Recommendations of shock cord diameter for an NDK rope skeg?

I just finished two back to back sessions of cursing at those original charming RDF’s, so the old Romany now has not-rotten deck lines and some shock cord that actually has tension. But I decided to go after the not-working rope skeg while I was at it since the skeg line was equally bad, and I suspect the shock cord I used there is a smidge too thick for it to operate well. I used the leftover from redoing the deck bungies on the Romany and the Vela.

It is functional enough for my needs right now, I can pull it down to partial skeg by hand and pull it up if I get out there and I went too far. But the easily dropping part is what is not working and I suspect the thickness of the bungies. If I can improve this behavior with thinner shock cord, I can replenish my supply of colorful language and change it up in the next few weeks. And I know know which diameter of meat skewer to tape the bungies to so they will feed thru the hole, as well as identifying the socket size I need to loosen the surface mount holder for the ends of the bungies in this tool-free rope skeg system.

But if a thinner bungie is not going to alter things, I will live with this and save the colorful stuff for when I start working on my roll again in a couple of weeks.

Recommendations? Thanks!

Not versed on skegs but why shock cord? It stretches

Yes, l am totally aware that shock cord stretches. I am guessing you have never seen one of the old rope skegs. The shock cord goes around a portion of the skeg to hold tension to bring it up or let it drop, the drop part that isn’t working so well. The rope of the siege line is used to bring it up or to loosen it so of can drop.

no I have not what size bungee do you need?

That is what l am asking. Please reread. The question is to someone who would know the needed size. If you have never seen one of the old rope skegs l doubt you know.

so try a thinner diameter. How long is it? How long does it take to install and try? Have a picture?

I will wait for an answer from someone who has actually ever dealt with one of these.

LOL I was just trying to help you. I have all different sizes of high grade shock cord and could have sent you some to try. I am sure it’s no rocket science to solve. Sorry a socket size puzzled you . Good Luck! Sorry I wasted so much of your time.

I have no problem getting shock cord of a thinner size than l used. My question was to find someone who knew these things well enough to say if that would solve the problem. I just spent 8 hours across two days rerigging this boat and redoing the skew line and bungee, because it has rdfs and some other features that are a pita to deal with. My other boat with Valley deck fittings took 1 hour for everything and being fussy. I don’t feel like spending more time cursing at it unleds l have information that it is likely to fix the issue, and it is roughly functional now. I have no idea what you mean with the socket crack. If you knew the system you would know it was said to allow tool free repairs. I was being sarcastic. Obviously something is not tool free if l have to pull out a socket set as part of the job.

If I remember correctly, I used 6mm shock cord on my old rope skeg (Valley-style I think). It has worked well for me, it definitely has enough oomph to hold the skeg down. You can always tighten it or loosen it to adjust its strength.

Esstyle - thank you! What I am seeing in the pic looks same as the rope skeg arrangement on my husband’s old Aquanaut and my recall is that he could use the same cord for the NDK boat. 6mm is thinner than what I used, I think what I had from my last intention to rerig these boats was at least 8mm. I like the deck bungies to last a while because I am too lazy to redo them every year. But if you have found the 6 has enough tension to hold the skeg, it’d be worth redoing that when I have a little leisure time in a couple of weeks.

Just went out and checked. It is indeed 6mm shock cord that I used. It was a while ago that I refurbished the system, but I remember trying a few different sizes of cord and anything larger than the 6mm started to cause binding in the through-pipe.
With the 6mm I do have a little bit of pre-tension adjusted on it to give it a little more kick. My wife also uses that kayak from time to time though, and any more tension or a thicker shock cord would give her trouble when retracting the skeg. She still sometimes complains about it as it is, the last little bit requires a good tug to get it all the way up. I tied a small heaving line knot with a loop on the pull end of the rope though to help get a better grip.

I will take it under advisement that tensioning it may take a couple of tries to get it right, easy enough to leave a extra bungie beyond the knot. But I may not care as much as you do on it fully retracting. The rope skegs in the old NDK boats seem to last better if you leave the skeg a smidge proud. That is not as true with the Valley boat, I assume there is a small diff in the angles somewhere that causes the difference. But I am having more trouble with it dropping freely than coming up, so I suspected I needed a thinner shock cord. Just didn’t want to redo the whole thing more than once.

I paddled true BCU style with this boat last summer, no operating skeg, so it is not fatal to have it out of commission. But it would be nice to be a bit less tired coming in from a windier day than I was.

Thanks for double checking. I suppose the population of paddlers out there who would take one look at this boat and know it was from MITA is aging out of things…

What did you end up using, and how has it been working? I need to redo my bungee and rope and possibly make other mods. I want to go with a thinner bungee. I’m wondering if the plastic fitting where the lines enter from above has shrunk. Its only 15 mm in diameter, and with two 6mm cords plus the rope things are rather crowded.

Unfortunately l am incredibly lazy. I have been doing the BCU thing and paddling without a working skeg. Because the 10mm bungie is in there still which is way too thick to move. I got a long run of quartering winds Thursday coming back from Killock and l might find my 6mm stuff in the bottom of my gear bag and do the fix this week.

I was told the thickest should use is 6 mm. If l didn’t already have the 6 somewhere in the bottom of the bag, l would probably pick up both 6 and 4 to try. You don’t need a lot of length.

Sorry l am too lazy to fully help you.

I think 6 is too thick for mine. I’m going to try 4, which should be adequate if everything else is tuned properly. My rope has also worn a groove into the plastic fitting because of the force required to lift the skeg so I’m going to have to smooth that out or patch it somehow.

Sounds good. 4mm should leave you with a skeg that moves.

Should you need it here are a couple articles on how to fix a rope skeg. I couldn’t find the bungie size listed on either of them but I believe I used a 1/8th inch the last time I replaced the rigging in mine (same size as the deck bungies across the deck of my Greenlander Pro).
Depending on how old your Valley skegs. Here’s info on how to fix them:

Yeah that first article is one I’ve been referring to as I work on this

Also a neat trick a friend showed me: If an NDK style skeg wants to slide out of the recessed slots where the “axle” fits in the skeg box, a spring clamp placed on that pivot point inside the rear hatch can secure it.

I went to 3 different places, no, 4, looking for shock cord by the foot. Nothing except 3/8 inch. So when I got home I took the 3mm bungee from a toggle ball and tried that. It works 100% better now. It probably won’t have the power to dislodge even a small pebble now but I’ll take that in exchange for easy skeg retraction.

Of course the on-water test remains to be done, but this looks very promising.