Question re Necky skegs/cables

-- Last Updated: Jul-20-10 4:12 PM EST --

So I just bought a used Necky Chatham 16 (plastic) off craigslist. Looks like the boat was a bit abused, anyway the skeg cable had popped out of the skeg, so I have to re-attach it. Seems like the only thing that holds it in place is a little phillips-head screw.


Thing is, the cable is not running too smoothly to begin with, and it seems that when I tighten the screw into the cable, it creates more of a pronounced bow in the cable (makes sense since the screw is applying pressure to cable) which makes the cable run against the side of the tube it slides into - which makes the sliding back and forth of the cable even more sticky.

The screw, when screwed into the cable, also forces the skeg cable to one side, which is causing the skeg to sit not entirely straight when not deployed - which I'm afraid could affect tracking.

(and honestly the screw as the lone method of holding the cable to the skeg doesn't inspire confidence, esp. as it's already come out once before)

So my questions are:
1) can I simply use epoxy to attach the cable to the skeg (and not bother with the screw)? will epoxy hold in saltwater? if not, any suggestions as to special glues/epoxies that will hold?

2) any suggestions for making the cable slide easier? can I put some sort of lube into the plastic tube where the cable enters in the rear of the boat (and if so, what type? bike lube?) or will that just gum it up?

3) I assume the skeg, when not deployed, should be totally flush with the bottom of the boat, however it takes a lot of effort to get it as far "up" as it will go and even then it's not totally flush - it still sticks down a bit. Should I worry about this?

thanks everyone...

I have a Necky and when I’ve had
questions, I’ve called them and asked. They’ve been helpful. I bought my boat, a demo, at a benefit auction, so clearly I didn’t have to be an “official” customer to get help. Email them your picture and your questions.

I can’t answer some of your questions because mine is a rudder boat and the cables run differently. On the epoxy, you could pick up some West G-flex epoxy and it probably would work. But don’t do it until you sort out why your cable is sticky in the tube, and whether that screw was the only attachment. Epoxy would make your cable hard to remove and to service.

Skeg Wire
That single screw is a standard method used for securing the cable / wire to the skeg. Do not use epoxy because some day you will need to replace it and a glob of epoxy would ruin your day. The cable / wire should move without undue resistence but there should be some resistence to help keep the skeg where you want it. Don’t worry about the skeg sitting perfectly straight. No big deal. As far as retracting into the slot, some folks will set their skegs up so that they sit proud just a bit. I never understood it and never felt a difference when I set one up that way.

Adjust your slider
As far as it being tough to get the skeg in and out, could be a little bit of a kink or bend somewhere in the cable. You could try replacing the cable if you wanted. As far as the skeg sticking out a little bit there should be a hex head set screw in the slider on the side of your boat(if it is the same setup as my chatham 17), just undo the set screw, move the slider back a bit, re tighten and there you go, it should now go all the way in to the boat. Sometimes this set screw can come a little loose and your skeg will droop a little like that, i usually check the tightness of it every spring and have never had any problems.

I had used Chatham 17
obtained from craigslist and somewhat abused too. Yes that screw is the only thing holding the wire in place and seems to have worked fine. I wouldn’t use epoxy since it might not hold the wire as well and the blob would be hard to remove if needed. Necky uses a single strand thick wire instead of a braided cable so it won’t kink. That said, it makes it harder to slide since it doesn’t bend as easily. I used some silicone based lube in the slider and as much as I could stuff in the cable tube, which helped a lot. Don’t use petroleum based lubes since the solvents could eat or soften plastic and sealants.

My skeg was also cocked to the side when deployed and I wondered if that affected tracking as well. I didn’t really notice, but I carefully drilled a hole and added a small short nut and bolt through the blade so that it stayed more vertical. I put a drop of epoxy on both ends of the nut and bolt so that it wouldn’t rub a hole through the skeg box.

I had an older chatham with the blunt edge skeg blade, so I also used a file and power sander to give it a knife edge on the leading and trailing edge. It used to flutter or vibrate when fully deployed and paddling fast - Now it’s smooth and I can’t feel any drag or resistance. Newer skeg blades seem to be already “sharped”.

OK, so I ended up pulling the cable almost all the way out and realized it was somewhat bent. I straightened it out by hand, re-inserted, and it’s running noticeably smoother now.

So I tightened the phillips screw into the cable and it seems to working OK. I appreciate the advice against using the epoxy - would have been a bad move in retrospect. I think I’ll take the advice above and lube the cable as well. Thanks everyone for your input!