Have an Eddyline Skeg Problem?

I have a sticking skeg, (Eddlyline Nighthawk 16)and it seems to be a manufacturing defect - the skeg box is not centered over the slot in the hull - and it binds the skeg. A friend also has the same boat with the same problem. I have examined a few Eddylines, and the ones that are centered work fine, the ones that don’t are very sticky.

I’m taking it to the factory tomorrow (I’m about two hours away, and have the day off) but I’m looking for more information. I researched the archives and saw that someone named Barbe posted last July about this, but didn’t respond to her replies.

Does anyone have any knowledge of Eddyline’s position on this issue? The July post intimated that Eddyline acknowledges a “bad run” with skeg problems, but I would like more information before I refer to that (if I have difficulty tomorrow).

I hope they will be able to repair it satisfactorily, but I don’t see how they can do that without reseating the skeg box - and when I inquired about this, I was told that “they cannot reseat the skeg box because it is permanently glued in.” I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, but I’ll keep you all posted.

Wish me luck! Have any of you had any dealings with Eddyline factory warranty work?


NightHawk Skeg Issue
I cannot speak to issue since my NH has a skeg that works fine. I have found Eddyline to be responsive and helpful the few times I have called them. Never really had a problem I could not solve though.

If the skeg box is not aligned, then that would be a manufacturering defect it sems to me and covered by the warranty. I assume the boat is less than one year old. Odd it would get through inspection by Eddyline and at dealer.

I have noticed the tolerances on the NH skeg are closer than some Brit boats and as a result it very seldom gets stuck with small rocks the way Brit boats do all the time and it clears more easily.

We kept thinking it was rocks…
… or sand or something else caught up in the skeg box. But last week I finally took time to really look into the binding skeg on Cindy’s Nighthawk and guess what. The skeg box is mounted off center just like yours. Once we knew what to look for, it’s very easy to see from inside the hatch. I took the skeg out to see if I could somehow offset it the other way, but no such luck. We decided to just accept that it was a defective product but had no idea it was part of a larger problem.

So take this story with you, Thistle, if you approach Eddyline. Strength in numbers and all that. If you’d post a follow up, we’d sure appreciate it.


Glenn (and Cindy)

Abrasion lines on the skeg
Are visible . . . it keeps rubbing on the side of the housing and you can clearly see the marks on the blade. It’s not from sand - I have kept mine immaculately clean.

I too feel it’s a manufacturing defect - but they say it can’t be reseated. I wonder what they will offer as a solution?

I’ll let you know.

A quick fix would be to slightly file
the hull down a bit to get the skeg a little more room.

Q: for any Eddyline skeg problem people.

Did you not notice this right away ???

Zero sarcasm in this question, asking because there is something else that might be NOW causing the problem.

Ebanista, send it down anytime… please no signature required.

I did notice it right away . . .
I did notice it right away, and saw the distributor Ethan within two weeks (at the West Coast Kayak Symposium.)

He tried the skeg action and said it was stiffer than most, but still within “tolerance” and proceeded to convince me that I really don’t want it too loose - so it will stay where I put it. He said it would also get slightly looser with use.

I don’t remember him turning it over and examining it from underneath, where it’s apparent that the skeg box is off-center.

The skeg is not rubbing on the lip of the slot, so filing won’t do it any good. It’s rubbing on the three raised panels on one side of the housing itself - the side that overhangs the opening. You can see the three “tracks” of abrasion clearly on the skeg blade.

So the problem was there from the beginning, and now that the abrasion has gone on, and the skeg blade is rougher, it has gotten worse. It won’t operate at all unless I keep a lubricant of some kind on the blade itself. It’s not a cable problem.

When my hands are cold I can’t operate it at all unless I’ve lubed it within the last few days.

I’ve put up with it for two years, but I should have persisted wtih my problem in the beginning.


Two Years? Rubbing inside?
Wait a minute. You seem to be saying the skeg housing is aligned properly with the opening and the skeg is coming down straight and aligned? The skeg is rubbing on some ribs inside the housing? Why not remove the skeg, file down the internal ribs and reassemble? It is very true you want the skeg stiff so it stays in place.

If the skeg is rubbing inside the housing and not at the opening, then realigning the housing will do nothing to solve the problem.

Since the warranty is for one year, it is also true there is no obligation under the warranty to address the problem now.

Sorry never looked @ one up close…

– Last Updated: Nov-11-05 1:41 PM EST –

Can you take the blade out of these ?

If so, you should be able to lightly file down the raised ( bumps? )and reinstall.

A super crude but effective way to burn those bumps(?) down a bit it w/ skeg in place is to use a sandpaper type nail file w/ a bit of tape on the skeg side .... or a hacksaw blade..... MAKE SURE you do not take too much thickness off the box wall. .... I have had to do this for folks on some plastic boats where the box was put in there straight but the sides of the box sort of went concave towards the inside of the skeg itself. This can happen on composites too if the box is made with 'ester' resins.

Other causes of problems are elongated mounting holes for the cable and or skeg axle.

A little wear in the axle and skeg shifts a bit before heading down as cable pushes it.... depending on the cable mount, it too can shove the skeg off to the side before going down.... even the hole the cable goes through will get wider, making a small problem worse.

