Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

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Geko
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Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Geko »

Gday All
I do not want to start another debate on which is better/best but would be interested in the numbers ,on Sea Kayaks,as say a percentage of either within the UK.
For example 70% Skeg 25 % Rudder 5% Nothing ??
I would start a poll if I knew how but maybe some of you will know the correct answer without starting a poll.
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Chris

chykensa
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by chykensa »

Hi Chris,

In my group of fairly regular paddlers, the ratio is as follows: Rudder 0% Skeg 100% none 0%. Fixed Skegs 30%. Not hugely interesting reading, but gets you started!!

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tg
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by tg »

In the main group of three. 2x skeg, 1x rudder.
In the wider group, up to six. 5x skeg 1x rudder.
In bigger paddles, where more turn up basically, skegs far outweigh rudders, and occasionally nothing.

Tim
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PeterG
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by PeterG »

Skeg almost 100% for our 40 or so regular sea paddlers in the Club for their main boat, I know of 2 rudders, one on a more speed oriented boat, and one double. However, many members have an old boat they occasionally paddle for trips down memory lane which does not have a skeg, so there is on average say 1 out of 10 boats on a day trip which has nothing, all the others skegs.

Geko
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Geko »

Very interesting so far.Probably 100% reverse stats of what I see here in Aus although there does seem to be a push by some to embrace UK style boats.It amazes me that Australia and NZ have developed a totally different culture towards how to steer /point a Kayak.Then again from what I read on this forum that also applies to other bits like sails and electric bilge pumps.Please keep the info coming.
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Chris

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Jim
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Jim »

I think most people just get a boat with a skeg fitted these days. and most of the boats are designed to work with them (or is it the other way round? :-) )

I don't use a skeg, but pretty much everyone I paddle with does (the Nordkapp HM users have dwindled now so not even fixed skegs). Rudders here are mostly seen on more racy boats and doubles, the Taran for example (fast cruiser/racer) is built with a rudder as a standard.
Why not more rudders? Probably because back in the '70/80's they were awful flimsy, unreliable things copied directly from marathon boats that caused more problems than they solved, and British paddling generally abandoned them so hasn't kept up with more reliable contemporary designs. Quite why the thousands of paddlers that never experienced crappy old rudders haven't taken more interest the ones available now is a bit puzzling - I guess when we start someone we respect tells us rudders are useless or not necessary and that's an end to it?

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steddyjames
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by steddyjames »

I have a skeg, but to honest it's more of a pain. The thing is always sticking so I hardly use it and leaks like a seive.

That's actually the only complaint I have about my P&H Capella for an otherwise excellent boat.

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MikeB
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by MikeB »

Geko - if you want to gain insight into how the paddling community "here" views rudders, skegs and boat design generally, then have scan of this lenghty discussion.

Of the various groups and individuals I paddle with, the vast majority use skegs. I have one friend who paddles an early Alew without a skeg, who seems to enjoy edging the thing all day - but he is a very good paddler indeed. One other competent chap I've paddled with who uses an Anas has recently upgraded to a modern design, with a skeg!

A couple I paddle with who use a F/craft double are the only people who use a rudder, apart from one of their friends who paddles a F/craft single, which clearly requires a rudder. He once told me that he had asked a well-respected retailer for advice on how to get into kayaking without having to learn all this "edging stuff", fancy brace strokes and such like, and was advised to get the F/craft. He paddles only a couple of times a year, and copes with conditions which (frankly) leave me worried. Whether that is a good thing or not is another debate I suspect. As both those F/craft paddlers frequently tell me, the chances of capsizing the things is so remote that they don't really bother about it.

It's all down to culture, boat design and what people's perceptions of what a "proper" kayak is, and involves. I have come across 3 Nordkapps fitted with rudders over the years - in every case, the paddles concerned said they loved the rudders and found that it made their paddling experience much more enjoyable.

Mike

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sanddabber
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by sanddabber »

Image

Fitted this rudder in 1992
Advantages: made the sea kayaking experience a lot more enjoyable
Disadvantages: NIL
Maintenance: Fresh water only (never jambed yet)
Would I go without: NO still paddling after starting 28 years ago

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Yakdiver
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Yakdiver »

My kayak came with rudder and skeg, I use the skeg, but now that I have learnt to edge I don't see any need for a rudder, but each to their own
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by PeterG »

I like the ability to set a course with the skeg and then just be able to paddle without looking at the compass too often. I suppose you could do the same with a rudder, but I would be worried about my feet making changes by themselves.

In terms of turning, I suppose that it is just what you get used to, but much of our paddling is about holding headings.

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Andysea
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Andysea »

My boat (Dagger Exodus) came with a rudder and I decided to see how it went. Have paddled boats with skegs and no skeg before and found it excelled in cross wind /tide conditions and particularly downwind with some swell- the boat surges ahead under total control allowing the paddler to relax and enjoy the ride - always runs smoother and faster than the skegged boats in our group. I never really use it for steering/turning- If I want to turn sharply it's better pulled up out of the way.
Andy

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Mark R
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Mark R »

sanddabber wrote:Image

Fitted this rudder in 1992
Advantages: made the sea kayaking experience a lot more enjoyable
Disadvantages: NIL
Maintenance: Fresh water only (never jambed yet)
Would I go without: NO still paddling after starting 28 years ago
I'm an anorak, but...where is that pic taken, please? Looks vaguely familiar, but I can't place the location.
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maxturner
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by maxturner »

I like the idea of nothing at all and most of the time this would be fine, and the kayaks i've owned are fairly managable without the skeg deployed, but sometimes its just easier and less effort to stick a small amount of skeg down in certain conditions, i'm no purist, on the flip side i've hired kayaks in the states which paddled dreadfully without the aid of a rudder in any sort of wind/waves, to be fair these kayaks were designed this way as rudders were (are ?) almost standard equipment over there.

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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Chris Bolton »

Most of the boats I've owned or paddled have had neither rudder nor skeg, and I'm usually able to trim them so that I don't need to do much edging, if any. But boats do vary, and sometimes I've wished I had a skeg. I've just ordered a Rockpool GT, which has a small skeg, although I don't expect to be dependent on it. I think I've used a rudder about twice.

Chris

Geko
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Geko »

No political slurr intended but it seems you are a rudderless country.
MikeB the debate on forums here is similar but opinions get even more heated.
Chris

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MikeB
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by MikeB »

Geko wrote:No political slurr intended but it seems you are a rudderless country.
MikeB the debate on forums here is similar but opinions get even more heated.
Chris
Chris - remember, we're British. Stiff upper lip, British "reserve" and understatement and all that. Mike.

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Jim
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Jim »

Geko wrote:No political slurr intended but it seems you are a rudderless country.
It sometimes seems that way from the inside (political slur intended)

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MikeB
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by MikeB »

This country has a rudder?

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Yakdiver
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Yakdiver »

MikeB wrote:This country has a rudder?
We had one but it broke
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johnb
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by johnb »

We've got a coalition now, so two rudders.

My day/touring boat has a skeg, my "performance" boat has a rudder. Must admit when I'm trying to get from A to B I think the rudder allows you to maintain paddling rhythm.

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sanddabber
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by sanddabber »

Mark, the location is north of the fishing village of Seahouses in Northumberland, the Farne Islands are visable offshore.

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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Ken_T »

Hi,
In the groups I paddle with it is about 90% skeg, 10% nothing, although both my doubles are fitted with rudders.
Ken

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Robert Craig
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Re: Rudder , Skeg or Nothing

Post by Robert Craig »

Group of 4 I most commonly paddle with is 100% skeg.

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