skeg repair

Hello, I have a nigel foster silhouette with a drop down cable controlled skeg. My skeg is stuck out, I can push it in the skeg housing with force but it just comes back out. The control knob will not move and is stuck in the skeg down position. I’ve checked for debris and followed the cable and don’t see any kinks. Also all compression fittings seem secure.

Any advice on how to fix? Also, I going on a trip next weekend and won’t be needing the skeg. If I can’t fix it is there a way to take out the skeg easily so I can go paddle?


(not very good with this maintance stuff)


Control knob
Not familiar with the Nigel Foster skeg in particuluar. Check the control knob for a screw that can be loosened. Once you have loosened the screw, you should be able to slide the cable freely in the direction of the stern of the boat. Check inside the stern hatches. (Do you have access to the skeg cable there?) If you can free the skeg cable in the cockpit area, you should be able to remove the skeg entirely and draw the skeg cable out through the skeg opening at the bottom of the hull. This will allow you to inspect the cable. Probably you have a kink in cable in the area of the skeg box.

If the cable is badly kinked, you will probably have to replace it.

Where are you located?
Nice boat. If in PNW, bring it by my place and I’ll fix it.

It sounds like…
…the fitting on the skeg box may have come loose. Look inside the rear hatch when you push the blade back in and you’ll probably see that the cable and fitting pop loose from the skeg box. Re-attach it with epoxy or a sealant such as GOOP, Sikaflex, 3M 4200/5200 or Lexel. DO NOT use silicone sealer!

In either case, you should remove the cable and replace it. You need to buy 1x19 stainless cable of the same diameter or slightly smaller (3/32" cable will work in skeg systems designed for 1/8" cable). Removing the cable is usually a matter of loosening a set screw in the control and another in the blade, but skeg designs do vary substantially. When you have the old cable out, flush the housing with water to remove any salt, sand or other debris. Reinstall the cable and everything should work fine.