: when fitting stainless machine screws into brass inserts molded into a kayak there is always a small risk of cross-threading. If this happens it will be the insert in the kayak that will be damaged and this is an inconvenient situation to repair. It’s a good idea wherever possible to start the screws by hand before tightening with a screw driver to ensure screws are not cross threaded.

Loosely fit the rudder mount bracket to the stern of the Profish using the top holes and the M5x10mm machine screws provided. Initially only screw these in 4 – 5 turns so the mount bracket is still loose. This makes it much easier to line up the bottom two holes and get those machine screws in place. With all 4 screws in place tighten into place.

 

5.0 Fit Rudder Pedals:

Profish kayaks now come with footrests installed as standard. These are swapped for the rudder pedals provided in the kit using the existing fastenings. To make the installation, easy start with the middle of the three screws and fit the pedal track loosely in place (don’t tighten). Now loosely fit the screws at either end being careful not to cross thread the inserts. Once all the screws are in place tighten hand tight.

 

6.0 Install Cableways:

The cableways are black nylon tubes that carry the rudder cables inside the Viking Profish. They are one piece to stop them acting like a straw and allowing water to enter the kayak. As a result this is the most important part of the installation and care needs to be taken when drilling the entry and exit holes, and when fitting the cableways to protect the watertight integrity of the kayak.

 

6.1 Drill entry holes in both sides of the cockpit.

The entry holes for the cableways are positioned in the center of the forward facing flat wall of the footrest / rudder pedal notch in the cockpit. Mark the middle position (half way up from the bottom and half way out from the side of the kayak) and drill using a 5mm drill trying to keep the bit as square to the surface as the body of the drill will allow.

 

6.2 Drill exit holes in the stern of the kayak.

Use a black rubber mushroom grommet as a template to mark the hole position in the cable exit at the stern of the Viking Profish. Do this by positioning the grommet centrally on the moulded flat spot (allowing space for the flange) and using a nail or awl to reach through the hole in the center and inscribe the centre mark. If this isn’t possible mark around the outside of the well nut with a fine tipped marker pen and then mark the centre of this circle.

Use the 5mm drill bit to drill a pilot hole, then use the 10mm drill bit to complete the hole. After the 10mm holes have been drilled use a de-burr tool or sharp Stanley knife to put a very small chamfer around the mouth. This only needs to be small and will make pressing the black rubber mushroom grommet in place much easier.

 

6.3 Construct a guide wire and hook for cableway insertion.

The easiest way to get the black tubular cableways from the cockpit to the stern is to use a guide wire. This is easily constructed using a 2.7m length of 2.5 - 3mm soft wire. Cut to length and remove the burrs and sharp edges form both ends. Straighten the wire and then 150mm from one end kink it into a small zigzag. This will help hold the cableway in place while it’s being drawn through the kayak. At the other end create a small flag using a piece of duct tape or masking tape. This will allow the end of the wire to be captured and drawn through the exit hole in the stern of the kayak.

The second wire tool is the “hook” used to capture the flag on the end of the guide wire. Using a piece of wire, bend a small “V” shaped hook 7mm across. 450mm up the wire from the hook make a 90 degree bend on the same side of the wire as hook. This is the handle that indicates the direction the hook is facing when it’s inside the kayak, and makes it easy to pick up the flag on the guide wire.

 

6.4 Use the guide wire to insert the cableways.

Begin by withdrawing the cables inside the cableway tubing, and if necessary making an angled cut in one end of a black tubular cableway (the angled cut may already be present on your cableway – the other end will be flared to act as a stop in the cockpit). This will make insertion into the 5mm hole in the cockpit much easier. Now slide this angled end over the zigzag on the guide wire. This should easily hold the cableway in place on the wire without distorting or kinking it.

At the other end of the guide wire roll the small flag around the wire and carefully insert through the 5mm entrance hole in the cockpit. Continue to feed the wire into the kayak angling it to run along the outside edge towards the stern. Once most of the wire has been inserted the progress of the tip can be monitored by looking in through the 10mm hole at the stern of the kayak.

It’s very important the wire passes to the outside of the pillars created by the scupper holes. This ensures the cableways and cables will follow the shortest track to the stern, and helps eliminate sponginess in the steering. The target for the right side cableway is the right side hole at the stern of the kayak. The left side cableway the left hole; do not cross the cableways inside the kayak.

