Shearwater 17 Skeg?

Obviously handling can vary by individual and trim, but since I'm in the building stage, this is the easiest time to install a skeg whether needed or not. Should I install?

It would seem to fall into the parachute category. Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.



6 replies:

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RE: Shearwater 17 Skeg?

We have a shearwater 16 and 17 and regularly paddle on Lake Champlain.  The only time I could see using the skeg is with a big wind behind you but off center and big waves.  We have been able to get through everything even some 4-6 foot swells just fine without the skeg.  The one that clc sells looks like it takes up a lot of room if you plan to go kayak camping.  Onno will make a custom one but it is very expensive.  

The shearwater 17 tracks very well, I don't regret not having a skeg at all.

RE: Shearwater 17 Skeg?

I've been paddling my SW17 (without a skeg) for 3 seasons now and have encountered a myriad of conditions - mill ponds to big water.  The Shearwater tracks straight, edges easy and always feels stable.  I don't think you need one, but you can always add one at a later date if you feel the need.

RE: Shearwater 17 Skeg?

Any advice on building a Shearwater 17 vs. Chesapeake LT 17. I cannot decide.

RE: Shearwater 17 Skeg?

Mike: I built two Shearwaters, neither with a skeg. I think the stern is narrrow & "skeg-like" enough to do without. I also just went camping out of my SW, and felt that I had just enough room for gear, without any additional obstructions.

Surly: Those are the two models that I considered for my first build, and I chose the Shearwater.  The Chesapeake uses scarf joints (plans) or butt joints (kit), the SW uses puzzle joints. I also think that the SW is rated for higher speed.

RE: Shearwater 17 Skeg?


I'm thinking about the skeg issue again since I don't have a closed up boat yet.

My wife and I were paddling Buzzards Bay in MA recently. which is know for it's afternoon southwesterlies. Her Ches16 wanted to consistently turn into the wind which surprised me since it has that vetical stern and relatively long waterline length.

What has been your experience with wind in an unloaded boat, which is the way we paddle, not being campers.




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