Add Skeg to Inflatable???

-- Last Updated: Oct-14-08 1:00 AM EST --

Hi everyone.

I have a TK-1 inflatable kayak by Kwik Tek. I love it and it seems to be a pretty good little boat.

However, it's tracking is a bit suspect to me. I'm a newbie at this, so I'm not sure if it's the tracking or if it's my paddling technique. I am trying to learn better technique, and as I feel I've gotten better the tracking has seemed to get better.

As soon as I stop paddling, the boat will start to go into a bit of a sideways turn. When I'm paddling, it goes straight, albeit in a slightly zig-zag motion which from the videos I've watches is pretty typical for a shorter inflatable.

The TK-1 has four TINY little fins on the bottom...but I'm wondering...will it not go into the sideways turn when I stop paddling if I were to add a bit larger fin to it? Like if I replaced the farthest back small fin with a bit larger one, would that help the boat stay a bit straighter when I stop paddling??

Or is this something that I should remedy by perfecting my paddling technique instead of using a "Band-Aid" if you will...that Band-Aid being the larger skeg/fin.

I've got a few ideas in mind for adding a slightly larger fin that I think would work out pretty well...but I don't want to do it if it's going to negatively effect my ability to paddle correctly.

Or save for used hard shell?
That looks pretty close to what I rented my first time down easy class 2 WW. Great little boat and I’d happily pick one up used if a good deal came by, but there may be a point of diminishing returns on messing with it. Also, if you add too much in the way of a fin it’ll make it more difficult to turn and maybe just change the problem you have.

What about saving for something beat up and narrower in a hard shell for your longer term purpose? Would that work?

Don’t bother with skeg on Kwik-Tek.
Right idea, wrong boat for it.

But you’re on the right course:

1). Continue to perfect a high-angle forward

propeling stroke.

2). Save up to purchase your next boat for longer

touring, that is another inflatable that already

comes with a detachable skeg or buy a hardboat.

3). Keep the Airhead for non-long touring play

and/or as a second boat to put friends in.

–That’s my advice and I’m sticking to it.

Thanks folks!!

I have been thinking more and more about just perfecting my technique in the boat and then moving on to something a bit more expensive. I don’t want to say higher quality, because I believe that the TK-1 is very high quality, but more expensive and with more features…and maybe longer.

I’ve got a few in mind, with the Innova Sunny being on top of the list right now…but at $999 it’s a bit pricey for me…so I’m on the lookout this winter for used ones!!!

Thanks again!!!

Innovas are
worth the money. Great tough boats.

Advanced Elements are less expensive but still good boats.

Also, you could order a strap on skeg from Feathercraft ($40.00)