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Canoe/Kayak Rudder Gudgeons

Canoe/Kayak Rudder Gudgeons

After a lot of consulting with the folks at Race-Lite and with substantial help from Matt at JEM watercraft, we have finally come up with a good solution to the problem of attaching rudders to canoes and kayaks. Use two of these gudgeons for the rudder and two for the boat and then connect them with a 1/4" clevis pin, quick-release pin or bolt/nylok nut combo for each pair or a rod right through all four. The tangs are 1/2" x 0.049" stainless steel and can be bent to adjust to about any rudder or stern.
For sharply pointed sterns

Item# Item Name Our Price Qty Add
RL-CKG Canoe/Kayak Gudgeons - Single Gudgeon
RL-CKG-CLEVIS Canoe/Kayak Gudgeons - pair with Clevis pin & ring
RL-CKG-NBW Canoe/Kayak Gudgeons - pair with nut, bolt, washer
RL-CKG-QUICK Canoe/Kayak Gudgeons - pair with Quick release pin
Check the items you wish to purchase, then click


Important Note: You need at least 4 of these gudgeons (2 pairs) To mount a rudder to a boat. We offer them singly or in pairs with the pin options shown below.

Above are three sets. The top example has a clevis pin and ring, the middle one has a quick-release pin and the bottom one has a bolt, washers and nut. Choose one of the options when ordering or just buy the gudgeons without pins. Keep in mind that you will need at least two pairs for a complete rudder installation.


Here are the general dimensions of this item:


The photo below shows the gudgeons in use on a kayak (my design) built in a high school student program on launching day.

Rudder made from 6mm ply with 4mm cheeks, and strongly supported by two pair of your gudgeon sets. I trimmed the tangs as you can see, but the whole set-up is much better supported than the often seen arrangement using a single pair.
Ross Lillistone



These were our initial efforts (Wenonah Rendezvous and OT Penobscot canoes)

I’ve sailed the Penobscot off the NC coast and it works just fine, but it would be better with longer verticals on the control arm to help stiffen the oversized canoe rudder. I came in against a new moon outgoing tide (bad timing) with the sail up, the rudder down and a 10 mph tailwind and what would have been a tough slog was mostly a sit and foot steer.

We are going to try to approximate the Dr. Suess shape of the rudder control arm on the Kruger Sea Wind to enhance the stability of the that massive DIY rudder.

It’s a work in progress, but we’re getting there.

An easily removable drop in and pin rudder assembly on a canoe would be a godsend, especially when paddling in the wind or when sailing.

Mike McCrea