Avocet skeg cable housing issue

-- Last Updated: May-29-10 12:26 PM EST --

I have an older much used poly Avocet. I am not sure how old. Probably 2003 or older. My Avocet has some things that need to be fixed and the next one is the skeg cable. Skeg deploys OK, but the cable housing is no longer sealing the hole into the hull at the slider. There is a little clamp of the outside that is just moving loosely over the cable in the slider. There is another clamp on the inside a little over an inch from the end of the cable housing tube. It is firmly clamped on the cable housing. The cable housing tube will move, but not a lot and it doesn’t look like I could get it back out of the hole in the hull without a lot of force. I am looking at the clips/clamps but just don't get how to remove them! Is there a special tool I am lacking. I have pics if that would help.


Thanks much.

Metric Hex Wrench
I am totally inept mechanically, but I do have an 2010 AvocetLV.

Which probably is no help to you, BUT you might want to start out, tool-wise, with a metric hex wrench.

I’m sure other VCP users on this site, especially ones with older boats, will be much more help than I will be.

It appears…
…that the housing has either shrunk or it’s been pulled on from the skeg box end and and yanked out of position (or both). The clamp around the cable in the control box is what’s supposed to hold it in position, but obviously it’s not doing that now.

Before you do anything else, check to see if you can pull on the housing and push it back into the control box. If you can’t do that without pulling it free from the skeg box or putting a lot of tension in it, the housing is too short and should be replaced. It’s just polyethlene tubing and you can find it in the plumbing department and your local hardware store or home center. I don’t know of any sources for the clamps VCP uses, but if the housing is long enough, it should stay in place with little more than some sealant (Lexel or Goop) applied inside the hull. You could try to rig something using a brass compression fitting, but that’s probably overkill.

If you CAN pull some slack in the housing and push it back into the control box, you can try to work the clamp back on and tighten it a bit. If that doesn’t work, you could try heating the housing carefully and flaring the end so it can’t pull back through. Either way, apply some sealant inside the hull.

If you have to replace the housing, you may as well replace the cable, too. A 2.5mm Allen wrench is required to remove the old cable. You can get stainless steel, 1x19 braided cable at any marine supplier; just bring the old one along for comparison.

I have occasionally seen cables that are in between the common 3/32" and 1/8" cables you find in the US. If you have to choose, go smaller, as it will result in a smoother operating cable system. This may seem a bit counterintuitive and the natural tendency is to go for the larger, stiffer cable, thinking it will be more durable. IME, the larger cable size tends to bind and create much more friction in the system and it only takes a small amount of sand and salt to jam it, which makes kinking the cable more likely than with the smaller size.

Ace Hardware
One of my two little metal clamps came off as well. I ended up removing it and found a plastic clamp at Ace Hardware. They’re called “Herbie Clips” - http://www.hclfasteners.com/herbie-clip-plastic-hose-clamp.php or similar and they work well. Mine’s been working fine for two years with the new clamp in place. I have two that are labeled #1.5. They are too small. The next size up is the correct one, but I don’t have any left. I think they are probably #2.0. The number is probably a metric O.D. designation for the tubing it fits.



Neat looking product!
I can see a lot of applications for it where traditional metal hose clamp are a hassle.

Regarding the sizing, the literature on their site indicates that they use letter coding. Based on the dimensions, I would say that the size AA or B should do the job.