Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cetus Skegs

A close friend has just purchased a new P&H Cetus. An awesome boat to paddle, very responsive, edges nice, good stability. The only complaint she has with the new boat is the skeg is almost impossible to operate. Douglas at "Seakayak Photo" has written a comprehensive post on the subject and has spent a good bit of time working on the Cetus skeg also, and anyone trying to fix the skeg issue should check this out. She brought the boat over to the hanger today so I could help her install a new compass for her up coming trip to the Pukaskwa next week, and we also wanted to have a look at the offending skeg. If she can't resolve it this week she will have to take her old boat on the trip instead, the skeg is just that hard to operate. I spend a fair bit of time working on mechanical things .. aircraft have a plethora of cables, pulleys and such, and looking at this set up I can see a leverage problem from the start. I really don't think the small cord is binding inside the cable housing. The angle is off coming into the skeg box enough that the cord is chafing, and will break at some point. We may try a lighter shock cord first, it that doesn't help I'd recommend taking the boat to the boys at Northwest Canoe for some modifications to the cord angle. Some sort of cam to offset the increased tension from the shock chord could work too.


Silbs said...

Figure it out quick, please. I have one on order.

Brian said...

Hi Ron:

Brian here from P&H.

The skeg line problem that you describe has cropped up for us in a few boats, so we have spec-ed a new skeg uphaul cord. The cord is available, free of charge, to anyone who is having an issue with their skeg.

As far as we can tell, the standard size cord has been binding in the skeg tube, particularly once it gets wet. Once wet, there is also some stretch that comes into play that makes the whole system more difficult to operate.

We have replaced this old cord with a new braided aramid line for all future boats. The new line is super thin, extremely strong, and does not stretch.

Even though the problem has not occurred with every boat, we decided to change out all of the skeg lines in our existing stock kayaks.

We have also made skeg kits available to our dealers so that they can upgrade skegs for their customers.

Please contact us at Pyranha US if you need a low-friction skeg upgrade kit. We will get one out to you as soon as possible.

Our contact information can be found on the P&H website.

Sorry that your friend has been having trouble with her skeg. I hope this information helps.


Ron said...

Hi Brian,

Thanks for responding.

She dropped the boat back off where she purchased it this morning to have them work on it.
They have a real good shop and stand behind what they do. I'll let you know how it goes.

Ron said...

Talked to her last night and the guys at MWM have her skeg working good enough now she can use it on her trip this week. They replaced the bungee to drop the tension. The repair parts from P&H is on order for her when she gets back.

Silbs said...

Got the boat and it is permanent storage in my garage. I am totally pissed with the product. The skeg is jammed. Actually, the little pinch lever is un pinchable. JB and I couldn't move it with a pliers. It isn't the line, it's the entire crazy and unnecessarily complicated mechanism. I have written P&H and await their reply. If you see me on the water, I will likely be in my Romany.

Ron said...

Sorry to hear about the skeg issues on your Cetus also. My friends boat has been working for her since the guys at Midwest replaced the shock cord with one with less tension. I don't think she had the new parts from P&H installed. It's to bad they had to complicate a simple rope control skeg.

Silbs said...

Exactly. My problem is that the little lever won't pinch at all. JB and I even tried a pliers. I have sent pictures to the company. They promptly responded over the weekend, and I even got a call from Brian Day who now works for them. I hope to hear today about what they think can be done.

Richard said...

I love my Cetus. but I think P&H customer service needs a reality check about the skeg. It's a relatively complicated system that needs tender loving care to operate correctly. I thought I was dilligent in washing my Cetus after each use, but sand accumulated in the skeg pivot anyway causing it to hang. That's where the problem started. Understanding the problem, correcting the issue, reassembling and adjustment took about a full day. The P&H website is of marginal use because they seem to think it's only a few boats whose owners don't pinch the release. I truly believe skeg maintenance will be a problem so long as I own this boat. Prospective owners may want to look closely at the skeg design before purchasing.

Silbs said...

Since installing the upgraded skeg box, I have had zero problems. One must first use the thumb to move the gizmo lever forward. THEN you can move the skeg. Pinching won't work.

I am in love with the MV model which fits me better and will sell the big guy if possible to finance the MV. In the MV, P&H reduced the tension on the bungie and the skeg comes up like a hot knife in butter.

Ron said...

This comment from Brian at P&H. For some reason Blogger is spamming some comments.


Hi Richard,

Fair criticism. Sorry to hear that you are having trouble with the skeg.

We have come up with several maintenance protocols that really get the skeg running smoothly. Most important, after proper setup, seems to be a little waterproof grease applied to the slider rod from time to time. This works wonders.

You are right, the online resources are not ideal. The best way for you or anyone to get help on a skeg question is to give us a call at the US office in Asheville. Ask to talk to me or Dinver. Our office number is 828-254-1101.

Brian Day

P&H Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Guy

Thanks very much,