Noisy skeg

Discussion in 'Gear Talk' started by pawsplus, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    I had heard, here, that the skeg in NDK boats can be noisy, but found it out for real yesterday. Why is it so loud when deployed, and is there anything one can do about it?

    It's odd that this is the case, that the backbands are so crappy, and that they don't bother to tether the hatch covers, given that they are pricey boats!
     
  2. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I don't know what your particular noise is from, but often vibration at speed is due to variable vortex shedding from the trailing edge of the foil.
    One way to reduce obviously is to find ways to make the skeg more rigid in it's placement/rotation by use of [wide - for more support] shims around the deploy axis or any other method of reducing the side to side play of the part of the skeg within its housing when fully deployed - often skeg boxes are wide throughout their length, which doesn't make a lot of sense for its main function.
    Another approach is to reduce the variable vortex shedding by inducing it to happen on one side or the other [ie not fluctuation] by flattening the rear of the trailing edge with a slight prejudice to one side or the other [ say at 90 - 92 degrees from any one side]. If it was me, I'd start at 1/16" [1.5mm] wide first and work up a tiny bit.

    But most of this assumes that your skeg is foil shaped - if it's just a slab, try to increase rigidity first and then clean up the trailing edge with a slight degree of attention on one side.

    [- and could you glue a tab on the hatch cover with an appropriate adhesive? ie if rubber, something like a tirepatch adhesive in the ctr?]
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  3. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    I have no idea what most of what you said means LOL. I know nothing about skegs, either than to raise and lower them. I guess I need to learn more!
     
  4. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Paws-
    If your Pilgrim is like our Romany Classic, the skeg is a flat slab of plastic in an over-sized slot. I've never noticed much noise - maybe I don't paddle fast enough :) or can't hear it...
    I wouldn't worry much about it unless it was really irksome.
    Just remember to pull up the skeg before you hit the beach, and try not to force sand and especially small pebbles into the skeg slot by dragging the boat while lifting the bow. 'Knuckle' launches off the beach into surf can plug up the skeg slot quite effectively.
    From your posts, I don't think 'dragging' is on the menu for that new boat, so perhaps not an issue! :)
     
  5. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    I have 4 layers of duct tape inside my skeg box, 2 per side. I often put my skeg down if I stop briefly paddling, so I won't drift too far off course. If I forget to pull the skeg up, it makes just a bit of noise that gradually intrudes into my thoughts and reminds me to pull it up.
    Of course you will need to pull the skeg out of its box to put the duct tape in. The better quality the duct tape is, the less often you will need to replace it. Adding the duct tape increases the chances of pebbles being trapped. Have you added a pull string to your skeg?
     
  6. pikabike

    pikabike Paddler

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    The skeg in mine clunks softly when under way, but I don’t use the skeg enough to be annoyed by the thunk. I think it just has some sideways play.

    I lowered the factory backband as low as possible and tucked it behind the glass seat’s rear lip. The seat would be fine without any backband at all, actually.

    You can add external tethers to the hatch covers. I got some narrow-diameter bungie cord, looped some around each hatch cover, and tied them off to part of the deck rigging. It keeps me from losing hatch covers during transportation of the kayak, among other things.
     
  7. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    Why would I need a pull string? It has a slider thingy on the left side. . .

    I already ditched the backband entirely--that took about an hour LOL. And I know I can put in tethers--that just seems to me to be the manufacturer's job!
     
  8. drahcir

    drahcir Paddler

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    The pull string hangs below the skeg. If you suddenly need your skeg while well off shore, but find it jammed by sand/gravel etc. what do you do ? If you have a partner, that person can raft up with you toward your stern, reach down and use the pull string to free your skeg.
     
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  9. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Yes!
    Failing that (it is NDK/SKUK after all... :) ) the dealer should have taken care of that. When we bought the (brand new) Romany from Leon Somme / Shawna Franklin at BodyBoatBlade they asked us if we wanted the backband removed (we said yes, and it was in a bag with the boat when we picked it up) and they added hatch cover tethers without any request. I learned later that they had done it for us.

    Some of the covers have a small rubber tab on the outside rim (with a hole, or a small hole can be made in it) which will accommodate a thin line. In my experience they will tear off if used for what seems to be their function - as a pull tab for removing the hatch cover. After that, putting a loop around the cover - if you have the kind with a 'groove' around the edge - works well.
    I prefer to have the tether internal if there is a tab on the underside of the cover. The end of the line can be fixed to a padeye glassed into a glass kayak or to a small cable 'clamp' added to a bolt if it's not easy to glass in a padeye (plastic boat or lack of epoxy/glass supplies).

    cable clamp.jpg
     
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  10. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    Exactly.
    And some thoughtful (and experienced) friends of mine put a piece of tape or a mark on the hull just below the seam tape to show where the skeg is located under the boat. It saves some groping about in cold water.
    Make sure the line is 'just right' in thickness - too thick and it is a drag, too thin and it cuts the hand of the 'puller'. The line will get worn from contact with rocks, etc. so it needs to be checked and replaced regularly.
     
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  11. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    The problem with that (common) skeg actuator is that it uses a stiff cable to 'push down' the skeg. If the skeg is jammed in the skeg box with a pebble, don't try to force it down with too much effort on the controller. You can put a 'kink' in the cable if the skeg won't move, and then the cable may need to be replaced. Another common way that cables get kinked is by running the boat up on the beach with the skeg 'down'.
    If you have a jammed skeg and and are paddling alone, you'll need to get to shore, get out of the boat while it is still floating and fix the problem. Having a knife or multitool can help to dig out the offending pebble.

    Freya Hoffmeister (who has often paddled solo) had problems with the retractable rudder jamming when launching off a beach. She put a piece of duct tape over the slot before launching. The tape had a loop with a string attached. The string was led to the deck near the cockpit. After she was afloat, she pulled on the string to remove the duct tape.
     
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  12. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    If no partner I wonder if a thin line is used and an extra 12" is added - I wonder if it's possible to draw or pry sideways, grab the line, and push downwards with the paddle [same hand] to release. Maybe worth a try if the drag isn't noticeable. Maybe useful if the skeg isn't way way back maybe.

    an idea anyway.

    . . . . aahh in retrospect, too much screwing around, forget it unless close to the ckpt.
     
  13. dut

    dut Paddler

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    The skeg on my Tempest 180 rattles around. It started when I replaced the skeg wire. I think that I might have left some slack in the cable that permits it to rattle around.

    The upside of a little bit loose I have rarely picked up a rock in the skeg box as opposed to a boat I used on a course that picked up a rock every other time I landed.

    Barry