Skegs – Worth It?


Some months ago I purchased an uncompleted Turner 46 hull (Tripp design) and
am in the middle of its conversion into a 46′ motorsailer. I realize this
approaches lunacy, but I’ve wanted to build all my life and after two
aborted tries, I’m older, wiser, and have couple of more dollars to spend
and so am off down this road again. Your Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia is
a well worn design reference as is/was your website.

Of particular interest, and the purpose of this e-mail, was a web page on
your old site which discussed the appendages on your first FB. I really
liked the propeller shaft skegs, and wanted to emulate them on my
motorsailer, however the images have been removed from your new site. Not
to worry, as I have the basic idea but I would be very much appreciative if
you could share a few of brief thoughts on the pros and cons of these skegs
(vs. an open shaft and strut) on a motorsailer. I’ve searched in vain for
some internet discussion on the topoic but have not found much.

I guess my question boils down to whether or not you feel the added
protection of a skeg to the shaft and prop outweigh the added surface area
and maintenance complexity (changing out cutless bearings) in a motorsailer
application. I feel that in my case, directional stability and
maneuverability issues are a push, but would be very interested in hearing
your thoughts on the subject.

Best Regards,

Doug Brown


The issue of skegs is a trade off  of protection, maintenance, and drag, as you have stated.

For protection you need a full prop depth configuration. But you have to take care with the shape or water flow to the  prop will be disturbed.

For a motorsailer, with the back up of sails, I would opt for the simplicity of no skeg, unless you are running in ice or areas with heavy concentrations of driftwood.

If you go through the FPB64 pages you will find photos and commentary on what we re do ing with this design.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (May 25, 2009)

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