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26a. Rudder - footbrace connection

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The cockpit end of the cable. I decided right from the outset that connecting the steel cable directly to the foot braces would be too inflexible. Instead, I extended it with a 2ft length of nylon webbing which allows quick (on the water) adjustment. You will get an appreciation for this if your cockpit is too small, your legs are too long and your spine is too inflexible. Either way, it will also permit a more dignified readjustment if your friends are pleading for a ride in your precious kayak :)

There are many ways to make the connection. Here is one which takes advantage of the tapped hole in the aluminium footbrace rail ( the thread is standard 1/4-20 if you need to ask for screws in a hardware store).

1. First, take the end of the nylon webbing, fold it over and sandwich a 5/8" (~16mm) stainless washer in the fold. Hold it together with a spring clamp as in the photo. Make sure the 1/4" screw can pass through the washer first :)

2. Burn through. The webbing will self cauterize so the fibers do not unravel.
3. Insert a 'pan head' stainless screw and tighten onto the rail. The webbing is firmly clamped between the screw, the washer and the rail. The folded end of the webbing should be pressed against the rail.

I was popping veins in my face to rip it out but to no avail. It is plenty strong for this application. Trim the screw so that it is flush with the underside of the rail. The footbrace can now freely slide in the track and the low profile webbing attachment is out of the way so there is no snagging on the corners of the plastic track.

A little finishing touch. The coating buries any sharp wire ends.

See how to create cable end loops
A plastic buckle will be conveniently located in the easy to reach part of the cockpit so it can be adjusted at any time.

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Last page update: 9 May 2024