-- Last Updated: Apr-15-13 10:36 AM EST --
I have one hard chined boat, that is my go-to boat for her spritely acceleration, and one soft chined. The effect of the hard chines is that the boat reacts a bit more dramatically at the point it hits the chine. It really doesn't do anything differently, it just kicks over quickly rather than sliding in a way that doesn't so grab my attention.
It was interesting to get used to this behavior at first, but the boat still ends up sitting on its secondary and has been rock solid in haystacks that were decidedly over my head. In situations like those haystacks, it does demand more relaxation on my part than the boat with the softer chine. The sharpness of the way the boat switches side to side creates enough inertia that if I followed it with a stiff upper body I'd be swimming.
The softer-chined boat is by far the looser bow, in fact the hard-chined boat is a tight bow. I don't see the exact shape of the chine having much to do with that, it is the rest of the hull design.
As to using a skeg in flat water, it can be useful for both wind and certain current conditions. I can see an argument that if the wind is high enough to want the skeg down the surface of the water should also be disturbed, but certain topographical situations can disturb that assumption.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
Hardshell Kayak Sail Rigs
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