Tempest owners...

I posted this question in a semi-related thread without any responses. (The question was originally intended for Flatpick but it wasn’t clear by the way I posted it)

Is a skeg necessary on the Tempest under very windy conditions?

Not really necessary but helpful?

I’ve been halfway thinking about getting one. I’ve demo’ed one but not under “textured” conditions.



Not necessary,no.
Is it helpful- yes, but you don’t need to use it to get where you’re going. 95% of the time I prefer to paddle without the skeg deployed.—Rich

Don’t need mine most of the time, but will use it from time to time. Half deployment is usually plenty to give you that little extra bite. Sometimes I start wondering about rudders when paddling very flat water with cross winds for long distances, but as soon as the water starts moving I forget all about it.

on the intended course.

when one learns the characteristics of a boat and how it behaves and HOW to effectively and effeciently get it to do what YOU want, you see that a skeg is mearly a tool.

when we designed the Tempest I made sure that the boat would handle 40 knots of wind w/o the skeg in all points of the wind. granted, dead abeam to a strong blow IS a challenge but it can be done.

any point up into the wind a skeg is not needed. any point from abeam to downwind a skeg is a geat tool to help you out.

we just did a sweet paddle out at the mouth of San Luis pass in galveston, TX. Te wind was in the 25 knot range and seas were up to 4’.The current was flooding (with the wind/swell) we hammered into the wind (onshore) w/o skegs. then we went down the coast a way (abeam) and 1/2 skeg was perfect. we turned to run into the beach for lunch (no skeg) and my buddy fergot to pull up his skeg. low and behold he wasn’t havng as much fun or manuverability as me till he realized and pulled it up.

learn good technique, proper edge control, etc. get a good boat and learn IT’s characteristics and make use of it’s tools. even rudders rock as tools.

good luck


Tempest Skeg
The use of a skeg in wind is far less significant than it’s use in the waves that the wind creates. While proper trim and tecnique will deal with wind from any direction, in waves to your stern quarter the skeg is the best solution. Paddling in the winter in the Northwest almost invariably includes wind and wind waves and long crossings are much easier with a skeg. You will not regret buying the Tempest.

My Experience

– Last Updated: Apr-05-05 7:07 PM EST –

I use my skeg every time the wind wants to significantly push me off course. Why in the world would I not?

What I have found is that I can get much better control of the boat using the skeg in a 165 than in a 170 in stiff quartering wind and waves. Probably due to my light weight and lack of weighty gear.

For some reason, when the wind is at about 90 degrees, it usually takes about 4/5 of the skeg to get neutral. All the way down will get me to slightly leecock.

The skeg works fine.

A characteristic of the Tempest that I have really grown to appreciate is it's ability to track backwards. That might well have saved my hide trying to come in the Beaufort Inlet. Thanks Flatpick.

The worst my T 170 has seen
was 2’ rollers and 25-30kt winds on the Potomac river. I was just out there messing around in the mess and had no need for the skeg.

I’m not sure about big water and trying to hold a course for a long time, I think it would definitely come in handy then, but I like my ruddered boat for that.

and today
it was following seas and wind coming across Galveston bay in Texas. 3.5’seas and 20+knots. wind direcly behind us and 4 miles to surf. full skegs were the order of the day!


I paddle a 165
in Wyoming so wind and chop is the rule!

I’ve not used the skeg in quite awhile so I better go flip the T over and make sure it’s still there.

I’ll get back to you…


To all— Thanks for the info.