After-market skeg

Anyone out there have experience with installation of a retractable after-market skeg? Or a static skeg. The kayak in question is the Stellar S15LV
Some reviews mention solving a tracking problem by adding a static skeg, i.e. in the case of the Epic GTX.
I suppose this could be a solution, as well.
Thank you.

Unless it’s for aesthetic purposes, just use the rudder. The 15LV has a very narrow entry and a sharp keel line running to the stern to make it quite fast for its length. It comes with a rudder. Just deploy that in line with centerline and it will work the same as a Skeg. I have ordered them into Store with a factory installed Skeg by request but that’s not a project I’d prefer to tackle. I’d have a place like Saratoga Small Boat Shop or Turning Point Boat Works do surgery like that.

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Thanks, Marshall. This 15LV doesn’t have a rudder.

I installed an aftermarket skeg in my CD Caribou about 15 or so years ago. The skeg itself is really good, although maybe a little overly complicated. Install looked pretty straightforward, but was a huge PITA to do because it was under the deck.

I have been trying to find and patch the leak it (Or I) caused ever since. Not a huge or threatening leak, but a leak just the same. I complained to a longtime paddle bud about it once, and he told me: “All aftermarket skegs leak”. He’s built about a half dozen wooden kayaks or so, and they all have small leaks in or around their skegs according to him.

I’ve been thinking recently about removing the skeg, repairing the slot I cut in the hull, and attaching a small static skeg along the keel. Just need to accept that I’ll lose a little maneuverability in quick turns, but my rear compartment would be dry.

That kayak should be set up for a rudder even if it doesn’t currently have one. It would likely be easier to install a rudder than a skeg, and since it is designed for a rudder that would be my choice of which direction to go (pun intended).


It’s supposed to have a rudder. All the ones I’ve brought into The River Connection in the past 3 years have been that way.

What is the HIN#? I have a suspicion.


The rudder is standard equipment on that kayak, as you say. This one was a special order. Dealers I’ve spoken with since have said I could have ordered it with a factory-installed skeg. Wish I had.

If you don’t want too install a rudder and don’t want to cut into the hull to install a skeg, and if you like to make things (lots of “ifs” there), I’ve had good success adding skegs that deploy over the side. Here’s one version. I found the skeg blade on ebay, but I’ve also made blades out of thin plywood.

The problem is in finding the true center line of the boat. The cut to install the skeg box isn’t hard if you are extremely careful. 1/16 of an inch of being off will ruin a lot more than your day.

I would just order a rudder kit and go that route.

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On this particular kayak there’s no installed hardware for the rudder?

No, there are no fittings for a rudder. For a static skeg, I’d thought about getting a metal fin from a slalom water ski, grinding it down to about 1.5 inches and installing it as a permanent skeg.
Kayak Sport makes an after-market skeg kit. Anyone out there have experience with this?

It might be less fraught by installing a gudgeon and rudder kit than cutting in a Skeg kit.

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As has been mentioned recently elsewhere on this forum, prices for good used boats are high right now. Before investing a lot of time and $ on a project that may or may not deliver what you want, you may want to estimate the net cost if you were to sell your S15LV and then buy what you actually want. It may not so high, esp. if you put a value on your time.

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MIght be the best advice, Buffalo-Alice. Functionally and aesthetically a rudder is not for me.

Article on the used market from last summer:

there are regional differences, I’m sure, but With inflation persisting the market for good used stuff should stay strong for awhile.