Repair Skeg Cable^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
The Shark
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:17 pm
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

Repair Skeg Cable^

Post by The Shark » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:06 am

I recently bought a second hand Capella 166 and the first time I used the skeg the cable kinked thus making it impossible to use properly. I have soaked it in oil which made a little bit of difference but now I have to use two hands to get the skeg down. Is there a way of fixing this or do I have to replace the whole cable? Grateful for your comments.

User avatar
geyrfugl
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:57 pm
Location: Barnard Castle

Post by geyrfugl » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:47 am

Replacing the whole cable is by far the easiest thing - cables never unkink and any time a skeg jams even slightly, the kink will get worse when any significant push is put on the cable.

You can either buy a cable from the manufacturer, direct or through a dealer, or you can replace the cable yourself with rigging wire from a boat chandler. You may find it is worth buying a decent length of cable as it does tend to need replacing every now and then - usually immediately after you let someone else use your boat ...

Chandlers tend to have two sorts of stainless steel wire - one is made up of seven bunches of thinner cables, each itself made up of seven thin strands - this is flexible and NOT suitable for skeg control. The sort you want is made up of just seven strands of thicker wire, and is intended for standing rigging. This is the sort of wire which will take a push and do the job. Take great care cutting it as a frayed end will not be useful...

If your cable has been kinked for any time, check the tube it runs through - it is possible to wear through this by repeatedly forcing the cable back and forth, which will lead to a leak into your boat. When I built a skeg for my own boat, I bought a control tube from Valley, as I couldn't find anything else that would do the job. If anyone knows of a good alternative tube for this purpose, I'd love to know...

Cheers, Andy

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:56 am

Before you go and buy cable, check how it's attached to the skeg - iirc the P&H boats have the cable bonded in so you are either looking at working to remove and replace the cable or buying the complete assembly inc skeg.

I'm afraid the new Capellas have this problem built in - I've seen them inoperable from the plastic wrapping! We bought one for the club, and it's just acceptable and no more.

When you do get it fixed, don't oil the cable as that only attracts grit - flush the conduit thro with water and lube the new cable with something with silicon it it, furniture polish is good.

Mike.

User avatar
ChrisS
Posts: 1013
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:53 pm
Location: Warwickshire

Post by ChrisS » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:45 pm

I recently replaced a cable on a club Valley Avocet. With full travel the slider seemed to push the cable out to the side, causing kinking, instead of straight back into the cable housing. I shortened the travel of the slider which has greatly reduced this tendency and now it just goes nicely back into its housing. Of course the skeg itself doesn't now have a full range of positions but you don't really need them all.

I hate cable operated skegs, and intensely dislike rope ones. If only hydaulic ones were a bit cheaper.

SeaDoug
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2005 3:44 pm
Location: S.Lincs

Kinked Cable

Post by SeaDoug » Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:44 pm

I had an old style plasic Capella (square hatches) with a kinked cable - I know its not an option for everyone, but I took it over to P&H and for the price of the skeg and cable (not too expensive) the boys put my boat on the cradle and fitted it for free!
I have a newer 166 now, and so far no problem with the skeg at all - ratchet backrest is going rusty though........

SeaDoug

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Kinked Cable

Post by MikeB » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:09 pm

SeaDoug wrote: - ratchet backrest is going rusty though........

SeaDoug
Dreadful!

User avatar
naefearjustbeer
Posts: 1714
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:50 pm
Location: Caithness
Contact:

Re: Kinked Cable

Post by naefearjustbeer » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:23 pm

MikeB wrote:
SeaDoug wrote: - ratchet backrest is going rusty though........

SeaDoug
Dreadful!
2 out of or 4 club capellas purchased 12 months ago are doing the same thing. We contacted P&H and aparently they know about the problem. No offer to fix it though!

User avatar
Robert Craig
Posts: 665
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:55 pm
Location: Glasgow

Kinked cable

Post by Robert Craig » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:47 pm

I've had a similar problem on a different boat, caused by sand getting into the cable and someone forcing it. Once it's knked it's knackered. You need a new cable. I got a kit from Knoydart (wire was a bit stiffer and therefore better) than the original. Was difficult to cut neatly to length but otherwise easy to fit. Has stayed fixed for several years.

I agree with the "don't use oil or grease" comment. Use WD40 or similar, or nothing.

User avatar
active4seasons
Posts: 517
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:19 pm
Location: Berwick, North Northumberland
Contact:

Post by active4seasons » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:54 pm

I have managed to get some 4mm stainless steel cable, anyone know where I can get an outer to match this new larger cable (origional was only 3mm)?
Thanks
Developing Desire for Adventure!

User avatar
keefmac
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 6:51 pm
Location: Spean Brig

Post by keefmac » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:33 pm

I don't know if it'd work, but nothing to lose by trying I guess: Try warming the plastic sheath with a hairdrier as the cable goes in - it might stretch enough for the perfect fit?

I dunno - I'm just en route to bed - probably a crap idea! ;)

K

User avatar
Zoe Newsam
Posts: 1427
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 11:06 am

Post by Zoe Newsam » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:11 am

For lubricant, use furniture polish.

I carry a spare skeg wire, cut to length and coated with furniture polish, and the allen key & screwdriver needed to fit it, in my repair kit. Had to replace Mark's skeg-wire 'in the field' last summer & it worked a treat.

Kinked wire is just an occupational hazard- particularly if you launch off shingle beaches a lot- but once you've figured out how to fix it, it's a doddle: a 10-minute job.

A tip for avoiding kinked wire: drill a tiny hole in the bottom of the skeg, and thread a piece of thin cord through. Tie a knot either side to stop it coming out. Et voila! Next time you get little stones stuck up your skeg box, all you need do is ask someone to pull on your string!! No messing about with knives etc, and no kinked wire from trying to force the skeg down.
Zoe Newsam
Sea Kayak Guide & Mountain Leader

gizmo
Posts: 155
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:13 pm
Location: Tregarth

Post by gizmo » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:22 am

What's a skeg?

Paul (Alaw owner)
Paul

andreadawn
Posts: 614
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:34 pm

Post by andreadawn » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:34 am

I've just been poking about in the darkest recesses of my Valley Avocet and wondering about replacing the skeg cable, something I've never done before (It doesn't actually need it at the mo).

It looks very simple; too simple in fact, so perhaps someone could correct me if there's rather more to it than this.

The cable is not attatched to the blade but held captive by a small screw. To access this screw it looks like all I have to do is undo the grub screw in the skeg slider so the blade can drop fully down. Then undo the other screw to release the cable from the blade and slide it out. Re-assembly is presumably the reverse. Can't be that straightforward can it?

Incidentally, do folk replace their cables regularly or just when they think they need it or when they actually break?

Andrea.

User avatar
capsized8
Posts: 536
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:57 pm
Location: north wales

Skeg

Post by capsized8 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:05 am

gizmo wrote:What's a skeg?

Paul (Alaw owner)
Hi Paul, You must have a very very old boat, you probably need to upgrade. ;0)

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:07 am

On the Valley boats, it really is that simple! Until you lose the grub screw(s) in the gravel! So make sure you only loosen them enough to free the cable!

I can't remember if P&H boats have a grub screw at the skeg end or hvae the cable bonded in to the skeg. No doubt our Shark friend will tell us in time.

I've never replaced a cable just for the sake of it - I have removed it to flush the conduit.

On which note, it is worth making sure the conduit is well secured along its length - if it can flex away from the hull that will stop it working smoothly and the cable will end up kinked.

Mike

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Post by Jim » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:07 pm

Has anyone tried using outboard remote control cables or throttle cable or similar to upgrade seemingly temporamental skeg devices?

Jim
Chine boat paddler

User avatar
Geoff Seddon
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:04 am
Location: Horwich

Post by Geoff Seddon » Thu Feb 08, 2007 11:22 am

gizmo wrote:What's a skeg?

Paul (Alaw owner)
It is either something added to a boat to make up for deficiences in paddling technique or an integral part of boat design to allow for variences in trim and wind/wave conditions in order to enable more efficient paddling over a long period. I have the second type, which is rare, all other skeg users are crap paddlers, have poorly designed boats, or have boats where the manufacturer has succumbed to the clamour from potential customers and added one.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Post by Jim » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:17 pm

Geoff Seddon wrote:
gizmo wrote:What's a skeg?

Paul (Alaw owner)
It is either something added to a boat to make up for deficiences in paddling technique or an integral part of boat design to allow for variences in trim and wind/wave conditions in order to enable more efficient paddling over a long period. I have the second type, which is rare, all other skeg users are crap paddlers, have poorly designed boats, or have boats where the manufacturer has succumbed to the clamour from potential customers and added one.
LOL at Geoff!

Paul was on a wind up!

Jim

User avatar
geyrfugl
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:57 pm
Location: Barnard Castle

Post by geyrfugl » Fri Feb 09, 2007 12:41 am

The cables in NorthShore skegs are bonded in. Just heat the wire once you have it out of the boat (keep the blow torch off the plastic parts !) and it comes out a treat. Bonds back with the same West system marine epoxy I use for everything else...

I built my own skeg on my second homemade boat using exactly the same system. Rather than a loop of rope dangling off the bottom of the skeg causing untold drag, I included a small loop of stainless steel rod, which is easy to hook and doesn't wear out or get ripped off.. The skeg is fibreglass sheathed 4mm marine ply, which would be a fine material for replacing a plastic or aluminium skeg blade on a commercial boat, too.

Andy

Image

markpawley
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2006 8:51 am
Location: Wigan

Post by markpawley » Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:19 am

Tip, if the skeg cable on a quest on other long boat with the kajaksport skeg (Point 65 XP for instance) kinks behind the slider, the cable is still long enough once cut, for a capella. A nice sharp cold chisel cuts the cable well.

User avatar
Geoff Seddon
Posts: 283
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:04 am
Location: Horwich

Post by Geoff Seddon » Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:34 pm

Jim wrote:Paul was on a wind up!Jim
No s**t Sherlock. A skeg is deployed precisely to stop this happenning by the way.

The Shark
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:17 pm
Location: Bournemouth, Dorset

Skeg

Post by The Shark » Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:59 am

I have had to buy a new cable complete with skeg from P&H. I think if it all goes wrong again I will have to find an alternative method of fixing it. I'm not paying all that cash for a piece of wire.

Dave Thomas
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:36 pm

Post by Dave Thomas » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:48 am

I have in the past drilled and broken out the epoxy 'plug' in the large-diameter cross-drilling which secures the cable in a P&H skeg, pulled the old cable out, cleaned out the cross-drilling and the cable hole then re-araldited a new cable in. IIRC, I even managed to get the replacement cable out of P&H - can't recall why now, though. But no doubt any source of stranded SS cable of suitable OD and stiffness would do, as others have said.
Dave Thomas

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Mon May 07, 2007 4:37 pm

My one jammed at the Summer Isles after a days paddle last weekend- not confidence inspiring while solo paddling in windy conditions if it can't be deployed!- the outer cable arrangement behind the slider is a joke and it was this that was forced apart- 2 different thicknesses of overlapping plastic held together by a metal clip, pathetic... My boat has never been pulled over or launched off gravel, and it looks like there is a small piece of white plastic (which may be a seal?) which is now free to run up and down the wire between the upper edge of the skeg and the brass fitting which leaves a fairly loose gap between the cable and the fitting. I'm assuming salt water is evaporating leaving crystalline salt/sand to jam it, because it seems worse after being out the water a while, and after a dunking in a freshwater loch it seemed a bit smoother. My girlfriends brother drags his Current Designs boat over everything and his runs easy and smooth!- wonder why P+H can't get it right?! The slider has never been as smooth as EVERY other boat I've tried, and the brass fittings at either end of the slider housing even move now where the messy black rubbery stuff is meant to seal it. SHODDY...
Back to Brookbank with it tomorrow- just as well i work 10 yards from them...I don't want to send the boat back (now summer has arrived) for a warranty repair but I will be asking for a replacement kit- Cam used to work for P&H/Pyranha so could hopefully fit it with some assistance from me...
Oh-If the screw on the slider is presumably pressuring the cable- will the cable be able to be removed, cleaned and refitted or will the action of the screw on the cable have deformed it and make pushing it back through the outer housing difficult? this is the least i think I should do, even if I have to do it as scheduled maintenance...
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 7958
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by MikeB » Mon May 07, 2007 4:59 pm

