P&H skeg issue - not for cold H2O

There is another issue with P&H’s current “kink free” skeg slider system. I have the Delphin 155 as well as a pre 2007 Capella (old, skeg cable system). While they have eliminated the potential kinking problems with a skeg cable and made field repairs easier, there is a fly in the soup with the current system… retracting the skeg, particularly in cold water situations. When you push the slider forward, the skeg retracts, however, when you release the slider button the bungie tension pulls the slider back a bit before it locks on a notch. This results in the skeg being partially deployed even though you have pushed the lever all the way forward. The more tension on the bungie (in the skeg box) the more the skeg remains deployed. The only work around is to push the skeg slider forward without touching the click slider button. This requires some special focus, you need to push the slider forward with your finger tip (finger pointed straight and used as if a pencil or a stick). You can also do this with your thumb tip. This works, but is not ideal. Versus not having to look at what you are doing, you need to be very deliberate and focused, likely not an issue for the vast majority of situations. Doing this if you are wearing a neoprene glove is a horse of a different color because the space you must push on with your fingertip is not big enough to accomodate a digit inside a neoprene glove without hitting the click slider button… resulting in a partially deployed skeg. Obviously, this will compromise your maneuverability.

You can decrease the tension on the bungie cord in the skeg box by moving the stopper knot on the bungie further back, but I’ve found this does not resolve the problem as in order for it to eliminate the issue, you need to eliminate almost all tension and you end up having a floppy skeg. Net result - P&H makes some great warm water boats. I love their boats except for this issue. The fix seems simple enough, redesign (beef up) the click slider so that pushing it forward without engaging the release button is not problematic. Wish they would do it, don’t understand why they don’t.

New not always better
I’m more than happy that my 10 year old P&H has the “old” system. It works so far without any problems, even with cold fingers, and in dirty or salty water. Touching ground means the skeg retracts and the slider moves forward.

I’ve paddled a new model with the “improved” system and found it much harder to adjust. And the bungee pulls the skeg always out again if it’s not adjusted by the slider, which I find annoying i.e. when pulling the boat out of the water.

emergency fix
Was in a similar predicament, used paddle blade to physically push the slider forward to pull up the skeg. Had a bit better results than using my fingers, since the pop-off seemed shorter

I like the concept of the new system, but it needs to be fine tuned by a person with good engineering background

You could try repositioning the knot in the pull cord slightly so that the first position it locks into has the skeg a bit more retracted than it is now. In any case, I don’t see how the distance it would extend before the control hits the first lock position could have any actual handling effect, even if it does protrude a quarter-inch to half-inch or so below the keel opening.

I had a boat with one of these for a year and a half. I could appreciate the ideas behind the design, and mine worked fine, but now that I’m back in a boat with the regular push-cable type (as two prior boats have also had) it does seem like this was something that really didn’t need a new design in the first place.