For years I had great Island Kayak Expedition kayaks for my clients which are pretty easy to load and are stable even for people who have been trying kayaking for the first time. The only real disadvantage with these kayaks were the off-centre skegs. They have been introduced so that the loading of large long items to the back is easy and no stones get lodged into the skeg box. However, it meant that it was not as effective when the kayak is empty or too heavy at the front. This is why I have decided to move the skegs of one of my kayaks to the centre.
Back in late May I first started with cutting out the skeg box. Because the box was a bit angled I had to add some fibreglass to one side to make the box equal on both sides. Then I needed to cover the hole and cut a new centre hole. Then I placed the skeg box over the new centre hole and fixed it in place with 2 component epoxy and the fibreglassed it in with a few layers. I tried to slap some gelcoat over the area needed to cover and had some other gelcoat repairs to do but the weather and work started to cause a 2 month delay in finishing the job.
In August I managed to then finish the gelcoat repairs and fit some new deck-lines to the kayak to spruce it up a wee bit. I also reinforced an area at the back-deck, which always has been a bit too bendy.
Last week I managed to give it a test drive on a trip over at Skye and have to say that it is so much more effective to what it was before. I notice the skeg as soon as I pull it a little down and when it’s all the way down it is too much for force 3 conditions. I never had to use the full skeg on that 2 day trip.