Skeg kit sources/ideas?

-- Last Updated: Dec-02-08 10:11 AM EST --

I'm looking to add a skeg to one of my kayaks. I remember seeing a reference to a Necky cable somewhere here but on Necky's web site I can't find that part... P&H also makes a new skeg but is it available as an accessory purchase? I need the whole kit - cable, tube, skeg box, skeg, slider (or a rope skeg as alternative to cable)...

I know ONNO has a kit (at least on the web site) but that's way too much $$$ for the boat I intend to put it in.

For about $40 or so from CLC I might just get a SmartTrack rudder blade and rudder mount and attach it to the rear and rig-up some rope/bungy mechanism to raise/lower it to function as a skeg only, but I'd rather have it under the boat instead...

Any ideas who sells these at a reasonable price? Or how to make one from scratch? Boat is Airalite (Carbonlite) so I should have a choice of adhesives to work with.

I think I want the drop-down skeg to be under the rear of the hull rather than hanging off the stern end to minimize the time it will be out in the air in choppy water (high winds + small water area = short steep chop, which are fairly common where I paddle most often).


A couple are out there
Contact onnopaddle and see if he still offers them – I bought one of his a few years ago and installed it in my Caribou. It’s a great skeg. Everything you need all packaged up, too.

I think Valley Canoe Products offers one, as well. You can check at and ask them. I also have a Valley boat with one of their skegs in it, and no complaints. It’s not high end or anything, but it’s a solid unit that works.

Whoever you talk to, make sure you discuss installing it onto Carbonlite in detail. Just to be sure it’ll work.

Depends on what you consider
reasonable. Patrick at ONNO has them for $300.

It’s the whole system and it’s carbon fiber.

If you don’t mind it protruding up and out of the rear deck, CLC has one that might be adaptable and it’s $59.

Try here

About halfway down the page…

It’s a nice product that I use on one of my boats.


Thanks for the updates

– Last Updated: Dec-02-08 10:21 AM EST –

I edited my original post a bit on the ONNO and CLC. As for the CLC skeg kit, I think it is not what I want though it might work. It needs to be glassed-in as the wood would rot and if I go thru all that I'd rather make a litte better one...

I do not want to spend more than may be $60 on the project though.

I am inclined to source some ABS plastic or similar material for the housing in the rear hatch and see if I can use a SmartTrack foil blade for the skeg and a simple rope pull up/down system...

It's a short boat (13.5 Perception Sonoma) so I may even just glue a permanent surf boat fin on it or similar thingy for simplicity, but having some adjustability is always a plus...

has a kit that can be installed in any kayak. It matters little whether your kayak is wood or glass. You still need to glass in the skeg box and run the cable. A buddy just installed one in his Guilemot and it works great.

Thanks - the link to the kit was posted somewhere earlier.

What CLC sells however looks like it has an all-wood box. This means I need to glass it on both sides, not just glass it to the boat. Too much work for what I need plus I do not have spare glass cloth or epoxy laying around so I’ll have to buy these.

I could use a piece of plastic to make my own box instead of plywood I think - no glassing required, just gluing in place. Having not done one yet, I may be mistaken though…

Maybe this?

I may try a variation of this
to get the placement right. Probably I can use the rear hatch straps to hold it in place too, while I tinker with the position…

Being a short boat I suspect this particular design in the link will not work without modifications - will be too tilted one way or another on my hull.

But I think I can strap a piece of wood on the rear deck and parallel to the water with a vertical piece of plywood or plastic/aluminum nailed to one end of it and going down in the water vertically for the same effect…

A bunch of hand work goes into making
one that is compact, lightweight and WORKS. Takes longer than doing a paddle.

The savings on frustration adds up fast.

Yet another option
From Nessmuking & Bryan Hansel:


what about edging?
you could improve your skills and avoid any more complication if you focus more on technique.

Yup. A “perfect” boat deserves better
But this $500 plastic day tripper does not need that much, unless I end-up liking it more than I think I will.

Now I also have to learn about foilshape properties to satisfy my curiosity, even though I am most likely going to end-up with a flat one for ease of making, and even more likely to buy the SmartTrack blade and use that -:wink:



– Last Updated: Dec-02-08 3:04 PM EST –

Good idea but may be for someone else. Paddling on one's but cheek with mostly one hand for an hour vs. dropping a skeg, I choose the latter -;)

EDIT. I think the above may read a bit harsher than I intended. I'll add that this particular boat weathercocks quite a bit with me in it. A more neutral design would be better suited for directional control thru edging. Still, the basic principle that if it does not need to be harder it should not be holds true. Edging has its place in making turns in tight places and while surfing, but edging to go straight over a 10 mile distance in cross-winds I think is unnecessary waste of energy.

Btw, a photo in your gallery is what I was thinking about as a temp solution:

Thanks - great link
and also the link to this page (can’t read the language though):

I think I will use something like this for the skeg control (either a bungy + cord or two cords).

You might just come out ahead $$…

– Last Updated: Dec-02-08 3:13 PM EST –

By selling what you got before you chop it up and possibly render it worthless. Then buy the boat that you should have in the first place..

Or learn to paddle what you got..

One study

– Last Updated: Dec-02-08 3:43 PM EST –

I appreciate the first half of the message. A well done skeg will actually improve the value of the boat just as a bad one will decrease it, so it goes both ways. I've been know to "butcher" things, but I do not intend to "butcher" this particular boat. I prefer to think of it as an "enhancement" instead.

On the "learning to paddle" part. Have not seen one study that would suggest skeg/rudder is less efficient than edging, so why would I edge if I can use a skeg instead ??? I don't want to go into this discussion - everyone has their preferences. At this point I'll just say that I prefer to use the skeg to balance the boat according to the current contitions and starting from there, use edging for directional control on the already balanced boat, if that makes sense. Using edging for full-time counter-weathercocking on long crossings or trips is a pure waste of energy IMO and I would do it only if I must (e.g. skeg breaks or ublalanced boat for some reason or whatever).

My wife has a
older Looksha Sport. it has and external skeg . . . Like a rudder that does not move. Maybe you can contact Neckie and see if they have any left over in stock. They may not list something like that on the web.

It works great by the way.

heres a link to other skeg ideas
maybe you have already seen these[URL=<a href=“” TARGET="_new"></a>]

Something you might try before a skeg
is adding some weight in the rear of the kayak. I have seen some kayaks change their weathercocking tendencies dramatically with just a 3qt soda bottle of water jammed all the way back or forward in the kayak. Add the weight to the rear to stop weathercocking and add it to the front to prevent leecocking.

It might be worth a try before going to a lot of trouble with the skeg.