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  I would tend to agree, and...
  Posted by: scott_f on Jan-30-13 5:06 AM (EST)
 

I would say that is a good hypothesis. I'm not sure the efficiency of a skeg has ever really been tested. It would take an incredible amount of resources to really prove the efficiency. There are simply so many variables (paddle style, stroke style, paddler size and ability, skeg shape, hull shape, water conditions, wind, etc). I guess it's reasonable to go along with the experience of someone like Paul Caffyn who agrees that skegs over distance are better (and rudders are better yet), but I tend not to firmly believe anything without testing by scientific method. And even then, a theory is only correct until it's proven wrong. My experience shows that a skeg is more efficient for beginners in high winds because they don't have the skills to cope without an aid to prevent weathercocking, and some boats also have a strong need of an aid to prevent broaching. But when it comes to splitting hairs over 2.5%-5% efficiency, I really don't know. Either way, it's an interesting thing to think about.

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