-- Last Updated: Mar-24-13 8:28 PM EST --
Mine was on a 13.6. Foot long kayak and a piece that was about 2" deep and about 10" long worked great. Ends were tapered so the overall area was probably 1/5th less than that of a rectangle with these dimensions.
The plastic I used was just whatever I had lying around. I think I cut-up some tray that was about 2mm thick. You want something that is not brittle or easy to crack but instead more flexible. A thin cutting board would do, for instance. Just make sure whatever glue you use sticks to it. You can tape it in place with weather sealing or duct tape to figure out where you want it first.
You can experiment. If it is too big and placed too much to the rear you will get a boat that is hard to steer. I had mine a couple of feet from the rear, probably 1/3rd between the end of the boat and the rear of the seat. This way the boat tracked straight but with a lean I could actually do zig-zags without the paddle. If you have seen the videos of Sterling Illusion I think, showing off their unusually placed skegs, they too could zig-zag on flat water without the paddle being necessary to change direction.
Deck Rigging Gear
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