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Re: Other: Smart Track Hybrid Foil rudder?

I found some comments on the Smart Track Hybrid Foil rudder at MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op). MEC used to sell that rudder. In the comments area was a reply from Brian at P&H.

Hi All,

Sorry to hear that the two of you had trouble with the foil rudder. Here are some thoughts:

The Venture rudder is indeed a SmartTrack foil rudder and is provided as spec'ed by SmartTrack. I contacted the company to ask them about the spring alignment and they assured me that the rudder is intended to spring into the up position. The rope is intended to act as a downhaul.

That being said, if you want the rudder to spring into the down position with with a rope uphaul, all that you need to do is reverse the spring in the rudder housing assembly. This is easy to do and works great.

I hope this helps,

Brian P&H/Pyranha US

Smart Track makes the rudder and foil for the Hybrid Foil rudder and that rudder assembly is available through Stellar, and possibly other outlets. Stellar uses the Hybrid Foil rudder on their touring kayaks. A Stellar customer rep answered my email and said:

John, it is spring up, but I have not heard anything bad about this rudder when being used.

My reply was that their users must not paddle where there is kelp in the water.

My friend has been stopped more than once, and had to release the downhaul line to allow the rudder to retract so he could escape from kelp. And, kelp is a lot softer than a log or a rock!

As Bill Hamm suggests, a piece of shock cord in the downhaul line could provide some kickup capability. One of the commenters at MEC had rigged his rudder that way, but his downhaul line didn't go into a jam cleat at the cockpit. There isn't much space to add shock cord since the downhaul line disappears under the deck fairly close to the stern, but I'll have a look at my friend's boat to see the possibilities.

The other Smart Track rudders seem to be 'spring down, line uphaul' designs, but I don't think any of them rotate 270 degrees to lie parallel to the deck.

Live and learn......