Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

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Yellerbelly
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Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Sat May 13, 2017 9:01 pm

Any suggestions welcome about the replacement and maintenance of pre-2004 square hatch Capellas.

For my sins I have volunteered to maintain the club kayaks and we have 4 of these Capellas and they suffer from kinked skeg wires when folks land without lifting the skeg. Tried to replace the first one and retreated to a bottle of wine, defeated! I had other things to do this afternoon.

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I can't get the new wire to thread up through the tubing.

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Has anyone done any mods to make them more reliable? Replace the tubing?

Can I repair the skeg wire I've taken out? What wire to use?

Thanks . . . . Ben

PlymouthDamo
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by PlymouthDamo » Sun May 14, 2017 9:28 am

My skeg uses the Karitek system, so may be different to yours. However, the only way I can thread a new skeg wire up through the tube is by taking apart the 2-piece fitting at the top of the skeg box, thereby exposing the end of the plastic tube and then holding the end of the tube in my fingers while pushing the new cable through. The reason I have to do this is that it's a compression fitting, using an 'olive' - the same sort of fitting used on copper water pipes. When it's tightened up, the olive is compressed so much that it pinches the tube too tight to allow the end of the cable to get past.

Your skeg fitting has a load of gunk on it, indicating that it's probably had a leak at some point. An alternative to taking it apart might be to source a cable which is fractionally narrower at a chandlers. A mate recently replaced his cable with a narrower one (I think he dropped from 3.5 to 3mm) and it's working fine, and may even be more resilient against kinking in the event of running aground skeg-down.

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Yellerbelly
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Sun May 14, 2017 5:29 pm

Yes, I've dug out all the mastic on both sides of the skeg box and discovered some very rounded nuts that I can't get at. I just need a longer extension on the wrench.
I've discovered similar fittings as your Karitek system. It looks like I need to get this apart.

A thinner wire might be worth trying. Even if it gets kinked it might still work.

Thanks .. . . Ben

Aled
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Aled » Sun May 14, 2017 7:22 pm

It appears that the skeg blade you have in the picture is a KajakSport Retractable Skeg with centre wire http://www.kajaksport.fi/products/skeg/ ... e-o-3mm25m (not the 'end wire' version)

The wire and skeg come as a single unit when bought. Some here have experimented with pulling out the wire and drilling / gluing in a new one, but I'd recommend buying a complete new unit. You dont need to replace or even touch the tubes, leave all these to avoid making a lot of work for yourself... The only bit I cant see in your pictures is whether the wire passes through the control slider knob, or if there's a metal rod attached to give rigidity to the system. If there's a metal rod then it might involve more work - I'm not familiar with this specific part of the P&H system, only the KajakSport skeg blade/wire part. You could loosen off the control knob and post more pictures - lets hope you have a wire only version, then this becomes an easy fix.

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MikeB
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by MikeB » Mon May 15, 2017 9:20 am

When I wrote about skeg repair in the Almanac, I mentioned that I found it helpful to coat the end of the wire with epoxy. This stopped the ends unravelling and in turn catching on things in the tube.

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Yellerbelly
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Mon May 15, 2017 6:35 pm

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Another one needs replacing. £40 a time!

Thanks Mike. I've also heard you can use superglue.

Hey Aled. See the photo above. This time the cable has kinked next to the control knob. Pretty sure this happened on Sunday paddle so I have another job to do. Another £40. It's just a bad design. If the skeg is pushed up, the slider knob jams on the offset bar and the cable has to bend somewhere.
My Valley has the cable running through a tube which supports the knob. No offset force so the button slides forwards and the cable doesn't bend. Wondering whether it's worth modifying to this sort of system.

All the skegs I have are the same and they came from P&H. Maybe direct from Kayaksport is cheaper. I'll look into it.

