Jump to content



Toggle %s Hello Guest

Hello!

If this is your first visit, we invite you to register (click here) for full user access. Membership is free but is required in order to post to our forums. Membership entitles you to a discount on Native Watercraft Accessories purchased through the forum host, Get:Outdoors. Please read over guidelines and rules on the use of the forum here (Click Here)


Thank you.
Welcome Guest Messages 6.0.0 © 2018 VirteQ

Photo
- - - - -

Replacing rear wheel with skeg


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 mangonboat

mangonboat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 13 January 2014 - 02:25 PM

I got a MR 11 for Christmas after a lot of research, comparison, consultation with local dealers and a realistic assessment of my likely uses. The MR 11 is a bit short for the impoundment lakes and tidal swamps on the coast, but the water around Asheville tends to be moving at a good pace with lots of ledges and boulder gardens to maneuver through. I am contemplating reversing the mounting of the tugalong wheel bracket 180 degrees and, when fishing on the lakes and the coast, replacing the wheel with a weighted plastic skeg to help with tracking. The rudder kits are expensive, take up a lot of room on the rear deck when retracted and I dont know that a steerable rudder would be much of an advantage over a simple skeg that swings freely on the axle pin for the wheel. In "deep" water, the skeg would drop down at rest or when moving slowly, rotate back and up as paddling speed increases and should help with tracking, essentially adding 18" of keel length. With the wheel-mounting bracket reversed 180 degrees, the skeg could rotate back and upwards so it would clear anything the hull clears, e.g., over the top of sandbars and logs or in very shallow water, and it could be attached to a cord that could be secured to hold it at a fixed angle when fishing shallow flats. It wouldn't be practical in fast-moving water, so I would replace the bolt and self-locking nut with a stainless clevis pin of the same diameter for quick removal. Has anybody tried this? Any reason it shouldn't work?

#2 NOG Admin

NOG Admin

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 4,074 posts

Posted 13 January 2014 - 03:27 PM

I don't know of anyone who has made such a modification but the only thing I would be caution against is having the bracket on while running fast or steeper dropping flows. I can't recall offhand if the warning is on the Native boats but on sister brand Liquid Logic kayaks is a warning on their tag-along wheel equipped boats that it should be removed on rivers. The chance of the bracket or wheel striking or landing on rock could damage the hull due to excessive force combined with user weight and gear. Aside from that you would definitely see a benefit to tracking on flat water with an extended skeg.

#3 mangonboat

mangonboat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 13 January 2014 - 05:20 PM

I agree the entire bracket would have to come off for river running and even fishing the ledges...the screws will tear out before the metal bracket deforms.

#4 mangonboat

mangonboat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 23 January 2014 - 01:03 PM

KayakFishingNC, Native's website refers all customer service and warranty questions to local dealers, so I thought I'd get your input on this particular concern, from a warranty standpoint. The rear wheel bracket appears to be secured by bolts that go into a nut that is molded into the the hull with a "blob" of surrounding plastic that is several times thicker than the normal hull thickness. As I have researched the rudder versus skeg debate, the intended functions of each, rudder designs, skeg designs and the multiple different approaches folks have taken to create a non-steerable tracking assist on the rear of a kayak, I am pretty well convinced that a free-rotating skeg would yield significant improvement in tracking on open water, especially with a boat as short at the MR 11. But here's my concern: the rear wheel bracket, when used with the rear wheel to pull your boat across a hard surface, is typically exposed to vertical loading and nominal vertical shear forces relative to the hull, but minimal torque, as the wheel/bracket assembly tilts in unison with with the kayak and the free-rolling wheel dissipates almost all bending moment and horizontal shear . If I mount the bracket upside-down and hang a freely-rotating skeg from the same bolt that serves as the wheel axle, that skeg will produce very minimal vertical loading or shear where the bolts secure into the existing nuts embedded in the hull, but by its very nature, a skeg or rudder is intended to promote tracking in a straighter line by producing horizontal resistance to those forces that would otherwise produce side-to side movement of the rear of the boat. Thus, mounting a skeg to the hull via the tow-wheel bracket is going to involve application of significant side to side bending moment, some horizontal shear and even a bit of torque to that bracket and to the bots and nuts that hold it on. In short, this would be use of that part of my new MR11 that it was probably not designed for and I fear I would void my warranty. I was originally thinking I would make my skeg out of essentially indestructible HDPE or MDPE, e.g., a cheap rigid plastic cutting board, but, putting my wannabe engineer hat on, I now think I would want to use a semi - flexible material. Since I'm only looking for improved tracking and paddling efficiency rather than steering, using a flexible material should work almost as well, especially on calm water or while underway at a good speed, but would flex in response to waves, sudden gusts of wind, course change maneuvers and impact with the bottom, thereby greatly reducing the bending, shear and torque applied to the bracket and via the bracket to the nuts embedded in the hull . Plus, my experimentation with size and shape and,ultimately, replacement of a damaged piece, would be significantly cheaper. Got any thoughts on this? Can you run it by the folks in Fletcher or put me in touch with them? Maybe I could come by the plant and show them what I've got in mind.

