Water coming in through skeg control line

Hi folks,

I recently came into possession of paulski 13’ spirit kayak. It has a retractable skeg, controlled by a line on the left of the kayak outside the cockpit. You can see it here: 13' Spirit Kayak | Stable in moving water | Paluski Boats made in Canada – Paluski Boats Ltd..

I’m mainly paddling around small lakes, and it works great for that, but when the wind picks up and there are some small waves, water pours in through the holes that the control cable passes through. I nearly sank today paddling to shore in some pretty mild waves and had to stop to bail out the cockpit a few times. The water was up to my ass!

This is a used kayak and I am somewhat new (more used to canoes), so I have a couple questions.

Am I missing something / is something damaged on the control line that is allowing all this water in, or is this simply a kayak that can only be used in perfectly glassy water? That would be unfortunate, as it tracks very well and is otherwise enjoyable. I tested it with the hose, and the only place the water is coming in is through these two holes for the black skeg tube on the side.

Any ideas, let me know, thanks!

Hard to imagine that much water coming in through the skeg control only. I have a leaky skeg on one of my boats, and maybe 3 or 4 sponges worth of water ever gets in. Do you wear a sprayskirt?

I’d also check around the grab loops that you carry the boat with, and loops that the decklines mount in to see if they let water in when you are in waves. Also check the skeg box - there could be a crack around the base that opens up more when the boat bounces in waves.

I’d call Paluski directly and simply ask them. No one will know better what could be wrong them the maker themselves.

Thank you, Wayne. I took a hose to the skeg box (I’m assuming that’s the part where the fin rests) and water flows freely where the cable connects on the inside. It looks like it’s supposed to be sealed there. I guess the water doesn’t rise high enough when it’s level to come in.

Is this something repairable or should I try to contact the guy who sold it to me?

If I could reach on the inside I feel like I could use some kind of resin or epoxy to reseal the plastic cable housing.

Glad to have an answer either way!

I’d take it to the shop you bought it from and see if they can fix it. Fixing a plastic skeg box requires different adhesives or fillers than a fiberglass one would.

Happy to have helped!

So it looks like it was just a rubber stopper/cable housing/grommet kind of thing that popped out. It seems to slot in the channel on top of the skeg box by pressure alone, as I didn’t see any kind of sealant residue and it was pretty snug when I managed to get it back in. There are no cracks there anywhere and it passes the hose test now.

If it tries to take me to the bottom of the lake again, I’ll be paying the seller a visit, but fingers crossed.