Skeg not straight

About to put the skeg on the NE Dory and I see it's a little bendy. It has about a quarter inch of bow port to starboard and vertically. I'll bend it straight when attaching it to the boat. I saw there was an earlier thread about this and I think the OP made a new one. In my case I feel like it should be "good enough". Thoughts? 

Below is now it arches up from the bottom of the hull:Below is it lying on its side, showing the deviation from the longitudinal axis of the dory:

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RE: Skeg not straight

   I wouldn't worry about any arching from the bottom (which seems barely perceptible to my eye). You might be able to straighten the slight curvature when you screw it down. But, to be honest, I think my skeg was pretty straight and I managed to put that much curve into it when I screwed it down! I took out most of the curve by judicious sanding. 

I tormented myself the first few times I rowed my dory. I'd get it up to speed and then let it glide, getting annoyed with myself whenever it seemed to consistently turn (very, very gradually) to the port. Eventually I realized that this was insignificant compared to the inconsistency of my rowing strokes. 

When I'm sailing, there is a speed at which I have some harmonic vibration in the rudder. Maybe the remaining curve in my skeg is causing that. Maybe it's caused by some feature of the daggerboard or the rudder or even the hull itself.

Anyway, my guess it that you can easily cope with the curve you have . . . and maybe you'll get really lucky and introduce an exactly countervailing curve as you attach the dang thing.

RE: Skeg not straight

So you know your skeg's shape doesn't conform, eh?

Two suggestions:

Find yourself two known-straight edged pieces of 1x material about 3" wide, clamp them perpendicular to the skeg - so they act as 'vise jaws' essentially - before you go to secure it to your dory's bottom. 1/4" over three feet isn't much at all.

As for the bow in that mating curve?

It may very well 'draw down' during attachment, though I'd worry about spiltting it using screws to pull it down, but honestly? Using thickened epoxy, if that gap is filled with mix, even with contact only at two points it's gonna be strong enough once fillets & 'glass get added on both sides to reinforce the joint. 

RE: Skeg not straight

That curve is nothing, I've seen worse and all have been straightened out during installation. Draw a line 3/8" outside the centerline which will be your reference line to get it on straight. It'll take two people to do it, one to drive pilot holes up from the bottom while the other holds the skeg on the line and perpendicular to the bottom with a square. Start from the stern, drill a pilot hole and drive a screw about 3" in from the transom. Position the skeg on the reference line and pre-drill and drive a second screw about 13" forward. Do that two more times and the skeg should be straight. Now take it off, put a quarter inch or so of "peanut butter" on the bottom of the skeg and re-install. The squeeze out will fill any gap that might be left between the skeg and the bottom. Use that and a bit more to put a fillet around the skeg. You're done.

George K

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