The skeg and it´s hole

Hello everybody,

before renewing the paint of the hull, I have to decide, if I want to close the existing hole in my boat´s skeg and about better shaping the skeg.
At the Moment the only shaping is a Little rounding at the edges of the hole. Does anybody know:
- what was the intended use of the hole? If the hole has no real use, I am planning to close it by filling with light XPs-Foam and epoxy putty. Is that conform with the rules?
- how much may the Skeg be faired down? If I understand the rules correctly, the only place, were the thickness 18 mm is prescribed, is at the hull, so i could reduce the thickness to that of the keelband, 11 mm?

Greetings from Hamburg

Hi Ferdi,

yes, you can fill in the hole in the skeg. The rules were changed a few years ago to make the hole optional. That was primarily because you can not mould a GRP mirror hull with a hole in the skeg without needing 2 separate mouldings (like on the Trident-UK Mk2, see The newer Mk3 hulls, such as the one from Winder Boats do not have a hole in the skeg.

Yes, you can reduce the thickness as you say to minimum 18mm at the hull and minimum 11mm at the edge where the keelband is. You can also change the profile as per rule 1.4.10

I don't know the original reason for the hole. It might be so it would act as a handle with the boat upside down (but if you try to carry a Mirror in this way, you will find it very awkward - the transom keeps hitting your legs). Or it might have been to help secure the boat when carrying it on a car roof rack - a rope through the skeg would help stop it sliding around.

By the way, did you know the Mirror Worlds are to be held in the UK in 2017 ? Overseas visitors would be very welcome. More details here

curlew's picture

I have also tapered my skeg to a fine edge at the aft end. But not sure if that is helpful or not. Maybe it should match the rudder thickness? But please note my boat does not comply with the racing rules at all.

elbsegler's picture

Thanks for your comments.
I will fill the hole and taper the skeg. I don´t sail races with the boat (with nearly no other mirrors around) but want to keep the boat as close to the rules as possible.
The Mirror Worlds in Cornwall would be a nice holliday.

PuffinInTegel's picture

Ich habe zwar noch ein Loch im Skeg, würde aber auch gegen ein Boot ohne Loch im Skeg antreten.
Vielleicht schaffen wir ja im kommenden Jahr ein Zusammentreffen organisieren.
Mit Frollein Schwarz auf dem Steinhuder Meer?
Jollenflottille auf der Elbe ?

My boat's still got a hole in the skeg, but I'd still take on a boat without a hole in the skeg.
Perhaps we can organize a meeting next year.
With Mirror 65280 "Frollein Schwarz" on the Steinhuder Meer (a large lake)?
A "Jollenflottille" on the Elbe?

Gernot H.

There was a device available long ago which clipped onto the skeg (fitting through it) with a wheel on either side, thereby serving as a minimalist trolley which you could easily take with you in the boat. That would be useful for pulling the boat out onto land without scraping the hull, so the hole in the skeg can have its uses. I'd think about making a removable plug rather than filling in the hole permanently - two pieces that fill their half of the hole from opposite sides and which are bolted together. Most of the drag would be eliminated that way, and what little remains would be too small to care about. Unfortunately it would have to be removed after sailing to avoid it holding damp there and causing rot, so I'd only fit it for important races.

Tried to move my Intro, maybe it worked, maybe not?

You could copy the message you posted then delete it and post it in a more relevant place by pasting it in the new message.

beermatt's picture

I find it's generally useful for shuffling the boat around. Particularly when carrying it the right way up, without the skeg hole/handle you're limited to your finger tips under the slippery edge at the bottom of the transom, whereas with the hole you can get your arm right under it, resting the weight on your forearm and clasping the skeg-handle with your hand to stop it slipping away.

But that's just from experience, I've no idea what it's original theoretical purpose was!

How much difference in speed do you reckon filling it in would make? I'm guessing we're only talking less than quarter of a knot which might make a difference to racers but wouldn't bother me!

To make carrying the Mirror upright easier, I enlarged the roung rear drain holes, above the rear deck, so that they had a rectangular shape into which my hand would fit.