Once the end of the guide wire and flag are visible below the appropriate 10mm outlet hole, use the wire hook to catch the end of the guide wire and flag. This can then be drawn gently out through the hole and the guide wire carefully pulled along until the tip of the cableway at the other end touches the side of the cockpit. At this point the guide wire can be released and it won’t fall back inside the kayak.

In the cockpit, the cableway can now be inserted through the 5mm hole; this will be a close fit. Continue to feed the cableway inside taking care not to kink or crimp it. Approximately every meter use the guide wire to gently draw through the length of cableway that has been inserted into the kayak. Be very careful not to pull too hard on the guide wire; if the cableway drops off the end the process will have to be started again.

Continue until the cableway is drawn out through the 10mm hole at the stern of the kayak by approximately 100mm. Be sure to leave the guide wire in place until ready to go to the next step. If the end of the cableway is dropped it will probably coil back inside the kayak and the process will have to start again.

Proceed to section 6.7 and fit the black rubber mushroom grommet to this cableway before beginning the installation of the second cableway.

 

6.5 Using a magnet for cableway insertion

An alternative to the above system for getting cableways through the kayak is to use a strong magnet and a small nail with draw string attached to the rudder cable. 

First make sure the end of the black cableway tubing to be inserted through the kayak is cut on an angle. This will make getting it through the entry hole much easier. Now make sure the rudder cable is inserted all the way through the cableway and poking out the end. 

Use a small nail that will fit through the 5mm cableway entry hole in the kayak cockpit tied to a 4m length of thin light cord to draw the cable and cableway through the kayak. Tie the light cord to the end of the rudder cable using a tight slip knot. Insert the nail tied to the other end through the cableway entry hole and use the magnet through the hull to pick it up and slide it gently along the inside and out the hole at the rear of the kayak. The draw string can now be used to slowly bring the cable and cableway through the kayak as it’s pushed in from the cockpit.

Once the cable and cableway have emerged at the stern of the kayak, proceed to sections 6.6 and 6.7 to secure the cableway in place. Make sure you don’t drop the cableway back inside the kayak or the process will have to be started again.

 

6.6 Position and secure the cockpit ends of the cableways

The flared cockpit end of the black tubular cableway is designed to act as a stop against the outside of the 5mm entry hole. Simply push the cableway all the way home until the flare stops against the outside of the hole. Now proceed to point 6.6 fitting the black rubber mushroom grommet at the stern.

 

6.7 Fit black rubber mushroom grommet to the end of the cableways, seal, and insert into place.

Make sure not to remove the guide wire or magnet draw string until you are ready to fit the mushroom grommet; if the cableway falls back inside the kayak the process will need to be started at step 6.4 or 6.5 again.

Remove the guide wire or draw string and insert the beveled end of the cableway into the small end of the grommet. Continue to slide the grommet onto the cableway until the end of the tube emerges from the grommet. This may take some force but the tight fit is required to hold the cableway in position when the installation is complete. Once the end of the tube emerges from the grommet a pair of pliers may be used to grip the end of the tube (nowhere else) to make it easier to slide the grommet into place against the mouth of the 10mm exit hole.

To set the correct cableway length inside the kayak, slide the mushroom grommet along so there’s a small amount of tension on the cableway. Now pull the end of the cableway tube out so the mushroom bung is 15mm clear of the exit hole and slide the grommet up so it again contacts the outside of the hole. This 15mm of extra tension ensures when the mushroom grommet is pushed into the exit hole there’s no slack generated in the cableway tube inside the kayak.

Now run a small bead of Selly’s All Clear around the end of the mushroom grommet at the entrance to the kayak. This will act as a lubricant as the grommet is pressed into place so the flange is against the outside of the hole. 

Repeat for the second cableway.

Finally the excess length of tube needs to be trimmed from both cableways. Measure 50mm from the domed top of the mushroom grommet and cut the cableway using a sharp Stanley knife to create a smooth finish. Using cutters is OK but the end of the tube may need to be flared a little to let the cables run through smoothly.

