Replacing Skeg Cable on Kari-tek Skeg???

Just picked up a used NDK boat with a Kari-tek skeg. Skeg cable was badly kinked.

I pulled out the old cable and tried inserting a new one but can’t get it through the tubing. Inserting from the bottom will not work, nor will inserting from the skeg controller.

I believe it is getting stuck at the sharp bend just above the skeg box. I have replaced skeg cables on other boats in the past and not had a problem.

Any advice here? Should I loosen the bolt at that junction and pull the tubing out? I am reluctant to do that because it could be a PIA to get it back on and then don’t want to end up with a bad leak there if I can’t get the screw back on.

thanks for your help


Taper the end of the cable
The sharp ends of a cut cable can dig into the relatively soft skeg tubing at bends. Use a grinding stone on a Dremel tool to round over the end of the cable, so there are no sharp burrs to catch anything and it should slide through.

Besides using Bnystrom’s technique, I dip about 1/4" of the cable end into some laquer base modeling paint & let it dry. That helps seal the cable fibers together to keep them from catching in the tube. Seems to help.

2nd that
Was in a similar predicament, methods suggested above were not available - mostly due to location.

I twisted cable when it got stuck, it sort of snaked itself through the tight spot - made a loop out of the length sticking out, rotated as if trying to screw the cable in. If you decide to try this examine the direction of twist - you don’t want to unwind cable while in the tube.

Replacing skeg cable
Not part of your question, but be aware that all cable is not the same. I bought new SS cable at a marine supply store (West Marine) and found it was not rigid enough to push/pull without kinking. I then bought cable from a marine supply place that specializes in sailboat hardware. It’s the stuff they use for halyards. It looks the same but is much stiffer. This stuff works fine. As I recall, it cost less than $10.