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Old 12 June 2020, 16:44   #1
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Tracking Fin.

Hello all.
I have an XM 260 SIB. It is very light on the water and tends to wander when rowing.
Question: has anyone ever fitted a removable skeg/tracking fin & would it help. ??
The boat has a flat wooden slatted folding bottom so the fin base could be bonded or screwed. Any advice please? Thanks W
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Old 13 June 2020, 01:13   #2
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Yes! My SIB had one of these fins (Skeggs) mounted on the back



In seriousness, if you want better tracking upgrade to a row boat or a kayak. A flat bottom SIB will never row great.
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Old 13 June 2020, 02:37   #3
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SIBs are never good rowing boats. I've looked up a picture of the XM260. It's a conventional looking little SIB, and perfectly good for what it's designed to do.

A proper rowing boat has enough weight to give it momentum so it glides between the oar strokes. It has a long keel to aid tracking. The rowlocks are appropriately spaced for the optimal rowing position. The oars are long: often 8 or 9 feet or more. You can row it using your back and leg muscles, with long pulls, with the boat gliding during the recovery stroke. A SIB is very different.

A SIB is light for its size. It does not carry way, but stops almost dead in the water at the end of the rowing stroke. It does not track well, and it reacts badly to headwinds or cross winds. A short one (2.6 metres) is likely to to pivot easily around the axis of the rower. The oars are sized for convenient storage and are often only 4 or 5 feet long, and the rowlocks are positioned according to where the tubes happen to be for the required hull shape. This means that the fulcrums are too far apart for the short oars to act efficiently as levers.

You simply cannot row a SIB like a proper rowing boat.

There are two ways to row a SIB:

Conventional: Use a series of short strokes, dabbing the oars into the water only for a short time. Think of your hands making fairly rapid backwards circles. Mainly use your arm muscles rather than your back and legs. Steer by sometimes omitting a stroke on one side or the other, rather than by pulling harder on one side. Where a conventional rowing boat goes "puuulll and glide, puuuulll and glide..." a SIB goes "pull,pull,pull..."

Alternative: If your boat has two possible thwart positions, set the thwart aft, then sit facing forward and row Mediterranean style. As your weight is aft, the stern will dig in a little and aid tracking. Also, it helps steering because you are looking where you're going, rather than where you've been.

In either case, the SIB is only good for rowing fairly short distances. It's designed to work with a motor, and the rowing is very much a secondary consideration. It is a compromise we live with, for the many advantages and the special charm of a small SIB.

I've rowed my 310 a mile or two at a time and it's hard work. Many years ago, I rowed a heavily laden 340 across a sea loch to a dive site. It can be done, but it's not ideal.

If you fit a skeg it is unlikely to make a big difference to the tracking. However, it will make the boat harder to roll up and store, and possibly risk damage in shallow water or when beaching. Most importantly, it may disrupt the water flow to the propellor when you are under power, and it may even have unforeseen effects on steering and balance. A boat that was originally designed to skid slightly on the turn may dig in and flip.

Therefore, in my view, the answer is to modify your expectations and adapt your rowing technique, rather than modifying the boat.

If rowing is really important to you then a SIB is not the way to go.
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Old 13 June 2020, 09:58   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elliottwb View Post
Question: has anyone ever fitted a removable skeg/tracking fin & would it help. ??
Hi elliot .. if its any use to you .. yes I have done it and it does help tracking especially with sideways drift in a breeze. Years ago I had a slat floor Seago 2.6 SIB which I regularly rowed around Loch Etive, which is why I can confirm it works. Its also surprisingly easy to do and requires no modifications to the boat.

I used a pine shelving plank and put it across the tubes as a bench seat which meant my weight kept it in place. On the ends of the pine plank seat were fixed two short plywood planks .. at right angles to the seat ..these end pieces protruded around 9 inches into the water. They act as lee boards .. if you get my drift.

Its very common with some canoes and sailing boats ..the link will illustrate what I mean but mine were fixed position .. either full down or full out the water depending on which side of the seat I sat on

https://www.sailboatstogo.com/catalog/product/5056

When coming into land just turn the seat up the other way and the lee boards are out the water..it also did not interfere with the 2.5HP outboard which I also carried for getting home if the breeze got up and it became too tiring to row home into wind.

Easy to make and if you have scrap wood lying around you can try it for yourself for free to see if it suits you. Of course it still had it limitations as a row boat.. which is why I also carried the wee outboard although I enjoyed the rowing aspect

Hope that helps...
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Old 13 June 2020, 11:23   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gurnard View Post
Hi elliot .. if its any use to you .. yes I have done it and it does help tracking especially with sideways drift in a breeze. Years ago I had a slat floor Seago 2.6 SIB which I regularly rowed around Loch Etive, which is why I can confirm it works. Its also surprisingly easy to do and requires no modifications to the boat.

