Poor Tracking

As a second kayak we received a used Kayak that tracks poorly.

Is there a universal Skeg to install?

Or would a rudder be the answer?


– Last Updated: Jul-04-12 12:56 PM EST –

Tracking is a function of block co-efficient, but to simplify things, lets use waterline length to waterline width ratios. Anything over 6.5 should track well, or rather, well designed touring hulls should track nicely. Addition of a skeg or rudder is generally an admission that the designer failed.

Alternatively, maybe moving the seat aft will help.

Of course the paddlers physiogomy might pitch the hull bow down which will also ruin tracking, in which case moving the seat back even more might help.

And then there are stroke dynamics. Horizontal strokes create yaw, turn the hull successively off course away from the last paddle stroke.

Could be any or several of these issues; impossible to tell which w/o kayak brand, model and video.

It might still be a “well-designed” hull

– Last Updated: Jul-03-12 9:46 PM EST –

Plenty of well-designed hulls track poorly. Any boat that's designed to be highly maneuverable will track poorly without constant "help" from the paddler, and will quickly veer away from the original heading as soon as it is allowed to coast. There may be nothing wrong with the boat at all. It might just be a design that does not suit the current owner.

Oh, and aren't there lots lots of very good kayaks with skegs, in which the skegs are NOT proof that the designer failed, but instead are a valuable, adjustable tool?

Must know the identity of the kayak
in order to help you. If you bought a used whitewater kayak, then only technique will help. Anyway, there is no universal skeg and it is unlikely that any aftermarket rudder kit would fit.

weren’t there some issues with some kayaks twisting or something when they came out of the molds, resulting in poor tracking? I don’t recall the make or model but there had been one fairly close to me that was being sold cheap and when I did some research I found that make and model had some problems.