What does a skeg guard do? If you are thinking of adding one to your boat’s outboard or inboard/outboard motor and you are curious about the benefits, this article explains.
Protecting your boat’s skeg is critical if you want to prevent costly repairs and increase the life of your motor. For many boat enthusiasts, one of the easiest ways to prevent skeg damage from underwater impacts on rocks and other objects is to install a skeg guard.
What does a skeg guard do, you ask? Here’s a brief summary of what a Hydro-Shield does:
Let’s take a more in-depth look at why your boat’s skeg is important, how expensive repairs can be, and other benefits of a Hydro-Shield skeg guard and hydrofoil.
Your boat’s skeg serves a few extremely important functional roles while you are out on the water. First, it acts as a rudder and allows you to steer accurately and responsively while you are moving. Depending on the state of repair of your skeg—i.e., if it has any nicks, dings, or gouges from previous underwater impacts—the responsiveness may suffer, especially while you are traveling at high speeds on plane. With slower responsiveness and less accurate steering, you could be putting yourself and your passengers in danger by driving with a damaged skeg.
Second, and this is the reason that skeg damage is so common, your skeg acts as a guard for your propeller. The skeg sits in front of your propeller and deflects any objects—or takes the brunt force of the impact—out of its path.
Compared to propeller repairs, skeg repairs are not as expensive, but they are still significant. Why? Most skegs are made out of aluminum, which can be difficult to weld than other metals like steel.
If you experience an underwater impact and damage your skeg, you could be looking at an out-of-pocket repair bill of $300 or more. To make matters worse, the skeg does not always protect your propeller from damage, so a single impact could set you back an extra $500 for a new propeller.
It’s in the name—a skeg guard protects your skeg from damage. A Hydro-Shield skeg guard and hydrofoil not only protects your skeg and improves your boat’s handling but also creates lift for reduced drag, helps your boat get up on plane quicker and stay on plane at lower speeds, and allows you to run in shallow waters. Finally, it offers you peace of mind.
By this point it should be obvious that investing in some extra protection for your skeg is worth it. Even if you only ever experience one underwater impact, a skeg guard pays for itself in reducing or eliminating the need for repairs.