DIY Simple Kickup Rudder

Article By Shorty

I needed to make a new rudder for this boat. There are many designs for rudders out there, I have tried many of them but keep coming back to this simple style kickup rudder. But for this one, I tried a few small modifications from what he normally prescribes.

The first big difference in this rudder, is that instead of using a plywood blade with a lead weight, I used an old Hobie 16 rudder blade. I trimmed it a bit so it would pivot without hitting the other hardware.

I know the drawing says 8", but the blade is about 9" wide on top and tapers down a little narrower on the bottom. The blade is 29" tall overall.

The hold up line has a simple jam cleat mounted right on the stock, so when I want to hold the blade up, I can simply hoist and cleat it.

Also you can see the main sheet block mounted to the tiller. Normally people suggest putting the block somewhere else so it won't interfere with the steerage, but I have found that if you place it just in the right spot, it won't pull at the tiller very much, BUT, has a neat feature. If you fall overboard and the main sheet is cleated, there is just enough pull on the rudder stock to pull the rudder to the side, so the boat will sail itself in circles.

The line that holds the blade up also doubles as a leash, so if for some reason the rudder pops out of it's gudgeons, I won't loose the rudder.

Here is another big deviation, instead of making a Y shaped tiller, I use a simple stick with an aluminum bar to clamp the other side.

Also notice that all the hardware is mounted on one side of the stock. This lets me fold the rudder and lay it on one side.

At the end of the tiller is a jam cleat for the main sheet.

And finally, here is my simple hiking stick.