Danny Mongno from Werner Paddles wrote up this great little article on how to solve some common skeg problems that we are all bound to deal with from time to time. The artical is from the Impex Chat board but I decided that this would be a great place for it as well. Enjoy.
Authur: Danny Mongno
From time to time you may find your skeg will not deploy. Everyone is going to kink a skeg cable. Do not feel like you are "stupid." I see more advanced paddlers do it than what many people would think to be a beginner problem. Most advanced paddlers never use the skeg and when they finally get to the landing after a day of horrible conditions they forget about the skeg because they never use it. Other times a series of odd factors could cause the skeg cable to not work 100%. Here are some tips in the event you skeg will not deploy.
1- If you are out of your kayak check the skeg box area first. Many times you may just have a rock or mud rammed up in there. When you work to get the obstruction out remember not to pry it out with your knife or screw driver leveraged against the inside of the skeg box. This could casue some gel coat cracking.
2- If there is no obstruction. look at the black slider that deploys the skeg, near your right knee. Inside the hole is a small allen key bolt, I want to say it is 2.5 mm. Loosen that.
3- go to the stern on the kayak and grab the skeg with a pair of small pliers and pull it down. Once it is out of the skeg box continue to pull it out and the cable as well.
3- make sure the cable does not have a kink anywhere in it.
a- if it does not rub the skeg cable down with some Armor All or a teflon type lubrication. Then reinsert the cable and tighten the bolt. You will be good to go.
b- if it does have a kink try and fix it by bending it back with your hands. The repeat step (a).
- If the kink is really bad someone was sitting in the kayak on the floor and kept trying to deploy the skeg, it is junk. You will have to mail it back to Impex to replace it.
-a tell tale sign that the cable is skunked is that it will be kinked right in the slider area, sticking out like a shoe lace wedgy. These have to be replaced.
FYI- How do I replace a skeg cable?
Impex Kayaks builds all of our kayaks by hand, so everyone is always slightly different. That being said it is best for us to change the cable for you. The US Post Office offers a Priority Mail pouch. It is a flexible pouch that easily fits the entire skeg and cable. Mail that back to us at:
211 Elk Park drive
Asheville NC 28804
Please include a return address, name and a check for $15.00 made out to: MCF America. The cable will be replaced and promptly shipped back to you in the same manner.
4- a final and very uncommon problem is that the cable is not kinked and after you put it back in it still does not work. Sometimes the fiberglass that holds the skeg cable housing, or plastic tube, against the side of the hull will break away and the housing will fall limp in the kayak. Without a stern channel for the cable to travel through the skeg will not deploy. Check inside to see that this is not the problem. If so you will just have to glass, or glue, the tabs back onto the kayak that hold the housing in place. In the event the tabs are missing, drop us a line and we will get you some new ones. Always be sure the area you glue, or glass to is always clean and sanded.
I hope this helps some and if you have any other questions feel free as always to drop us a line or give us a call. You can find all of our info on the Contact Page the Impex website.