Replacing Lucia's Sliding Necky Rudder Control Foot Pegs

posted Nov 30, 2014, 12:16 PM by Richard Sevenich   [ updated Nov 30, 2014, 12:27 PM ]

Lucia is a ruddered kayak, a deliberate choice made to have gear packing space otherwise occupied by a skeg box. The Necky design still used sliding foot pegs for the Looksha IV of this vintage. I would expect that Necky has modernized here, but don't really know. This design compromises foot bracing for typical strokes (e.g. the forward stroke). In particular, the bracing feels (and is) mushy. I think it would confuse my roll, but I haven't had this boat in the water yet and therefore not tried rolling.

Of the updates to Lucia mentioned in the prior blog (entitled: Introducing 'Lucia' a used kevlar Necky Looksha IV), the most interesting was replacing the sliding Necky rudder control foot pegs with the accelerator-style, fixed location foot pegs. The replacement assembly, a Sea-Lect Designs product, was purchased from Seaward. Our Seaward Cosma TX has this foot peg setup and was already familiar and had proved sturdy and functional. We much prefer these to sliding foot pegs for rudder control, avoiding the mushy bracing that accompanies the sliders. Note that Sea-Lect Designs has a series of YouTube videos that give a few helpful installation hints.

I had hoped to merely remove the sliding foot brace tracks and just insert the Sea-Lect tracks in the same location. That is a best case scenario that Sea-Lect mentions. However, the needed through-hull hole spacing for the Necky track and the Sea-Lect track are different, so at the very least I would need to drill 2 new holes while using 2 of the existing holes. Even that was not possible, because it quickly became apparent that the Sea-Lect tracks would need to be lower on the hull for proper operation. In fact, to mimic the Cosma TX placement, the desired location would be about half way between the double chines. So I drilled 4 new holes and just plugged the 4 old holes with the bolt/nuts from the Necky track – after replacing the rubber washers and adding a bit of Lexel sealant for each hole.

One other minor problem was that the Sea-Lect setup as shipped from Seaward came with rudder cables whose diameter was too large for the existing Necky cable tubes. So I replaced the too-fat cables by stainless steel 1/16” replacement rudder cables, purchase from TopKayaker.net. I consider this glitch to be inadequate research on my part, but it would have been good if Seaward would have raised the issue.

Once everything was installed, the system worked smoothly. The foot pegs can be adjusted to fit the leg length for either me or my wife, but not for anyone with longer legs. I had mounted the Sea-Lect system as far forward as I could reach. Had I enlisted a helper to provide an extra pair of arms, the tracks could have been mounted a bit more forward. Alternatively, I suppose I could move the Necky seat back a few inches to accommodate a larger paddler, but there is no strong motivation to do so at this time.

One other change to the Necky that I'd like, would be to replace the foam bulkheads with stronger glassed-in bulkheads. My limited do-it-yourself skills make this task too daunting. I hope this slight inadequacy in the Necky design implementation won't be a future problem.


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