fixed skeg for composite kayak

Anybody know a decent skeg that we can epoxy onto a skinny kayak? We can’t afford the Onno skeg; we’re looking at closer to $50. The kayak in question is a Slender from New Wave Kayaks. It’s a 17’ fiberglass sprint trainer.

Or can anybody advise on how to make one? I am willing to experiment with fiberglass, epoxy, and some kind of core. The thing I can’t figure out is how to make the joint stiff enough that sideways forces on the skeg don’t crack the joint, leaving the skeg attached but flapping.


Hi Mark, call me and I’ll go over
some stuff with you on how to make one and put it on + can discuss positioning too.

Lots of choices.

Happy to help.

You can experiment
on the cheap - get a piece of a plastic sheet about 2mm thick, shape it to your liking (low profile, long is probably better than skinny and deep). Use Amazing Goop Marine to attach it. This is strong enough that it won’t wobble, but it will also be removable cleanly if you want to experiment with a different placement. I’ve done that on several kayaks that needed a little bit of stabilization in the rear and it worked great!

Once you figure out what works, you can make a fancier carbon/whatever version that has some hydrofoil to it vs. being totally flat… In fact, unless you are after the last split second gain, you may find you are happy with the piece of plastic and the marine goop and just leave it there! It is strong enough to withstand multiple sand beach launches so for flat water use it will stay put indefinitely.

As for placement, Patrick will probably have a better idea. For me, I though placing it a little forward of the stern worked well. The size I used was about 2-3" deep by 10" long but it was shaped so the overall area was about half of what a rectangle with these sides would have. That stiffened-up the kayak very well and the somewhat forward placing allowed to actually carve very nice turns with a little edging (probably not something you would to on a racing kayak, but important for my uses).

Would this be bad?
Just an idea. Surf board fin.

Or this?

Just a thought. Thinking “out of the box” or maybe…not thinking at all. HA!

custom skeg
Do you have any pictures of your finished product?

Marine goop is good
I used 3M 5200 to attach a plastic skeg to an Arctic Hawk that I once owned. My skeg was a right triangle 12 inches long with a height of 2.5 inches or about 15 square inches. I snapped a chalk line from bow to stern to make certain that the skeg was perfectly centered with the keel. With the boat upside down and level I put down a bead of 5200 and set the skeg in place and then ran a bead on each side of the skeg and made a filet using my fingers. 5200 takes more than a day to cure but there are other goops that cure much faster.

Picture (link)

– Last Updated: May-07-11 9:57 PM EST –

Don't have a good photo. The one linked below shows one of my kayaks with dual "fins", when I was experimenting to tune it for some ocean wave surfing. But I think it shows what I'm describing. Just imagine that same low-profile skeg glued at the center line. The ones in the photo are a little smaller than you probably want - I had used a bigger single skeg and it was great for tracking but made the boat too stiff for tight maneuvers (was great for edging - the boat would do an S turn as many times as you edge it but sweep strokes were ineffective with the large skeg; so I made it smaller). You can make the skeg also deeper and shorter and with some foil shape to it if you want.

Since this skeg is meant to make the kayak track stiffly rather than maneuver like a surf board, I think a deep foil shaped fin-like skeg is probably not really needed. Have not experimented so not sure if one is better than the other for just going straight on flat water...

Look at the boat hanging from the ceiling: