Ideas for Valley skeg cable replacement?

I have a Nordkapp H20 which much to my dismay, almost lost it’s skeg today. The cable detached from the slider in the hull. When I picked the boat out of the water to leave I found the skeg dangling with a foot of now kinked cable protruding from the skeg box.

Replacing the cable appears simple enough. I’m wondering if I should try to hunt down a piece of similar cable or should I get an original equipment replacement? Is there any particular cable available that is better that the original one? I think a stainless cable coated with teflon or something of that nature would be ideal, but I don’t know that there is such a thing available.

Looking at how it is assembled did leave me wondering- how would one repair it if the cable broke off in or near the slider? The slider looks to be glassed in, making removal impossible without cutting it out. Mine looks to have simply pulled out, but it did leave me wondering.

3mm cable
The problem I found with the cable it self is that it’s seems to be metric in size. Not

wanting to order some, I went with the closest standard equivalent from West Marine. I works

o.k but is a few thousandths thicker and though it slides o.k it’s defiantly tighter in the

tube than the OEM cable. Also, you’ll have to drill out the slider knob and the skeg it self just a bit for the larger cable… …a small,

but unexpected pain in a**)

Is it worth it? Hard to say, mine works fine but, if your not in a hurry

you can order the metric cable here >

or other Valley dealers

On the slide end of the cable, I don’t think the cable could ever “brake off” as the stainless cable is very strong. Just be sure to use the correct size allen wrench so as not to strip out

the screw in the slide knob during service.


I’ve got the same boat…
and carry a complete skeg replacement kit with me–every single part including the (I think) 2.5 mm allen wrench to adjust the cable in the slider. As the poster above mentioned, Shearwater is an excellent place to start looking for parts and help. I was skillfully talked through replacing the skeg system by someone there; the owner, I think.

Personally, I would get OEM replacement parts, but that’s just my opinion.

How do you think this happened? Did the set screw in the slider loosen allowing the cable to release?

skeg cable
I just replaced one in my Valley Avocet. I bought a lenth of the cable Valley uses for about $15.00 from GRO in Rhode Island. Sounds like the tiny llen screw in the slider just came loose. I am going to keep one with the duck tape in my emergency kit. The replacement was pretty easy once I connected the cable to the skeg first (not last) . I was wondering about the Titainium kink free cable that Necky is using. Good luck.


My '01 NDK has a similar system (probably the same, actually). I have replaced it with 3/16" stainless 1x19 aircraft cable from a sailboat supply place and it works well. It’s just a little smaller in diameter than the original metric-sized cable.

The only real side affect is that when it’s on the roof of the car it might come down an inch or so on a long drive. Doesn’t move when it’s in the water though.

That would be 3/32", not 3/16"
Either 3/32" or 1/8", 1x19 cable works well in a VCP skeg system. I prefer the smaller cable, as it has less friction. It’s not as stiff as 1/8" cable, but it seems to have less tendency to kink, since it’s less likely to bind.

You can get the cable at West Marine or other marine suppliers. There’s no need to spend twice as much to get it from GRO.

West marine / GRO
If I can buy it cheaper at West Marine next time I will. Stainless cable approx. .130 thick was over a dollor per foot at the West Marine I visited. GRO was just under a dollor per foot. I left with a 15 foot lenth. How much should it cost ? Thanks, Chuck

Thanks for the ideas
I ordered 14’ from Shearwater which will leave me with enough to have a spare. One thing I noted was a fair shipping price, as many places seem to gouge us on shipping these days. I got a nice e-mail back telling me they mailed it out today, along with a phone number to call if I needed any help installing it. Smells like good service to me.

Now all I need to do it get it together without fraying the end as I feed it through and into the slider. Thanks again for the ideas.

Necky wire
is 50% Titanium… It’s an expensive alloy that is extremely durable and resists kinks. Same stuff that goes through your arteries during angioplasy, or up your O-ring with a camera attached. Think about the consequences of a kink in either of these scenarios!

I have retrofitted an Avocet and Impex Mystic with this wire with excellent results. The only downside is that, being a wire, NOT cable, it requires a more direct path to function smoothly. I re-directed the tubing a bit in both cases. The drawback for some is that you have to work around the wire more when packing. I quickly adapted to this and have had zero kinks since. You can kick the skeg as hard as you like, paddle over logs etc., with no worries.

To me it’s a great way to go and packing has been no problem. Necky will sell you the wire, but it’s expensive…Around $50 as I recall.

It’s not stuff you can by in small amounts, or as an individual…

frayed ends prevention tip…
Back when we did mountain bikes I would always

“tin” the wire before threading. just take a good solder gun and some solder and melt it into the ends of the wire, then cut the wire in the middle of the solder. It leaves a nice end that will not fray.

My mistake, I guess
I assumed that the GRO price quoted was for a replacement length cable, which is only 7’ long. If you can get replacement cable for under $1/foot, that’s a good price for a small quantity.

Soldering stainless
To get a decent bond on stainless, you either need to use acid flux or acid-core solder.

Thanks Salty
Great info… I hope to get a couple years out of this repair atleast. Next time I do one I`ll give Necky a shout. Time for a “skeg cable coop”

Thanks Bryan… maybe I just got lucky. Parts are a little pricey at GRO but I like the idea that the company has most Valley replacment needs in stock. I even got a little Valley quill gelcoat from them after failing to be able to color match a repair. BTW I learned how to do the repair on your excellent webpage.


cable cutter?

– Last Updated: Jan-31-06 6:47 PM EST –

Did Shearwater sell you two pieces, each cut and ready to go for your boat? I ask because otherwise you'll have to get that 14' cable cut, obviously. I haven't seen it mentioned in this thread yet but, in my experience, it would be worth your time to get it cut somewhere there is a cutter made specifically for cable. Side cutters or end cutters will mash the cable and make a mess of the end, starting the unraveling process. I haven't cut cable by soldering first as mentioned above. It seems like that would work fine if properly soldered.

If you're already aware of this, please excuse me. ...just trying to keep you from going through the experience I did with cable cutting.

Park Cable Cutters
I don’t know what others use but I cut the cable for my wife’s Pintail with a good set up Park cable cutters. It gave a clean cut. I have an older (cheaper) pair of cable cutters which would not have had a sufficiently sharp edge, or given enough leverage to do a good job.


Good comments
on cutting the cable. I screwed up a few bike cables when I was into cycling.

I have had great luck using a pnumatic die grinder with a 1/16" thick (10000 rpm rated) cut-off wheel. Slices through all kinds of things just like butter. With cable, just make sure the wheel is rotating in the same direction that the wires are wrapped.