Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

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seawolf856
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Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by seawolf856 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:32 pm

My sea boat has the P&H Scudder fitted. I often use the skeg but have never felt the need to fully deploy the blade and use it as a rudder. Anyhow, while out on the water recently I noticed that the blade would not fully deploy, this is not a problem really as I said, I don't need it to drop fully as I don't use the rudder. I asked my colleague to check the skeg box for obstructions but it was clear. When I got home I put the boat on a bench to see what was going on. I released the slider and the blade fully deployed, no problems! I tried it several times and each time the blade fully dropped without any issues.
When out paddling this weekend I tried to drop the blade but it only half deployed, enough to be useful as a skeg but not all the way. To cut a long story short, I checked it when the boat came out of the water and the blade dropped all the way???

Any ideas what might be going on?

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nickcrowhurst
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by nickcrowhurst » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:40 pm

On the water the blade has a loss of weight equal to the weight of water displaced. (Archimedes) On the bench the weight of the blade is not so reduced, and the heavier blade can now more easily overcome friction in the system, which is also reduced by the lubricating water. Also, any "slop" in the system will exacerbate this. To overcome this I would experiment by adjusting the skeg wire at the slider. (On most kayaks this is achieved by slackening a grub screw in the hand slider knob with a hexagonal Allen Key.) If when you raise the skeg you still have a space between the front of the slider knob and the recessed box, then this distance can be reduced, thereby providing a longer movement of the slider when it is moved aft. That's how I fix this issue.
Nick.

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PhilAyr
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by PhilAyr » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:26 pm

On the water the blade has a loss of weight equal to the weight of water displaced. (Archimedes) On the bench the weight of the blade is not so reduced, and the heavier blade can now more easily overcome friction in the system, which is also reduced by the lubricating water. Also, any "slop" in the system will exacerbate this.
Good explanation Nick that does make a lot of sense. However the last part of your reply is not really relevant as it is a p & h corded skeg / rudder system.

I had the same problem with my boat ( Scorpio mk 2 mv ) and dismantled it for this very same reason only to find that it was caused by a small amount of sand/ grit inside the slot and pivot hinge that is attached to the blade.

I found that there was no need to dismantle it... doh !!! In the end all I had to do was slacken the allen key pivot by half a turn and blast some fresh water with a hose pipe around the area to get rid of the grit. Also make sure that the allen key pivot lock nut is not too tight. In fact I think it is better left slackened with a little bit of side play.

If that doesn't cure it then you could try a thinner cord but that's another story with a lot of hassle, a vacuum cleaner and sweary words !

Kind regards

Phil

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:41 pm

Hi Seawolf, the P&H Skudder does not use a wire so unfortunately Nick's excellent suggestion will not work in this case. However his diagnosis is correct. The blade which is quite big is not deploying due to a combination of its flotation and water resistance when paddling. The Skudder is pulled down by elastic and raised by a thin non stretch blue cord attached to the slider which is on a ratchet. As the Skudder deploys fully out of the water the blue cord does not need adjusted. Almost certainly the elastic which pulls the blade down has stretched since you got it ( I normally store P&H boats with the Skeg down to minimise stretch.

Unfortunately I don't have a skudder boat to hand to describe how to replace the elastic. However, if you look at my blog:

https://seakayakphoto.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... kayak.html

you will see two pieces of elastic with a knot emerging from a hole in the rudder control arm. To adjust it, just move the knot a bit to tighten the elastic. I can't remember how I replaced the elastic. I will report back once I have had a look but in the meantime Phil might tell you how to do it, I know he has had his apart and reassembled.

Douglas

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:44 pm

Thanks Phil you beat me to it, I also reported grit in the skudder pivot with a photo here:


https://seakayakphoto.blogspot.co.uk/20 ... kayak.html

It is just some coarse sand that does it finer and coarser grades do not bother it!

Douglas

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PhilAyr
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by PhilAyr » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:13 pm

The Skudder is pulled down by elastic and raised by a thin non stretch blue cord attached to the slider which is on a ratchet. As the Skudder deploys fully out of the water the blue cord does not need adjusted. Almost certainly the elastic which pulls the blade down has stretched since you got it ( I normally store P&H boats with the Skeg down to minimise stretch.
Hi Douglas - Good to hear from you,

A good explanation with photos. On my boat they have replaced the elastic (which pulls the blade down) with a large stainless steel spring which has done away with the need to re- adjust for stretching. Apart from that there is no difference.

To sum up I would say that there is no need to completely dismantle the pivot / spring assembly. You may have to replace the cord at some point but my advice is to leave everything else alone. Just give it a good hose down with fresh water every now and again, or even better avoid contact with that nasty coarse sand !

Kind regards

Phil

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Jim
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by Jim » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:37 pm

Always worth checking the spring if hosing out doesn't work, the smart track rudder has a stainless spring and they can break (I had that once and keep a spare, although I rarely take the spare paddling).

seawolf856
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by seawolf856 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:27 pm

Hi all, thanks for your detailed explanations. Archimedes eh, who'd have thought! Luckily as you know, P&H put a handy service cover over the top of the scudder pivot so I can have a play with the elastic tension. I don't remember ever seeing a spring though. The blue cord and slider components look ok and I also store the boat with the shudder fully down. I'm a bit of a one for lazy beach launches and landings though, so sand and grit are a real,possibility. Thanks again for responding.

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PhilAyr
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Re: Skeg operating fault - any ideas?

Post by PhilAyr » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:08 am

Hi seawolf,

If your set up is the same as mine, as I think it probably is, you should find that the elastic you mention clamps the arm inside the skudder box via a square hollow tube to the underside section and blade. If you undo it the blade will fall out and will only be held on by the blue cord. The elastic has nothing to do with the deployment of the blade. On mine the spring is hidden inside the black housing that the pivot arm goes through. The elastic is also threaded through this black housing.

I take on board what Jim has said about checking the spring but so far all is well.

Anyway everyone by now must be skuddered reading about skegs !!

Regards

Phil

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