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Rudder cables & tubes


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I'm retrofitting one of my 'yaks with a rudder and I'm in need of a source (online or local to Boston) for rudder cables, the cable tubing, and cable crimps/swedges. (I obtained an appropriate rudder and uphaul/downhaul assembly rather inexpensively via e-bay.)

I recently purchased a new, but older model, Hurricane Aqua Sports Tracer. The newer models come with a skeg installed as the Tracer needs tracking assistance in following/quatering winds and wavers. My options were buy a skeg kit and install it, or install a rudder. As I need to do this myself (my do-it-yourself skills, tools, and workspace are very limited) and can't afford to spend a lot of money, I've opted to install a rudder (mainly because I don't want to cut an 11" long slot in the hull, and the boat came with a Stainless Steel rudder gudgeon installed).

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Cable material is available from West Marine, Hamilton Marine and other marine suppliers. They will also have thimbles, swedges, swedging tools and cable cutters. Be forewarned, the tools aren't cheap. If you have the exact dimensions, perhaps the store will cut and swedge the cables for you. If not, you may be able to have this done at a well-equipped archery shop, since they'll have cable swedging equipment for working on compound bows. My tools came from the shop I used to own.

For a rudder, you can use either 1x19 or the more flexible 7x19 cable, 1/16" or perhaps 3/32" in diameter. If your cables have to run over any pulleys or make any significant bends, 7x19 cable would be a better choice.

You can find polyethylene tubing in the plumbing departments of hardware stores and home centers. They will also have brass fittings for the tubing that may be useful, depending on the design of the rudder system.

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