To skeg or not to skeg?

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by Pippin, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Pippin
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    Location: Sydney AUS

    Pippin Junior Member

    Hi folks,

    I have plans to build the Glen L fisherman, a 13 foot outboard powered runabout. The plans specify the option of installing a skeg but I have no idea of the pros and con's. My observation, Skegs seem to be around on older boats but not more modern craft. Am I right in assuming that a skeg will provide more stability and better straight line tracking at the expense of turning ability. Your learned thoughts on this would be most appreciated.
     
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    You might as well fit it as per the plans, it will act to protect the bottom to some extent, by grounding first. And it will help it track a little better.
     
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There's absolutely no need for a skeg on this boat.

    [​IMG]

    It's an old warped bottom design and other then strike protection, a skeg will just increase draft, which on a small, protected waters boat, seems at least self defeating.

    Low speed tracking will suck, as it does on all shallow, warped bottoms, though a skeg will very slightly improve this trait. Install it if you want, but it's more of a detraction than a benefit in most cases.
     
  4. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    philSweet Senior Member

    Skegs are a nuisance when trailering (assuming bunks, not keel rollers). Unless the boat is for hard useage, I would try to make do without. If you plan to use a trailer without centerline bunks, just a roller or two on the cross frames, then a skeg shaped to the roller profile will keep your bottom free of roller rash.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I'd fit it, even though the boat is not suited for open water use, you still encounter the odd steep wakes of other boats, and it acts primarily to dampen broaching at speed. Tootling along slowly, there is usually enough submerged topside on these flat-ish bottomed boats to keep then running reasonably straight.
     

  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The lower leg of the outboard will do just fine as a skeg and the boat will be simpler, lighter, faster and shallower without it. This boat is going to be up on plane 95% of the time (probably in protected waters too) and wallowing about, "chasing" it's steering wheel less then5% of the time. Unless the boat is a working craft, doing the most you can for her abilities, seems reasonable.

    All this said, either way (skeg or sans skeg) you'll fine and still be a proud owner and builder, so keep at it and have fun.
     
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