Hobie rudder upgrade

Last year I fished a couple of locations which screamed fish, but due to fact that I was trying to battle wind and tide whilst paddling, flicking a lure was very difficult. This year I have a Hobie Revolution 11;  it looks like it has the makings of the ultimate lure fishing machine – and with the mirage drive, it would allow me to fish hands free.

I have been busy trying to modify it, but still remain true to the original ideals of the lure fishing kayak – I wanted something lightweight and manoeuvrable. The addition of a larger rudder would add a bit of weight, but it would also make it more manoeuvrable – it would also help with my other interest of adding a sail to the kayak at some stage.

Steve Beard runs the Hobie Cat Centre at Rockley, and he knows everything about hobie cats and kayaks. He suggested maybe the rudder from a Hobie Island might fit the bill – well there was only one way to find out…

Fitting the rudder couldn’t be easier – simply undo the bolts holding it in position, and swap it over with the new rudder. However, fitting the rudder is the easy bit. More tricky is coping with the extra space which is taken up by the rudder.

The eye pad on the stern on the port side was replaced with a flush mount attachment (to stop the heavier rudder catching on it when raising/lowering). I also moved the carry handle/toggle to one side (it it covered by the larger rudder).

The modification involved adding a piece of nylon and a short piece of elastic shock cord. The shock cord provides tension on the toggle and pulls it into the side of the kayak (to avoid it getting caught on the anchor trolley). When the handle is pulled, the elastic stretches and allows the toggle to lift by a few inches. Not perfect, because it is located to one side of the kayak – but acceptable.



Next I modified the shock cord in the rear tank well of the Revolution 11. The addition of a new crate meant the configuration shock cord had to be changed.

A simple modification allowed a short section of shock cord to double up as a keeper for the new rudder, and also to secure the rear edge of the crate in place.



I have trialled the new rudder a few times and it makes an amazing difference to the turning circle of  the Revolution 11 (which was already quite good !). Now the Revo 11 turns on a sixpence.

As you can see from the image below, the new rudder has a much large surface area than the standard rudder…


So a great modification – my only reservation is that it is more difficult to raise and turn the rudder, and the control lines are under more stress. I will be keeping an eye on things and will report back any issues.