I used a pine shelving plank and put it across the tubes as a bench seat which meant my weight kept it in place. On the ends of the pine plank seat were fixed two short plywood planks .. at right angles to the seat ..these end pieces protruded around 9 inches into the water. They act as lee boards .. if you get my drift.

Its very common with some canoes and sailing boats ..the link will illustrate what I mean but mine were fixed position .. either full down or full out the water depending on which side of the seat I sat on

https://www.sailboatstogo.com/catalog/product/5056

When coming into land just turn the seat up the other way and the lee boards are out the water..it also did not interfere with the 2.5HP outboard which I also carried for getting home if the breeze got up and it became too tiring to row home into wind.

Easy to make and if you have scrap wood lying around you can try it for yourself for free to see if it suits you. Of course it still had it limitations as a row boat.. which is why I also carried the wee outboard although I enjoyed the rowing aspect

Hope that helps...
Yes, I get your drift...

Now that's clever. It deals with my objections of difficulty of folding the hull, difficulty in shallow water or grounding, potential interference with the water flow to the prop, and potential handling problems under power. I was thinking of a single central skeg rather than a pair of "leeboards". I should have thought outside the box.
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Old 13 June 2020, 11:47   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gurnard View Post
I used a pine shelving plank and put it across the tubes as a bench seat which meant my weight kept it in place. On the ends of the pine plank seat were fixed two short plywood planks .. at right angles to the seat ..these end pieces protruded around 9 inches into the water. They act as lee boards .. if you get my drift.
That's a very ingenious solution.

I wonder if you extended the planks further, you could put rowlocks on the end of them and then you'd be able to have whopper oars - a skib maybe
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Old 15 June 2020, 04:59   #7
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Great idea

Thanks for this. I already have a wooden seat so I should extend out beyond the tubes and drop a fin of some sort down below the water. Any dimensions/shape etc would help, thanks W

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gurnard View Post
Hi elliot .. if its any use to you .. yes I have done it and it does help tracking especially with sideways drift in a breeze. Years ago I had a slat floor Seago 2.6 SIB which I regularly rowed around Loch Etive, which is why I can confirm it works. Its also surprisingly easy to do and requires no modifications to the boat.

I used a pine shelving plank and put it across the tubes as a bench seat which meant my weight kept it in place. On the ends of the pine plank seat were fixed two short plywood planks .. at right angles to the seat ..these end pieces protruded around 9 inches into the water. They act as lee boards .. if you get my drift.

Its very common with some canoes and sailing boats ..the link will illustrate what I mean but mine were fixed position .. either full down or full out the water depending on which side of the seat I sat on

https://www.sailboatstogo.com/catalog/product/5056

When coming into land just turn the seat up the other way and the lee boards are out the water..it also did not interfere with the 2.5HP outboard which I also carried for getting home if the breeze got up and it became too tiring to row home into wind.

Easy to make and if you have scrap wood lying around you can try it for yourself for free to see if it suits you. Of course it still had it limitations as a row boat.. which is why I also carried the wee outboard although I enjoyed the rowing aspect

Hope that helps...
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Old 15 June 2020, 05:04   #8
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Thanks for responding. The SIB is powered by a 2.3 hp motor but I also enjoy rowing !
I also have a kayak with removable fin and works very well..
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Old 15 June 2020, 05:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
SIBs are never good rowing boats. I've looked up a picture of the XM260. It's a conventional looking little SIB, and perfectly good for what it's designed to do.

A proper rowing boat has enough weight to give it momentum so it glides between the oar strokes. It has a long keel to aid tracking. The rowlocks are appropriately spaced for the optimal rowing position. The oars are long: often 8 or 9 feet or more. You can row it using your back and leg muscles, with long pulls, with the boat gliding during the recovery stroke. A SIB is very different.

A SIB is light for its size. It does not carry way, but stops almost dead in the water at the end of the rowing stroke. It does not track well, and it reacts badly to headwinds or cross winds. A short one (2.6 metres) is likely to to pivot easily around the axis of the rower. The oars are sized for convenient storage and are often only 4 or 5 feet long, and the rowlocks are positioned according to where the tubes happen to be for the required hull shape. This means that the fulcrums are too far apart for the short oars to act efficiently as levers.

You simply cannot row a SIB like a proper rowing boat.

There are two ways to row a SIB:

Conventional: Use a series of short strokes, dabbing the oars into the water only for a short time. Think of your hands making fairly rapid backwards circles. Mainly use your arm muscles rather than your back and legs. Steer by sometimes omitting a stroke on one side or the other, rather than by pulling harder on one side. Where a conventional rowing boat goes "puuulll and glide, puuuulll and glide..." a SIB goes "pull,pull,pull..."

