Eastport Without a Skeg

Hello Folks...

Anyone NOT using a skeg on an Eastport?


I will be using the Eastport for fishing; mainly rowed; occasionally with a 1.5 hp outboard.  Mostly in protected waters; occasionaly on tailwater rivers; no whitewater, but with occasionally high current/river flows.


I would prefer not installing a skeg, but do know what the implications would be given the above use senerio.  My thought being installing an additional rub rail in place of the skeg.





6 replies:

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RE: Eastport Without a Skeg

   I think you can leave the skeg off if you'd like a boat that spins like a top. If you'd prefer to row straight and have some glide, then follow the plans. You'll be glad you did.

Just one man's opinion.

RE: Eastport Without a Skeg

The skeg is 1% of the build.  It allows the boat to track and it protects the bottom (or at least a third of it) when beaching/loading/unloading.  Why would you want to skip the skeg, especially if you're going to row it?  John doesn't just add parts to the boat to increase the price of the kits, it's there for a very important reason.

RE: Eastport Without a Skeg

Mike Biando,

Just curious. Why eliminate the skeg?


RE: Eastport Without a Skeg

 Hello Frank,

I will be using the boat as a mini-drift boat, rowed on rivers.  I want to be able to change directions easily - most full size drift boats do not have skegs.  I've also read, that one of the main purposes for the skeg is that improves tracking while being towed - not a need for me.  Skegs get in the way during beach loading/landing, and cartopping.  


They do provide some bottom protection, but replacing skeg with another rubbing strip should give similar protection...

RE: Eastport Without a Skeg


I've no personal experience with drift boats, but, yes, if that's how you mean to use her, you're likely right about leaving off the skeg.  Other than towing, as you mentioned, its other main purpose is to help her track better under oars, only a consideration for flat-water rowing.

In fact, I'd go out on a limb here and say that you might be even better off to eliminate the rub strips altogether as well.  The smooth bottom will slide over sand, mud, and gravel better, the rub strips being of little help except on fairly level surfaces.  I'd guess thats why Jersey Sea Bright skiffs were smooth-bottomed that way, the better to slide over wet sand, working off beaches the way they did.  Better protection might be had for your purposes by doubling up on the fiberglass over the bottom instead, if you can tolerate the extra weight.  Mind you, this is all speculation on my part, just based on what I've read about drift boats.  Being a sailor instead of a rock-ribbed river runner, I've got a long-developed bias against one-way currents which don't reverse themselves regular-like, as a well-behaved should.

She might make a nice mini-driftboat for you; she certainly has a good deal of rocker which, minus the skeg, should make her pretty nimble.  You might ought to stay away from the Class V stretches, though.  <;-)


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