#5 NOG Admin

NOG Admin

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 4,074 posts

Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:53 PM

My thought is that it won't void your warranty. You're not altering the hull nor adding anything that would/could cause anymore torque to the installed wheel mount bracket than what could be applied with a rudder installed in the same nuts. The factory rudder is designed so that one end of the deployment/retracting line cleats off, locking the rudder down. Even going as fast as you can, hitting a solid object, the rudder stays down, without any damage to the attachment area. As mentioned earlier, fast moving water and steeper drops are elements you should avoid with a rudder down or wheel attached. I've accidentally bent a few factory rudders slightly before without damaging the molded in nuts. Generally, those nuts can withstand anywhere from 700-1,200 lbs of force before they will pull out. We've seen a few pull outs from kayaks being towed on trailers and vehicles rear ending them or backed into walls etc. incidents like that almost always leave a tell tale shear signature to the plastic. Hope this helps, if not, let me know if you'd like to pursue it further.

#6 mangonboat

mangonboat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:13 PM

Outstanding! I'll post pics and reports on my prototypes and keep templates so I can share as I get closer to a winning combination.

#7 mangonboat

mangonboat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 08 February 2014 - 06:37 PM

I've gone down the rabbit hole on this project, researching stand up paddleboard (SUP) /longboard skegs. So many theories, so many designs, different skegs for surf, touring, hard bottom, shallow water etc. Most SUP centerboard skegs are readily changeable due to the skeg mounting box that is set in the body of the board bottom and glassed in, so your can change skeg with just 2 screws. But I'm not ready to cut a long rectangular hole in the bottom of my plastic boat just yet. I think I can set a SUP skeg mounting box into the bottom of a shaped wooden tail fin that mounts to the MR hull using the rear wheel mounting holes, but I dont think I will re-purpose the wheel bracket.

The rear wheel bracket is significantly wider than the rear edge of the yak and the protruding shoulders of the bracket have to create significant drag and turbulence at the back of your boat, which is bad for paddling and fishing. On the other hand, I am never going to use the rear wheel as intended: I tested it with a nominal load of gear in my boat on a flat, smooth surface and there is simply no way to control the side-to-side pitch with the flexible carry handle mounted fore and aft. The solid handle mounter port-to starboard on the Slayer is a better solution.

I will experiment with re-forming the rear wheel bracket to a much narrower profile and take advantage of the mounting holes to attach it to the hull and figure out a way to mount the skeg so it can rotate up and back if it hits something, remove it altogether for white water.

#8 mangonboat

mangonboat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 01 March 2014 - 05:22 PM

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I ended up re-purposing the tagalong wheel bracket, reshaping it with a bench vice, an anvil and a heavy hammer, narrowing the space between the two sides of the bracket and rounding off the wide, square shoulders that produce a lot of drag. To improve the mounting stability, I replaced the stock ¾” stainless pan head screws with ¾ “ ‘flathead’ screws, which have a tapered head that matched the new profile of the bracket. I bought a Dorsal SUP board center fin on eBay to use as the skeg… 12” “Hatchet” shape.$27.I found the mounting position where the skeg could rotate forward on a fixed axis to its design SUP position, 45 degrees to vertical, or rotate 45 degrees back and up so that the leading edge of the fin was parallel and in line with the bottom of the keel on my MR. For the axel, I simply replaced the stainless machine bolt with one only 1” long , and tightened it so that the skeg was squeezed pretty tightly in the bracket. Total expenditure $29. I will upload photos as soon as I figure out how to do that. I took it out for a test today on an impoundment lake with a decent wind blowing . In the “down” position, the skeg provides good resistance to wind-driven rotation, but its also harder to maneuver going around points and logs. With the skeg in the “back” position, it TREMENDOUSLY improved the tracking of the MR. On a sheltered part of the lake, I really put my back and shoulders into it to the point that the tip of the paddle 'popped' as it cleared the water at the end of each stroke and the MR11 tracked like a laser, throwing a bow wave! The bonus..the skeg rotated back as designed when I deliberately took it into very shallow water. I would love to figure out a way to adjust the in/out angle of the skeg while underway, but I/m stumped on that, given the resistance to rotation I designed in.

#9 NOG Admin

NOG Admin

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 4,074 posts

Posted 02 March 2014 - 05:06 PM

You can add photos by clicking the paper clip icon in the controls above this window.

#10 mangonboat

mangonboat

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 03 March 2014 - 12:23 AM

I must be missing something, as I cant find that attachment icon and Google Drive doesn't enable photo sharing simply by sharing the link.

#11 NOG Admin

NOG Admin

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 4,074 posts

Posted 03 March 2014 - 06:39 AM

Please see the tab "attachments and images" on this link http://www.nativeown...vb3_attachments

Also, if you are in a mode of replying to a post and you see "quick reply" below left of the text window, click on "advanced", which then shows the attachment paper clip icon.

Once you see the paper clip icon and click on it a manage attachment window will open where you will then need to click "add files", select files to upload. When you're finished, click "done".




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users