Alternative: If your boat has two possible thwart positions, set the thwart aft, then sit facing forward and row Mediterranean style. As your weight is aft, the stern will dig in a little and aid tracking. Also, it helps steering because you are looking where you're going, rather than where you've been.

In either case, the SIB is only good for rowing fairly short distances. It's designed to work with a motor, and the rowing is very much a secondary consideration. It is a compromise we live with, for the many advantages and the special charm of a small SIB.

I've rowed my 310 a mile or two at a time and it's hard work. Many years ago, I rowed a heavily laden 340 across a sea loch to a dive site. It can be done, but it's not ideal.

If you fit a skeg it is unlikely to make a big difference to the tracking. However, it will make the boat harder to roll up and store, and possibly risk damage in shallow water or when beaching. Most importantly, it may disrupt the water flow to the propellor when you are under power, and it may even have unforeseen effects on steering and balance. A boat that was originally designed to skid slightly on the turn may dig in and flip.

Therefore, in my view, the answer is to modify your expectations and adapt your rowing technique, rather than modifying the boat.

If rowing is really important to you then a SIB is not the way to go.
Thank you for your advice

W
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Old 15 June 2020, 08:27   #10
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Hi again W

I also enjoyed the rowing and it was all part of the fun. I caught more fish when trawling lures while rowing that when using the wee outboard. I presume they were attracted by the lure motion while rowing. The silence of rowing in peaceful sea lochs was the main reason I enjoyed it ..it meant I saw more wildlife on the close banks and shores ..which the outboard noise would scare. I usually worked the tides so they assisted my rowing and went for miles.

My leeboards were nothing fancy ..just square cuts of ply the width of the pine seat and extended into the water on either end of the seat to a depth of around 9 inches. I didn’t experiment in different sizes or angles ..nor bother with shaping the leading edge ..but you might want to experiment more.

Another thing which I found made a difference to rowing in a breeze was “feathering” the oars. A twist of your wrist as the oars move through the air ..to flatten the blades ..so they have no wind resistance made a big difference IMO. My old seago had rubber rowlocks so it was possible then.

Unfortunately modern “Pin type” rowlocks which go through the oars ..dont allow feathering.

I swapped the light aluminium oars for the wooden ones from my Avon inflatable tender too. They were not any longer but I preferred having a bit of weight to the oars.. perhaps that was psychological only though.

Enjoy the experience ..I know I did.
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Old 15 June 2020, 09:28   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gurnard View Post
Hi again W

I also enjoyed the rowing and it was all part of the fun. I caught more fish when trawling lures while rowing that when using the wee outboard. I presume they were attracted by the lure motion while rowing. The silence of rowing in peaceful sea lochs was the main reason I enjoyed it ..it meant I saw more wildlife on the close banks and shores ..which the outboard noise would scare. I usually worked the tides so they assisted my rowing and went for miles.

My leeboards were nothing fancy ..just square cuts of ply the width of the pine seat and extended into the water on either end of the seat to a depth of around 9 inches. I didn’t experiment in different sizes or angles ..nor bother with shaping the leading edge ..but you might want to experiment more.

Another thing which I found made a difference to rowing in a breeze was “feathering” the oars. A twist of your wrist as the oars move through the air ..to flatten the blades ..so they have no wind resistance made a big difference IMO. My old seago had rubber rowlocks so it was possible then.

Unfortunately modern “Pin type” rowlocks which go through the oars ..dont allow feathering.

I swapped the light aluminium oars for the wooden ones from my Avon inflatable tender too. They were not any longer but I preferred having a bit of weight to the oars.. perhaps that was psychological only though.

Enjoy the experience ..I know I did.
Thanks for sharing your experience and the positive advice. I am in Fairlie North Ayrshire on the Clyde.

All for now. W
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Old 15 June 2020, 10:30   #12
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Originally Posted by elliottwb View Post
I am in Fairlie North Ayrshire on the Clyde.
I know the area well as I spent half my life on the Clyde ..and I am looking forward to the day they re-open the car park at Largs so I can revisit again... hopefully soon.

You will recognise where I made this youtube video ..proof that on good days..even mid winter ...that small boats can easily enjoy the area. I generally use a 2.75m F-Rib now ..and a 6HP ..but I was all over the area when I had my seago slatfloor too. Stay safe





Best regards
The Gurnard
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Old 17 June 2020, 02:09   #13
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Tracking gin

Thank you for the rowing tips.

Regards W

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikefule View Post
SIBs are never good rowing boats. I've looked up a picture of the XM260. It's a conventional looking little SIB, and perfectly good for what it's designed to do.

A proper rowing boat has enough weight to give it momentum so it glides between the oar strokes. It has a long keel to aid tracking. The rowlocks are appropriately spaced for the optimal rowing position. The oars are long: often 8 or 9 feet or more. You can row it using your back and leg muscles, with long pulls, with the boat gliding during the recovery stroke. A SIB is very different.

