Skeg box material....

I’m adding a drop down skeg to my Hurricane Tampico…an ABS thermoformed boat. Hurricane offers an option but is zero help and doesn’t answer emails. So, I build myself. The idea is to duplicate the skeg system on my Tracer.

Skeg box material options are…fiberglass layup, plexi-glass, or wood. Wood is probably easiest but I want this to be permanent and I’m not sure I can do that with wood.

Anybody built a skeg system out there? What’d you do?

Post it here…
and you’ll get loads of examples

Here you go
A great article by Bryan Hansel of Nessmuking.

Take time to peruse his site too!


I actually started building one of those. The skeg idea is fine but the box is kinda iffy if you don’t get it just right, and it’s really flexy. I’ve pretty much decided on a plywood box, sealed with polyester resin. That way I can slice it out on my table saw and get a bit more accurate holes with the drill press. Spacers can then be glued in to make it a tight system. Similar to CLC’s wood kit but different fin profile and deployment method.

I’m going to try a clear lexan skeg just for grins, since I have a sheet of it.

All of my boats, except the Tampico, have skegs, all different designs. Cutting a slot in my hull scares me the most. :wink:

seems like it would be a lot easier to…
add a rudder kit or a skeg that attached on the stern like a rudder kit.

For your consideration
I installed this kit in my strip-built Night Heron several years ago when Superior first introduced it:

I’ve been very happy with the system.

I have retrofitted a skeg to
I have retrofitted a skeg to a ruddered kayak.

I removed the rudder and replaced it with a skeg instead.

I have documented the whole process of building and installing a fiberglass skeg into a carbon/Kevlar sea kayak.

Full details and images at:

It would be much easier to do something similiar to what Necky used to do with some of their boats. It’s like a fixed position rudder, pivots up like a skeg but it’s entirely external. With a thermoformed boat you’d have to either heat weld the skeg box into the hull or fiberglas and epoxy it and there is very limited space inside most boats to work in. Much easier to do it outside.

Bill H.

Have you tried that Necky skeg?

– Last Updated: Aug-13-10 6:17 PM EST –

If you're talking about the one that sticks straight out the back when it's not deployed (as on the Looksha Sport), it's absolute junk. Sticking out as it does, it's constantly in the way when handling the boat and it's constantly getting bent, which means it doesn't work much of the time. Junk!

Don’t seal wood with polyester resin.
Use West 105/205 epoxy.

You don’t see anyone building strippers or stitch and glue kayaks who uses polyester.

Epoxy seals wood much better, and serves as an excellent glue for attaching to the hull, if you want to use it. Polyester is also a mediocre glue.

Sure I’ve tried it, and yep it’s a pain. I didn’t intend that they use the same skeg, just the idea. You can buy a rudder kit and leave it fixed. Geez Brian.

Bill H.

I’ve waterproofed wood with polyester resin for years.

1st coat, cut resin 1:1 with acetone and kick it off. It literally wicks into the wood and turns it to plastic. I use it (as does the industry) for power boat sterns and outdrive cutouts. Second coat goes on un-cut. Epoxy sticks to it fine, as does other adhesives. I’ve never seen a fiberglass/gelcoat boat made from epoxy, and they seem to float ok. :wink: I think the point of using epoxy on stitch and glue boats is two fold…1) making sure the glass becomes part of the wood, and 2) it finishes out slick, unlike polyester. I’m not going for looks on the skeg box and polyester will be fine. The cost difference between the two is substantial, as well.

I looked at that option…
The wife wants a clean install like my Hurricane Tracer…all internal. She doesn’t like hardware hanging of the back of her pretty boat. :wink:

But yeah, that would be easier for sure.

That’s the one
i’m using as a template and what I believe is in my Tracer. It’s the $195 that put me off. Is it worth the money in your opinion? I’m making mine bungee deployed like a Dagger boat I have. It’s foolproof and requires only a jam cleat…it’s also nice if you bump a stump or ground the boat. The skeg simply deflects back into the boat.

How did you cut the slot in the hull?

I’ll probably go very slowly with a hack saw blade and file it to a nice finish. I’ve read about folks using Dremels, routers, angle grinders, and saber saws.

Wooden skeg
I’ve built wooden skeg boxes for several of my kayaks. Very simple and reliable:


Thats the idea I’m going with. Mine will be a little different shape, but the same idea. That thing will probably outlast the boat. :wink: