Skeg repair

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stowei
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Skeg repair

Post by stowei » Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:56 pm

I wonder whether someone can explain how the skeg on my kayak is supposed to work, so that I can repair it.

The boat is an Island Kayaks Expedition LV, built in 2007. The skeg sits in an offset box which is open to the elements top and bottom. The control mechanism is a slider, and the connection (assuming it is original, which I believe it to be) is a bicycle brake cable running in an enclosed tube through the inside of the boat. The bottom of the skeg box has stiffish tape on both sides of the skeg, sort of enclosing the skeg when it is retracted.

Anyway, I have just picked up the boat second hand, but the skeg does not deploy. To begin this I put this down to the state of the cable, which is kinked at both ends, so I have removed it ready to replace it. However, now that the cable has been removed I see two issues:

1. Gravity alone will not cause the skeg to drop past the stiff tape on the bottom of the skeg box
2. There is no friction on the slider beside the cockpit, so if gravity did cause the skeg to drop there would be no means of securing the skeg back in the retracted position anyway

I am wondering whether the tape on the bottom of the skegbox is not in fact for streamlining, as I had originally thought, but to hold the skeg retracted in the absence of any friction on the slider? And whether deployment is not by gravity but someone by a force being applied in a pushing direction through the cable? (Although I have my fears that this would be what caused the original cable to kink in the first place.)

Any thoughts or knowledge?

Thanks

Ian

Mrstratos61
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by Mrstratos61 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:48 pm

Search the boards here. It's been commented on previously

stowei
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by stowei » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:19 pm

Thanks. Yes I had done that already, and found these two threads:

http://www.ukseakayakguidebook.co.uk/sk ... .htm#skeg1

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=77554

However, neither addresses my issue. The photos in the first link show exactly the slider that I have and exactly how the cable is attached to the skeg. However, it doesn't reveal how the skeg operating mechanism actually works and the slider remains in any given position, nor whether it is just gravity that drops the skeg (which in my case it doesn't, because of the tape).

The second link doesn't seem to relate to my set-up at all. The cable on mine is just a single run from slider to skeg with no interims joints/adjustments.

Also, none of the links mention the stiff tape at the bottom of the skeg box.

If I remove the tape, I imagine that gravity will drop the skeg, but then there is no way of keeping the skeg in the retracted position.

I would still like to know how the skeg is actually supposed to work. If I undertand the principle I can probably effect a repair.

Ian

camanche73
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by camanche73 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:46 am

skeg slider should have a grub screw in it that is adjusted to apply friction to the inner tube

stowei
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by stowei » Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:51 am

Thanks. Yes there is a grub screw, but it doesn't appear to serve that function, unfortunately. It's function seems odd, to say the least. My slider is the same as photographed in Mike Buckley's article and I am attaching a photo of mine:

Image

As you can see, the cable runs above the slider tube, so the grub screw serves only to retain the cable. That seems odd, because if the system is operated by gravity the cable doesn't need to be retained at the slider end. So either the grub screw is needed so that push pressure can be applied (which will surely lead to kinking, or maybe to allow the use of cable which doesn't include an end stop (more likely I suppose).

So I am still unable to work out any way in which the skeg can be deployed, except by cutting away the hull tape to allow it to deploy by gravity. There is a photo of the tape around the skeg box here:

Image

The tape looks to have been fitted very professionally, which makes me think it is part of the original design. The challenge remains that if I remove it the skeg will drop and deploy, but I then have no way to retaining the skeg back in the retracted position.

I can't repair it until I can work out how it is supposed to operate!

Baffling me at present.

Ian

PlymouthDamo
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by PlymouthDamo » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:55 am

I don't have any personal experience of that boat, but it's common for skegs to be deployed down by being pushed by the skeg wire. I've never heard of any being deployed by gravity and I can't believe it would work as it would be opposed by the pressure from the moving water.

However, if that really is a bike brake cable, that would be way too thin to act as a ''pushing' skeg wire. I doubt it would even get as far as kinking - it would just flop around uselessly. Two thoughts: (1) do you think it might have originally had a thicker wire and someone has subsequently bodged it? (2) Could it be that your boat uses the same system as you see on Scorpios - i.e. the skeg is pulled (either extended or retracted) by elastic, and the skegwire is used to pull it the opposite way? If so, you'd need some friction to stop the skeg wire sliding back.

Ken_T
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by Ken_T » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:05 pm

Hi Ian,
You seem to have incorrect wire type (I have found 2.5mm 7 strand dieform stainless wire best) The wire pushes the skeg down & pulls it up. The setting is maintained by the friction in the Bowden cable.
Ken

Ken_T
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by Ken_T » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:07 pm

This thread should probably have been in the sea kayak gear section, the previous administrator was very strict about this.
Ken

pathbrae
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by pathbrae » Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:57 pm

I think it's been bodged ("modified") by a previous owner.

Inside the rear hatch is there any evidence of brackets on the side of the boat, about a foot apart, on the right hand side of the hull?
The Island skeg in my non LV Islander is similar to the one in the flickr photographs. The skeg should be controlled by a continuous loop of wire pulling it up and down. friction / resistance can be fine tuned by increasing or decreasing the tension in the wire by moving the plastic adjusters in the bracket once the cable has been joined.
As mentioned by Ken_T, don't use bike brake / gear cable. For the Island Exped, I found braided stainless works pretty well.

I think this is what it should look like.... (borrowed from Jim Tait)
Sorted- without so much as a piece of chewing gum or even velcro in sight!!!

In the back compartment, I found this
Image


Pulling the rubber thing back exposes this

Image

Image

The grey plastic thing loosens allowing the plastic nut to become an adjuster - fiddle around a few times and Hey Presto!!, the skeg doesn't fall down any more.

All back together again
Image
So much sea - so little time to see it.

stowei
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by stowei » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:09 pm

Thanks Plymouth, Ken and Pathbrae

I think I am much closer, with your help.

I get the point that gravity alone would not keep the skeg down, and that the cable would need to be stiff enough to have both a push and and a pull action. Therefore I agree that the current cable must be a failed bodge.

However, it definitely isn't a continuous wire system, and there is no evidence of any brackets etc on the tubing, or that the tubing is not the original. It is a single flexible tune that passes inside the kayaks and through the bulkheads, carrying a single cable from slider to skeg.

(Incidentally Pathbrae, I couldn't get those flickr links to work, but to judge by your text these will be similar photos to those in the skeg repair article by Mike B, and the tubing in my boat has none of those joints and brackets, nor any evidence that it ever did, unfortunately.

So I have had a go with stronger cable. I have ordered some 2.5mm stainless, but I had some 2.5mm galvanised in the garage and I have tried that for proof of concept. However, the test reveals that the tape on the bottom of the skeg box is definitely too firm to push the keg past no matter how stiff the cable. It takes a really firm push by hand directly on the top of the skeg to get it to deploy. (And it is definitely the tape and not the pivot - I have removed the skeg to check the pivot and it is fine.)

So, I am drawn to the conclusion that the tape cannot be part of the original design, since it prevents the skeg from deploying even with stiff cable. Also, I have never seen any photos of other boats with tape on the bottom on the skegbox, or come across any references.

So.... is the answer to cut away the tape? That would seem to allow the skeg to deploy :) However, I cannot then see any way of holding the skeg fully retracted, since there are no friction adjusters anywhere along the whole length of the operating mechanism.

I am stumped!

Maybe the answer is to cut away the tape and carry a wedge of some sort that I can use to jam the slider when the skeg is retracted. A pity, but I will still have a decent and very cheap kayak.

Alternatively I guess I could strip out the whole operating mechanism and replace it with something that works, but the design of the kayak would make that challenging, since there is no easy access to the tubing along the side of the seat and up to the slider box itself.

Thanks for all your input.

Ian

Ken_T
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by Ken_T » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:44 am

Hi Ian,
I have never owned the boat you have, but I have several friends who have, their boats did not have anything to cover the slot when the skeg was retracted, so I think that is a modification, looking at the cable used, I would suggest the person who did it had no background in engineering. I would remove the flaps over the skeg slot.
Ken

roy_moore
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by roy_moore » Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Hi.
I paddle an Island Expedition, the skeg setup is the same, with the skeg being accesible from the top of the boat. The difference in my boat is that the skeg is controlled by a push pull rod made from carbon fibre. It works well & is easy to replace being secured by a grub screw on the slider and another on a steel gizmo on the top corner of the skeg forward of the two bolts. Never failed while paddling but I do fit a new rod each year. I also carry a ccoiple of spare rods & the tools to deal with the grub screws & bolts. (3 diff sizes)
I buy the rods in 5m lengths from www.fibreglassdirect.co.uk cut then to size 161cm. The diameter is 2/2.5mm, any more & the skeg becomes difficult to deploy. Hope the helps and let me know if I can help further with photos etc.
Cheers.

jamesl2play
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by jamesl2play » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:56 pm

I have owned two Island Kayaks Expeditions and my son has just sold his. All were lovely underated ( I thought) boats but the build quality was suspect on them.

The skeg on my last one was a nightmare. The problem was discussed on UKRGB before a certain person disliked us discussing skegs on here.

If you do another search there should information relating to the IK skeg issue. It was some time ago, probably about nine years.

The tape on the hull is part of the design but nothing to do with the operation of the skeg. It is there to keep debris out of the skeg box.

My skeg internals did not look like the photos that you have posted. The problem I had was related to the way that the outer cable was fixed at the slider box.
The outer cable came detached so the inner would not slide inside the outer but they both moved together.

I like the idea of a solid rod.

I hope you get it fixed, they are a great design with a particularly fine looking bow. Its a pity the mould could not have been sold on to another manufacturer.

stowei
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by stowei » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:07 pm

Thanks for the further advice. Sorry for the slowness to respond - I have been away lading a school camping trip.

It rather seems that each Island Expedition must have been unique in how the skeg was fitted and operated.

So far I am completely at a loss as to how the skeg in my boat was ever supposed to work in the first place, or can be made to work now. I am strongly tempted to lock it raised and treat the boat as a cheap run around. This view is underpinned by discovery that the outer tubing leaks at the end where it is fixed to the slider box beside the seat, where access is almost impossible to try a simple Sikaflex seal. the leaking is exacerbated because the slider box sits facing vertically so spends a great deal of time filled with water. If I fix the skeg in a raised position I can simply seal the slider box with filler.

Jamesl2play, I have searched for that link, but in vain. I agree that the tape is likely part of the design on my boat. The edges appear to be almost recessed. However, my problem is that it appears to be the tape that is preventing the skeg from moving - it isn't that the outer tubing is moving. I have tried some 7x19 2.5mm stainless wire and that isn't strong enough to shift it. I also have some 1x19 2.5mm which I may try. It is much stiffer. However, I fear that it still wont shift the skeg and risk injury if it slips in the slider where it will be held in place only by a tiny grub screw.

Incidentally, the skeg internals are not my photo. My internals are a simple single length of unbroken outer flexible plastic tubing from slider to skeg.

I really like the idea of the carbon rod, although I don't get how it runs inside the hull. Please could Roy Moore post some pictures. Roy, I got an email from the Admin service suggesting you may have tried to send me an email or message, but your actual message didn't get through.

I agree it will be a shame if it can't be repaired (at leats at realistic effort/cost) because it is a nice looking boat.

Ian

jamesl2play
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by jamesl2play » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:28 pm

I have found the thread Stowei, not sure how to copy the link to here though.
The last post was June 2009. The photos are no longer available on it.

Your problem seems similar to a lot of the problems being discussed.

The title is 'Island Kayak Expedition'

Chris Bolton
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:20 pm

The thread James refers to:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=36980

(For James: you just paste in the url of the page, no tags or anything needed, and the forum software recognises it as a local link)

stowei
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by stowei » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:44 pm

Thanks James and Chris.

Yes, I have seen that post before, but decided it didn't relate to my boat, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, although the backrest on my boat is horrendous, that isn't because it is of an unusual design in itself. It is a quite conventional design, but just mounted to the boat in the wrong places (way too low at the sides of the seat) so you simply end up with it working its way under your bum as you paddle. Probably better to cut it out altogether, which i suspect I will do, and replace it with carved foam. Second, it makes no mention of the tape/flaps, which in my case is the reason the skeg doesn't either deploy or retract except with very significant hand pressure direct onto the skeg itself. I don't think that the outer sheath (the culpit in the link) has any issues apart from being slightly leaky where it fixes to the slider box.

So I think my plan for the weekend is:

* Cut away the tape/flaps and see if that does indeed allow the skeg to move more freely. I will end up having to tie some sort of wedge to the slider box to use to secure the skeg retracted. Losing the flaps shouldn't be an issue if there only purpose is to keep grit out of the skeg box - it is no more difficult to flush than any other design
* If that works, try to bodge a Sikaflex seal around the outer sheath to prevent the hatches filling with water. It will be a bodge because it is all that i can do to even reach where the sheath and slider box meet beside the seat
* If that doesn't work, see if I can discover more about this carbon rod idea as retro-fit
* If that proves impossible I will seal the skeg retracted, fill the slider box with filler to waterproof it, and call the boat a long playboat :)

I will let you know if cutting out the tape is a solution.

Ian

jamesl2play
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by jamesl2play » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:31 pm

Thanks Chris, I do not really know my way around this board.

I have found the photos on an old memory stick.

Stowie if you think they might be useful pm me an email address and I will send them across.

stowei
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Re: Skeg repair

Post by stowei » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:27 pm

Thanks James. I will pm you.

Meanwhile.......

I have cut away the tape. Clearly it was part of the original design, since it is indeed recessed. However, if its purpose was simply to keep grit out of the skegbox that is the least of the skeg issues. Cutting it away has made the skeg slightly easier to move, but not much, and it has confirmed/revealed that the main issue is that the skeg is simply too fat for the skeg box. Most odd.

I am attaching photos of the skeg and the skegbox.

Image
Image
Image

I have run some 1x19 wire through the outer tubing to the skeg, and even though 1x19 is virtually as stiff as rod when it is running in a tight tube, it will not budge the skeg even 1mm. The skeg is simply too tight in the box. Squirting silicone lube into the box helped a little bit, but still not enough to aloow the skeg to work except with significant direct force. This does all seem odd, because the skeg and box look like part of the same build.

I can't see any way to shave the skeg thinner or the box wider, so I am going to have to carve a new thinner skeg out of sheet. The streamlining over the skegbox won't be great for speed, but you can't have everything.

Meantime I have a cunning plan........ Since the skeg box is open at the top, I will simply charge my paddle-buddies with operating the skeg on my behalf as required :)

Ian

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