Sunday, March 21, 2010

P&H Skeg support statement

P&H sea kayaks have just released the following statement about the warranty support for any owners who may have had trouble with the new skeg system. I have been testing three Cetus and two Cetus LV kayaks over the last year. Two had perfectly functioning skegs, one had a stiff skeg and two became so stiff they could not be operated and had to be returned to P&H. Throughout, P&H have been highly supportive as they worked to find a solution. This degree of customer support has so impressed the four staff of (who were involved in the testing) that three of us would like to buy a Cetus/LV. Indeed, Tony ordered his on Saturday.

Here is the statement:

P &H Skeg

The P&H Rope skeg system has been in production for more than 3 years, and has mostly proved extremely reliable and made kinked wire issues a problem of the past; allowing your skeg to retract when you ground and then flex back once the water is deep enough. Indeed we are not aware that any skeg has ever broken in any impact.

However, mostly during late 2008 and up to autumn 2009 we have had a few issues with over-tight tolerances, especially on the Cetus LV and Scorpio LV, causing friction and sometimes making it very difficult to operate. Due to the few troublesome skegs we’ve seen it has taken some time to properly assess the problems, and provide fixes.

These fixes are now available under warranty. Production improvements and QC revisions have all been in place from autumn 2009 on PE production, and early 2010 on Composite production and now all skeg systems take no more than 1.5kg (3 lb) of effort to operate.

We are extremely sorry for those who have been inconvenienced and will provide fixes if paddlers will get in touch with us. In the first instance anybody with a stiff skeg should check out the instructions provided on our web site

If this doesn’t resolve the problem fill in the online form. We will then contact you to guide you through fixing the problem, and provide any replacement parts free of charge. If you do not wish to or you are unable to sort the skeg please return the kayak to us here in Runcorn or Derby, or Asheville NC in the USA, and if arranged in advance we should be able to do it whilst you wait.


  1. Great Lakes Tim16/06/2011, 14:32

    There is another issue with P&H's current "kink free" skeg slider system. I have the Delphin 155 as well as a pre 2007 Capella (old, skeg cable system). While they have eliminated the potential kinking problems with a skeg cable and made field repairs easier, there is a fly in the soup with the current system... retract the skeg, particularly in cold water situations. When you push the slider forward, the skeg retracts, however, when you release the slider button the bungie tension pulls the slider back a bit before it locks on a notch. This results in the skeg being partially deployed even though you have pushed the lever all the way forward. The more tension on the bungie (in the skeg box) the more the skeg remains deployed. The only work around is to push the skeg slider forward without touching the click slider button. This requires some special focus, you need to push the slider forward with your finger tip (finger pointed straight and used as if a pencil or a stick). You can also do this with your thumb tip. This works, but is not ideal. Versus not having to look at what you are doing, you need to be very deliberate and focused, likely not an issue for the vast majority of situations. Doing this if you are wearing a neoprene glove is a horse of a different color because the space you must push on with your fingertip is not big enough to accomodate a digit inside a neoprene glove without hitting the click slider button... resulting in a partially deployed skeg. Obviously, this will compromise your maneuverability.
    You can decrease the tension on the bungie cord in the skeg box by moving the stopper knot on the bungie further back, but I've found this does not resolve the problem as in order for it to eliminate the issue, you need to eliminate almost all tension and you end up having a floppy skeg. Net result - P&H makes some great warm water boats. I love their boats except for this issue. The fix seems simple enough, redesign (beef up) the click slider so that pushing it forward without engaging the release button is not problematic. Wish they would do it, don't understand why they don't.

  2. Hello Tim, yes I noticed that problem as well while winter paddling. On the three kayaks I borrowed, I was able to solve the problem by shortening the cord slightly at the slider end. On the third kayak, this did not help.

    I understand P&H are working on a modified mechanism and hope it can be retro fitted.