Thanks for the positive comments and info offered.
We’ve been away since Sunday and had no Internet access.
We have been able to test out the rudder bungee mod on water and I’m pleased to report it works. I’ll now spend a bit more time improving the cleat mount and routing line.
Our first test was in kayak only mode and I noticed the difference straight away with less effort required to turn the rudder handle when the down line was not cleated but the bungee was. In kayak mode of course the forces aren’t much on the rudder but I did manage to run it aground and it moved back then popped back into place when freed. I couldn’t notice any difference in drag, though as Nohuhu points out there must be some. Our cruising speeds were between 3-4.5 knots as normal under pedal power alone.
The big test was yesterday:
We covered around 35km in winds of mostly around 10-15knots with the odd 20knot gust. Our maximum speed was 7.5 knots. Not the extreme speeds others have reported but quick enough to test out the mod. The bungee held the rudder down well and yes Nohuhu the tiller did feel balanced. I only applied the usual lock down line to compare turning effort and it made it harder. We had a lot of tacking to do heading out and returning into the wind so the rudder got a good workout. Same effort required turning both ways. In the stronger gusts the usual weather helm was experienced but was easily corrected. I was surprised how easy it was to lock down into the cleat while underway and unlock when needed -even with my ‘Eiffel tower’ tripod in place!
Now to improve the mount to make it more permanent…..
Bob, Thanks. I think thicker bungee is the simplest solution if more hold down is required.
C2Y- Not sure what a flarehead is (fairlead?) but the bungee stayed in the cleat OK. I had the other end tied off to one of the cargo hold bungees.