If the screw on the slider is presumably pressuring the cable- will the cable be able to be removed, cleaned and refitted or will the action of the screw on the cable have deformed it and make pushing it back through the outer housing difficult?
Should go fine - just make sure the strands don't unravel. Mike

Kayak-Girl83
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:28 pm
Location: Liverpool & North Wales

Re: Skeg

Post by Kayak-Girl83 » Mon May 07, 2007 5:13 pm

The Shark wrote:I have had to buy a new cable complete with skeg from P&H. I think if it all goes wrong again I will have to find an alternative method of fixing it. I'm not paying all that cash for a piece of wire.
Don't do it!!

I had to replace one recently, I bought the length of cable (3mm diameter) from a chandlers (£2.10), left it fixed at the slider, got a screwdriver under the hull and between the skeg, levered the skeg off. Drilled out the skeg with a 3.5mm drill bit on a pillar drill. Inserted the new cable and glued into place using araldite. Threaded it through the control tube and fixed the slider into place. £2.10 and approximately 5 minutes longer than using the P&H Repair kit which costs approx £35.

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Mon May 07, 2007 8:07 pm

KG 83, unless I'm reading it wrong your advice seems contradictory- you say leave it in place at the slider to begin with?EH?
I'll have a look at it, but I think with a bit of careful bodging a removeable nipple arrangement(oo-er missus...) could be improvised at the skeg end. Once bought a motorbike where the previous owner had done this with the throttle cable using a modified bit from a 3pin plug
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

Kayak-Girl83
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:28 pm
Location: Liverpool & North Wales

Post by Kayak-Girl83 » Mon May 07, 2007 10:53 pm

Leaving it in place at the slider meant that the cabe pulled out of the skeg very easily and without trying to grip the 3mm cable with mole grips or such like.

tommfuller
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:51 pm
Location: Scotland / Norway mostly.

Post by tommfuller » Tue May 08, 2007 8:35 am

Jim wrote:Has anyone tried using outboard remote control cables or throttle cable or similar to upgrade seemingly temporamental skeg devices?

Jim
Chine boat paddler
Was wondering the same thing - I have a spare steering cable from a jet ski (I know, sorry!) which operates very smoothly. Almost certainly the wrong length but I know you can get similar cables made to order.

Cheers,

Tom.

User avatar
Cornholio
Posts: 579
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2006 8:36 pm
Location: Kincraig- "This Is NOT The Sea!"

Post by Cornholio » Wed May 09, 2007 5:42 pm

It jammed solid on a club paddle last night so when I got back i undid the screw and pulled the cable back through completely- there was a small amount of sand left in my hand as I did this. I hosed out the outer sleeve with high pressure water, also obviously the cable. This seems to have done the trick. Re-inserting the cable was fine and easy until it has to go back in the metal slider tube(- I hate taking cables out their housings as one strand out of place and the game's over usually!), where caution and great care are needed.

I'll keep an eye on the slider and if it all starts to seize up again I'm going to strip it again, take a template and detailed sizings of the skeg, then make one which can have a new cable attached to it when the cable gets ruined...contacted P&H with a few suggestions too...
"God tells me he can get me out of this mess, but he's pretty sure you're f****d..."

Post Reply