Broke Skeg on Azul: no replacement?

The skeg on my Azul Sultan kayak snapped off. All I have left is the top inch that was inside the skeg box. This has nothing to do with the cable.

There is a spring integrated into the top of the skeg. The spring is like a safety pin’s spring, a single coil with arms on it about 4" long. One arm and the coil fit into a recess on the top edge of the skeg. The other arm sticks up out of the skeg and presses on the top of the skeg box.

I took the remainder of my skeg down to Annapolis Canoe and Kayak. Dave looked at it and scratched his head. He’d never seen one like it and couldn’t give me any advice on where to get a replacement. Well, he advised me to contact the manufacturer, but Azul got bought (by who? Riot?) and they got bought by… etc. there is no manufacturer to contact and even when Azul was around, they were well known for abysmal customer service.

Skegs aren’t the easiest things to find. I’ve been looking on the internet. I find a few, but none that look like they’d work for me. For one thing, the opening for my skeg is only 12" long and the skegs I see on line are longer. Plus, none of them have that tricky little spring.

Dave suggested fabricating a replacement skeg. Well, not before I ask about it here.

What’s your best source for hard to find kayak parts?

Anybody have any advice on fabricating a skeg?


photos of the blade
…would help, WRT fabrication, particularly to see the spring setting, pivot point, and cable attachment. Is that 1 inch that’s left thicker than the rest of the blade was? If it’s all one thickness (how thick?), it may be a simple fab, though that spring setting sounds like it may be a challenge.

Lexan and a router.

Skeg replacement?
If every option short of replacing the skeg fails, cut it out and replace with a KayakSport skeg.

KayakSport makes two low profile designs that vary only at the bottom. One has a slight lip, facilitating its attachment to the outside (bottom) of the skeg slot. The other has a straight side at the bottom and is attached to the inside of the kayak with filled epoxy and glass.

Good luck in finding your solution,


Skeg remainder photos

HDPE and a Dremmel, maybe
I still can’t tell how thick it is – from the pics – and whether it’s uniform thickness. A Dremmel may be the way to make the spring groove… which is about how the original groove seems to have been formed. It would be a challenge of coordination, even with the right bit. OH, I know… a couple of shallow table saw cuts to do most of the groove, carefully moving the material against the fence, and stopping before the the groove ends. Move fence over, and repeat. Then, finish off the deep end with a Dremmel.

Lexan could serve, but, can be brittle and hard to work. High Density PolyEthylene would be easier to work, if found in the right thickness. HDPE cutting boards at Walmart tend to be thicker than what I expect is needed, here. But, it would be worth a look. Maybe check hobby and art shops. Not sure of other potential, small-quantity sources. Maybe others will have ideas.

or maybe ABS plastic?
Not sure but I think HDPE might get a little flimsy when thin. I believe ABS is more rigid and the same stuff that thermoformed kayaks are made of.

Here’s a source:

How about 4mm or 5mm marine plywood. 4mm is a bit thin (and usually only three layers) but 5 mm (usually 5 layers) is tough. CLC uses a plywood skeg in some of their kits.


Larger part
How about taking what’s left of your skeg to a boat dealer and see if he has one that you could cut down. That way you know the material is correct.

If you have both ends, fabrication is easy…

If you don’t, try to get someone to trace theirs and send it to you…or me…and we can get it fabricated.

Just remember that one off items can get pricy.

Another option is to get yourself some aluminum and do your own.

how wide (thick) is the skeg Chip ??
… I see how it works and how the hair pin spring operates .

I probably still have a piece of Ipe around here that could be milled into the skeg you need … Ipe (wood) is tough (hard) stuff .

Apparent success with fabrication
The skeg is 3/8" thick along the root and the part that deployed into the water was tapered narrower.

I took a ride to Total Plastics up in Baltimore. I showed the guy my skeg-remain and explained my problem. He could have cut me a piece per my specs but said it’d run about $75. Or, he could look around for a scrap that might work. That sounded good. He comped me a scrap of 3/8" thick stuff and suggested I go to work with the jig saw. Unfortunately, I failed to ask him what he gave me.

The plastic was easy to work with electric jig saw, RO sander and power planer. It took me all afternoon to fit the new skeg by trial and error. I used the Dremel’s mini grinder wheel and grout bit to grind out the depression for housing the spring. Thanks for that suggestion.

It is all installed and I took the boat kayaking this evening. Conditions were calm and I only deploy the skeg when it is windy, so I didn’t even use the new skeg. Between research and fabrication, it took me all day, but I was happy to be out on the river tonight, in a boat with a skeg if I needed it.

Thanks all ~~ Chip

Good job - congrats.

Any chance of posting a photo of your completed project?

Pic of my new skeg

– Last Updated: Jul-18-13 3:32 PM EST –

It's thicker than the original, so I guess I will be slower. But I was slow already and I have a very hard time going downwind without a skeg, so it is necessary. Time will tell how it holds up.

I called Total Plastic and they told me the material from which the skeg is made is "Starboard". Their web site describes it as follows: "King StarBoard® is the original marine-grade high-density polyethylene... StarBoard® is environmentally stabilized to withstand the harshest marine conditions. It will not rot or discolor like teak and other solid woods, and it will not delaminate like wood laminates. King StarBoard® is easy to work with using standard woodworking tools, and design changes are a snap"


Well Done !
I knew you were handy, but that is quite fine work.

nice !!