The Ferguson-Currie rudder pedals
Here’s a very ingenious Klepper rudder pedal replacement from New Zealand’s Alex (Sandy) Ferguson. Alex’s design comes from an idea by Don Currie, whose design inspired Alex’s. Click here to see the drawing.
The bar would have to be high enough to go over any frames in the way or cut a slot and feed it through or make the bar shorter. The pedals can be folded down by making the hole at the top of the pedal a slot, and just “flipping” the line out of the slot (for loading the forward end).The lines MUST go round the rudder-pedal hinge-pins otherwise they will move in the holes in the pedals as they are actuated and cause wear.
Tord didn’t like the way the Klepper pedals attach, particularly with the seat tracks installed. Here’s what he did:
“First, I scrapped the old fittings, but kept the knurled nut, which proved to be a 6 mm nut. This will hold the new assembly to the keel board, with the help of a fitting 6 mm stainless bolt.
“I then got hold of piece of 20 x 10 mm rectangular aluminium tube, a 20 x 20 mm square tube, seven 40 mm long, 6 mm thick, stainless bolts (similar to those holding the leeboards in place, or the seats), and some laquer, compatible with the original used.
“I had previously found out that I normally had the pedal assembly snugged up against the aluminium bottom “lock” (the aluminium horse shoe-like thingy) and that there was about 20 mm space between the pedal assembly and the snaplock tongues, thus if I scrapped the edge-gripping fittings, and used a square aluminium tube, bolted to the pedal assembly board, and through the keel board. For quick assembly/disassembly I planned to use a single stainless bolt through the keelboard, and the original knurled nut.
“A slight sanding of the tips of the metal tongues and everything fitted prefectly, even without any bolts installed! BUT, I quickly realised that I could not use the knurled nut then! Too tight a fit!
“So what to do? Either get a big L-shaped thing, cut out the middle, and then cut out the middle of the pedal assembly board – then I could use the knurled nut as I planned. As I had no L-shaped bit of a suitable size, I eventually used a 20 x 10 mm rectangular tube at the bottom and bolted two smaller bits of the 20 x 20 mm tube on top, using 6 mm stainless bolts to screw it all together. the hole in the pedal assembly board proved essential for easy assembly, so that’s there, too!
“So now we assemble the Klepper and just push the pedal assembly in place, secure with the knurled nut and off we go!”
A lot of people find the rudder assembly is not only a pain to install, it doesn’t leave much leg room for tall stern paddlers. Tord has disassembled his and reattached the pedals to frame #4 in the Klepper double. Mark Ekhart does something similar in the Long Haul Mk II, although in his boats the pedals are mounted further outboard to clear the bow seat. Tord notes he hadn’t seen the Long Haul system when he conceived of this.
Note the attachment details. Using stainless nuts and bolts you could probably make a system that could be swicthed back and forth between the rib and the traditional mounting clamp.
“I bought a 4mm thick plate of aluminium that the guy said it was suitible for use in salt water, but I don’t know what type it is. Not very hard, but stiff.”
[Ed: Probably 2024 alloy]
“My first take was making it twice the size the original, by making it approx. twice as deep, while keeping it at roughly the original length, so it is roughly quadratic, but with rounded corners.
“To make it fit I used a hacksaw with a wire saw to widen the gap in the original assembly and replaced the original pin with a stainless screw and a locknut.
“After a few trips with it I realised that it needed to flip up more, due to its increased size, and fold down more to become more balanced. Now it is superb! I spray painted it with black car paint to make it nice, but I didn’t use any primer, so it could be improved on.”
After having had an unforseen swim, in 3 C water, together with the wife (climbing up on a rock in 1 C 16 knot winds
was even less fun), and the ensuing problems we had with rescueing a waterlogged Klepper Aerius II out of the water we fully understand those who have added i bilge pumps to their kayaks.
So, how can it be done? And is it expensive?
The blige pump we bought cost us about $20, the sealed lead-acid battery was an old one I had used for my model airplane winch (new about $30), a scrap piece of aluminium angle, some screws, a scrap piece of aluminium square tube, a piece of string that’s all, almost: the strap, that holds the battery to frame 6, and the power switch was the two other items I had to buy!
First, I am the heavy in our kayak, so the pump have to sit just behind my seat, just by frame 6.
The pump had a big sieve on its bottom, but as only fine grit and sand will ever end up as flotsam in our kayak, I simply took the sieve off and drilled a small hole in the keel-plank, just big enough for the pump inlet (With the sieve in place you have to drill one mother of a hole, far beyond my capabilities).
The inner side of the pump housing’s plastic cover (see photo) I sawed off (a Dremel with a cut-off wheel works perfect!), and I then added some self-adhesive rubber foam mat to the bottom of the pump housing to act as a gasket between the pump housing and the keel-plank.
A tiny aluminium angle was screwed into frame 6, which fits just over the pumphouse, holding the rear of the pump in place – two small blocks (I used aluminium tube scrap pieces, hardwood works well, too!) prevents the pump to move forward or sideways, the aluminium angle, plus the frame (#6), prevents it from moving backward. A simple string (see photo) prevents it from moving upward. Simple as that! Now you can do double rolls without the pump falling out!
The hose used is one of those that stows flat and is, when “armed and ready”, secured in its end to one of the D-rings on the rear deck. This little pump pumps about 60 liters per minute, and should work as well in salt, as in fresh, water!
We had one of the Aquaguard manual pumps when we had our accident and the wife used it to empty the boat, a labourous and tiring job after a long swim and because the boat was quite unstable being full with water, so she was forced to sit with her wet feet in near freezing water for over 10 minutes continously pumping!
The battery.securing strap goes around the bottom of frame 6 and round the battery (see photo).
Missing at the moment is in the installation are the manual switch, the automatic switch and the solar panel that will charge the battery (which is also used to charge cameras, et cetera).
Some know-alls might argue that a battery will short if you immerse it in water and that is true and false – fresh water no problem, and in salt water only if you don’t cover the battery poles with silicon (or similar) to make them water tight! The same goes for any cable joints, et cetera!
A Cetek charger (the best, and small, to boot!) is used to keep the battery shipshape, when not in use!