HDPE or PE Skeg tubing

Installing a skeg. Will 1/8" (3 mm) SS 7x7 cable slide easily through Home Depot .017ID x .25 OD PE tubing or would HDPE allow the cable to slide more smoothly?

This doesn’t answer your question, but putting some parafin-based bicycle oil on the skeg wire can help.

I would be inclined to use the larger of the two ID if different. However if the same, high density poly for better durability and maybe less friction. Avoid tight bends to reduce interior cutting of tubing.

1/8 cable has an outside diameter of .125, so it will fit in a .17 hole.

Three things:

More excess space will make for more tubing wear.

If using PE, use the black, it has UV resistance. The natural/clear doesn’t.

Make sure the cable is stainless and DO lubricate it.

What to lubricate with? Another poster said wax based bicycle lube. Is that the same as dry lube for bike chains? If not, do you think dry lube would work? I’m a cyclist and have plenty of dry lube.

Be careful with going too much oversize on the tubing. Unlike most applications where cables are used, skeg cables have to work in both tension and compression modes, which is something they are not designed to do. They need to be adequately supported when in compression or they will kink. That said, .170" ID tubing should work fine.

As for the material, HDPE will probably be more durable and the harder surface should have less friction.

Regarding lubrication, dry lubes will work, but preferably they should not contain oil (many do), as it can hold dirt and grit. Check the label or the MSDS for the lube you’re considering to see what’s in it. That said, you can generally get by without any lube if you periodically flush the skeg cable with fresh water to remove accumulated salt and grit. It’s generally easiest to elevate the rear of the boat, fill the skeg box with water and let it run out of the control box at the cockpit. Work the skeg up and down to help keep things moving.

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Thanks for the tip on rinsing the skeg tubing. I have often wondered how to do that. The dry bike lube is Finish Line with Teflon. The container’s list of ingredients does not list any kind of oil ingredients.

Put it on your calendar to spray dry lube into the tubing once a month during the season and once every three months during off-season and it should be fine.

I have two boats that were not lubed and it did increase the wear in the tubing. These were rudders, though.

I ordered tubing for my rudder hulls from
https://www.mcmaster.com/ right diameter right durometer. Cable I got is 316 SS.


I bought the same from Amazon, 7x7, T316 ss, 1/8" OD. Do you know what the “t” means. With my luck, it probably means “Not for use with kayak skegs” Ha, Ha

T is name of company Toyeliu I guess. 328’ lifetime supply x one thousand.