P&H Skeg System

-- Last Updated: Aug-08-08 1:25 AM EST --

Last year, P&H launched their new "kink-free" skeg system. The system combines the best of both worlds: the ease of maintenance of a rope skeg with the precise trimming found in cable skegs. Moreover, the system is lightweight and fully field maintainable.

Like anything new, however, there's a bit of a learning curve involved as people learn how the new technology functions. In my travels this summer, I've come across a few paddlers who've said they find the new skeg difficult to deploy. As it turns out, every one of those individuals was engaging the click slider on the skeg the wrong way. As soon as I showed them the correct technique (pushing forward to unlock the slider, not squeezing the trigger!), they were thrilled.

To get the word out, I put together this little video going over the system, how to deploy it, and how to adjust the tension on the skeg. Considering I was able to remove and replace the skeg system with one hand, while filming with my digital camera in the other, I'd say it's pretty easy...even for a guy with two left thumbs like me! Enjoy!


Nice job, thanks
I’d sort of figured out the control pushing technique myself but it’s nice to see the other features (how it all comes out from below, etc.).

Although I can appreciate the advantages to this system it’s still a bit fussier to deal with than the cable-slider setups in my previous two boats. As a result I only deploy it when I really need it, which is not entirely a bad thing. My new Capella 167 is more responsive to gentle edging to correct its course than my last two boats, I’ve found, and just a better tracker in general, presumably because the stern has a bit of an intregral skeg designed into it.

Am curious about one thing, I’ve wondered if there’s a recommended fully-deployed angle to the skeg, there’s plenty more travel available at the control end to have a longer string length than mine came with. Fully-deployed is a little over 45 degrees down I’d say, the effect is mostly just to decrease weathercocking, it never comes close to creating actual leecocking in anything I’ve been out in so far.

Perhaps it ought to go down a bit further, keeping in mind the need to avoid collecting weeds of course.


Thanx for the Video Link
I just sent it to a friend who bought a new Capella 160 and has been e-mailing about problems with skeg deployment.

He is on other side of state from the shop where he purchased, making it difficult to stop in and get help.


– Last Updated: Aug-19-08 11:57 AM EST –

is P&H paying you to make the content? If not they should! Awesome job. manufacturers sometimes shy away from making simple valuable content like this. Werner and Immersion Research are getting this right on their company websites with great little product videos submitted to Youtube. (Though werner's was site was hijacked last week). Well done.

Valley, NDK and others look out!

What’s a skeg? nm

has skeg envy

Since this topic came back…

– Last Updated: Aug-19-08 3:52 PM EST –

I wanted to add a few things to my first comment. First of all there was a sufficiently-large knotted wad of string at the control end for me to readjust for a bit lower skeg deployment. Thoughtful of P&H to provide that.

A couple other advantages to this new design...since the mechanism is under constant tension it's very unlikely to make clunking noises at any setting while paddling. That's a nice thing.

Also, there's no hole through the skeg box at the pivot, two less places for leaks to occur.


Relying on Sea Kayaker Magazine
It seems some like P&H and Valley are relying on Sea Kayaker Magazine to get videos up on youtube:


I assume you had time to investigate the design. In my opinion - it obviously is not opinion based on decades of skeg manufacturing - there is no need to have the skeg rope come out of top of the skeg box, it would be equally effective coming out of the box closer to the bottom of the hull. Why ? - good thing you asked, it would make putting stuff behind the skeg box so much easier.

I think there is a reason
since with this design the tension against the pull-up string is what holds the entire works firmly in the box from below. At least part of what holds it, there is a bit of a friction-fit to the pivot pin but that shouldn’t be trusted entirely.

So it certainly helps to have the string tension directed straight upward, even when the skeg is fully retracted. This requires the string to exit the top of the skeg box.

One could probably add some more out-of-the-way circuitous routing of the string tube in the back compartment though it would add considerable friction to the operation.


Very cogent argument…



It seems like a logical improvement…
…on more traditional rope skeg designs. In particular, keeping the bungee in the skeg box should eliminate some of the friction and jamming issues. It would seem that it wouldn’t be too hard to modify a VCP skeg box to work in a similar manner. I may try it on my Pintail.

just curious ?
How does the rope travel through the two bulkhead walls? Just a hole? Would water just infiltrate into the day hatch if that’s the case if the cockpit has water in it and the paddler wants to do a few rolls?

Or does the rope travel through a plastic sleeve of some type?

Through rigid plastic tubing

– Last Updated: Aug-20-08 10:11 AM EST –

from top of skeg box all the way to the control. I haven't looked real close but assume it penetrates the bulkheads up near the seam, just like regular push-type skeg cable systems do.

The string used is called "Diolen". I guess that's some sort of brand name involved with climbing ropes and so forth. It's a fairly stiff string, which it would have to be to push through the tube if you ever have to replace it.


very good argument
Of course, before PH came out with this system, nothing similar was implemented :wink:

if it was me
I would be aggressive about creating and posting my own content.

It’s pretty interesting that they came up with such a novel design after all this time. Thinking outside the skeg box, so to speak.