Skegs AND Rudders

I don’t want to start another arguement, but I’ve found a situation where both a skeg and rudder are great to have. Kayak sailing!

This past weekend a bunch of us gathered at Assateague Island for paddle in camping and to try and improve our sailing skills. The venue was perfect for this due to the shallow water (1 to 2 feet).

My kayak (Artisan Millenium)was equipped with a skeg and I recently installed a rudder. The sail is a Pacific Action Sail. I also built a minicell mount for my GPS.

The rudder does the steering, I monitored the GPS to see at what point I was making the most speed. When I found that spot, I dropped the skeg and the kayak held course. It would gradually drift and I would find the sweet spot again and lock onto that course.

Mike McCrea and I never dipped our paddles into the water for nearly 6 miles.

It was awesome!


Andy, the and longer you can
keep it in that “sweet spot” with as little rudder use as poss. the better helmsman you will become.

maybe not
my experience is that I sail better with a skeg kayak then a rudder one.

I have mounted sails on various kayaks but the skeg ones seem to have a hull designed with a better keel line and seem to track better and drift less.

To control direction of kayak I use the skeg (deployed for leecocking, retracted for weathercocking)

My favourite kayak for sailing is an Impex Assateague.

Pictures of sailing at

great pictures!

Thank you
you seem to favour pictures that don’t seem to be the most popular. It’s funny to see that some images that I regard average (not your selection) have the most hits. It still puzzles me to understand what people like; however I don’t take photographs with a “crowdpleaser” in mind.

Both Skeg & Rudder
I noticed this past weekend in Charleston that the Warren Light Craft longer boats (16 and 18) have a fixed skeg (which doesn’t protrude below the hull so you don’t have to worry about that) and a rudder. Ted Warren feels a rudder is a necessary safety issue on longer boats in rough seas (should have one for safety).

Personally, I’m not coordinated enough to use a rudder and I rely to much on my skeg on my WS Tempest 170 because I don’t have the edging skill level I should.

Rudder is safer?
The problem with rudders is that they are too unreliable. If you ever paddle a boat designed to use a rudder and the rudder fails in conditions, you’ll wish you had a boat designed to not require one.

I’ve seen this happen too many times and far from home.


Thanks, Andy. Great info.
Since I’m new to “,” I’ll have

to give sail, rudder, and skeg at the same

time a try.