Weed deflector for Nelo 520

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4 weeks 1 day ago - 4 weeks 1 day ago #39966 by SpaceSputnik
Hey All
I bought a new Nelo 520 L last weekend. Absolutely love the boat. One thing I found is the stubby vertical rudder on it loves to pick up weeds.
I am going to try to 3d print a weed deflector. Wondering as to what would be the best shape/size for it. If somebody uses a deflector with this rudder, can you post a picture for my inspiration/reference?

Meanwhile here is my current prototype. Any feedback would be appreciated.




Thank you.
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Last edit: 4 weeks 1 day ago by SpaceSputnik.

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2 weeks 1 day ago #40021 by SpaceSputnik

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2 weeks 1 day ago #40027 by waverider
That should be fine. I would taper the leading edge of the mount plate where it attaches to the hull and put a bit of filler on the join when you attach it. The reason is if you run over a fishing line it can slice under any lip and if its a strong braid line it wont break off and if it gets wedged in the crack backing up wont dislodge it either. I got caught by one once and could not get free until wave power cause the whole defector to be sliced off.

You could make the blade thinner if you like. Better the deflector breaks if you hit something rather that it being so rigid that it transfers force and damages the hull. Cheaper to replace deflector than repair hull damage.

The mount plate will need a curve to match hull profile, attach with double side 3M foam pads (like go pro mounts). You want it to be replaceable.

Mine is simply two aluminium 90 degree angles with a triangular thin piece of plastic clamped inbetween. All assembled with 3M pads. If it breaks its easier to pull apart and insert another piece.

I went down the path of the expensive epic carbon deflectors which rarely last long. Especially if you change rudders and put the hull down forgetting about the deflector lol.

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2 weeks 1 day ago #40028 by waverider
Thats a very close fit of the rudder to the hull, that would make me nervous of hitting anything as the slightest bend is going to jam the rudder at best and damage the hull at worse.. But them I'm paranoid after punching a hole in my first ski when I hit a rock with the rudder

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2 weeks 1 day ago #40029 by SpaceSputnik

That should be fine. I would taper the leading edge of the mount plate where it attaches to the hull and put a bit of filler on the join when you attach it. The reason is if you run over a fishing line it can slice under any lip and if its a strong braid line it wont break off and if it gets wedged in the crack backing up wont dislodge it either. I got caught by one once and could not get free until wave power cause the whole defector to be sliced off.
You could make the blade thinner if you like. Better the deflector breaks if you hit something rather that it being so rigid that it transfers force and damages the hull. Cheaper to replace deflector than repair hull damage.
The mount plate will need a curve to match hull profile, attach with double side 3M foam pads (like go pro mounts). You want it to be replaceable.
Mine is simply two aluminium 90 degree angles with a triangular thin piece of plastic clamped inbetween. All assembled with 3M pads. If it breaks its easier to pull apart and insert another piece.
I went down the path of the expensive epic carbon deflectors which rarely last long. Especially if you change rudders and put the hull down forgetting about the deflector lol.

Thanks for your comments.
One could argue that at this angle it would push the boat up upon contact. The leading edge is less than 45 degrees to the hull (one can also argue that a strong, even shallower angled deflector with a good wide base has merit from that perspective).

With PETG its certainly not very rigid and the tape I used is pretty springy so it would further dampen the impact (along with being perfectly removable)
Yes, the mount plate does have a curve to match the hull.

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2 weeks 1 day ago - 2 weeks 1 day ago #40030 by SpaceSputnik

Thats a very close fit of the rudder to the hull, that would make me nervous of hitting anything as the slightest bend is going to jam the rudder at best and damage the hull at worse.. But them I'm paranoid after punching a hole in my first ski when I hit a rock with the rudder
Happened to a friend of mine. Not really sure if there is a practical way to protect against that.

Edit: the gap doesn't look too bad. About 2-3 mm at the back.
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Last edit: 2 weeks 1 day ago by SpaceSputnik.

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2 weeks 22 hours ago #40031 by downwinda
I hate to burst your bubble, but all that deflector will do is deflect the weeds 1/3 of the way down your rudder where they will stick and stay. If you are in waves it could potentially help because you may be able to bounce them off. In flat water you'll definitely be dragging weeds for the duration.

If you want to be weedless, get a weedless rudder. Don K has said that 40 degrees is the ticket......30 degrees adequate in waves where you can bounce them off.

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2 weeks 22 hours ago #40032 by robin.mousley

I hate to burst your bubble, but all that deflector will do is deflect the weeds 1/3 of the way down your rudder where they will stick and stay. If you are in waves it could potentially help because you may be able to bounce them off. In flat water you'll definitely be dragging weeds for the duration.
If you want to be weedless, get a weedless rudder. Don K has said that 40 degrees is the ticket......30 degrees adequate in waves where you can bounce them off.

Yeah/nah, I'm not sure you're 100% right on that. In my experience weed deflectors like that do help - they definitely help stop the weed from getting caught between the rudder and the hull. We all use deflectors like that here - but then most of our weed has thicker stems - like kelp.

I'm sure it does depend on the type of weed involved... I remember in Perth hitting some nasty stuff - elliptical rudders were just not a Thing there and we had the rudders changed to more swept back types.

