NDK Explorer rope skeg

-- Last Updated: Jan-19-10 12:59 PM EST --

I just bought a used Explorer HV with a foward mounted rope skeg. The skeg was pretty sticky and nearly impossible to operate from the forward mounted cleat. I removed the skeg and adjusted the hubs and cleaned out the sand and such that was trapped in there. The skeg now moves very easily and pops into the deployed position when the rope is slack. However, it is still very difficult to operate from that forward cleat. All the points of friction, like the pulleys and everything seem to work well. Does anyone else own this boat? Do you have any advice on how I can get this thing functional in the next four months before the ice melts? Any ideas will be much appreciated. Thanks.

NDK Owners Yahoo group
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It’s a lousy design, plain and simple
Rope skegs in general are not known for their reliability and ease of use, and the NDK design you refer to is particularly bad. What you’ve done should improve it and perhaps there are other tweaks that will help, but it’s never going to be very good.

NDK front rope skeg
On several occasions, I have had good success putting in a cleat at the cockpit and removing the front mount hardware. I patched up the holes and did “enough” cosmetic work so the recess in the front deck was respectable. For me, the rope skeg is still the best alternative out there.

Armorall or any of those type of water based lubricants work well with rope skegs. Spray the rope, down cavities etc. regularly. Flip the boat over and shoot some into the skeg chamber too.

Harken McLube is a teflon dry lubricant made for racing sailboats. It’s designed to be sprayed on lines, turning blocks, sail tracks etc, and it is amazingly effective at reducing friction. The downside is that it is not particularly durable. It needs to be reapplied every few dozen outings to keep performing at a high level. It doesn’t leave any residue or build-up.

You can get it at marine stores.



– Last Updated: Jan-19-10 11:42 AM EST –

My Explorer has the cleat behind the cockpit not the forward mounted one. I ran my cord from the cleat back through a small pulley I got from a Marine Hardware store then back to a tie off point I created on the cleat. The other rope coming from the skeg up through the plastic tube was tied off to the tie off point on the top of the pulley. This gives me a two to one advantage for pulling up the skeg. Although I do not use the skeg that often it does mean you have a little more "stuff" laying on the deck and some may view it as clutter, but to date I haven't had any issues with it and have found it easier to work the skeg.

not sure but here goes
I’ve a dbl. Valley that had a closed jam cleat pully system that did not work well for the rudder . Just seemed alfully complicated for NO reason. Cut the pulleys off , replaced closed cleat w/open jam an now it’s a easy pull on one linean rudder is down , pull other line an it’s up .

Ever notice these days that when ya ask a question the imediate corp/gov. response is , “it’s complicated”…because it was designed that way !Keep it

simple !


oops put the cleat behind the seat

Pulley System
If I were designing from scratch, what I did on my boat wouldn’t be my first choice. I only opted to try it (an decided to keep it) because I found that the 90 degree turn the rope made going into the hole to the skeg created a lot of resistance and the two to one advantage from the pulley system simply made it all operate a little easier.