More Skeg Talk

Here’s some free advice… I know better than to do this but I did it anyway. Yesterday I pulled my kayak up on a pebbly, shell covered beach for a lunch stop. Dumbass that I am, I just grab the handle at the bow then lift and pull. Of course I’m jamming debris into the skeg box. When it’s time to launch I test the skeg.

Hey. That don’t feel right.

Not only had I jammed shtuff into the skeg box, but then I proceded to force the issue and pop the housing off the skeg control. Well the Swiss Army knife cleared the skeg but I didn’t have a tool with me for the clamp.

Turned out to be an opportunity to work on skills. Girls like guys with skills. Numchuk skills. Bow hunting skills. Skegless paddling skills.

I’d give myself a “B+” in skegless, windy paddling.

To review: Don’t jam shtuff in your box. Don’t force the control. Get ya one o’ them fancy do-all tools with pliers included. Practice paddling skegless BEFORE the issue is forced.

(it’s fixed now. i have pliers AT THE HOUSE)

Pull from the rear
When I paddle up to a beach I hop out and run around to the rear toggle of my yak and lift the rear and pull the boat up on shore backwards.

This avoids dragging the skeg opening through the gravel and it’s pointed in the right direction to launch when I’m finished my break.


I hate when that happens!

yep the skeg clearing knife (either an ol’ tableware knife or oyster knife) and a pair o’ pliars (I actually use tiny vice grips) are in my everyday paddle kit. don’t leave home without 'em.

this way I NEVER have to practice my ‘skegless’ skills. I just get in, pop the skeg down and away I go…



when we design/test boats for CWS we make sure the boat can handle ‘conditions’ without the device but WITH the skills!



– Last Updated: Jun-11-06 2:01 PM EST –

Glad I haven't bought the Leatherman multi tool thing. I'll get some tiny vice grips.

Update: poked around in the tool box and I already have little needle nose vice grips. Cool.

The Leatherman…
Is great for removing fish hooks too…

A rudder’ll teach ya good, LOL
I was trained early on by a ruddered kayak to make sure all protrusions below the hull are UP before going in to land.

Best tool for this is your memory!

Memory Failure
The skeg was up. In fact I hadn’t dropped it all morning 'cause we were paddling fairly straight into the wind.

The mental lapse involved picking up the front end of the boat and dragging the back end over little objects that were sure to wedge into the skeg box.

Live and learn.


Skeg extraction loop
You can drill a small hole at the very end of the skeg and put a small loop of string through it. In the event of a skeg lock up, you can usually pull it down with the string. This even works while paddling - you can have a buddy pull along side and reach under for the extracion.


Thx for sharing and I put to use your
experience today. While out on a short 5 mile paddle today in 15 to 20 knot winds from the W I made my goal to paddle without using my skeg and when I landed on the beach I was careful not to fill the skeg box up with rocks and sand! It was a short but good lumpy water session for the wife and I. I am really getting to know my Romany and building my appreciation for it the more I venture out in lively water!

Second the butterknife and a tiny hole
if you think you are going to run into problems …

Probably already been said somwwhere else … but best to keep or set up the skeg just a little bit proud of hull.

Also a good way to clear the skeg is to ‘washingmachine’ pump the stern up and down a couple times while hand operating the skeg itself.

I added one of these to my Gulfstream
several years ago.

When I bought my Nigel Foster Shadow, it had one installed by the factory.

I guess the factories are starting to listen to the feedback from paddlers.