Skeg wire madness - help needed

I have an old (2005???) Current Designs Squamish (15-8 x 23), with a drop down skeg which is so fussy. Boat is stored outside on a salt marsh by a bay beach, free storage and super convenient. By necessity with the hull up uncovered. I’m pretty sure the wire gets sand/muck in it. I launch and land on a beach with super fine sand on the verge of mud. Careful as I am to keep stuff out of the slot it inevitably gets stuff in it. I did install an emergency rope loop on the skeg bottom so I can pull it out but then it may or may not retract when I need it. Problem is that the control knob set screw is hopelessly corroded so I cannot remove the wire to clean it out without making this a big project. I do like a skeg as this boat does weathercock a bit. On the plus side it is quick on flat water and good in chop, rather pleasant to paddle.

Has anyone developed a protocol for skeg upkeep that could accommodate this scenario? Taking the boat home each time is not a practical option.

Sand, grit, and corrosion are possible causes for a jammed skeg control wire, but it’s more likely that the control knob was forced when the skeg was jammed by a pebble or something similar in the skeg box. This is a fairly common scenario. Unfortunately what happens is that the wire becomes kinked and will not slide through the tubing as it should. The only option is to replace the skeg wire, which can be a bit involved depending on the boat.

1 Like

The wire on my Capella is kinked. I was able to bend it back, but I need to be real careful when I put it down. I should get it replaced - hate to be someplace that I really need it and not be able to get it down…

Ordered new wire from TopKayaker. Meanwhile I lower the skeg enough so it can fully deploy and as long as I don’t fully retract can still use it. Be glad to fix it. My wire had a kink I thought I was able to straighten, but not enough!

Until you replace the wire be cautious when launching and landing or you may have it completely stuck.

Good point. I recently added a rescue loop so I can easily pull the skeg out if jammed all the way in.

Regularly flush the skeg slot with fresh water, lubricate the wire, and consider installing a protective cover to prevent debris accumulation.

1 Like

Many manufacturers do not recommend using lubricants on skeg wires or rudder cables as the lubricant often causes sand and grit to stick to it. They just recommend periodically flushing with fresh water. The wire guides are designed to be tough but slippery on their own.

I have had good results using 3M’s Boeshield T-9 lubricant (often sold in bike shops as chain lube but I get mine from REI), I’ve used it for years to protect the tubular metal frames of my folding kayaks from sticking together from saltwater corrosion. It was invented for lubricating components in aircraft (i.e. the “Boe” is from “Boeing”) formulated to not degrade plastics and wire insulation and to not be sticky or gummy.) Has also worked well on my sticky skegs and rudder cables.

Several weeks ago I replaced my skeg wire after a thorough cleaning of my tubing. I pre-lubed the cable with Boeshield and wiped it clean after. So far it is working fine. I have a Necky with the titanium wire used in similar circumstances and I find I need to do the fresh water flush occasionally to keep it happy.

The Squamish wire (old CD stock) turned out to be 1/8" 1x19 SS wire with a common electrical ring terminal for #8 wire and a 3/16" (#10) hole crimped on its end.

I try my best to keep sand out of the skeg box while landing and storing.