Tricks to free up a "sticky" skeg

My skeg was a little “sticky” when I tried to move it by hand.

I was surprised at the suggestion of pouring hot water into the skeg box!

But it worked.

The explanation was it dissolves the salt that got into the skeg box. I can’t say I believe it.

Still, it worked.

Since stuck skeg is such a common and annoying problem. I’d like to hear ALL of the tricks you know about AND WORKS.

Any other “tricks” for freeing sticky skegs?

I rinse the box
After paddling in saltwater…

I do, too

A favorite
Obviously keep it clean, but if you’re ever in a jam, this is a popular solution. Drill a small hole through the skeg with a string so you can free your skeg if you have to. Here’s a pic.

All good ideas
The key is to NEVER force the skeg control, as that’s the surest way to kink the cable. It’s also possible to work some silicone, wax or Teflon-based cable lube into the cable housing. Don’t uses oil, as it will attract sand and grit, making the problem worse.

sticky cable, not kinked cable
Once the cable’s kinked, there’s probably not much that will help but to replace it.

But there’re times when the cable was never kinked, but just gets sticky from, I suspect, intrusion of foreign particles into the environment of the cable assembly?

It’s for the latter that I’m learning some new tricks.

So I started this topic to “flush out” some more good ideas that has worked for others.

skeg 'string’
Another virtue of having a string dangling beneath your skeg is that the skeg can be freed up when you’re far from shore. So if you don’t notice the skeg jam and go well off shore, a fellow paddler may be able to drape themselves over your kayak and more easily free the skeg.

Hot soapy water…
…till the box fills up, then slosh it to and fro…repeat if necessary.

Table Knife
The only time I had a skeg issue it wasn’t sticky. It was jammed. I made the mistake of dragging the boat out of the water from the front and a pebble got wedged between the skeg and the side of the box. Lesson number one: Don’t drag the boat from the front. Lesson number two: Take a cheap Walmart table knife along to scrape out any object that gets wedged in there.

been there, done that…
Any knife will do.

I Agree…

– Last Updated: Jul-05-16 11:55 AM EST –

It doesn't have to come from Walmart but it really needs to be long enough if that pebble is jammed way up there... which is what happened to me.

Lube works too
Yep, that’s a good one too.

It’s a bit tricky to get the lube INTO the cable housing though. I tried dropping it in different angle and fortunately for me, the lube I was using had color. So I could see where it’s hitting (or rather, missing).

When I finally hit the cable, I let it go and watch as the lube follow the cable into the housing in the rear hatch.

The skeg now moves freely like it’s brand new!

(I knew I didn’t kink the cable because I know each and every time I forgot to bring up the skeg :frowning: So when the cable got that “gritty” feel for no apparent reason, I know there’s got to be other reason besides a kinked cable. Now I know a couple different ways to fix THAT )