Replacing a Valley Skeg slider^

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sam waites
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Replacing a Valley Skeg slider^

Post by sam waites » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:11 pm

After as much advice as possible here please...

I've been attempting to replace the skeg cable on my plastic Valley Aquanaut LV. Everything has gone well so far - I took out the old kinked cable (by loosening the grub screw on the slider, unscrewing at skeg, pulling cable out etc) and I have replaced it with a new cable using a light coating of furniture polish to help get it up the tube. I've successfully re-attached the cable to the skeg but I'm having serious issues getting the cable back inside the skeg slider knob.
The grub screw (which should hold the cable in place inside the slider) is loosened off as far as it will go. But there seems to be something, possible metalic, which is blocking me from pushing the cable further inside the skeg slider knob, so that I'm unable to screw the grub screw down to lock the cable in place.

When originally detaching the cable from the slider I loosened off the grub screw but still had to use some considerable force to get the cable out. Its a possibility that some detritus from the old cable is still in there being annoying.

I'm guessing its a case of replacing the skeg slider knob? - does anyone have any experience of doing this ? looks like quite a complex job and I'm considering a professional repair so not to make things worse.
Also does any one know where I can get hold of a skeg slider knob from? I've tried Valley this afternoon but no one is picking up the phone, the fact that its Friday afternoon might have something to do with that. Google searches have come up with American sea kayak outfitters who stock the replacement parts, but curiously no one in the UK.

Many thanks in advance for ANY suggestions!!

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Re: Replacing a Valley Skeg slider

Post by Eclair » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:34 pm

I had the same problem on my Aquanaut - the previous owner had let the skeg cable rust, so it was totally stuck in the wee black slider knob. No amount of force could get it out, and in the end I removed the whole thing - knob plus metal track - and had a friend get it out with a blowtorch! You can unscrew the metal track from inside the cockpit - there's a couple of nuts, and it goes back on really easily (and I'm a GIRL ;-)). My Aquanaut is four years old though, so possibly they've changed it and it's more complicated than mine. Also, it sounds like you've only unscrewed your grub screw part of the way; my grub screw came out completely, are you sure it's out far enough?

Valley have a list of dealers on their site. I got a cable from Surflines last year, and they asked if it was just the cable I was wanting, so possibly they stock other parts of the skeg system too?

Hope it helps x

sam waites
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Re: Replacing a Valley Skeg slider

Post by sam waites » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:15 pm

Maybe these photos will help in depicting what the valley skeg slider arrangement looks like, and how hard it would be to replace the system:

Thanks for any help on this!

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Mark McK
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Re: Replacing a Valley Skeg slider

Post by Mark McK » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:29 pm


I used to work at a centre with valley boats and have replaced a fair number of skeg cables. Any new sliders I have needed have came from valley, they have always been very helpful and quick at sending bits out. On a few occasions when using slightly heavier wire I have had to untwist the wire and trim a few centimeters off a couple strands before carefully twisting it all back together. This has the effect of making the end of the wire a bit thinner and therfore easier to get into the slider. Also, taking the slider rail off and on is pretty straightforward, just undo the bolts on either end then manouver it out.

Hope this helps?
Mark McK

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Re: Replacing a Valley Skeg slider

Post by MikeB » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:17 pm

For parts, try Knoydart in Penrith.

As to the problem getting the cable back into the slider, have you tried angling a small mirror and trying to look "inside" the channel?

Is it actually the correct size of cable - not too big for the slider? Could the cable end be just snagging on the grub screw recess? Jiggle it a bit perhaps?


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Re: Replacing a Valley Skeg slider

Post by Balgarvie » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:30 pm

Suggest you try Valley first - I had to replace mine last year, the grub screw was corroded in and I had to replace the whole slider - Valley supplied that completely free of charge.
As for the task itself, as has been said already, its easy, I'm a DIY disaster area normally but I managed this OK.

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Simon Willis
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Re: Replacing a Valley Skeg slider

Post by Simon Willis » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:40 pm

Hi Sam
I took advice form Valley when replacing the skeg slider. You need to pop off the plastic cover at the 'front' end of the moulded tube inside the boat. These photos might help.

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Re: Replacing a Valley Skeg slider

Post by active4seasons » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:50 pm

I have four Valley boats and have replaced the skeg wires on quite a few. If I am not able to get the new cable into either the skeg or slider I drill them out with a 4 mm drill bit and this prevents any chance of unraveling the end of the wire. I know the cables are three mm but both the allen screw and the screw on the skeg are able to hold the cable - there is no need for a tight fit.
To do this on the slider it is easier if you undo one end of the rod slider but it can be done with a drill bit and pliers if necessary.
By the way when ordering cable from Valley tell them exactly what length you need by measuring the old one as I always get sent at least 1.5 m longer than I need and so it needs cutting - you think they would know the length of the cables for each model? Its fine if you have a cold chisel but not every one will have I imagine!
Good luck,
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