Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
User avatar
Selkie
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:35 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Contact:

Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder^

Post by Selkie » Sat May 11, 2013 11:45 am

I know the Kari-Tek skeg/rudder is no longer available...I am amusing this was due to a lack of interest at that time and therefore high cost of production for small number of units. A friend has contacted Kari-Tek over the last couple of years and got the answer that they are working on a new version in a attempt to get the production costs down. It has not happened yet :(

Has anyone tried the skeg/rudder? Does anyone own one? Feedback would be very useful or even better if I could try one.

I enjoy Sea Kayaks and Surfskis. I love the understern rudder on the Ski. Having been against them, I am a convert. The option such as the skeg/rudder really appeals to me and other paddlers I know in a similar situation.
www.selkiekayak.com
Surfskikayak on Facebook

Baldy-Old-Troll
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Paisley

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder

Post by Baldy-Old-Troll » Sun May 12, 2013 9:23 am

I had the skeg rudder on an Explorer that I sold recently, first thing is it's heavy, the foot controls are of a T-bar style which can be moved fore and aft for fit. There is no way of knowing which way the actual blade is pointing, and because it is hydraulic it does not self center, it has no center stop or detent that would let you know when you are amidships and if the blade is fully down it is quite easy to steer accidently. The skeg function is fine and works flawlessly.

I've got an Epic 18x so I'm used to using a rudder but I just couldn't get on with the foot controls on the Kari-Tek, if you could adapt one to cable operation and use a foot plate with gas pedal style controls it would be exellent, and from what I saw of the skeg box and its parts it shouldn't be too difficult to do. I've been into Karitek several times and they still have a display of the various skeg systems, it looks like they all use the same box and as if it would be quite simple to build a cable skeg with a cable operated rudder using mostly standard parts.

Stuart.

User avatar
Selkie
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:35 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Contact:

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder

Post by Selkie » Sun May 12, 2013 1:57 pm

Thanks Stuart.

It is good to get some constructive feedback. I am surprised it does not self centre. How would it kick up if you hit something? I guess you have to have it in skeg mode if near rocks/beach etc.

I also have the V8. Awesome rudder. If only the 2 concepts could be combined. It is not a problem on a ski because they are light and you don't carry a load. Easy to jump off in the shallows, tuck it under your arm and walk up the beach. This would be more of a a problem with a loaded sea kayak.
www.selkiekayak.com
Surfskikayak on Facebook

Baldy-Old-Troll
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Paisley

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder

Post by Baldy-Old-Troll » Tue May 14, 2013 11:16 am

Hi Selkie.
The skeg rudder will stay at whatever angle it is set to until you manually center it, and as there is no self centering effect from the flow over the blade as we are used to that means making lots of small adjustments to the t-bar until you are running straight, a t-bar which gives you no feedback and is hanging from the deck so it's nowhere near as simple to use as the gas pedals we are used to, The blade will retract if it's hit, but I don't know if it would with the rudder hard over, it's okay with a small amount of angle but at the maximum _____?

The V8 that you have is the ski version of the 18x hull but with a ski rudder, is that right? I've been looking to buy a ski for about 6 months, but they are rare second hand and if I do find one it's always on the south coast, I suppose I'll have to keep saving and give Ivan a call about a new V10. That's the problem with Epics, once you start going fast you just want more and more, my kayaking has changed from a relaxing paddle enjoying the scenery to flat out workout sessions complete with pulse meter, gps and wing paddle, constantly trying to improve my average speed,hoping to acheive the target times for my boat on the Epic website. Aah well at least it saves on the gym membership fees.

Stuart.

User avatar
Selkie
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:35 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Contact:

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder

Post by Selkie » Wed May 22, 2013 11:18 pm

Hi Stuart... Yes the V8 is as you described. It is a true ski/kayak hybrid with great performance. It catches the runners well and great fun in the rough stuff. But you can also gently explore the rugged coasts as you would in sea kayak. Plenty of secondary stability.

I know what you mean about wanting to go faster and it is a great gym replacement. I get out most mornings before work. Very addictive. I am now experimenting on the V10. Surfskis & wings have transformed my paddling. Ivan was down at the weekend. His paddle clinics really put the no BS science into paddling. It is fascinating to watch experienced paddlers have their beliefs about paddle technique turned on its head.

