View Full Version : How can I add a skeg to the kayak bottom?

11-09-2005, 01:31 PM
I have a kayak whose bottom is very smooth as shown in the picture. I suspect this is a white water kayak....it can turn on a dime, but has horrible tracking.

Unable to trade for a sea kayak, I'm thinking about attaching some kind of skeg on the tail end. Is this adviseable? If so, how do I approach it? And are there any off the shelf parts I can buy?


11-09-2005, 02:47 PM
would a skeg stop it from rolling over like its supposed to? if not i would grind or sand the bottom lightly, put resin on with cloth and a 1x? and bring the cloth around it stapeling the cloth to the bottom. about 2-3 feet long and centered from under where you sit or a bit aft. i am sure someone else will have a better idea

11-10-2005, 02:39 AM
I wouldn't add a "skeg" to the bottom of your kayak because for one it wasn't designed to have a keel (so it can be turned and rolled), and two you will be hard pressed to find anything that will stick to that type of plastic.

Most "touring kayaks" use a rudder set up mounted on the top of the tail. You can probably find an add-on rudder system at a kayak store like the one at Arden/Watt or make a small fixed one and pop rivet it on the top of the rear deck and seal it.

11-12-2005, 02:29 AM
I had the same problem paddling a straight course in a old fiberglas slalom kayak I'd bought at a garage sale. *When I related my trouble at a paddling store I was told it's common and that I just had to learn the technique to keep it going in a straight line. *I tried and tried, but the dang thing seemed to have a obstinate mind of it's own. *I'd get up to a reasonable speed and all of a sudden it would carve into a turn like a water skier. *It didn't always turn to just one side. *I was totally frustrated trying to paddle a straight line!

At the time windsurfing was my main water sport. *I took a funky old skeg that was in my junk box and wired and duct taped it in place. *It worked GREAT!

After removing the temporary test skeg I got a thick piece of 1/4 aluminum to shape a fin from and some aluminum angle for the bracket and made what you see in the sketch. *It's kind of weak, but lasted as long as I had the kayak. *The weight of the fin would allow it to drop back in place after I'd use the string to raise it for a quick pivoting type turn. *And when down it tracks arrow straight. This tip-up design also allows no snag forward paddling in shallow water or when beaching.

Oh, "Blue Collar Supply" on Florin Perkins Road has the aluminum and other great stuff at a much better price than hardware or home stores.


11-12-2005, 02:44 AM
Or, you could try something like this ...


11-12-2005, 08:21 AM
thanks for your detailed illustration....I will give the rudder concept a try.

11-12-2005, 06:10 PM
Here's a link to a kayak skeg kit.
Looks simple enough.