The races in Key Largo was the last straw for me with the skeg control on my QCC.
For those not familiar with the current QCC skeg steup, it is a spring loaded SealLine rudder blade. There is a cleat behind the right hip on the shear line. A cord comes through that has a black stopper ball on the end. Release it and the skeg drops, pull it back up and lock it into the cleat to raise to any other position.
It worked OK, but was hard to fine tune skeg deployment. The cleat holds great to keep the skeg up, but not as well anywhere in between. The ball also had a nasty habit of flopping around and working the cord loose in beam/quartering seas when I needed it most.
So what to do? I wanted precision. At least enough to know full, 3/4, 1/2, & 1/4 positions. Being spring loaded - a slider would not work.
What I came up with (after seeing Iceman's rudder trim set up) was to use a SealLine trim control as a skeg lever. The result exceeded expectations.
The conrtol is in the exact same spot as the original cleat, and is the same size as cleat and ball - maybe a bit smaller. When the skeg is up (most of the time) or all the way down it belends in with the seam tape and is barely visible. Shaft comes out through where the cord tube was. I only had to enlarge the old tube hole and drill one more small hole (and reuse another) to install this. I also removed all the orginal cables, cords and tubing and replaced them with a single length of cable and a piece of guide tube running the whole length (came with trim unit). Runs super smooth. Should take care of some leak issues too.
Easier to explain with picture so I posted a few:
I know some would not like having the lever sticking out the side - but I already had that with the original set up. I could have run it up and mounted it on deck, but that would mean more cable run, three holes in deck, the box in the way under deck, and a knob on deck to catch gear on. I think what I did is much simpler.
The races in Key Largo was the last straw for me with the skeg control on my QCC.
You need to send the pics to Phil. Was the original cleat mounted to the seam where you mounted the trim control? The QCC site has a picture showing the cleat mounted at about 5:00 to the coaming but on the deck.
Kris, Nice Job
I am glad that the Trim Tab works great!!!
The QCC pic is of the rudder up/down
The skeg control was on the seam same spot as my new control - and was same cleat and ball they use for the rudder.
Did the 700’s skeg always come out that far before… I checked the Caribou and at full deployment it looks like your’s at 1/4. Much different hulls, just curious… GH
Don’t know much about skegs, though
D Hutchinson explains the principle well enough that I understand how more, or less, skeg can counterbalance the tendency of the boat to turn into a crosswind.
I just took the rudder assembly off my Necky, but I am thinking about puting a balsa/epoxy extension on the flat end of the stern. And I am thinking of putting a spring-loaded spiral skeg in the extension. The more it is turned, the more area beneath the water. If I run over something, the spiral shape may allow it to turn back up into the stern.
Well, that’s enough brainless fantasy for the evening, but I would be interested to know whether skegs which turn on a spindle and are spiral or cam shaped are already in service.
Same deployment as with old pull cord
You should see it when the cable is unhooked! vertical and even longer!
True other skeg systems don’t extend as deep, but many have at least as much blade area. This skeg has been very effective with this hull - except for the difficulty setting exactly how much - and keeping it there. Now that’s solved.
It is a lot of skeg - and full skeg is for heavy downwind runs only (and good luck turing quickly or getting back into the wind without raising it!). Big part of what made me come up with a better way to fine tune it.
During Bogey I needed 1/4-1/2 skeg going out and was getting all or nothing as the cord was slipping (and even when it held I couldn’t really set it where I wanted it). Either all up or down had me doing too much paddle correction when I’d have had to do none with proper deployment. Opted to run skeggless most of the remainder as my only option. Also contributed to shoulder troubles that day. The Q700s not hard to control in light to moderate winds with no skeg during normal paddling, but trying to hold speed and hold a line in a race is another matter. Maybe I should have raced the Bacall. Could have run no skeg up and full skeg back and been just right!
Don’t undersand “spiral” NM
One of the best explanations…
I’ve seen of skeg operation is at:
Click on the “Flash Lesson” at the upper right corner for an animated demonstration.
I’m going to have to draw it for myself
before I know whether it is “real” and can be described. More if I figure it out.
Thanks, I needed that…
… as I’ve had a skeg for only two days… GH
seems to me
thatthe P&H skeg slider can give a fair indication of
and full deployment from the skeg. What kind of skeg slider did QCC put on this boat originally?
Why would you need more accuracy than a general indication, is this for racing?
I like the solution, but I feel bad for people buying the QCC's if this is what they have to come up with to control the skegs.
Oh, don’t feel sorry…
Old system was OK - this is just way better.
Yes, sliders are fine - and what most every other make has - so no news flash there! Yes, recessed controls are nice. Just wouldn’t work with this spring loaded blade as it can’t control tension as well, if at all (and certainly not adjustably as this is). If it did I would have consideried it and the huge hole to install.
Skeg is only about a 10% use thing form me, but even so I wanted it 100% reliable. I liked the old the set up well enough other than the cord/cleat control issues - so that’s what I replaced. Very little work on the boat needed, and pretty easy to return to original or something else as no major hole have been cut, nothing glassed, etc.
Note - the cable is under constant tension and can’t really jam or kink like a slider rod either. It’s very smooth and precise now. Seen on the kayak, the control lever is less noticable than even a small slider control. Cable is now fully enclosed and tube fit is very good and limits what can get in. Can be flushed/cleaned easily should need ever arise.
Kwikle, you haven’t used or even seen the original system (described in first post) or this replacement, so your passing judgement is a bit questionable here. Thank you for your usual disapproval of all things QCC L!
Feel sorry for us if you like, much as I’ll continue to feel sorry for the limited methods of the wide loom, low & slow style, GP’ers of the Midwest - even though we are all quite happy with how and what we paddle.
BTW - I put QCC in the title so those of you who don’t like/are not interested in them could steer clear. This skeg control option is not likely to be of interest or use to many non-QCC owners and even among QCC’ers - most are rudder drivers.
the skeg system
I have seen on my friend's QCC 700X is the rope skeg control, which he personally doesn't like because his jams all the time.
Is this what you replaced?
I am genuinely curious about the need to replace the skeg control. Mainly because of your broad enthusiasm and excitement over the superior construction and design of QCC.
Actually I just finished carving a new greenland paddle for myself with alot of help from a friend, the loom is 19". length overall is 83". and the width of the blade is about(i think) 3 1/4" shouldered. I'm excited to give it a try in the pool here in a few weeks.
I thought our paddling angle debate was settled a few months ago, or are you still holding a grudge? I'm willing to accept that I have plenty to learn from everyone. I was wrong concering a number of things regarding the grip on my GP and the loom width in general and I admitted as much. I was operating under the assumption that all looms on greenland paddles were like the betsie bay's, they're not. Now that I've made a paddle I understand this a little better. As to the stroke angle, it seems to me that there is room in this world for more than one idea about greenland foreward stroke. I'm not saying high angle is wrong, I'm not saying the lower angle is wrong. If you want to generalize your opinions against me and everyone in the midwest, that's fine.
I was curious about your modifications. When I said I felt sorry for QCC owners it wasn't meant to take the mickey, I meant it in the same sense that I feel sorry for anyone who doesn't get the quality they deserve from what they bought. like NDK owners with leaky skeg boxes, or people who bought CD kayaks with leaky bulkheads etc.
Just kidding about GP. More QCC info…
the GP stuff! It’s all good. Love to hear how that new stick works for you. Mines 88" w 21" loom and 3.5" blades. Loom fits my natural grip width as most describe for sizing (I’m a bit wide for my height with shoulders wider than my kayak’s beam) - as I’m guessing yours fit same at 19". Very comfortable. 83"? Are you on the verticaly challenged side of the height range L (or have a shorter arm span/height ratio)? But we digress. Back to your questions/comments…
My enthusiasm for QCC is based on exceptional hull design/handling and build quality. Also, deck fittings and such are top notch.
I’m not however blindy enamoured of everything QCC, nor are they right for everyone/every use. As with most kayaks, there are some issues with the smaller parts - some of which, like the skeg, are definitely a bit lacking. Most others are personal preferences easy to handle with simple outfitting. I’ll list the changes I’ve made to my Q700 at the end.
On the skeg, can’t really say it your friend’s is the same - could be - but his jamming issues make me think its the older skeg control. I have two freinds down here who had a lot of similar troubles with boats bought about 3 years ago (they’ve since fixed I think).
Depends on how old his Q700 is. If it’s a little cleat, on the shear just behind right hip, and has a cord with stopper ball that hooks in the cleat to adjust (cleat and ball are same as they use on their rudder up/down cord)- it’s what I replaced.
