New Podcast - Hydro Skeg

This is Geoff Turner, an engineer by training, a kayaker and the man behind the Kari-Tek range of products.

Subscribe free and listen to him here or download the interview with him directly from the Podcast Library.

Skegs hadn't changed very much over the years until Geoff designed the Hydro Skeg. As the name suggests, it works not by cable but by hydraulics.

Not content with that, and pushed forward in part by Nigel Dennis, Geoff combined the attributes of a skeg and a rudder. Here he explains how and why. There's also a video in a previous post.

1 Comments Here:

Wolfgang Bisle said...

Dear Simon,

The rudder-Skeg is not so new as you might think. In Germany it is offered by two manufacturers. One is the Pietsch & Hansen with the famous Habel, where such a system was introduced more then 25 Years ago. This kayak was used for a lot of expeditions including circumnavigation Svalbard and Cape Horn. Look here : http://www.pietsch-hansen-kajaks.de/steueranlage.htm

The other company is Lettmann (http://www.lettmann.de), one of the two big kayak builder companies in Germany. His expert series is also fitted with these integrated rudder systems (which I personally use since more then 10 years in the HANSEAT seakayak) The following image shows how the rudder is integrated:
http://www.lettmann.de/catalog/images/Ausstattung2007.jpg
As lettmann cooperated with Kajaksport from Finnland, they also oofered this ruddertype shortly on their Kayaks, But I guess it was too expensive to manufacture for them.
In Germany touringkayaks fitted with this rudder are quiet popular.

There are only 2 big things you should always be aware:
Don't get trapped by fishing nets and ropes if they just floating below surface.

and retract the rudder before you land or go over rocks just below surface - it could cause major damages if the rudder mechanism is not build solid. Lettmanns kayaks are very solid, but still the noise, if you scratch the rocks, os awfull and frightening

Wolfgang Bisle
Webmaster of Kanuverein Unterweser Bremerhaven (www.kvu-bremerhaven.de)