Skeg fixed - Eddyline was Great!
Took my boat in to the factory today, and the customer service was awesome! I dropped the boat off at 10:00, having to spend the day at Burlington before proceeding to Bellingham. Had to kill time at the outlet malls . . . dang, I hate that!

Joe Dryden was great - he assured me that I would be leaving with a boat by 2:00 p.m. - whether it was my boat fixed, or a new boat. Now that’s taking care of the customer!

It turns out that the problem is with the angle of the tubing where it exits the top of the skeg housing. Due to the low back deck, there is not much room between the top of the housing and the deck itself, and the bend in the tubing caused a bind. They were able to replace the skeg assembly and pre-bend the cable where it must rest in the bend of the tubing. It now works very well. It has just the right amount of resistance so that it will hold its position.

We had a nice chat when I returned to pick up the boat (they were finished by 1:00 p.m.) and I was asked how I liked the seat back. I gave my opinion, and they gave me a second seat back with a newer style pad that is more comfortable. Also gave me a new Eddyline baseball cap. Nice folks all around.

P.S. they have since changed the tubing’s angle of exit from the skeg housing, so this problem has been eliminated.


Glad to hear that the problem…
…was fixable. I will be interested in hearing about how it holds up in the long run since this boat is one on my “must try” list! :slight_smile:

By the way, Paula, thanks again for the outfitting advice you sent my way. I have ordered pads and hope to install them next week…and I FINALLY did a roll on my own this morning at the pool! It was just one, and my first, but it felt GOOD!!

Do send me pictures of your completed Grenland paddle…my next project!


Paddle Picture

Sorry I haven’t gotten any pictures taken of my paddle yet. I don’t have my own camera - have to use someone else’s.

I’ll be back home tomorrow sometime and will try to remember to take the pics Sunday.


Glad to hear they fixed it … cool.
The cable contacting the deck was in the back of my mind but going by your diagnosis, did not bring it up.

Always makes me wonder who speced that stuff in the beginning and if they ever tried it out … before giving it the o.k. for production.

Just don’t get it.

In hindsight . . .
Apparently the abrasion was more incidental - and thinking about it, when I sprayed WD-40 on the skeg, I probably had the boat upside down, which would allow some of it to flow into the nipple where it exits the housing, thus lubricating the problem area by accident.


For Patrick and Eel . . .

– Last Updated: Nov-12-05 11:11 PM EST –

The problem has been fixed, but I wanted to comment on both your posts about filing down the "ribs" or "bumps."

Neither idea applies, since the housing has raised "panels" and not ribs or bumps, and cannot be filed. They look like this:



Not beating a dead horse but … why
could one not file those down ?

It seems you have the problem fixed but now I am trying to understand what you mean by not being able to file those ribs down ‘IF’ they were causing a problem ? Fileing ribs a tiny but is far easier than having to file a whole wall down.

Just wondering : ) and thanks for the cool drawing.

Drawing lacking -

The drawing lacks an important detail - I couldn’t use underlines for the top part - had to use dashes, which makes it look like there are “ribs” sticking up. That is not the case.

Did you ever eat the old style nutter butter cookies (the flat ones - not peanut-shaped? You know how the top is raised to accommodate the filling? That is how the panels are - no ribs, but wide raised areas molded in. It’s more like inch-wide corrugations. Not something you can file. I wish I could draw it better in ascii, but this format won’t allow multiple spaces, so I can’t.


Be sure to find lumpy water to try
I’s sure you know this, but like all good kayaks, the NH needs some decent conditions to show you what it is. Unless you have at a minimum waves of around two feet and swells over three or four feet with some decent wind thrown in, you will not find out just how nice it is.

Oh yeah! I’ve been in lumpy water . . .
The closest I’ve ever come to capsizing was sitting in flat calm water. I never have once felt like I was going over in rough stuff.

I’ve been caught in gale force beam winds and close wind waves of 3-ft on a lake and it took very good care of me.

I’ve been in the San Juans during full moon, paddling in windy conditions, large boat wakes, tide rips, etc. and fully loaded, it really is nice.

I haven’t learned to surf it yet, but want to do that soon. I capsized in surf once trying to get in. Got sideways before I knew it and got windowshaded. Oh well.


use a file?
Using a file would damage the Carbonlite material, lessen the integrity of the kayak, and probably void any warranty. It obviously does not sound like you had the information or the knowledge to be making these suggestions. Geez, if I were you I’d NOT recommend these ideas to people unless you REALLY know what you are talking about. It sounds like thistleback did the right thing; let the manufacturer do what they do best which is fix any concern using their knowledge of the material and product. I’ve had warranty concerns in the past with good success dealing with the manufacturers who make the product, not by taking advice of a stranger on how to repair it.

You are assuming
that the skeg box is Carbonlite, which I believe is incorrect. I agree that a “professional” repair is the best option in some cases and for some people. But- with many things there is often a remedy that anyone with good sense and the right tools can perform.

On the Eddyline kayaks that I have looked at, the entire skeg box was attached to the inside of the hull with some type of adhesive. This leaves for several potential possibilities in what might be wrong or what repairs are possible.

I’m glad to hear that in this case, the issue was resolved quickly and satisfactorly.