P&H Skeg Issues

My wife and I each have P&H Capella 166 RM kayaks. Mine is an '06 and her’s an '05. We love the boats, but there is one problem, if you kink the skeg cable (which seems too easy to do in this model) you have to spend $40 to replace the skeg AND cable because they are molded together. I’ve seen the new ‘kink free’ skeg systems that the '07 and newer kayaks come with and was wondering if that system could be retrofitted into the older models?

Has anybody out there had any success with this? I’ve seen the threads about ‘drilling out’ the cable so you don’t have to buy the whole assembly, but I would really love to have the new kink free design!

Can’t be done
The boats with the new skeg are molded differently in both the skeg slider and the skeg box area. It just won’t work.

My advice when using a skeg, know when it’s down and know when it’s up.

Pilots are only given one chance to land a plane correctly; forget to put the wheels down and their fired. You can complain about the cost of skeg cables, but the real issue is having the skeg down when it should be up.

new cable in old skeg
Last year I bought a used 166 with the cable kinked both at the skeg and at the slider. Heated the spot where the cable goes into the skeg with a heat gun and pulled out the cable. Drilled it out a little and epoxied in a new cable. Put it back together and everything works fine - easier action than most skegs.

The process took some work, but the fix was $8 of cable. I think the price I got on the P&H replacement was more like $65.


P&H has a new skeg system
P&H’s current skeg system got rid of the cable, its called a “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… retract 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.