Installing Kajak Sport skeg box

Submitted byJohnAbercrombie onSun, 10/20/2019 - 18:07

The install of the KS System 4 'rope control' skeg is 'on hold' right now as the 'Optional Adapter Box' is back-ordered.

So that's my first bit of info: Unlike the KS cable control skeg 'kit' which had everything I needed for an install when I bought it a few years ago, the newer System 4 line control kit doesn't include the 'box' which goes inside the kayak and is required to make the control box waterproof.

Make sure you include it with your order!

This skeg install is for a friend's Pygmy Murrelet boat. So the 2nd bit of advice is to install a skeg in this boat when you are building it. The builder/owner is a very skilled and experienced paddler (Paddle Canada Level 4) and if she says the boat needs a skeg I believe her!

I was worried that the ABS plastic skeg box wouldn't be protected from side forces when gear was pushed into the back of the boat.

I've seen leaks in commercial kayaks around the base of the skeg box.

It's a difficult spot to work as well, so building a good flange around the installed skeg box looked like it would be tricky.

I built a low plywood box from plywood glassed on both sides, and fixed that in place first. Then I installed the plastic  skeg box. It's difficult to install the skeg into the very sharp angle of the hull bottom on this boat, like most S&G boats where the two main hull panels are pulled together at the stern. If you are building with the idea of installing a skeg, working a 'flat' along the keel line at the stern would make for an easier job.

The ABS plastic bonds with epoxy if cleaned with acetone and rough sanded before bonding, in my experience. I bond ABS hatch rims this way and haven't had any problems, so far.

skeg box 1

skeg box 2


skeg box 3

I just realized that I forgot to grab a pic of the installed skeg box; sorry.

More pics to follow when I get the boat back in the shop to install the control box.


Tue, 11/05/2019 - 22:20

There was a halt while I waited for the 'Optional' inside control box cover - it's 'compulsory' on anything except a rotomolded boat with a recess molded in place. Backordered from Finland, etc.. but Tom (Tom's Top Kayak) got it fairly quickly and shipped it along to me.

A few things possibly worth mentioning:

The control box uses Torx machine screws to assemble, so you'll need to put a T10 driver into your repair kit if you contemplate putting in a new control line on a trip.

Attaching a wire (#22-24 stranded) leader to the end of the Spectra line (use CA) is pretty much essential - you can't push a 1,5 mm line through a long tube with bends.

The Pygmy kayaks use webbing loops to anchor the deck lines. The loops are bolted through the deck with machine screws. Replacing those machine screws with longer ones, I could add 'P-clips' on the inside to attach the line tube to the boat.

I'll attach some pics, to show a few details.






Tue, 11/05/2019 - 22:32

On S&G boats with a sharp 'V' keel line, it's tricky getting the skeg installed.

Having the plywood box bonded inside helped to back up the hull ply, so I could inset the skeg box a bit.

BTW, the ABS skeg box flange is easy to trim on the table saw, so if you are in doubt, order the version with the flange.



Sat, 01/04/2020 - 17:37

The inner and outer 'cups' for the control box fasten together with 2 machine screws.

The KS parts include a couple of Torx flat head machine screws which are about 1/2" long. For most wood-core boats, you'll want longer fasteners.


5/8" or 3/4" FH or oval head #10 SS machine screws worked well for me. The fastener goes through the outer box-inner box-O ring- flat washer-and nut.


Sat, 01/04/2020 - 22:56

Also, once the adjusting line is 'set' (through use, or just pulling the slack out of the system) in the jamming cleat slot in the skeg, the disc winder cannot pull the line tighter, so it doesn't work as advertised.

It can still be adjusted 'by hand' and the winder will stow the extra line, so it's not 'fatal', just irritating.

KS skeg


Sat, 01/11/2020 - 16:57

In an email to me, Marko at KajakSport said:

We are already updating the rope coil system so in future it will be much more simple and reliable.

So that will be a plus, IMO.

Marko also mentioned that KS expects that the line skeg will replace the cable model they produce.