How To Fix A Skeg Jam:

rock jam in skeg

In a case like the photo above you can use a stainless steel butter knife to pry out the stone and usually then the problem is solved. Keep a thin tool like this butter knife in your kayak repair kit for field use. Any knife will work for this, but a sharp knife risks cutting into the kayak or yourself. Some kayakers have used a Dremel tool to grind a hook-like notch into a butter knife so as to pull out stones that are buried deep in the skeg box and hard to pry out. Climber's have a "Nut Tool" that is long and thin and has a hook-like notch that works well for this, but most are made of carbon steel and rust severely in salt water. Maybe use a Nut Tool as template for grinding a notch in your stainless steel butter knife.

Another fix is to drill an 1/8" or smaller hole near the bottom corner of the skeg blade and tie a 4" long string to the blade (some sea kayaks come with this) so you can pull the string to move the blade a dislodge the stone; this can work while you are in your kayak if you have a buddy to raft up with and pull the string. However, finding the right string and knot is a challenge I've not yet perfected.

To prevent skeg jams launch backwards (stern first) or with the whole kayak floating parallel to the beach (when it's calm).


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