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There are many features and options that the designer can choose to include or omit with the overall decision being dependent on the end benefit or performance that he/she would like the boat to have or do.
The different features to consider when looking to purchase a canoe, kayak, sea kayak or sit-on-top can be found under each heading.
FEATURES EXPLAINED - RUDDERS
There are 2 basic rudder styles available in sea kayaks in Australia, a traditional "drop-over" rudder and an "integrated" rudder.
A traditional 'drop over rudder" is the most common style and sits up on the back deck until it is required. It then moves through 270 degrees, until it is found in the down position.
An "integrated" rudder can also be known as an "under-slung" rudder.
It is the lowest point of the underside of the kayak and is permanently "on". It can not be raised up onto the upper deck, like a "drop-over" rudder can.
TYPES OF RUDDERS
At Australis, we use a traditional "drop-over" rudder because:
At Australis, we do not use an "integrated" rudder because:
The first plastic sea kayak that we made, the "Trilogy" had an integrated rudder, and because of the short comings that we found with this system, all of our sea kayaks are now supplied with a "traditional drop-over rudder".
The rudder head serves 2 purposes.
The original Australis sea kayaks were released with rudder heads that were made from 316 marine grade stainless steel and then powder coated. We used 316 stainless because it was strong and resistant to rusting in salt water than other metals.
We now use a "glass-filled nylon " rudder head because it is strong, has some in-built flexibility and helps to reduce the weight of the kayak.
Whilst we have converted our rudder head from stainless steel to plastic, the rudder blade continues to be made out of 316 marine grade stainless steel.
Some other manufacturers use plastic rudder blades, whilst others use aluminium.
At Australis, we use stainless steel because:
Points to Consider