Anyone have issues with the older skeg design on a Boreal Ellesmere? New skeg looks well thought out and email to Boreal claims newer skeg is quite an upgrade, but older used boats are cheaper.
If you can save a bundle…
…I’d go for the older boat. Most cable skeg problems are caused by the paddler, not a problem with the skeg design.
I thought their older design
was a rope skeg pulled down by bungie? Maybe I’m wrong.
i have the original skeg which is a rope system and a bungie that pulls the skeg down. it does get stuck quite a bit if you do surf launching/landing. its easy to pull the skeg out though and clean the internal area. its a very simple design so its easy to fix. i ended up shortening the bungie to add more tension. this helps overcome jamming. prefer this to the new design except the older skegs a plastic and bend and warp easily. the new blades are metal and i’ve been thinking about retrofitting
2 years ago
I watched a guy test paddle an “Elle” 2 years ago in June of 2004. He kept having problems with the skeg sticking down, and the dealer had to keep walking into the water to push it back up. No Sand or dirt, as he was launching in a concrete boat ramp.
Please note Boreal is a terrible company to work with if you have a situation needing their help. See the review I did on the Boreal Nanook. I got so upset trying to get help from them, I just got rid of the boat to the first person who offered me a reasonable price. (I told him of the problem before I sold it to him).
Bottom line is if you buy a Boreal, be sure it is right, or that you can resolve any issues by yourself.
I will never buy anything again made by Boreal!
If you want a good Skeg kayak, made by a reputable company, check out Impex! I love my Impex Assateague. it is a “keeper”!
Why do you prefer the older design (minus the plastic blade) to the new design?
i prefer the older rope skeg because its simple to modify and fix. i have actually been thinking about adding a line that will help pull the skeg down if it gets stuck. a slider system would be slicker but if it breaks is harder to work on. i’ll probably buy a new aluminum skeg blade or make one but otherwise since i don’t use the skeg that much i’m happy with it.
the rope that runs to the cockpit pulls the skeg back up so you are able to overcome any grit or sand that is in the skeg box so unless it was a large stone blocking the opening it must have been stuck in the up position which can easily occur.
I loved my shadow but when I got stupid with the skeg cable I needed quite a bit of time to replace it, and unless you are toting a couple of blades with cables preattached ($$$ you are going to be very unhappy if you breatk your first one on a big trip. I can canibilize deck lines and bungies to fix the rope skeg on my explorer. While it is not as slick it is field repairable
Never had a problem
on my older Ellesmere with the rope skeg other than the odd stone jambing which is a fault on all skegged boats.It’s such a simple design that any problem that occurs can easily be corrected with a little common sense.
Rope vs. cable
Rope skeg advocates are always quick to point out that they’re easy to repair in the field. What they don’t point out is that you NEED to be able to repair them in the field because they’re largely unreliable. I’ve owned - and still own - boats with both systems and IMO, the cable skeg is vasty superior. Rope skegs work only when the moon and stars are in the proper alignment and you’ve made the proper offerings to the gods of British kayaking. Cable skegs work all the time. In order for it to fail, the paddler has to do some thing pretty stupid, like trying to force the skeg down when it’s jammed. Really, the only benefit of the rope skeg is that you can’t force it down when it’s jammed; someone has to pull it down. If you don’t try to force a cable skeg, you’ll never have a problem with it.
As for repairs, all you need to repair a properly designed cable skeg is a spare cable, an allen wrench and about 5 minutes. If the skeg design on a particular boat doesn’t allow for easy repair, it can be modified to make it easy with minimal effort.
Sorry, my mistake