valley rope skeg improvement

I’m replacing the worn out bungie on my pintail rope skeg, and I figured while I’m at it I’ll try to fine-tune the system. The biggest problem that I see is the thru-hull that is used on the deck where the rope comes through has a very sharp corner, so there’s a lot of resistance where the rope turns that corner. If it were rounded, I think it would be a lot easier.

I’m wondering if anyone has rounded off that fitting. It is dull grey, and very hard, perhaps a glass-reinforced plastic? How thick is that edge? how much can I remove before I break through to the underside?

Thanks, Nate

thru hull
that is a standard thru hull fitting made of plastic. I wouldn’t mess with the angle. you’re not going to get much outta filing it down and it will eventually bottom out and break thru causing a leak.

it is what it is.


I agree with Flatpick
I’ve tried a bunch of different modifications and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just a fundamentally flawed design. Using a single bungee rather than two can reduce friction between the bungee and the rope. Using the most flexible cord you can find helps, too. However, bungee cord makes a lousy spring, as it loses it’s elasticity over time. Every type of cord I’ve tried has eventually stiffened due to salt accumulation and degradation from sun exposure. Unless you’re willing to put a lot of effort into keeping them working, rope skegs are going to malfunction. In simple terms, they suck. :wink:


– Last Updated: Feb-03-09 12:54 PM EST –

Well, I went ahead and did it anyways since I had to replace the bungie. Put a narrow round sanding drum in a drill and ground the approx 1/16" radius edge of the thru hull to something between 1/8 and 1/4". Also lubed everything up with McLube Sailkote (a PTFE dry spray lube used on sailboat rigging - this stuff is magic-in-a-can, but needs frequent re-application).

Everything works ten times better than it did before. We'll see how it holds up.

As far as the thru-hull, I have no idea why the builders don't just use a "mushroom" type thru-hull rather than the flat type. That would provide a 1/2" radiused curve for the rope and bungie to ride over.

Would be a simple upgrade for anyone to do. (maybe use a bronze or stainless one, for less friction, at the expense of a few ounces.)|51|106370|316448|367124&id=142417

edit- paste the address into your browser. Not sure why it's only seeing half of the addy.

I am thinking of
installing a Harken micro thru deck block on my NDK Romany. I think it will greatly improve the way the rope makes that 90 degree bend.

bungie care
It occured to me while working on this that there’s no reason to keep the bungie stretched when the boat is not in use. Does anyone here unhook the bungie during periods of storage? I think I’ll put a line-stopper ball on the end of the bungie, so I can just unhook it, and it will relax without falling through the hole.

It is a tempermental set up
I did file the radius were the rope goes through the fitting and it helped. The radius is so sharp that a little bit filed off will reduce the resistance. I agree that they should use a fitting with a greater radius. I also spliced a smaller diameter rope that goes through the hull and hooks up to the skeg. Look around for a flexible rope that takes a bend easily. I also redrilled a new hookup hole on the skeg for the rope, about an inch more toward the end of the skeg. This helped a lot for pulling the skeg up. You can have a greater amount of bugee strength.

The problem is…
…finding one that will fit and work properly with typical rope-skeg fittings. Their #243 looks promising, but mounting it will present some challenges.

How will you mount it and still keep the deck waterproof when upside down? How about removing the thru-hull, cutting a flat on it, and mounting a surface-mount micro-block? That would avoid the cutting-the-deck problem.