But here in Cape Town - the weed deflectors pictured above are ubiquitous and seem effective. Then again 90% of our paddling is in rough water - so your comment about the flat water stuff is probably spot on, on reflection.

Rob

Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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2 weeks 21 hours ago - 2 weeks 20 hours ago #40034 by SpaceSputnik

I hate to burst your bubble, but all that deflector will do is deflect the weeds 1/3 of the way down your rudder where they will stick and stay. If you are in waves it could potentially help because you may be able to bounce them off. In flat water you'll definitely be dragging weeds for the duration.
If you want to be weedless, get a weedless rudder. Don K has said that 40 degrees is the ticket......30 degrees adequate in waves where you can bounce them off.
Ever since I got that on I have not had any grass wrapped around the stem and there's certainly some where I paddle. Sure when I go through heavily weeded areas i slow down a lot due to rudder pushing grass but it does not tangle around the stem like it did before. When I fell the drag I make a couple of quick turns and that seems to lose the weeds.
Since I am primarily in the open and only occasionally in the weeds I am more or less happy with the solution.
I am aware of a weedless rudder as an option, thanks.
Last edit: 2 weeks 20 hours ago by SpaceSputnik.

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1 week 6 days ago #40039 by zachhandler
I have been obsessed with weedless rudders and weedguards for the past 15 years. I live in an area where I have to build Weed deflectors to fit the bow of my K1s just to be able to paddle them.

The magic angle is not always 40. It depends on the type of weeds you have. Fine weeds are trickier than coarse and floating weeds no longer anchored to the bottom are a bigger problem. Where i live 40 does not work but 45 does. That is the experience of every paddler i know in my area. For most places 40 probably works. The more laid back the rudder the more imbalanced and dead it is to paddle with. On flat water that does not matter much but if you are surfing in places with lots of weeds then it does.

That weed guard will protect the gap where weeds get truly stuck. But it is overkill for that. 1 cm is tall enough if you can get a fairly close fit against the rudder. Also when making big turns through weeds the gap is exposed no matter how big the deflector.

The deflector you have looks similar to an epic. Its a great deflector, but its real purpose and beauty is to be paired with an epic weedless. Look at an image of an epic weedless and you will see why. It maintains perfect balance and crisp turn initiation while holding a very slippery 45 degrees throughout.

As I have posted here before, I bought a second surf rudder for my nelo and cut it and backfilled with thickened epoxy to make it into an epic weedless shape. Its was bit of work but worth it for me. The simplest fix for flatwater use is just to get a DK weedless.

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
The following user(s) said Thank You: SpaceSputnik

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1 week 6 days ago #40040 by SpaceSputnik
zachhandler, thank you. I see that the Epic weedless rudder+deflector does maintain a 45-ish consistent angle.
Point taken. I was indeed wondering about what size shape/size I would need for this rudder. I do recall that on a Evo there is a bullet-like protrusion in front of the rudder. Since I am not aiming for specifically back water setup but just want to avoid weeds around the stem perhaps this is what I should do instead. Thank you, this is the info I was hoping to collect here.

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1 week 6 days ago #40041 by zachhandler
Don just contacted me. He can actually make rudders in the epic weedless style. So if you are a fan of that large-deflector-dependent style as I obviously am then you can have your rudder fantasies realized on non-epic boats by DK. Should be an awesome option. He sent an image:

Current Skis: Epic v10 g3, NK 670 double, Kai Wa’a Vega, Carbonology Feather, Think Jet, Knysna Sonic X
Former Skis: Epic V12 g2, Epic V12 g1, Epic v10 double, Nelo 550 g2, Fenn Elite S, Custom Kayaks Synergy
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1 week 6 days ago #40042 by Rod Thomas
Hi from Japan! Its been a while. On the Pacific coast we get a lot of seagrass after heavy rains from the estuaries and after storms get a lot of hijiki, which are both finer and more annoying than kelp. After a while they clump into thick rafts which are best avoided coz they can bend the rudder post. Also when steering you lose the full protection of the weed guard, so when I see weed ahead I keep the rudder dead straight.

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1 week 5 days ago #40045 by SpaceSputnik
Made a downsized version last night. Not as tall and much thinner, about 1.5 mm.

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1 week 5 days ago #40046 by Epicpaddler
That’s awesome that you can 3D print your own weed deflector to meet your needs. I’ll say that the Epics’ weedless rudder/ weed deflector works well in the area I’m currently paddling with shallow water, lilly pads, grasses, and assorted fresh water weeds.

I’t isn’t as effective when I use my rough water DK rudder in the bay with the late summer weeds.

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1 week 4 days ago #40047 by SpaceSputnik

That’s awesome that you can 3D print your own weed deflector to meet your needs. I’ll say that the Epics’ weedless rudder/ weed deflector works well in the area I’m currently paddling with shallow water, lilly pads, grasses, and assorted fresh water weeds.
I’t isn’t as effective when I use my rough water DK rudder in the bay with the late summer weeds.

Thank you. 3d printer is such an awesome tool for things like this. I made many things for my kayaks.
Starting off with it was a huge pain in the rear, quite a learning curve to it. But now I wouldn't be without it.

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