Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

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adventureagent
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Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by adventureagent »

My new boat has Smart trak.

They market "trim-tab", which appears to be a deck-mounted lever. The lever apparently "sets" the rudder to allow for beam windage.

I searched youtube to no avail. Their website doesn't educate on the subject.

Seems to be times when the simple flick of an on-deck lever to ease stroke compensation would be a good thing. I've not seen such, nor heard of such being used. Particularly my interest would be retro-fitting to my unit.

Anyone with knowledge and/or experience with the installation and usage of this?
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pathbrae
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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by pathbrae »

Not sure I've ever seen one.
Setting the rudder with your feet means you don't need to take a hand off the paddle......
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by adventureagent »

pathbrae wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:08 pm
Not sure I've ever seen one.
Setting the rudder with your feet means you don't need to take a hand off the paddle......
I realize that, but someone went to the point of designing this to address some problem. I know sometimes I would tilt the boat to compensate, sometimes extend the paddle on one side, to address a side wind. I sometimes felt that it was all just fatigueing. Perhaps this is what it addresses.

Anyway, it was brought to production, so must have some merit. Would like to have someones description of using and benefits of the unit.
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adventureagent
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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by adventureagent »

adventureagent wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:32 pm
pathbrae wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 2:08 pm
Not sure I've ever seen one.
Setting the rudder with your feet means you don't need to take a hand off the paddle......
I realize that, but someone went to the point of designing this to address some problem. I know sometimes I would tilt the boat to compensate, sometimes extend the paddle on one side, to address a side wind. I sometimes felt that it was all just fatigueing. Perhaps this is what it addresses.

Anyway, it was brought to production, so must have some merit. Would like to have someones description of using and benefits of the unit.
I frogot to add the link. Apologies. Here's one: https://www.clcboats.com/modules/catalo ... k-trim-tab
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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by ike »

I’m trying to resist the conclusion that, this is a solution looking for a problem...

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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by adventureagent »

Thank, Ike. I kinda like that answer.
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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by Chris Bolton »

A rudder is very useful surfing down swells, but I don't think it's efficient to use one to counter weathercocking. An angled rudder on a boat that's moving on a straight course creates drag. A well designed boat can be loaded so that it's well balanced in most conditions. I used to have a Vyneck (no skeg, no rudder) that never needed correction strokes unless I'd loaded it badly. The invention of the adjustable skeg has allowed designers to produce boats that weathercock (maybe as a result of other beneficial features). Adding more widgets to make a boat behave doesn't sound right (as Boeing have found with the 737 MAX, it doesn't work with aircraft).

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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by Jim »

I disagree, a rudder is VERY useful to control weather cocking or lee cocking, in fact that is the main purpose it serves on my boat, the times I actually want to make a turn sharp enough to use the rudder are fairly few, and then I find it best to stick to no tighter than about 50m radius to avoid stalling.
I used to be doubtful about its use for that, inherently adding rudder angle does add more drag, but I paddle so much more effectively when not engaging my core in edging that it makes a huge difference to overall performance. I haven't trialled them back to back for a while, but I used to paddle my Taran and my WWR at the same speed on a sheltered canal where I can keep the racer vertical the whole time, but on open water with wind anywhere but on the bow, the WWR is much slower because I'm locking up my core to various degrees just edging to keep it straight.

As for the trim tab, my understanding is that is is effectively a device to bias the pedal balance so that you can have slight rudder angle whilst keeping the pedals flat so you don't need to put more pressure on one foot than the other to maintain straight course over long distance with a side/quarter wind. I'm not even sure how the self adjustment of the smart track pedal arrangement works let alone how you can add an extra controller to it, but on reflection I think I would tend to agree with ike - not only have I never felt an issue with extended steering over many hours of paddling my Taran, I am continually making small adjustments with my toes so I can't really see a use for it in the first place...

Get some hours in your new boat, and see if you ever feel you are having issues with holding the rudder to one side or the other, you may well find you have no need of this device.

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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by adventureagent »

Alright. Thanks for the few replies and much thought-provoking. My curiosity is, as I said, that someone has given much thought and then design and manufacturing to this thing. Therefore, while I'd never thought of such a thing, perhaps this venue would reach someone who actually has used it. So, I know that many of us use things as-is and that is as far as thought goes. Therefore we fluff it off as unnecessary. I mean, before we had rudders and skegs, didn't we think "all that mechanical junk? Why clutter the whole paddling venture"?

Now it's pretty uncommon to have an "unenhanced" kayak. It's good to ponder these things, though. Sometimes we utilize them, sometimes we try 'm an' toss 'm. Thanks again. So glad for this board and its participants.
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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by SJD »

I do wonder if in the event of rudder cable/line or part failure would this trim tab mechanism allow the paddler to lock the blade to a centerline position; a sort of limp home device.

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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by Mac50L »

SJD wrote:
Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:25 pm
I do wonder if in the event of rudder cable/line or part failure would this trim tab mechanism allow the paddler to lock the blade to a centerline position; a sort of limp home device.
How? The trim tab appears to be on the rudderline so no line no trim.

As for SmartTrack, they came up with the vertical stow in 2006, calling it “new” and claiming “it is a revolutionary sea kayak rudder system”. I'd used exactly that as a "quick & dirty" rudder system back in the mid 1980s, over two decades before them. I then went to the Daggerboard rudder style in 1992 which was "patented" a decade later by KajakSport and "patented" again by the Yanks Sea-Lect a decade after that.
https://canterburyseakayak.wordpress.com/rudder-types/

adventureagent, "My curiosity is, as I said, that someone has given much thought and then design and manufacturing to this thing"

Leaving the question, "Why?" Was it because they designed poor foot pedals? As for their foot pedals - yuk.

As for drag by the rudder blade. Yes, a blade does produce drag when turning the kayak, as does a skeg. However if it is down and trailing at minimal angle to the direction there should be minimal drag. There is no need to put pressure on the rudder pedals if there is no need to adjust the kayak's course.

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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by SJD »

Looks like it would still require a bungee cord and hook at the stern for a temporary fix but that does not really change much regarding the trim mechanism.

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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by adventureagent »

Guess I'm not looking to apply this hardware, thanks, everyone.

Spring's 'round the corner.
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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by Aled »

The TrimTab has it's uses - but we don't often we see seakayaks with a setup that requires or makes use of this device in the UK.
Some seakayaks are not fitted with skegs, but do have rudder placements. The TrimTab allows the rudder to be operated with a skeg like effect. Rather than incrementally raising and lowering a skeg as per usual, the TrimTab allows the rudder to be fully deployed and set/held at an angle - the effect is the same (possibly more efficient than a skeg?) as it compensates for the turning effect of windage. The rudder blade angle can then be adjusted incrementally just like a skeg. As Jim said, it can also be used to deactivate the 'active' footrests of a ruddered system - if you have a ruddered boat but don't like dancing continuously on the pedals, fitting a TrimTab to the SmartTrack rudder system allows you to relax your toes. TrimTab: not a common sight, but effective in its own way.
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Re: Smart trak trim-tab install/retro-fit

Post by Mac50L »

Aled wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 11:24 pm
if you have a ruddered boat but don't like dancing continuously on the pedals, fitting a TrimTab to the SmartTrack rudder system allows you to relax your toes.
Or get or make decently designed rudder pedals. No dancing, no need to relax toes, they are relaxed - if you use properly designed equipment.

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