Sticky Skeg cable Dagger Meridian

Can anyone provide input on how to free up a sticky skeg on a Dagger Meridian ? Its getting harder and harder to deploy and retract. There doesn’t appear to be any blockage in the skeg box.


a single grain of sand or salt buildup
Can mess up either wire or cable style skegs. You may have to take the mechanism apart, pull the wire or cable out of the plastic sheath and clean it out.

Some people like to lubricate inside of the tube with a petroleum based (wd 40 style) lubricant, some swear by a dry lubricant (graphite based).

I have had good luck with dry lubricants after the inside of the tube is clean and dry. After lubrication, I apply a tiny bit of oil to the cable, then push the skeg fully open. I then take a dab of silicone caulk and seal the end of the guide tube and allow it to dry fully. The oil that you applied will keep the silicon from attaching to the cable or wire. After it is dry you have a nearly fully sealed guide tube that both grains of sand or salt water have a tougher time getting into.

Let sit upside down…
…overnight with VERY SOAPY hot water poured into the skeg box (thus up into the tube) till the skeg box is completely full. The next day, do repetitive pour and dump with plain hot water…(up to a dozen times)

The ideal method…

– Last Updated: Jan-19-15 10:51 AM EST – to remove the cable, so you can flush the housing well. However, not knowing how the Meridian skeg cable is attached, I can't say if it's going to be too much of a pain. If you've had any thoughts about replacing the cable, now would be a good time to do so.

Regardless, as others have suggested, flushing the cable and housing is the key. I've found that plain hot water works as well as anything. It's easiest if you support the boat on sawhorses so you can alternate pouring water through the skeg box and control box. Ideally, you want to see flow in one end and out the other.

Once you have some water in the system work the skeg by pulling out on the blade, then pulling it back with the control. This keeps tension on the cable, so it cannot kink. If you spot any kinked sections, you can try to straighten them, but a new cable is probably in your near future.

Once the system is moving reasonably freely, it should be lubricated. Almost anything will work to some extent, but I lean toward Boeshield T-9, as it's specifically designed for use in wet environments and once dry, it doesn't attract dirt like oily lube can. If you happen to be a cyclist, it's also a good wet weather chain lube.

sticky, or damaged cable?
I would do the remove cable and then clean method mentioned above. Along with sounding a good way to fix the issue, it would also let you confirm the status of the cable itself (where I suspect the real issue may be).

I have heard of issues with adding lubricants, as those lubricants can attract dirt (making it worse in the future), so would lean away from that.

Thanks all for the input. If replacement is in order would 1x9 or 7x7 cable be best I am assuming 1/8" diameter.

The two standard cable types are…

– Last Updated: Jan-20-15 7:36 AM EST –

1x19 and 7x19. You want the former, as the latter is way too flexible to be used in a push-pull system like a skeg. As for the diameter, it's will be either 3/32" or 1/8", but I'm not sure which for your boat. One thing that is very important is that the cable is NOT a snug fit in the housing, as that just causes excessive drag when the inevitable salt/sand buildup occurs. This may sound counterintuitive, but if friction is an issue with your current cable, a slightly smaller diameter cable can actually be more durable and less prone to kinking, as it won't be as prone to jamming.

Also, some boats come with metric-size cables (3mm). This is slightly smaller than 1/8" and if you're not going to get the factory replacement, I recommend going with 3/32" rather than 1/8'.

Thanks again for the input 3/32" it is. Is there any special prep for the cable?

I had too
My Valley Avocet RM skeg cable was hard to move. I removed the whole cable and cleaned it out as best I could. Still was hard to use. So I tried this dry lube for bicycle chains I got from Walmart. That fixed it nice. I did this last summer worked fine all summer and is still working fine now. I wanted to avoid any lube as I here it attracts dirt but I couldn’t get it to move freely any other way so I tried it and glad I did. Oh no kinks in my cable at all so a new cable wouldn’t have done anything for it.

I know nothing about skegs. I bicycle, paddle a rudder system.

You could look thru information on quality bicycle cable/housings and for troubleshooting. A kink or bellied wire section will make pull and return difficult. Usually replaced without further fooling.

Finish Line Teflon/Wax ‘Dry’ lube is the lube I use on bicycle cables/housings and a Solstice Titan’s rudder cables. The FL’s carrier for the lube component is a strong solvent. Lubing housings open ends with a few drops having lubed the complete cable with FL before install into housing, gives as new imstalled performance - unless kinked.

Usually lube cable lengths with FL once every 2-3 short trips. Drip a drop or two then run fingers down lube on cable.

Tell us, what was your lube maintenance interval ?

Boeshield is widely scorned by cyclists as a ‘weenie’ lube suitable for electronics and aircraft instrument panel hinges

WD 40

– Last Updated: Jan-21-15 1:05 AM EST –

is deodorized kerosene. I assume kero evaporates.
Petroleum products float on water that is on a cable, dino lube floats on water coating the cable. Worse, dino lubes evaporate then cake. Antique ! In the whale oil....actually whale oil is excellent at very cold temps. NASA uses what's leftover.

There are a couple of things…
…that can make the process easier.

First, use super glue - or silver solder, if you have it - on the cable ends to hold the strands together.

Second, use a Dremel or a bench grinder to round over the ends of the cable.

These two steps make it much easier to thread the cable through the housing and insert the ends into the skeg blade and control system.

WD-40 is more than kerosene…
…but it’s designed to be a Water Displacer (hence the name) and is not a good lubricant.

Wax based lubes work fine for cables
Boeshield is a wax-based lube that’s better at repelling water than most others. I don’t know where you heard of cyclists dissing Boeshield (I’ve never seen that anywhere), but it works fine on chains and cables. I’ve been riding for over 40 years and have tried dozens of chain/cable lubes, and I find that Boeshield works better than most in wet conditions. However, I typically only use it in the winter or on bikes that will see a lot of moisture, like my 'cross bike. For dry conditions, I typically use Prolink.

Check the Tube Carefully
On my Meridian, the plastic tube went bad a foot in front of the skeg box. It also detached where is goes into the skeg box. I’m a little foggy on the details, since it was a few years ago, but here is what I did.

I replaced the rear foot or so with new tubing, attaching the tube into the skeg box with epoxy. While I was at it, I coated the skeg box with epoxy because it developed pin hole leaks. To connect the new tube (stiff plastic tubing I got at the local hardware plumbing section), I spliced it to the old tubing with a section of larger tube of the same material. The hardware had a larger tubing just the right size to slip over the skeg tubing. Epoxy held the tubes together. I would have replaced the whole tube, but it is glued in solidly where it goes through the bulkhead. Most of the tube was in OK condition, so I skipped the tough task of a full replacement.

The result: the skeg works smooth and easy (for the first time in the 10 years I’ve had the boat).

Good Luck - Alan

My experience is limited somewhat
but I have not found that lack of lube causes these problems. Usually it is a mechanical problem of some sort, usually grit in the skeg box or elsewhere.

was entered into discussions of so called dry lubes several times over last ten years in various groups.

Those having tried BS denounced the stuff as a pretender. These users may be Finish Line wax with Teflon shareholders ? I have never tried BS mainly from those opinions.

WD-40 receives a lower rating. WD40 users in cycle circles are thought of as retarded. BS users merely gullible.

Finish Line does ‘loosen’ grit friction to a degree that using it brings a smile with the positive effects the stuff has on cycle cables with but a drop or several on the open housing ends.