Skeg problems

I have a QCC 10x which I love except for one annoying problem. The skeg control is the “ball-on-a-string/cleat” design. When in even moderate waves, the motion of the water often loosens the skeg cord and the skeg drops. I’m unaware that this has occurred until the boat’s tracking is affected. In addition, the rear hatch takes on small amounts of water whenever I edge the boat so that the waterline is above the cleat, or whenever I roll. The skeg cable runs through a straw-sized tube where it attaches to the interior hull. It’s not a lot of water, but enough to sponge out each time. I know there are slider mechanisms for skeg control, but does anyone have experience with a quicker, cheap fix for this problem? I’d appreciate any suggestions: a Lake Superior trip is fast approaching!

Thanks in advance! - wd

First I’d call QCC, they are a pretty small company and usually are pretty helpful and you’ll be pretty close to them if you’re heading for Superior. I suspect the cleat is getting worn or you’re not pressing the line into the cleat, it needs snugged into a jam cleat or it’ll pop out as you describe, pull on the skeg end of the line after it’s cleated.

Sealing the tube should be relatively straight forward. I’d recommend Lexel if you can find it, most big box lumber yards and big hardware stores carry it.

Bill H.

Thank you!
I will try to obtain some Lexel, as well as check on the cord insertion into the cleat. QCC is a little tough to get a hold of at times, but I’ll try to contact them before I leave. wd

I’ve used 3M 5200 to seal my skeg tube and it did a great job - that was a few years ago.

I was just looking at a friend’s boat recently where he’s having a similar problem. In his case (not QCC) it looked like the line was a little small in diameter for the cleat. He’s going to look at replacing the cleat with one for smaller line and they come in a million different variations. West Marine and anyone else dealing with sailboat stuff will have some of them; they’re made by Clamcleat. Not sure if this is the same case here.

Also most of these cleats are plastic and if the boat’s old and has been used alot the teeth that grip the line tend to get worn down to a rounded shape and then won’t hold well.

Btw, they are fairly cheap, under $10

Bill H.

cleat size
Thanks, Steve. It may be the cleat is too large for the line as you suggested. We have a nearby branch of West Marine, so I will probably check into that. The “water issue” is a bit trickier, though. The skeg cable is not completely encased from the skeg box to the cleat in the straw-sized tube. That tube runs from the cleat, through the rear bulkhead, and then for just 10 inches or so into the rear hatch area. It is encased again closer to the skeg box. So when the boat is leaned, the water comes in through the plastic cleat area, through the tube and into the rear hatch. Sealing the end of that tube would freeze up the skeg cable. Again, unless I’m doing rolling practice, it’s not a lot of water each time, but enough to need sponging out. wd

Interesting - my skeg cable is sealed from slider to skeg box and that makes sense. I had to seal where the tube connects to the deck because I’d get an occasional water drop on my knee (that gets annoying after a couple of hours) but you’re right, a completely different issue.

Maybe you could retrofit your boat to a completely enclosed skeg cable? Sounds like it should just be a matter of replacing the two shorter pieces with one longer one, but nothing’s ever that easy… QCC might have some ideas or at least be able to get the right tubing for you.

Steve, I also wondered about somehow inserting a new tube to connect the other two (and hopefully not snagging the cable within it)! That one may be a rainy weekend project after the Superior trip! Thanks again, wd