Boat Building Forum

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Re: Other: Through-deck skeg experiences?

My only skeg project has been a Reg Lake style skeel which has very little (0.025") space on each side of the blade - so far it's worked well as pebbles just have no way to work their way into the gap.

The gap that will or not jam is entirely dependent on the size of your jamming material. A 0.025" gap will jam up pretty solid with any grit in the 0.025" diameter size range and a 0.25" gap will jam up with pebbles in the 0.25" size range. A skeg that works quite reliably on one beach may become hopelessly stuck on another beach.

My solution is to have a skeg that fits into an oversized slot, but with a small surface area spacer that fits quite tightly.

Since fine grit is much more likely than gravel to be suspended in water and then flushed up into the skeg box, I minimize the surface area where the gap is tight. With only a small area in the skeg box where the fit is snug, I minimize the opportunity for the small grit to find a spot to lodge.

BTW, I also highly recommend offsetting the skeg from the keel line as a strategy for minimizing jams. It greatly reduces how much material finds its way into the skeg slot.