So my Necky Chatham 16 continues to die a slow agonizing death, but because I love the damn boat so much, I’m desperate to resuscitate her! Yesterday, the skeg wire either broke or came loose at the slider, not sure which. Just know it’s not connected anymore. Anyone ever dealt with this and have any suggestions on how to repair or replace? This after just spending nearly $50 for the West Marine G-flex 655 epoxy to repair cracks on the top edge of the coaming and all along the bend where the coaming transitions to the deck behind the seat.
Check the slider first
May just need to be tightened, uses a small allen wrench.
The wire is definitely free from the slider.
Here’s a pretty good tutorial from Wilderness Systems. The info should more or less translate to your Necky system. However if your Necky is like a Valley (which I’m most familiar with), the 1/8" cable they specify is a touch too big. Valley uses 3mm. 3/32 will work if you don’t want to drop $11 for metric. And if Necky uses a hex set screw in the slider like Valley, it’s 2.5mm.
And you definitely got this. I’m a verified idiot and I’ve (successfully) completed the same fix several times.
(No, not on the same boat, smart alecks.)
Feathercraft sells rudder repair kits
Feathercraft (who makes some of the best rudders for retrofitting hardshells) sells repair kits and just the cable:
Thanks for all the helpful advice and links! The WS video was very helpful Seaaddict, and the Feathercraft cable kit may be just what the doctor ordered Willowleaf! Thanks again all. Looks like my girl may live to see a few more journeys!
Regarding the cable spec, DON’T buy 7 X 19. It’s too flexible for skeg wire. It would be fine and probably preferable for rudder cable, but not for a skeg. It needs to be stiff enough to push, not just pull. The Confluence video suggests 7 X 7, but I’ve always used 1 X 19. And make sure it’s marine stainless of course, which the hardware store stuff probably isn’t.
Wasn’t there some magic cable they called Necky wire? Might be worth calling them to see if it’s still available.
Necky uses more of a flexible rod than a cable, check with them first to save a lot of grief.
Necky skegs incorporate “Necky Wire,” a highly durable, kink-resistant wire common to the medical industry. It is unaffected by salt water and does not stiffen or kink over time. In testing, we’ve never experienced a failure, even when the skeg was repeatedly slammed against logs or hard rocks jammed inside the skeg bo
I,verepaired a few skeg cables, but not sure what brands the kayaks were.
Normal cable, (west marine, etc) is not stiff enough to do the pushing that is required. Go to a place that specializes in sailboat parts and get the stuff that ia used for sailboat halyards, It is stiff enough to do the job.
Reach out to “Salty”…
…aka Grumpy Hamilton spent a long time with Necky and was a active contributor to Pnet. I picked his brain many times when I owned a C. I see him pop up every now and again. He knows the Chatham family as well as or better than anyone and he will absolutely have the answer for you.