Chris Moore talks us through fitting a rudder system to his Perception Triumph – an idea we’ve also been toying with. Over to Chris…

‘I feel the Perception Triumph 13 is a good boat, one of my favourites but always felt it would benefit from having Perception’s rudder option fitted and recently I got to find out as I headed to the river Trent at Nottingham with my brand new Triumph on the roof rack.

I deliberately chose the day in question as it was windy, which would be a fair test for the boat and its new rudder system. I’ve paddled my old Triumph along the Welsh coast in a fair beam wind and to be honest although it was as usual, a dry and stable ride, I was usually exhausted at the end with all the steering strokes I had to put in. I was hoping this would not be the case with the new boat and its retractable skeg.

Perception have done a nice job with their rudder. It looks a good quality piece of kit and fits well on the boat – held by a bungee clip when not in use and easy to deploy when on the water. The tip toe foot pegs are easy to use and quite intuitive. They do not get in the way with normal paddling and respond well when needed. With the blade submerged it acts as a good size rudder adding to the Triumph’s tracking with very little deviation from a straight line regardless of what the wind is doing.

The rudder blade is quite big and has a marked effect on the boat when you want to turn, if it is put hard over even at a slow speed the boat turns very well without the need to edge at all. There is a barely noticeable drag when deployed but the saving in effort not having to use steering strokes more than makes up for this and on my first outing I managed quite a bit more distance than I did with my previous boat.

You can of course raise and lower the blade quite easily on the go but after experimenting I definitely preferred it down unless coming into shallows although it would raise itself to prevent damage in such a situation.

Now I have used it I wont be going back – the £175 was in my opinion well spent. The rudder system turns a good boat into a great one and I look forward to using it in more challenging conditions, on the sea in a few weeks time. I also have a Perception Expression 15, I have loved the straight line tracking of that and now I have the same with the Triumph. I guess I shall be using the Triumph a lot more now.