Skeg on Valley Boats

Any suggestions on how to fix a skeg cable on a Valley Aguanaut HV that kinks constantly. Need to re work it, but some pictures would be great to figure out a fix. Has kinked the two times I tried to use it in a cross wind.

replace it
Once the cable has a kink in it, throw it away and put on a new one.

Twisted skeg cables generally get kinked in one of two ways-

  1. You tried to force the skeg down when there were pebbles stuck in the skeg box. If the skeg does not move freely, find out why and fix it. 99% of the time it is pebbles in the skeg box.

  2. You forgot to put the skeg up when landing and it ran aground. Never do anything to push the skeg into the box- it will kink the cable.

    Changing the cable is quick and inexpensive. I keep an extra with me whenever I take a trip. The allen wrench and screwdriver required to change it are part of the repair kit I always keep in my boat.

As above, once kinked, definitely replace or it will continue. Pebbles jamming skeg and running aground with skeg down are 95+% of kinked skegs.

Interestingly, my wife’s Valley boat had problems kinking the skeg cable. However, her boat’s problem was too long cable and tube. Hard to explain in words, but this lead to too easy bowing of the tube and cable. A friend diagnosed this and cut off about 3" of tube and replaced the cable. No problems now…

I have replaced it twice. That is what my issue is. Can you explain what part is the “tube” ??? Any chance I could get a picture.

I don’t like the way the cable attaches to the skeg itself. The angle looks wrong to me.

Preventative measures
First, figure out if your cable is installed correctly. Maybe take a look at another Valley boat, either that of a friend or fellow-club member or at your local dealer.

Next, once you’ve ensured the above, prevent future damage by installing a short cord to facilitate deploying a jammed skeg. With the skeg fully extended, drill a hole approximately 1/8" in diameter through the skeg, near the lower leading edge of the blade, and tie off a 6" length of cord, using a double overhand stopper knot on the loose end. Be sure the cord and knot do not impede the proper retraction of your skeg.

Should you ever find that your skeg is jammed while out paddling, rather than force the control mechanism and risk kinking the cable, have a paddling partner raft up alongside your boat and carefully feel for the cord dangling beneath your skeg. A gentle tug should help the skeg retract, and will probably expel the offending pebble or other obstruction too.

Good luck!


Call Necky and…

– Last Updated: Oct-02-08 3:31 PM EST –

buy a Nickle Titanium wire through them. Retrofit thye Valley with that (easy to do) and no more kinks ever!! I've done just this on Valley's, and an Impex with success. Wire is costly, but you cannot buy it direct in the correct guage or grade, so Necky is the source. (they buy in bulk, custom made)

This is the same metal that angioplasty wires are made of! Heavily utilized in medicine the material is a memory metal and virtually inert in salt water ans will NOT kink.

Just one option.

The tube I was referring to is the plastic tube that the wire runs in from the controller all the way to the skeg box. Basically, sliding the controller resulted in bowing of the tube without pushing the skeg down or actually “kinking” the wire. I tried tacking the tube to the hull in a couple of places to support it, but this didn’t work. Once the wire and tube were shortened, works perfect for several years now…

As Salty says, get the wire from Necky. Supposed to be the shiznit.

for all your advise. Will do some surgery on my boat and cut the tube down.