Valley Avocet FG Skeg assemlby

Problem - stripped hex socket of the set screw. Takes 2.5mm hex/allen key.

Does anyone know what size that set screw is?

According to the usual conventions it should be M5, just trying to verify before drilling it out.

The boat is, probably, around 2008-9

The story - skeg slider stopped deploying skeg. The assembly ( tube and plastic knob) would just slide over the cable with lots of scraping feedback, no movement in the skeg. Managed to pull skeg line out, quite easily - might be the first indication that the set screw was not tight enough. Lots of corrosion in the area where the cable is supposed to be cinched - indication of different alloys used. Of course, the cable does not go back in with the set screw deployed :slight_smile: First step - loosen it up. Broke one hex, the other stripped the socket.

Suggestions how to deal with this are appreciated.

Drill and replace
Ugh. I’d say the easiest solution would be to call GRO to order another slider knob, then drill out the set screw. The chances of drilling out the center of such a small screw, and being able to save the knob are probably too small to be bothered with. Should be a cheap part.

Good luck

Don’t know what they are called…
Star wrenches ? The ones that come in a folded bundle like a group of allens … Yu can usually jam the similar or possibly next one up in and get a last try on a stripped allen.

Do yourself a favor and soak it in some liquid wrench before you have another go at it.

I work on boats for
an outfitter. Worked on three or four valley boats that were of about that time period. Might have been earlier. Anyway, the set screw goes into a metal sleeve. With these particular boats that were a problem the set screw and the sleeve material were not compatible and the set screws and the sleeve became one for all intents and purposes. If you have the same problem my guess is that the set screw has corroded to the point that it no longer makes contact with the skeg wire. I ordered new parts and replaced. The boats I had trouble with were all glass.

I do not know if this is your problem. The only way to really know is to cut the plastic in half and look at the set screw in the metal sleeve. Of course by that time you will need a new set up anyway.

I did cut the knob in half because I had a bunch of boats to look after and I wanted to know if this was isolated or was going to be a problem with the other boats. Out of 10 or 12 boats that had this set up I had four with problems. With these four I cleaned up the skeg wire and the tube for the wire and put on new knobs. The set screws on the other boats were clean and in good shape. I do not know if this was a bad set of set screws or not. I suppose so as I have not seen this any other time.

got it
That was my thinking - alloy mismatch caused the problem.

Good tip on cutting the knob in half.

Before you cut things up, try the
liquid wrench and an easy out (twisted drill shank). A small easy out might take a bite in that hole. Pat’s idea of a torx bit is another option as well. You could use a small hex head screw to replace the internal hex if you wanted to have something more serviceable. Good luck, it is 70/30 against you, but it is worth the try.


If you try to drill it out use a left
handed drill bit. That way if the drill bit bites into the screw it will try to turn the screw out.

thanks guys
Bill - I doubt the torx or liquid wrench will work - I did snap off properly sized Allen/hex key trying to unscrew it, and stripped the socket with second properly sized key. The “unscrew” screw - had to use those on a few occasions, works OK for reasonably sized un-corroded screws. M5 ( metal part ~4mm diameter, or 1/6 of inch ), bad access, bad corrosion are really stacking up against me.

J - thanks for the reminder on the left hander.

Had the same problem
with my Avocet from same year. Valley fessed up they got a batch of screws of the wrong alloy. Mine came out with a drill, easy out, & liquid wrench. I was able to do so without destroying the slider tube, so a clean up & new proper marine stainless screw and I was good to go. I love my Valley boats, but I was annoyed that they became aware of the problem and apparently said nothing. Some sort of service bulletin out to their dealers could have saved owners a lot of headaches.

Do you recall what size drill you used?

Sorry, no
When I get home I can pull a spare set screw out of my kit & give you an approximation in the bit size, if you want to wait for the info. If not, I’d go with something about matching the 2.5mm pocket. The screw design is called a grub screw which does not have a head. The 2.5mm pocket is actually smaller than the screw’s shaft diameter.

yup, same experience
I’ve dealt with at least a dozen boats with the same problems. If you paddle fresh water, the problem takes longer to develop. Salt water paddlers noticed it a couple years ago.

Get a replacement. I used a Dremel tool to cut the knobs out.