Building a skeg

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by HCB66, Jun 13, 2020.

  1. HCB66
    Joined: Oct 2017
    Posts: 51
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: USA

    HCB66 Junior Member

    My boat does not have a full keel and the rudder just hangs in the water . I'm wondering about building a skeg in front of the rudder to give it some protection. I'm thinking just grind the hull down rough and attach the skeg with fiberglass Anyone ever done this?
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Describe the boat.
    Be more specific about the word; fiberglass. The term "fiberglass" is usually thought to mean glass fibers adhered together with polyester resin. It is not a suitable adhesive for joining parts. Use Epoxy. Depending on the size and depth of the skeg it may be necessary to use some through bolts or screws in addition to the epoxy.
  3. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Hello HCB,
    Re your previous thread about changing your outboard motor position from a well in the lazarette to a bracket on the transom, you were mentioning possibly keeping it as it is, but making it more like a sealed sail drive - is this still your current thinking?
    I think it would be better to modify the well as required (if possible) , rather than hanging the engine off the transom.
    Changing outboard engine mount.

    Re building a skeg in front of your rudder, maybe you are overthinking this a bit?
    You mentioned that the boat was built in the late 60's, so she has survived quite happily (I assume) for the past 50 years with a cantilevered rudder.
    Can you advise please what make or type he is, and post a photo or two of the rudder arrangement / hull below the waterline?

    Lots of boats were built with skegs in front of the rudder that are just for fairing / protection - some of the Westerlys built in England, like the Centaur and the Longbow, have cantilevered spade rudders with fairing skegs ahead.
    There is a photo of the rudder arrangement (showing the skeg - the rudder is not attached to it in any way) on a Centaur on this link for one for sale -
    1979 Westerly Centaur Sail New and Used Boats for Sale -
  4. HCB66
    Joined: Oct 2017
    Posts: 51
    Likes: 1, Points: 8
    Location: USA

    HCB66 Junior Member

    Interesting thoughts on the rudder, it is pretty old and the rudder has held all this time. Would like to install a skeg at some point though. My thinking on the outboard engine mounting is the same. Basically a top goes on the box that the engine sits in and the engine is fastened to the top of the box. It'll be kind of like the brush on a can of PVC glue you take the lid off the can and the brush is hanging off the lid. Same with the outboard. You unfasten some clasps around the edge of the box which has a gasket around it and the engine is sticking through the lid into the sea. That way water can splash up into the box all it wants without actually coming onto the boat. I can also just take the engine out when I need it serviced with no problems. It'll just be an outboard motor but it'll have the lid of the box fiberglassed onto the shaft that goes down into the sea. Seems simple and workable and it will keep water out.

  5. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: East Anglia,England

    wet feet Senior Member

    If its not broke,why do you need to "fix" it? It seems to have worked up till now.As for building a box over the outboard,do keep in mind that the engine needs to ingest quite a lot of air or it won't run.
    bajansailor likes this.
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