skeg box removal on plastic sea kayak

is this doable? say one has an Avocet or a Chatham in plastic and one would like to cut out the skeg box and patch it over. where would you begin and with what materials could you cover the slot?

Bad Idea…
I would say you would end up with a big mess if it would work, I don’t think so…

Resale of the boat would be nill, zip, zero…

Take the skeg out and fill in the slot
with a sliver of styrofoam cut perfectly but oversize… slowly pack it in. Lightly sand it with 150/180 grit to perfectly fair to hull. By going for perfection you will automatically sand it too much but it will be perfect for next step. Mask perimeter and lay a couple ply of 4 oz. over it letting them just nudge over onto plastic a mm or so … trim to just inside tape edge with razor blade held laying down smooth with hull. Pull tape and trim a tiny bit more to perfect … Mask again and wetsand w/ quality 320. Pull tape and final fair ( should need little to none here) w/ 1000+ grit. Viola ! Sealed up, perfectly fair, no powertools, and you can pop it out and reinstall skeg down the road.

yeah and…
if you ‘bump’ it on a rock out on the water and it ‘falls’ out you are screwed.

don’t even think of it unless you are prepared to plastic weld a patch over the hole.

I work with this stuff in prototyping and we have to install cockpit rims (read-above the waterline) all the time. the welding is tough work, rough and ugly.

live with the skeg box or de-value the boat by 80%.


do you want to remove the skeg? Just curious what your motivations are as just leaving the skeg retracted makes it invisible to boat performance. Is it because you want the extra storage space? If so, try using a deck bag (fore and/or aft deck) for additional storage.

Don’t Do It…
sell the boat and get a skegless boat if that’s what you want. Drilling plastic is okay. Cutting chucks out is not.

Bad, bad idea.


Best to not cut it out… but…
Apologies, i forgot to add one would ultimately seal hardware voids in the empty skeg box by bedding SS hardware in with silicone prior to above foam technique.

Flatpick is right in what i figure is his never-done-or-tried-it-before-“I work with this stuff”-so-I-am-all-knowing perspective.

True, an average, uncaring production worker probably could not do this without it leaking… heck some of them cannot even put them IN without problems.

Anyone is welcome to call me for an explaination on how the epoxy migrates beyond the foam. Mechanically anchoring the entire plug in place. Hits big or small are absorbed easily by the foam’s ability to yield… glass just keeps things fair.

A clean, simple, functional AND reversible operation that will not “screw” the owner in any sense of the word.

By the sound of his post…

– Last Updated: Aug-06-05 12:24 AM EST –

He wants to do away with the skeg BOX.... not just the skeg..

too weird! (nt)

thanks for all your input
i expected some dire warnings about potential consequences but i appreciate as well Patrick your thoughts about how to do so. yes it is not a common procedure but why not modify a boat if you want to? i tinker with my boats all the time. this one may just be a risky one.

why do so? because some boats do not need the skeg especially for short trips/day use, but one still might want that space where the box goes. look at the Chatham 16’s stern and you can see what a tremendous drawback that skeg box is on a boat that performs well without the skeg at all…

and get out ‘in conditions’ just once and wonder why the heck you took the 4 wheel drive outta your SUV.

skegs add versitility to a vessels performance. they are there for a reason.

steve (boat designer)

If just for day use or short trips…
then you don’t even need the space taken by the skeg box.

Seems to me like a useless procedure, but it’s your kayak.