I still feel there is a place for a well designed lifting under stern rudder for the best of all worlds. Amazed that no one is developing this.
www.selkiekayak.com
Surfskikayak on Facebook

User avatar
EK Sydney
Posts: 257
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:22 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder

Post by EK Sydney » Thu May 23, 2013 6:31 am

Selkie wrote:I still feel there is a place for a well designed lifting under stern rudder for the best of all worlds. Amazed that no one is developing this.
I think a few guys have had a crack, but it's not that easy. We've looked at it with some naval designers, carbon manufacturers etc, and had a couple of ideas that could work but… (it's a big but….)
We wondered about how effective the ski rudder position would be on a traditonal sea kayak, even a not-so-traditional design like the new fast tourers.

You'd actually have to design the hull around the turning position of the forward underslung rudder, like the good ski designs do.
I've paddled the 18X in big downwind conditions, the sorts of seas that the V8 would burn alive, and once it got steep and fast the 18X was pretty hopeless, skating around where a boat like the Taran just explodes into the trough & up the other side. The 18X has the same hull etc as the V8 but the rudder is in a different spot and the hull isn't good enough to deal with fast following waves with the rudder swinging free.

We also tried the rudder/skeg on an Explorer and it was horrible. Get your head around pushing with your left foot to make the boat turn left when the rudder is deployed, then pushing with your left to make it turn right when the rudder is up. The Explorer hull just doesn't work that well with a rudder, because I guess it was never a part of the intended design.

It's still the holy grail in my book, but it most likely won't work just banged onto an existing design, unless by some fluke the hull happens to be OK.

Mark.

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3519
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu May 23, 2013 9:31 am

I don't usually post on skeg threads but as I have not been kayaking much recently due to worsening knee and shoulder problems (requiring visits to my former surgical colleagues) so here goes....

I have used the Karitek Hydro skeg rudder extensively on a Quest, Menai 18 and Explorer. I have used it on day paddles and fully loaded on multi day camping trips. I have also used it kayak sailing the Quest with a Flat Earth kayak sail.

The Karitek system was a wonderfully engineered system that as its name suggests was primarily a skeg but which also functioned as a rudder given suitable conditions. As mentioned when in rudder mode there is no self centering at the pedals but if you can't feel it doing something, then there wouldn't be much point in having it down anyway!

To put it in rudder mode, you put the skeg slider control (mounted outboard of the cockpit coaming) into the fully down position. The blade is then vertical and can turn on the axle in its leading edge which is controlled by the foot pedals. If the rudder hits an obstruction, the hydraulics allow it to sweep back and as it does does so, it self-centres and this allows it to renter the skeg slot. If you were really wanting to centre it while paddling in rudder mode, just use the skeg slider to bring it up half way then put it back down again.

To use it in conventional skeg mode just operate the skeg slider in the first 2/3rds of its travel. The trailing edge remains in the skeg box and the foot pedals are locked.

Like most rudder systems don't expect to use it in all directions of travel in strong winds. If you are paddling about 30 to 50 degrees off the wind in force 4 and above and put it fully down into rudder mode the kayak will leecock. You cannot paddle fast enough to generate the lift off the turned rudder blade to turn the kayak into the wind. In effect it is just acting like a skeg and you wouldn't put a skeg down in those conditions. So lift it up into skeg mode and just have enough down to balance the kayak's natural tendency to weathercock.

Downwind the skeg rudder really comes into its own and can be used as a rudder very effectively on all three very different kayaks which I have tried. I have particularly liked using it downwind when kayak sailing the Quest. I paddle ruddered kayaks quite a bit... Aleut Sea II for many years and more recently the Taran 16 so I am now used to the counter intuitive foot pressure (which Mark describes) when you change from steering a boat by edging to steering with a rudder. Using the Karitek hydro skeg rudder system you will need to get used to this as you frequently switch between skeg and rudder modes.

I like the skeg rudder system but it was expensive (which is why it is no longer available) and not really suitable for a home install unless you are a very proficient DIYer . The skeg rudder system in the Quest has been working for 8 years. This is a kayak which only gets cleaned when the owner capsizes, which is seldom. It has required bleeding once in that period.

I like rudders, especially for down wind kayak sailing (though they are definitely not essential for this). The Taran 16 really switched me on to rudders, that kayak turns tighter than an Explorer or Quest right on edge! In fact, I like rudders so much that I kind of wish I had asked P&H to fit one to the Aries 155 (which I am currently testing) and that is the most manoeuvrable kayak when edging I have tried!

It may be that Kari-Tek will reintroduce the hydro skeg and skeg rudder systems in the future. At Karitek's workshop, a test rig is currently running night and day testing a new cheaper and lighter plastic hydraulic system

Douglas

PS Stuart, was the explorer you had British racing green with yellow trim? There can't have been many explorers with skeg rudders?

User avatar
Selkie
Posts: 135
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:35 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
Contact:

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder^

Post by Selkie » Thu May 23, 2013 11:45 am

Many thanks Mark and Douglas for your valued and experienced feedback on this subject.

It seems there is much more to consider than first thought. My open cockpit design is very swede form much like the skis which is why my thinking that an under stern rudder may work well. My design has proven to handle well in all conditions with just a skeg, but my ski paddling has really made me like the rudder benefits.

Interesting the hear Marks comments comparing the 18x and the Taran in steep following seas. The V8 loves these conditions so it would seem that as they are the same hull the rudder position has a lot to do with this. I have paddled the V8 without a rudder to see how I would cope if I knocked it off and had to get back. I found that I could edge and paddle it just like a sea kayak with no real problems. I will have to try this in a steep following sea (with some cover) to test this further. I have not tested the 18x yet but have paddled the new V6 (a shortened V8/18X) with the same rudder (fish tail with a blade that swings down). I found this worked really well a steered straight down the waves with no broaching tenancies.
www.selkiekayak.com
Surfskikayak on Facebook

Baldy-Old-Troll
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Paisley

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder^

Post by Baldy-Old-Troll » Fri May 24, 2013 11:21 pm

Hi Douglas, no the Explorer was yellow decked with a white hull, it's away to it's new home on the east coast now. The issue with the self center of the rudder is more to do with how I paddle , I use the rudder for a correction then release it whereby it returns to the neutral position allowing me to concentrate on my forward paddling. I paddle an Epic 18x which has a full foot plate with ''gas pedal'' rudder pedals hinged off of the top edge, I sit with my feet together and my knees raised and use a lot of leg pressure and rotation, so much so that I removed my backrest to stop the friction burns that I was getting from rubbing against it. The Kari Tek rudder worked but it was confusing trying to work out if the rudder wasn't straight or it was the conditons that were causing a slight turn , you are correct that it could be lifted slightly to straighten but that kind of defeats the purpose of a foot operated rudder, as I said as a skeg it was fine but as a rudder for any kind of performance paddling of the type I enjoy it just wasn't quite there.
I read your review of the Taran 16 and have heard others rave about their Tarans, I actually had a short try of Jim's Taran at the SOTP winter meet on Loch Lomond and was amazed at the stability, but found that the use of pegs as opposed to the plate I'm now used to made it harder to apply the same power , I didn't get to use the rudder but I would assume it would self center in the same way as the Epic's. I used to think that rudders were for tandem boats and occasional paddlers only but I am now a real convert, you need the skills to paddle rudderless ,but once you have them the use of a rudder on the right boat is a real eye-opener. I just wish I could afford a newer 18x with the updated rudder, I think that would transform an already fantastic boat ( sorry I'm a bit of an Epic fanboy)in the meantime I'm going to see if Roddy has any Pace 18s available to test.

Stuart.

mick m
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:23 am
Location: East Gippsland Vic Australia
Contact:

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder^

Post by mick m » Fri May 24, 2013 11:51 pm

Is the newer epic rudder abel to be retro fitted to an older kayak.?

Baldy-Old-Troll
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Paisley

Re: Kari-Tek Skeg/rudder^

Post by Baldy-Old-Troll » Sat May 25, 2013 7:01 am

I don't know Mick, it would need some mods to the boat to allow the deployment line to run to the cockpit, I've been toying with the idea of making my own version using a spare rudder that I have.

Stuart.

Post Reply