The older ones didn’t have a skeg. Is it a difficult boat to handle in some conditions without a skeg or does it handle fine without one?
get it with a skeg,if
like the Tempest 170,,it needs it in 10mph+winds. I mean you could paddle without one but in winds above 15mph you're going to be hurting after awhile paddling long distances.
I went on a week long trip in Maine with a friend who had an unskegged Caribou. We were LOADED with weight/water. I had a Mariner Express one time and an unrudddered PygmyCoho the second time because my Express was slow compared to his Caribou. There was one leg where he had to paddle an extra mile tacking to our destination because holding the kayak on edge was just too tireing for miles on end.
Basically it's a function of the wind and distance you're paddling.
…is less skeg dependent than many other boats and many here will say they love their’s without a skeg. Many others are wishing they had a skeg.
There is a reason CD added the skeg and that very good deals can be found on skegless Bou’s.
Mine has a skeg and I wouldn’t want to be without it.
mine is a 97 Bou
No if you ballasted the stern a little heavy in quartering rear winds.
Learn to like fine boxed wine and refill the bladder with water. The resultant blob will not roll around.
A GP blade really helps too so you can paddle easily with your hands uncentered…
mine was one of the first CD boats after the design was sold by the guy in Bass Harbor…I lust after one of the really original wood Bous.
Disclaimer: I’ve never paddled a 'bou in conditions.
However, a skeg can be added if neeeded. If you like the boat and can get one for a good price, you could always buy it, try it and if needed, add a skeg later. If not, all the better.
Seeems like arranging a demo in the conditions you want to paddle would be the best plan.
“I lust after one of the really original wood Bous.”
I thought a wooden Bou would be great,and very light, until I found one for sale and the owner told me that it weighed a ton… oh well…
I think there were about 13 made out of wood.
I haven’t paddled many boats in “difficult” conditions where a little skeg wasn’t helpful. Having owned a Bou I would recommend the skeg.
It is a very nice boat.
I retrofitted a skeg into my '98 'Bou. Makes paddling a bit easier, especially in light to moderate winds. High winds were never a problem for me in it.
I ballasted it for years and did just fine, but an adjustable skeg just cannot be beat. I only use it maybe 1/3 of the time, but on long paddles, it’s worth it.
Add weight aft
and you should have no serious weathercocking problems. Another minimalist solution might be to cement a very small semi-permanent skeg about 18-24 inches from the stern. If you use a cement such as silicone or 3M 5200 or even Liquid Nails, you can remove the skeg piece or otherwise experiment with placement. I did this with an Arctic Hawk and it neutralized about 80% of the weathercocking without too much effect on maneuverability. My Caribou has a skeg but I think that the boat feels livelier when it’s used only minimally. John
it doesn’t take much
getting the trim just right for maneuverabilty and balance. I remember when the Necky Elaho came out,and what a useless hull design that was for trim balance using a skeg. You basically got more tracking with the same amount of weathercocking as the skeg was deployed.
With the Caribou or the Necky Chatham it only takes a slight amount of skeg to balance things out while allowing the boat to stay responsive