Shaping and Installing the Skeg

Posted by Zachary Wiest in Epoxy, Sanding, Tools, Woodworking

I just finished installing the skeg on the Skerry.  The skeg is a keel-like piece of wood at the stern the helps the boat track straight in the water.  I assembled the skeg about a month ago by gluing two pieces of plywood together.  Unfortunately the fit wasn’t perfect and I had to spend a couple hours with the random orbit sander, block plane, hand blocks, and chisels to get it to fit the curve of the hull and stern.

When I got the fit just right, I measured the bottom of the hull to find and mark the centerline.  I then drilled four pilot holes through the hull from the outside.  With my girlfriend holding the skeg in place using a carpenter’s square to ensure it was perpendicular to the hull, I drilled larger pilot holes from the inside of the hull and into the skeg using a special countersunk drill bit.  The bit drills a normal pilot hole but then opens up for the screw head so that the screw head can be embedded in the hole and caped with a small piece of wood.  The drill bit is also adjustable for depth, which is super nice.

I then covered the skeg and hull where they will make contact with some epoxy thickened with silica.  Finally, I used a screwdriver to sink the screws into the hull and skeg.  It came out perfectly perpendicular!

Because my skeg was a little bit warped at the stern, the thin piece of the skeg that ran up the stem was curved to starboard, I built a funny jig to pull it into place while the glue cured.

Time Spent: 3.0 Hours

Total Time In Build: 59.5 Hours

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