The offseason is a good time to make repairs. For damaged lower units on outboards and sterndrives, more companies are making skeg guards that provide an inexpensive alternative to having the skeg welded. Just make sure all the internal components such as gears and bearings are not damaged.
The Smooth: Skeggard claims to be the original skeg guard, and it’s available for virtually every brand of outboard and sterndrive on the market today. It’s made of 316 marine-grade stainless steel and has a substantial skid plate on the bottom to better protect the skeg and propeller. It requires no welding and comes pre-drilled with two ¼-inch mounting holes and hardware for easy installation.
The Rough: If you like to go to a dealer to buy things instead of ordering online, Skeggard’s network is a little on the light side, compared to the others.
Price: $89.99; skeggard.com
KeelGuard Megaware Skeg Guard
The Smooth: Also made of 316 stainless steel, it comes with a reinforced wear tab/skid plate on the bottom to provide better protection for the bottom of both outboard and sterndrive skegs, just like the Skeggard and the MarineTech we reviewed. It also comes with two pre-drilled holes to allow for a precise fit. Plus, it has a drainage hole so water won’t collect and become stagnant, leading to biogrowth as well as corrosion.
The Rough: At $99.95, it’s the most expensive of the three we tested, but not by too much.
Price: $99.95; keelguard.com
MarineTech Products Panther Marine Safe-Skeg
The Smooth: Made of 316 marine-grade stainless steel, it comes with an installation kit that includes mounting hardware, instructions, an Allen wrench and Loctite 262 thread sealant. It’s reinforced on the bottom, but it doesn’t appear to be as thick as those on the competitive models. It’s available at a number of marine accessory dealers.
The Rough: Some reviewers on West Marine complained that the mounting hardware was not the correct size, but Panther rectified the problem.
Price: $94.99; marinetechproducts.com