Artic Hawk

I am just finishing pre-reading the manual for the Artic Hawk. I am just wondering what other builders have done with the external mount plans for the Skeg.

I was wondering how well this works, when it is simply tied to the kayak with a belly wrap? I was expecting to see the Skeg installed prior to the deck. I have not started building the Hawk yet, so lots of time to make adjustments. I am planning to start the build late September or Early October, depending on when our summer weather ends this year. I have Skeg plans from Nick Shade of Guillemot Kayaks, that I was planning on using for any future builds, and possibly retrofitting the three that I have already built. 

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RE: Artic Hawk

���Superior kayak sells a keg kit. It's great equipment and I bought and installed it properly to attaching the deck

RE: Artic Hawk

���I meant to say 'skeg' :)

RE: Artic Hawk

���Wow. Spell check isk killing me. Buy the skeg kit from superior kayak and install it prior to installing the deck

RE: Artic Hawk

So, mount the skeg before tapping the keg, then?  <;-)


RE: Artic Hawk


RE: Artic Hawk

You had me at "keg kit"...

RE: Artic Hawk

Artic Hawk   Thanks  I really wanted to know if anyone had tried the externally mounted Skeg in the plans and manual .  I am tying to keep my costs down while including a Skeg .

It looks like the Skeg from Superior Kayaks is  a good design. For me $236 US is roughly $307 Canadian + Shipping. Is probably going to bring me close to $400 Canadian for one Skeg.  Has anyone used Guillemot Kayaks plans on an Artic Hawk build? Shipping almost anything to Powell River BC. Is expensive. $50 US, just for a set of plans from CLC.


RE: Artic Hawk

fwiw, i would not go with the externally mounted skeg to start.

my sense in building and paddling the arctic hawk extensively is that in most cases it did not need a skeg.   however, when i took it on some longer journeys and the wind/sea state was from a particular direction, a little skeg made it easier to paddle without a correcting stroke or leaning.

the problem i see with the external skeg, is that you have no opportunity to adjust it.  with an adjustable skeg, you only put down as much as you need in any particular condition and that changes depending on the conditions.   so when using the external mount, it makes it an overly stiff boat when on, but no chance to turn it off when you don't need it.

i did, on my latest build, only buy from superior kayaks the control box and wire and manufactured the skeg box and skeg myself.  they charged only about $50 for those bits and i made the rest (skeg and skeg box) out of scraps and maybe $4 for a stainless steel bolt and a nylon connector.   but i had one of their complete kits to use as a model for how to make it work.   but perhaps that is an was not particularly difficult and much easier in terms of number of components than Nick Schades design.  i will include a picutre of it i next post so you can see what it looks like.

one option is to build it without a skeg and see how it works and even try his option (external) and see wher eyou wan to go from there.  when i installed mine, i did it after the boat had been completed.  while it would have been eaiser to install during construction, it was not that much more difficult to do after completion.



RE: Artic Hawk

this thread on the Guillemot Kayak forum site will be useful:

it includes a similar discussion as you have asked and some answers as well as how i approached it with pictures and as described in the last post.



RE: Artic Hawk

I share Howard's distain for permanent fixed skegs for all the reasons that he outlines plus they are easily damaged iff you paddle around any underwater obstructions.

You may want to look at the other skeg kit that CLC sells:

The kit is $59 but plans are only $10 and all of the parts would be simple to make.  This skeg is very simple, strong and looks good on a plywood deck.


RE: Artic Hawk

I'm using a Guillemot skeg for my West River 18 build. I had looked at replicating a CLC-type skeg from scratch, but decided that it had too much stuff on the deck. Don't get me wrong, it's simple to build, cost-effective, easy to repair and allows an almost infinite range of adjustment, but in the current build I'm trying to leave the decks clean except for the rigging and perimeter lines. The Guillemot skeg is entirely under the deck.

So far it looks as if there isn't going to be any problem using that design on a non-Schade kayak. Nick's design has the advantage that the bigger bits are built of wood and the hardware can be found at local hardware stores. The fin is carbon fiber, but it doesn't have to be. Howard's link above points to a thread that has pictures of his and other builders' versions of a similar design. The point is, you might be able to make your own design from scratch, helping with the cost problem.

Another option is that Moonlight Marine, which builds Schade kayaks, also has pieces of the skeg kit in various states of assembly. Get in touch with them at and see what's available. Dan is good folks and will work with you to help find a cost-effective solution.

Good luck,



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