A SIB is light for its size. It does not carry way, but stops almost dead in the water at the end of the rowing stroke. It does not track well, and it reacts badly to headwinds or cross winds. A short one (2.6 metres) is likely to to pivot easily around the axis of the rower. The oars are sized for convenient storage and are often only 4 or 5 feet long, and the rowlocks are positioned according to where the tubes happen to be for the required hull shape. This means that the fulcrums are too far apart for the short oars to act efficiently as levers.

You simply cannot row a SIB like a proper rowing boat.

There are two ways to row a SIB:

Conventional: Use a series of short strokes, dabbing the oars into the water only for a short time. Think of your hands making fairly rapid backwards circles. Mainly use your arm muscles rather than your back and legs. Steer by sometimes omitting a stroke on one side or the other, rather than by pulling harder on one side. Where a conventional rowing boat goes "puuulll and glide, puuuulll and glide..." a SIB goes "pull,pull,pull..."

Alternative: If your boat has two possible thwart positions, set the thwart aft, then sit facing forward and row Mediterranean style. As your weight is aft, the stern will dig in a little and aid tracking. Also, it helps steering because you are looking where you're going, rather than where you've been.

In either case, the SIB is only good for rowing fairly short distances. It's designed to work with a motor, and the rowing is very much a secondary consideration. It is a compromise we live with, for the many advantages and the special charm of a small SIB.

I've rowed my 310 a mile or two at a time and it's hard work. Many years ago, I rowed a heavily laden 340 across a sea loch to a dive site. It can be done, but it's not ideal.

If you fit a skeg it is unlikely to make a big difference to the tracking. However, it will make the boat harder to roll up and store, and possibly risk damage in shallow water or when beaching. Most importantly, it may disrupt the water flow to the propellor when you are under power, and it may even have unforeseen effects on steering and balance. A boat that was originally designed to skid slightly on the turn may dig in and flip.

Therefore, in my view, the answer is to modify your expectations and adapt your rowing technique, rather than modifying the boat.

If rowing is really important to you then a SIB is not the way to go.
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Old 17 June 2020, 02:44   #14
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Clyde videos

Morning,
Just had a look a your excellent videos, and enjoyed spotting local landmarks. Both the ship unloaders at Hunterston are now gone, soon I should have a clear view of Arran, however Peel Ports have plans to use the former terminal and rig construction yard for oil rig decommissioning. There is a local campaign to put a stop to the project.
I was out for a paddle yesterday morning, no wind and water flat, we are having a great run of weather at present. Seals coming right up to the waters edge! .

All for now W

QUOTE=The Gurnard;814349]I know the area well as I spent half my life on the Clyde ..and I am looking forward to the day they re-open the car park at Largs so I can revisit again... hopefully soon.

You will recognise where I made this youtube video ..proof that on good days..even mid winter ...that small boats can easily enjoy the area. I generally use a 2.75m F-Rib now ..and a 6HP ..but I was all over the area when I had my seago slatfloor too. Stay safe





Best regards
The Gurnard[/QUOTE]
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Old 17 June 2020, 03:16   #15
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My earliest days were spent knocking about the "prom" at Fairlie...in a pram! London parents were in a rented bungalow in Montgomerie Drive while dad was a groundworks engineer on the construction of Hunterston A.

I think it's where I developed my lifetime taste for sea air.
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Old 13 July 2020, 03:44   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gurnard View Post
Hi elliot .. if its any use to you .. yes I have done it and it does help tracking especially with sideways drift in a breeze. Years ago I had a slat floor Seago 2.6 SIB which I regularly rowed around Loch Etive, which is why I can confirm it works. Its also surprisingly easy to do and requires no modifications to the boat.

I used a pine shelving plank and put it across the tubes as a bench seat which meant my weight kept it in place. On the ends of the pine plank seat were fixed two short plywood planks .. at right angles to the seat ..these end pieces protruded around 9 inches into the water. They act as lee boards .. if you get my drift.

Its very common with some canoes and sailing boats ..the link will illustrate what I mean but mine were fixed position .. either full down or full out the water depending on which side of the seat I sat on

https://www.sailboatstogo.com/catalog/product/5056

When coming into land just turn the seat up the other way and the lee boards are out the water..it also did not interfere with the 2.5HP outboard which I also carried for getting home if the breeze got up and it became too tiring to row home into wind.

Easy to make and if you have scrap wood lying around you can try it for yourself for free to see if it suits you. Of course it still had it limitations as a row boat.. which is why I also carried the wee outboard although I enjoyed the rowing aspect

Hope that helps...

Good morning D,
after watching your excellent YouTube video, you make a comment about SC position, I think relative to the transom ?? What is SC.
Lots to learn.!!

Bill
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