Drilling the skegs

>Most jams I’ve examined were due to packed sand and small gravel, which likely would have washed out on their own eventually. I’ve occasionally cleared such jams on my own while on the water simply by simply rapping on the hull with my paddle.<

That was my experience too.

Some times, when I was lazy to launch stern first, I got a bit of stuff in the skeg housing. All it took was a few times of gentle back and forth “rocking” of the cable to free it completely. No tugging was required.

And the only time that technique didn’t work, was also the one time a tug line wouldn’t have helped.

Haven’t jammed any yet
None of them.

But Murphy’s Law would have it happen on a trip, I’m sure. Cheap preventive measure.

Thank you!
And the others who offered real advice.

I was leaning toward Dremel tool but its tendency to skitter on smooth surfaces had me concerned. I would put in a pilot hole with either tool, BTW. Might end up using cordless drill simply because I don’t need to drag extension cords out to the shed.

Intervals of knots
Good idea! Gives more for fingers to get hold of.

Zip-tie loop on skeg
After you get your hole drilled, go to the hardware store I buy a 6" electrical zip-tie. Poke it in the hole of your skeg, and then connect the two ends of the zip-tie. Pass the end of the zip-tie just far enough together so it catches. You should end up with a 2 1/2" plastic loop that you can tug on to free that jambed up skeg. Clip off the loose end of the zip-tie also.

Fouling issue?
Can’t really see hanging a stiff plastic loop under my hull like that as it would surely catch a lot of junk in the waters around here. Would be a bigger problem than skeg jams for me (haven’t had one, but I don’t ground on the box very often).

You are WAY overthinking this

– Last Updated: May-03-09 6:38 PM EST –

I can't believe this thread is still going on as this is NOT rocket science!

Just make a friggin' hole in the skeg and tie some cord through it. The size and precision of the drilling don't matter. All you need to do after you drill it is to bevel or round the edges so they don't tend to cut the cord you use. That's it, three minutes and you're done.

Higher speed…
What is the skeg made of? We’ll assume it’s aluminum…

Use a high speed bit at a medium speed (low torque, high speed drill at about half to 3/4 speed) using a slow steady pace. Spray WD-40 or the likes on the bit (keep spraying) as you go to keep it lubricated. The first time you push hard with a high speed bit, you’ll heat it up so much you’ll ruin the temper and instantly dull it. Aluminum is soft enough that it won’t take too long to drill through, but still, get a good quality carbide bit. Wear eye protection too. On the off chance the bit breaks, little shards will go flying.


All the skegs
I have seen were plastic :slight_smile: