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change outback steering
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Author:  OAB [ Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  change outback steering

hello yaksters, I am looking for information on moving steering on a 2009 Outback. I am a left arm amputee, who lives in central Florida and sees mirage drive as designed to get me on the water to fish/photo etc. Problem being steering on right would be much more convenient. Initially I plan on using a lightweight tiller arm connected to control lever across lap, but would like to move lever to right side. Dealer was unsure as to possibility. Has anyone moved controls? can suggestions be given? any chance of photos? thanks.
(1 armed bandit)

Author:  weinerdog [ Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

OAB- A friend of mine who is a left hand amputee had the steering on his Outback moved to the right hand side by a Hobie dealer near us so it can definitely be done. It requires a little modification so if your dealer has questions perhaps they can contact the dealer near me who performed the work for details.

If you want more info on the dealer who performed the switch feel free to email me.

(On a different note- If you haven't yet purchased an Outback, you may want to look at the ProAngler. It's rudder control can be set on either the left or right side without any modification.)

Author:  OAB [ Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

Mike K,
thanks for response, I indeed did look at P.A. but found it to be to be to massive for my use singlehandedly (pun intended). It is a for real boat. The outback is about all I can manage. I am interested in more info on your friends steering switch to right side. If I have info I maybe can convince my dealer to modify my yak. If your friend remembers the cost and method that would be great. I used my outback once and shortly after I suffered a bad injury (that should have killed me) and I am several weeks away from getting back on water, so now is good time to tweak my yak, dang "tweak my yak" is a term I would not use anywhere but this forum:-). I think I am going to invest in a sail, which makes steering even more important. well I rambled enough, so thanks for help. I am just north of Tampa

Author:  weinerdog [ Fri May 01, 2009 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

OAB- Sorry it took so long to reply. I forgot to check this forum for a bit.

If you are interested in gaining more info on switching the steering on an Outback contact:

The first dealer that populates on the Hobie Dealer Finder website for area code 32547. (Fort Walton Beach, FL)

I'd list their name and number but I think there are forum rules against it. Not sure, but the last time I directed someone to a particular dealer the post was deleted for some reason.

If you enter the area code above and select "kayak line" it will be the dealer at the top of the list.

If that doesn't work feel free to email me at weinerdog@cox.net and I'll send you the info directly.

Author:  RPB [ Tue May 26, 2009 12:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

OAB pardon the pun, we are basically in the same boat ...

I can't drive in countries where they drive on the wrong side of the road, have the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car, and make you shift gears with left hand either.

No left hand (from birth) and arthritic right shoulder (from too many birthdays) here.

Hobie, when switching rudder control sides from the Classic, limited their marketplace to right handed people who also want to use the left to steer..... leaving out right handers who would prefer to steer with their right hand since that is their dominant hand, and hold a cigarrette, rod or nosepick with their left, and many Lithidimide babies born with no left hand who are now grown and others , and amputees, and left handers who want to use their dominant hand to nosepick while steering with the right one. I'm sure it was a decision in order to reach what was considered to be the largest poulation of buyers at the time. I'm glad they finally came around with the ProAngler, except it is pretty heavy to handle for a one-hander, and might be tougher to right if flipped by a one-hander due to the width and weight.

Thanks weinerdog

I found a pedal kayak that has rudder controls on both sides standard as equipment for $4,500.00 which is not a problem,. ([The two rudder controls are connected together. Thus, the xxxxxxx can easily be steered with either hand.]

It's supposedly faster than Hobies, but I have not test driven one yet, but it uses a propeller, which I'd rather not have, since they collect weeds (and I already have a Turbofin Mirage drive)

SO I contacted my local Hobie dealer and they never did it on an Outback, but are contacting some guys familiar with Liquids, Surfing and Sailing to find out how it is done, so I can finally buy a Hobie Outback for the Saltwater bays and lakes I go to and the Revo for BTB if they can do it on a Revo also (or three kayaks, if I get a Sport for niece with Right hand control so I can play in it too).

I just hate that if there are any hull issues, 1) I'll have to pay to have it done all over again and 2) no one from Hobie has stated that doing it won't void the warranty if a separate issue develops totally unrelated to moving the control, like a drive well issue etc.

However, I know Hobie's track record, and trust they'll treat me right .... I just wish they'd state it, or have a ProAngler type rudder control upgrade for other models.. or even let us know if one is planned in the future. Disabled Adventurers would probably like to know.