 

7.0 Fit Rudder Cables:

Please note: making the rudder cables too short is the most common error when installing rudders on kayaks. Be sure the rudder is checked for full deflection BEFORE finally trimming the cables to length. If the cables are too short for full deflection the knots can be unpicked and re-tied appropriately. If they have already been trimmed this may not be possible and new cables may be needed. 

 

7.1 Insert the cables through the cableways

Insert the end of the rudder cable into the black tubular cableway inside the cockpit, and being careful not to kink the cable, slide it all the way through until it emerges from the other end. If the cable becomes difficult to push through, slide it out and pull it taught to straighten out any kinks before re-inserting and pushing it through the cableway.

Repeat for the second rudder cable.

Another problem that may be encountered is the cable end jamming as it passes through the rudder end of the cableway. This can be remedied by removing the cable, pushing the red sheath back approximately 3mm, and trimming off the exposed white core. The red sheath can then be pushed forward again and the end carefully heat sealed with a lighter or butane torch. Make sure the little bead that forms on the end is rolled between thumb and finger while still soft to make it as slim and pointed as possible.

 

7.2 Fit the rudder headstock and blade

Insert the 10mm hinge pin of the rudder headstock into the mount bracket and install the split ring in the bottom hole to lock the headstock into the mount bracket.

 

7.3 Attach cables to the rudder headstock

Please note: making the rudder cables too short is the most common error when installing rudders on kayaks. Be sure the rudder is checked for full deflection BEFORE finally trimming the cables to length. If the cables are too short for full deflection the knots can be unpicked and re-tied appropriately. If they have already been trimmed this may not be possible and new cables may be needed. 

Make sure the cockpit end of the rudder cable is all the way through with the crimp forming the loop against the mouth of the cableway. 

Now slide one piece of the black 10mm heat shrink tubing over the cable and leave it sitting over the tail of the cableway emerging from the kayak. It will be used later to cover and protect the knot tying the rudder cable to the headstock but must be over the cable now as it cannot be added later.

At the rudder pass the end of the cable through the shackle on the same side twice to create a wrap on the bend of the shackle. Now turn the rudder to full deflection in the opposite direction so the cable is taught and at its greatest length. Using the tag (tail) end, tie a series of 6 half hitches around the cable. Make sure each hitch is completely tight before beginning the nest. If you alternate the direction of each hitch (clockwise and anticlockwise around the cable) it is much easier to get each firm and tight.

Before trimming and covering the knots with the heat shrink tubing tie the second rudder cable in place using the procedure above. Once both cables have been tied move to the cockpit and test the rudder for full deflection in both directions by pulling alternately on the ends of the rudder cables. The rudder should move freely from side to side.

Once you’re happy with the action of the rudder and cables, the cables can be trimmed using a sharp blade to leave a 25mm tag from the knot. Heat seal the ends using a butane torch or lighter then slide over the 10mm heat shrink tubing to completely cover the knot. Shrink the tubing in place using a hair dryer or by carefully wafting a butane flame over it. Be very careful not to scorch the rudder cable itself.

 

8.0 Test Operation and Adjust For Fit:

Once the rudder cables and cord adjustment have been installed the rudder should be checked for operation. Simply adjust the pedals to any position mid way along their tracks and move them backwards and forwards while watching the rudder for full deflection from side to side.

To adjust the pedals for length place the kayak on the ground on top of three or four cross boards so the kayak is supported with the rudder blade free to move. While a friend holds the rudder straight with the center line of the kayak, sit in the cockpit and adjust the pedals for comfortable length making sure your knees are slightly bent. During the first paddle this adjustment can be trimmed so the seating position is comfortable and the kayak tracks straight.

 

9.0 Maintenance:

This rudder system has been designed to require minimal maintenance. After every trip give the whole rudder system a rinse off with fresh water. Periodically lubricate the pedal tracks with a dry lubricant such as CRC Dry Glide. This will allow the pedals to slide freely on the tracks without accumulating dirt and grit. If desired stainless steel components can be given a polish with a good quality polishing compound.

Every 6 months inspect the rudder cables for signs of wear and check the crimps forming the cable loops in the cockpit for signs of movement or damage. Check the rudder mount bracket hasn’t been damaged and is firmly attached to the stern of the kayak. Finally inspect the upward movement of the rudder blade isn’t restricted and the hold-down bungy in the head unit hasn’t become perished. Replace if required.