Attaching skeg to Jimmy Skiff II

Necessity is the mother of invention. The manual says to have someone hold the skeg after you glue it, so you can crawl under the boat, drill holes for the screws, and mount the screws. I was having trouble finding someone when I thought, "wait, how can I expect someone to hold the skeg down and keep it perfectly vertical and aligned while I'm underneath drilling holes and putting in screws?" So my idea was to put four tie-down straps with hooks on each end hooked to each side of the hull and over the skeg. I was free then to check the squareness and alignment and make adjustments and now everything is staying just so while I continue searching for my countersink bits. This worked great and I think it's an improvement over the prescribed method. (I would have sent a picture but it's too complicated and I want to keep looking for those bits.)

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RE: Attaching skeg to Jimmy Skiff II

Well done! You are a better boatbuilder today than you were last week. Straps are your friend. Helpers are fine, but somehow never there when you need them.

You can now go to the next level and skip the screws (and finding the bits) entirely. Take your setup apart again, paint the bottom of the skeg where it joins the boat with unthickened epoxy, paint the boat where it joins the skeg with unthickened epoxy and lay a bead of epoxy/woodflour putty onto the boat where the two join so that the skeg is bedded in a layer of putty. That will strengthen the joint to no end but leave you plenty of time to adjust the alignment and strap everything in place again. Be sure to smooth or remove the squeezeout so you won't have to go to sanding hell.

Wait for it to cure, remove the straps and use some nice fat fillets and glass tape to attach the skeg to the boat. It's stronger than screws and doesn't require you to drill holes into your nice watertight hull. You will never have to worry about differential thermal expansion loosening the screws, spalling, or trying to find and remove the screws (including drilling through the finished inside of your boat) if the skeg gets dinged up and needs replacement.

When you put the fillets on, immediately paint them with with a chip brush dipped in unthickened epoxy to smooth them and apply the glass tape before they cure. That way you can avoid sanding the fillet.

This is how I've been attaching skegs for over 20 years and none have ever broken loose.

Have fun,



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