I'm no expert but I would agree with you polarsus. I think in the instance of a larger vessel missing a skeg it would have a much larger effect on performance, especially in rough conditions. Being a hockey fan I would use the analogy of a hockey skate on ice. The skeg acts as the edge of the blade allowing for manueverability (sp) and control over the body (or in this case the boat). Sure, you can play hockey with boots on, but when things get competitive it makes a difference in the end.