Author:  OAB [ Tue May 26, 2009 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

Well, I got the info from dealer you reccommended, about change of steering. Their suggestion was to use a tiller across my lap also. I rigged up a 20 inch aluminum handle with the last (or first) 6" gentle bend. I had a scrap rod from a medical walker I kept after knee replacement (and my wife thought my collection of "devices" were just junk) At the price of rehab equipment I figure it was a $500.00 hand rail:-) It worked surprisingly well, although I would still like to eventually move steering to right side. (in reality i know that as long as the tiller works I will never change it.) Soooo many tweaks and soooo little time. I am already looking at using an old prosthetic arm piece to make a one armed paddle:-)
Okay, next situation... while working on steering lever I loosened set screw and unit fell through hole and into hull. Of course the lines came off the mechanism with washers etc scattering below deck. after much sweat, swearing and trashing myself I got it back together (having one arm makes things so easy!!!) It seems to work correctly (you know, turn port go to port and so on) Well operative word is "seems." Several days after my repair I found a large stainless spring rolling around in bilge. I looked up diagram and found it goes (or is supposed to go) in middle of rudder control arm. So my question is how important is spring to functioning? should I risk messing things up worse or wait until I am near dealer and have it reassembled correctly. Dang it is 1:00a.m. and i gotta sleep. I would love to hear ideas, stories and even good natured ribbing so until later....yak on. O.A.B.

Author:  RPB [ Fri May 29, 2009 1:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

Since I do everything single handedly too, I called my local *** AUSTIN *** Texas dealer and had them call that Florida dealer too
My local dealer just called me and said that moving the rudder control on an outback is not an issue. (First I misunderstood and thought they said "not possible" but they meant not a problem) so I'll be picking one up/ordering a Papaya one mid-June, because I will be out of town until then.

Like I said though

I just hate that if there are any hull issues, 1) I'll have to pay to have it done all over again and 2) no one from Hobie has stated that doing it won't void the warranty if a separate issue develops totally unrelated to moving the control, like a drive well issue etc.

However, I know Hobie's track record, and trust they'll treat me right .... I just wish they'd state it, or have a ProAngler type rudder control upgrade for other models.. or even let us know if one is planned in the future. Disabled Adventurers would probably like to know.

It's still cheaper than the xxxx which has rudder controls on both sides, is $4,500.00 for fiberglass and more for Carbon but has no tankwell ...

And it's still going to be easier than

Author:  Thomas [ Wed Jun 10, 2009 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

Hey Mike, if you are thinking of sailing your Outback, I found that my '09 sails better than my '06 because the hull had been redesigned and rudder is larger and therefore more responsive. BUT the ruder still isn't large enough. So consider replacing the standard Outback rudder with the even larger Hobie sailing rudder. Hobie's outrigger kit might also help.


Author:  OAB [ Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

after seeing your photographs, I was quite encouraged as to the possibilities for kayak usage. It was refreshing to see another who had rigged up a variety of devices. I do however have to confess that your rigs looked much more professional than mine. The attempts I have made usually make my friends mysteriously become involved in some other activity so as not to it associated with mine.okay, okay so I may exaggerate a bit, or even a lot. Most people are very helpful no matter what the endeavor.

Well, the middle of June fast approaches, and I look forward to your initial report on your papaya outback. I almost got papaya but, in the end I settled on sand dune. I will probably always second-guess myself (as I almost always do). While Sand dune does allow me to sneak around the marshes and wetlands, it does very little to protect me from Demon jet skiers, excuse me, personal watercraft maniacs.
I hope that you are able to get the steering change to the right side, but, after much complaining, I have actually become quite happy with my steering tiller. Of course, as you know, it does not take much for we amputees (speaking for myself) to become envious of a more normal adaptation.
I will be especially interested in any adaptations you make to help with getting your outback to and from the water. My strength and an ability are limited due to neck, back, and leg injuries. The outback is quite heavy. Well, now I have started whining and complaining, and I will stop. I hope all is well a gentle breeze cools your journey.
Take care OAB

Author:  RPB [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

OAB, I bought my Outback today, I have 2 medical Walkers my dad used before he passed away last year .... any way you can post up photos of your tiller so I can copy it?

I have the yellow school bus reflective tape I'll be adding onto it and bending branches makes a white reflective kit for paddles which I'm putting on rod holders. and I wear orange/yellow/reflective Glowear hats and use orange/yellow/reflective beseenwear flags ... you should see how colorful I am lol

Author:  OAB [ Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: change outback steering

Sorry for delay, but life is interfering with fun, I am not up to speed on posting photos, but tiller is about eighteen inches long with slight bend about eight inches from rudder handle end (I keep other end on my lap, out of the way but easy access), I had it too long first and was constantly in the way. I drilled a small hole in rudder handle and a similar one in tiller. I attached by simply tying together with piece of weed eater line (incredibly tough stuff) I now have a stainless clip, but, have not changed as current stuff works good, and you know, "if something works......" I hope my detail help more than hurt, of course by now you probably have steering figured out.
As far as reflective tape etc. that is a great idea I am fixing paddle up as a warning devise I can wave at jet ski or cruise missiles, as they voom by (hopefully it's by)
I look forward to next report. good luck, stay healthy, OAB

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