The cord on mine went in the cockpit behind the cleat and ran throught tube through bulkhead - then was exposed and connected to exposed cable in hatch - then cable when back into a section of tube going to top of skeg box. The interrupted tubing required by the cable to cord transition was the source of most of the leaky skeg issues people have (what water is in the skeg box will drain into the rear hatch when the kayak’s inverted).
The new skeg lever work exactly as I wanted, and MUCH better than I’d expected (and ended up being easier to do than I was prepared for). Sorry, I didn’t take any pics before ripping out the old system. I should have as the contrast in simplicity, smoothness, and precision improvement between old and new is night & day.
My Q700 modifications & opinioned reasons fordoing them:
1.Replaced RapidPulse seat with an IR backband. IMO/IME s sling type seat is not appropriate to performance sea/touring hulls like the Q600/700. To slouchy/comfy and gives short term comfort at the expense of technique and the long term comfort efficiency that brings.
2.Added short deck bungie forward of front hatch to accomodate GP (fittings already there - just tie on).
3. Added round plastic cord locks to act as “beads” (like on Greenland boats) on forward and aft short bungies to ease paddle stowage. (aft set is visible in the skeg control photos).
4. Replaced deck line with Niteline refective - just 'cause I like it.
5. Removed SealLine foot braces and filled forward end of cockpit with minicell and have a full cockpit barcing surface at a 15 degre angle - with a replacable outer wear layer. Partly done due to rail failure mid Port Everglades (!) but mostly due to desire for fit/comfort/handling improvement.
6. This skeg modification, for better reliability and precise control.
Most changes were geared toward performance/reliabilty/comfort & convenience. Changes were driven by what I want/need the kayak to do and how I want it to feel and respond. They were not due to any serious inadequacies with the original equipment. My modifications were all fairly simple, but enough that my Q700 is like no other to paddle now.
Every change has greatly enhanced an already great paddling experience with this kayak for me, but most of my tweaks would not be of any use to rudder/euro-wing paddlers that make up the bulk of QCC owners.
Like you said about learning from all sources - it’s not hard to see from some of the choices I’ve made that I frequent not only P’net, but QAJAQUSA and the Kayak Forum (and others) too.
Hey - any other skegged QCC GP’ers out there? I only know of myself and one other driving a Q500 (until he sells and gets a 700).
Did you get a 'bou w.skeg??? NM
More skeg Q’s
I was chuckling when I read your list of QCC modifications. Some of us simply cannot leave stock alone. I replaced my backband with a NSI, am working on a modification to my Yakima braces to make them into a gas-pedal style, and have added paddle park bungies fore and paddle float straps aft of the cockpit.
One question about your skeg mod: Can the skeg pivot upward if you pass over an underwater obstruction? If so, what happens to the cable? Does it pull the control into the “zero” position?
skeg over obstacles
Good eye! The one potential area of concern I still have.
The skeg will of course ride up and retract - but lever may not change position. If left very loose (which still holds skeg up fine) it can, but it really tends to stay put (even though very easy to turn). If that happens the cable will have to go somehwere internally.
The total cable travel is only about 2 1/2 inches from full up to full down. This should just make it flex a bit within the skeg box if it has no where else to go.
I’ve pushed the skeg up by hand a few times it seems OK. I’ll look at it again tonight. Can’t really see what’s going on in the skeg box very well - which is where the real answer is - but I may be able to see how the cable moves when it goes slack when lifting the blade by hand.
Worst case scenario: I think this could potentially pop the cable stop out of the blade (but that’s not easy to do the way it fits in) causing a jam or extreme full deployment. Even then it’s a 2 minute fix, but probably not on water and needs a screwdriver as unmounting the control box is the easiest (only) way to get enough slack cable to get it back in the little slot in the blade (which is not as big a deal as it sounds - 2 screws - anything else by hand).
Time and a few inattentive beach landings will tell. I’m really more concerned whether I got a good enough crimp on the copper cable stop! (but it isn’t taking a lot of force).
A simple mod for your yakimas
just bolt on KajakSport pedals. They are large and flex enough to attach cable - NO moving parts! (just flexing):
Not the chaepest, but nice and big and simple (at least to my limited experience - only used them o a demo of a KajakSport Vivianne - best stock foot pedals I’ve felt. Almost as nice as full minicell bracing!)