Skeg My Canoe

I was wondering how a skeg would affect my Swift Osprey’d paddling. In particular in following seas where I thought that hull’s performance might suffer.

Since I 'd already rigged the boat for sailing, I realized it would be pretty easy to lash down my steer stick and give it a go.

In a previous post I’d reported the the benefit of doing that paddling switch on flat water. 8 to 12 strokes per side vs 2 to 5 with the rudder/skeg/trim tab up.

Sunday AM I took the boat sailing. The wind, as predicted built throughout the morning until it was beyond my ability to sail. Time for a paddling test.

Paddling up into and abeam the wind the skeg showed no advantage. The Osprey is plenty manuverable and it was easy to anticipate the waves and hold a course.

Paddling down wind the skeg really helped. With it up I was tossed about as each wave passed under me. Skeg down I could hold my course pretty easily and even surf a bit.

This all at the downwind end of a mile long lake in 15 to 18 knot winds.

More trials to come but so far the results are good.


Put a foot controlled rudder on that

I can paddle farther and with less effort in my Summersong with the rudder down than I can with it up. It especially helps when turning away from beam waves - less need to lean to turn and thus reducing the likelihood of waves coming over the lowered gunwale. Especially helpful with short period waves that keep slapping the stern back around before you can complete the turn to go with the waves. This may not be as much of an issue with your Osprey as with my Summersong, since your Osprey has less tumblehome and is quicker to turn.

No Foot Control For Me
Since I kneel, foot controls are no help.

I have, when I was still trying to kayak, had days when my Solstice just wanted to sit in the trough rather than cut diagonaly through the waves. The rudder was indispensable in that situation. I think it has to do the lack of rocker in those boats.

I tried to duplicate that situation Sunday but couldn’t in the moderately rockered Osprey.

I’m wondering if a slight offset, skeg becomes trim tab, would help there or if I’d just go in circles?