Image

Thanks . . . . Ben

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Yellerbelly
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Mon May 15, 2017 6:40 pm

Thanks Mike, I should have checked the Almanac first. . .. . Ben

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nickcrowhurst
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed May 17, 2017 10:06 am

A decade ago I owned a square hatch Capella, and I also suffered from this bent wire problem. One obvious issue with the design is that because there is no tubular support for the slider the stainless wire must be sufficiently stiff to resist bending in the slider box. This then leads to the use of rigid 1x19 strand stainless steel wire, as used on standing rigging for sailing dinghies. This will not straighten after once being bent. I always use 7x19 strand 316 grade flexible stainless wire in conjunction with a slider (e.g Kari-Tek or a later P&H slider) that supports the wire in the slider with a steel tube. If one runs aground with the skeg down then the wire happily bends, and later straightens, inside the skeg box, provided there is sufficient space in the box. Also, the control knob can just slide forward as the skeg runs aground, provided that the system is properly lubricated.
I expect someone has a good modification for the system, but failing that I would change the slider, and epoxy 2.5 metres of 316 grade 7x19 into the existing blade.
A simple way to facilitate a smooth operation of a skeg is to lower the skeg with the kayak on a couple of supports, turn it over, and spray silicone lubricant into the box so that the lubricant runs down the wire exit hole. Lift the stern slightly, and keep spraying the lubricant until you see it running out at the slider. Waggle the slider backwards and forwards a few times. This will assist the movement of the wire in pushing the control knob forward, rather than friction in the wire and tube causing the bend to take place in the box.
Nick.

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nickcrowhurst
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by nickcrowhurst » Wed May 17, 2017 10:19 am

Ben, another avenue worth pursuing might be a later design of KayakSport control knob which now has a supporting tube. I found this just now with a Google search:
http://www.kajaksport.fi/products/skeg/ ... metal-tube
Nick.

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Yellerbelly
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Wed May 17, 2017 2:27 pm

Brilliant Nick, thank you.

This sounds like the mod I was looking for.

Having an interest in greenland style paddling I am even considering a very low tech option of dumping the retractability altogether and using something like this. The bu&&ers wouldn't be able to break this!

Image

. . . . Ben

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Yellerbelly
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Fri May 19, 2017 1:17 pm

Thanks again. The blob of epoxy and the silicon spray did the trick. . . . . Ben

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Yellerbelly
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Sat May 27, 2017 8:51 pm

The second Capella was more difficult. Unable to push the wire around the tight curve of the original tube I got medieval with the old bulkhead fitting.

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Made plates of stainless steel for both sides of the skeg box for a new push-in bulkhead fitting. Will use some Sikaflex to bed them in.

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The other problem I think is the control knob sticking at each side of the control box. Bad moulding. The guide rod at the back needs to be bent and pieces of tubing threaded either side of the control knob to stop it sliding to the sides of the box.

Hoping this, and a regular spray of silicon, will avoid skeg wire needing replacement too frequently.

. . . . . Ben

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Robert Craig
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Robert Craig » Tue May 30, 2017 1:36 pm

Now that's neat!

Aled
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Aled » Tue May 30, 2017 11:13 pm

Robert Craig wrote:Now that's neat!
+1

Graham T
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Graham T » Wed May 31, 2017 6:00 am

yep got to say you can do mine anytime very neat and good effort

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Yellerbelly
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Re: Skeg problems and replacement - P&H Capella (pre 2004)

Post by Yellerbelly » Wed May 31, 2017 5:28 pm

Thanks all, Well, . . . . I had to do something to cover the nasty hole in the bottom of the skeg box after I removed the old fitting.
Trying the tip found in the Almanac to secure the wire in the skeg with brass electrical connectors embedded in hot-melt glue. Can't find the link again. Bad photo.

Image

And, Graham T, heck no. I'm getting to hate these things. They're going to be the bane of my job as equipment officer for the club. :¬)

The P&H thigh brace replacements are nothing like the originals.

. . . . Ben

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