Neat skeg trick

I was watching a guy roll here at Sweetwater Kayaks BCU week and I saw a small cord attached to his skeg. It was attached as a means to assist in extracting the skeg when a pesky stone gets stuck in there. It was suggested that any rope attached to the skeg be a single short line and not a loop-nothing you can get entangled in in surf. The 3-4" of thin rope would theoretically allow another paddler to reach under and pull your skeg free if it wasn’t stuck too seriously. I doubt that I will bother with doing this but some people may think its a good idea-so I thought I would pass this along.


only stuck once
My skeg has only gotten stuck once in many launches. I usually float the boat before jumping in and don’t launch from spots with lots of pebbles to get stuck. How is the red tide situation, heard it was bad around Sarasota. Enjoy your new Explorer, I wish I was in FL with mine.

Saw a tip for that in a book…
The author also suggested marking the skeg location on each side of the boat above the waterline to assist the assistee in finding the loop. Haven’t gotten around to doing it to my wifes boat yet. The one time her skeg jammed the offending pebble required wedging the skeg to one side and prying with a small screwdriver. Still plan on putting the loop on sometime though, thanks for the reminder.

Congrats on the 3 star!

How do you
attach it to the skeg? Drill a small hole?

some boats
come with a hole drilled in the skeg blade. We have used a small piece of rudder cable with stops on each end.

I also make a skeg tool for un-jaming the blade. It’s an old table knife ground down to the shape of a climber’s nut tool and a teather hole in the handle, with wrist loop. Everyone who buys a skegged boat gets one.

we have alot of pebbles here in the PNW, tho I do as someone said, back in and make sure she’s free before departure.

ahhh Florida. Snow forecast for NC- 2-5" will remind me of home.


or buy a KajakSport. :wink:


Flatpick’s tool is magical.
Ever since I purchased one of his tools and also installed a small 2" loop on my skeg, it has never jammed and I haven’t had to use either the tool or the loop.

See, it’s magical. Carry it in your day hatch and your skeg doesn’t jam.

Flatpick, can you post or email a picture of this tool you make? I’m afraid I’m not getting a visual on how you are recommending grinding the knife.

ndk’s have a hole drilled
I have tied a piece of nylon fly line backing thru the hole and it hangs out about 3-4 inches. Its to short to get a good grip, but long enough so that I can wrap it around a stick and then pull out the skeg.



– Last Updated: Feb-26-04 7:20 AM EST –

I'm not at home. I'll do it when I get home.

In NC right now going surfin' at Wilminton (sp?) to test the T-180!

If you see a climbers nut tool, you'll get the idea.

here it is:


come equipped with a pull cord on the skeg. I haven’t gotten mine jammed yet though. I also back in and never drag my stern over pebbly ground.


Bend one from heavy stainless wire
You can find it up to 1/8" diameter at most hobby shops.

Tool sounds perfect
Stainless steel, easy to make. Saves a trip back to shore for those stubborn pebbles. I’m sold.

and cheap
you can use a $.50 thrift store knife. The hardest part is drilling the hole for the leash.


Flatpick, hope you got out today. I’m in Wilmington and just glad the snow stayed to the west. Would be interested in knowing how the 18 Tempest trials go. I demo’d a 17’ Tempest last weekend in the sound near Wrightsville Beach. It was my first demo in a touring boat. Ready to step up from a Pamlico 120. I’m 5’11", 160 lbs. and have been paddling for a year now. Hoping that would be a good boat to spend alot of time in in this area. I do have a Chatham 16 on hold to demo this weekend after the weather clears. For someone new to the longboats, do you have any advice on what to look for as I compare the two?

Thanks and I hope you enjoy your time in NC.

seat of the pants
the feel you get thru the seat of your pants is the best. Does the boat seem balanced and user-friendly?

Comfort, look, fit all all part of the ‘demo’ experience.

btw, we never made it. Got about 50 miles past Raliegh/ Durham and ran into the ‘front’. 4" of wet, greasy snow in a BIG van with marginal tires and a need to get on a plabe this morning!

we did test her in a lake back in Greensboro with some wind and snow. The only thing we needed beta on was the cut we had made at the bow, removing a little ‘chin’ which was an ez test.

yep, she’s 100%.

good luck on your test! keep us posted!


backing in…
the only time I had my skeg stuck last year was after backing in the beach :wink: