Oxford shell skeg

My shell is looking pretty good so far. Need a little guidance with skeg installation.

1-why install the skeg after glassing the hull?

2-plans show cutting the hole large enough to set the skeg socket through the hull-why not just cut a slot for the skeg itself and mount the skeg socket flush with the bottom inside the stern?

3-any ideas on lining it up accurately?

thanks for the help!!


6 replies:

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RE: Oxford shell skeg


My experience with skegs is limited to the Wherry, I have not built a shell. Having said that, it could be that it would be difficult to get the glass to lay properly on a skeg given it's sharp 90 degree angles. As far as lining it up, if you have the boat upside down and level, you can probably eyeball it with a plumb line.

RE: Oxford shell skeg

thanks czdan.

It makes sense but a helper friend was having second thoughts. I believe the plans.

Thanks again,


RE: Oxford shell skeg

One reason is to make the skeg "less firmly" attached to the bottom of the boat.  When rowing, if you hit something (log floating in the middle of the water, as you are sculling backwards), the skeg is what is liable to damage.  If it is too firmly attached, it can cause structural damage.  If is is "less firmly" attached, it can just pop off without causing structural damage and be replaced with minimal effort.

The sensation of hitting something solid in the middle of a lake is a thing of "interest".

RE: Oxford shell skeg

I lined up mine by placing a long straight board alongside it, and using that to "sight" along the boat.

RE: Oxford shell skeg

The joint for the skeg box is similar to a centerboard trunk. Some or all of the trunk/box structure goes through the hull for strength in the joint. 

Second reason is that in the structure you suggest, there is exposed plywood edge in the slot opening. This doesn't give a very solid bearing surface to resist a sideways force on the skeg, and would be difficult to seal well and keep the shape of the slot uniform.

I'm not sure but suspect there may be some old-school wisdom involved in building the joint so you can see where it leaks. The structure you suggest may work, but the main part of the joint is hidden behind the hull, inside the slot.  

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