Ok, 4 weeks into paddling a P&H Cetus I have had an issue with the skeg system. Having twittered about the issue to get feedback from other paddlers I was asked if I had any further info/images so decided to post this info up. I have a full review of the boat in the pipeline so will refer readers to that once it is up to get a balanced view of the boat.
The Cetus has a different skeg system to a lot of other sea kayaks. It has a slider control mounted on a bar. This is attached by cord to the actual skeg.
The skeg has elasticated cord atached to it which by default lowers the skeg. The controller is used to pull the skeg up rather than push it down as in most wired skeg systems.
To operate the slider control, you push the unit slightly to release the tension, then slide the pinch grip control to raise/lower the skeg.
You can see Doug Cooper demonstrate this system on this video.
I had watched this video a few times before I had used the boat so was aware of the correct method for use.
The issue I had was that the slider became stuck. I washed out the unit and tried to ensure there was no grit etc stuck. I then tried to move the unit and in the process the plastic section of the control that catches against the ratchets snapped at the bottom. This means the slider control now slides feely and does not catch/hold in position.
I have attempted a temporary repair however gluing plastics is notoriously difficult. This repair is also compounded by the fact the controller is obviously fitted to the slider bar by sliding it onto the bar. To replace the control I wold need to remove the bar and slide a new control grip onto it. At this point I am not sure how possible this is without having to mess about with fibreglass.
I am in contact with P&H and the supplier of the boat to find out more and will post up details. I am sure there is an easy fix for replacing it, but do not want to ‘play’ and cause any damage to the system without pro advice!
I have attached a couple of pics of the offending piece and my failed attempt to effect a temporary repair.
Ultimately, I know the boat is under warranty but if there is a simple ‘field possible’ solution, even if it requires carrying spare parts I would be happier learning how to replace and maintain the unit. I will add to this post as I work through the issue.
With the exception of this issue, I have nothing but for the Cetus – full review coming soon!
UPDATE: The skeg control is indeed attached to the bar before the recessed control unit is fibreglassed into place. I have had an admirably quick and helpful response from P&H and it looks like the boat is going back for a refit. I was also impressed by the interest P&H had in researching the cause of the issue.
It is inevitable that things we purchase can sometimes break or be faulty. To my mind that is a fact of life. What is important in these situations however, is the response of the manufacturer and so far P&H have been exemplary.
I am now interested to see if I notice a difference in the new skeg slider when the boat returns. Looking back, it always felt a bit stiffer than I would have expected so hopefully I can report back with good news on the replacement. Until then, it’s back to my old P&H Iona for a few paddles!