Recommended Skeg Cable Lubricant

What is the recommended skeg cable lubricant? I don’t want anything that will pick up grit . . . I have a Necky with the very stiff skeg cable (wire?) I’m not sure what it is, but I really like it - it never tries to kink. I just think it’s had a few seasons and needs to get slicked up. One local shop uses/recommends silicone grease. A friend recommended spray 3-in-one oil. I wondered about WD-40 or even 303. What say you all with experience?




how is it compared to
White Lightning bike lube?

I’ve used both
They both work great, but I’ve found that Boeshield lasts longer between applications. It’s easier to shoot into the skeg wire tubing if you get the aerosol version, too.



– Last Updated: May-26-07 7:46 AM EST –

Sounds like you might have a nitinol wire. That's a very good material for a skeg wire, because it has "memory" --- if it deforms, just change it's temp quickly and it will snap back into it's original shape. Ice or a hair dryer (And especially one right after the other) are usually enough to do it.

As far as lubricating it with 303, it works, but it doesn't last long enough to be worth doing. I'd try boeshield --- you'll like it.


STAY away
From WD-40…

The stuff is horrible. I used to laugh when I saw people spraying it all over their chains on their bikes. All it will do is attact more grit/grime.

Boeshield is a good choice.

I’ve had very good luck using the same wax that I apply to my dry suit zipper. Has anyone else tried this ?

Necky skeg cable
Necky skeg cable aleast in chathams a lot

stiffer in general, the cable they use doesn’t

kink but is much stiffer. Its a trade of, stiffer

slider but don’t have to worry about kinks.

White Lightning is just wax…
…in a solvent carrier. It’s a lousy chain lube, but it works well on skeg cables. The same is true of Krytech. Using a chunk of paraffin wax should work just as well. I’ve also used Boeshield and it does the job, too. Avoid grease or heavy oils like the plague, as they attract sand and grit and create a real mess.

You can also get
a lube from Metolious climbing gear. It is actually made by White Lightning for Metolious, and is called ‘Cam Lube’, for lubricating climbing cams. My ex mountain biking/roady employees claimed it was the same stuff bottled for bike chains, yet it is actually sold cheaper by Metolious.

Lubricant ,microscopically embeds in the pores of the metal, and leaves no build-up.

Any thin lubricant will work
Actually I would NOT recommend Boeshield! It is a protective coating which I use a lot on big boats. It would not apply on the NiTi wire. And speaking of attracting sand etc…it’s more apt to do so than a thin lubricant like WD-40.

Shoot some WD-40, Tri-Flow, Silicon, whatever down the polypropylene skeg tube at each end. Invert the kayak to allow the stuff to trickle down the tube. Work the handle back and forth. Wipe up the drips, go paddling.

This is NOT a cable, rather a memory metal wire which will NOT kink in compression like a cable will. It’s a good compromise in my mind and I have retrofitted other brands with the wire.

Thanks Salty
Thanks Salty, for your comments. I’ll take your suggestion.


I have to
disagree Salty. Boeshield does provide some protectant properties and lubricates, and it’s much easier to deal with than WD-40.

WD-40 IS NOT a lubricant for these applications and it attracts dirt. Whatever lubricant properties it claims to have breaks down very quickly and starts to gum up. It’s great for PENETRATING and breaking free old rusty parts…but that’s it!

Disagreement is OK
I use both products a lot. I stand by my comments. All the best!

I see that Boeshield…
…contains wax. Don’t think I’d want to have wax build-up within a confined space, such as between a NiTi rod and it’s sheath, especially in colder climes. In addition to FP-10, I’ve had decent success with food-grade spray silicone.

Tri-Flow? No way!
If you want a goopy mess sure, but Tri-Flow is a poor choice for skeg cables. Running any oil-based lube down through the housing results in way too much lube, which will attract dirt and grit. With ANY lube, you’re much better off to coat the cable itself lightly, then install it in the boat. The only thing I ever flush through the housing is fresh water to rinse out any crud that may be in there.

Wax buildup is not an issue…
…as long as you’re not pumping a lot of lube down the cable housing. Even then, wax is soft and slippery, and won’t cause the cable to bind. I recommend coating the cable itself with the lube, then installing it. The advantage of wax lubes is that they don’t attract grit as much as oil-based lubes.

Again, this is NOT a cable
Any sort of lubricating spray will work. I have several of these and a regular shot of lube keeps em working smoothly. Last time I think I used Honda spray lube?? Oh no…