A new thought!! Speaking of the skeg (!), I"ve included another picture taken just after the boat was hauled out. Looks as if the skeg is slanted in a curve downward almost touching the rudder. If the rudder were bent (and decreased the clearance at the skeg) wouldn't we see a corresponding increase in the space down the rudder post? But there isn't any. Although my wife would not agree with me maybe this is the way it has been all along and all we need to do is only sand the skeg (as Ron suggested earlier) and not touch the rudder.