Current Designs Solstice ST rudder cable replacement

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,152
Location
Victoria, BC
Where does one buy Spectra line and sheath in Canada? Ideally not a large roll.
I've bought Spectra rudder line from Bob Putnam at Coast Outdoors (formerly Deep Cove ?) in Vancouver. Most surfskis use Spectra lines, so any 'ski dealer should sell it.
The yellow Q Powerline for rudders has a slightly different sheath coating from the orange 600# Q powerline used by kiteboarders, but both seem to work OK for rudder lines, IMO. The distinction was explained to me by the Powerline owner in an email some years ago.
BTW, Q Powerline is a Canadian company.

The Powerline has a very smooth waxy surface; it's quite different from the usual Spectra line from yacht chandlers or online sources like SgtKnots.
'Ordinary' Spectra should work fine; I think that's probably what Mac50L uses and recommends.

In the picture, Powerline 600# on the left, SgtKnots 1.8 mm Spectra on the right.
mini-DSCN4769.JPG


Once you have it on hand, Spectra will find other uses. It makes excellent auxiliary deck attachment lines (for clipping in a contact tow line) when threaded inside black vinyl irrigation tubing, for example.
 

Swatts

Paddler
Joined
May 15, 2021
Messages
14
Location
Los angeles
How do you fasten the ends of the SS cable lines? Crimped loops for shackles? Just crimped or with a thimble? Cost? Someone else does it for you?

Spectra, you simply tie a loop. Have a bit extra in the cockpit and the aft end can be renewed any time it looks like it needs it. It can be done by you on a trip, not in a workshop. And if it broke by exceeding 1/2 tonne (that would break the kayak first anyway) it won't leave bits blocking the channel or tubing.
Yes…We fastened the ends by looping the cable and using a ferrule and Swage to crimp it and finished by heat-shrinking the end We were able to do that ourselves, but you are correct that it could be a difficult fix without a workshop. I have definitely learned a lot about my boat in the last few weeks and would consider switching to the spectra line. I just thought that the fix we did would get me back on the water faster…. Maybe that is a project for later this year. Thank you for your help.
 

CPS

Paddler
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
204
Location
BC
I've got another Solstice rudder cable issue, and figured may as well keep it in this thread.

Took the old cable out after it was damaged, and now can't get a new cable to go through. It will feed in nearly all the way from both directions. My suspicion is that it's getting hung up on the transition from H Channel to the short section of tubing mentioned earlier.

Any clever tricks? I've tried using a short length of cable in a drill to clean out anything that might be causing it to hang up, without any success.
 

red kite

Paddler
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
157
Location
comox valley
I've got another Solstice rudder cable issue, and figured may as well keep it in this thread.

Took the old cable out after it was damaged, and now can't get a new cable to go through. It will feed in nearly all the way from both directions. My suspicion is that it's getting hung up on the transition from H Channel to the short section of tubing mentioned earlier.

Any clever tricks? I've tried using a short length of cable in a drill to clean out anything that might be causing it to hang up, without any success.
Pull out the tubing and fish for the cable in the channel? That is assuming that you are sure that it actually catches at the edge of the tubing and not something else like encountered by the op... I'm all ears for THE magic trick, though.

(I'm known for feeding from the stern and plugging the forward end of the tube slot so that the cable slides up on the plug into the cockpit to make future cable replacements easier. (IMO, if one must use the H channel instead of tubing, those plugs should be there on both ends coming out of the factory, but not doing so was probably a cost savings measure... "Hey, it passed QC, anything beyond that is not our problem!"))
 
Last edited:

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,152
Location
Victoria, BC
(I'm known for feeding from the stern and plugging the forward end of the tube slot so that the cable slides up on the plug into the cockpit to make future cable replacements easier. (IMO, if one must use the H channel instead of tubing, those plugs should be there on both ends coming out of the factory,
Do you have pics or more description of the plugs? I don't understand how this works.
Thanks.
 

red kite

Paddler
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
157
Location
comox valley
Do you have pics or more description of the plugs? I don't understand how this works.
Thanks.
Sorry, no pictures, haven't touched one of those for a while.
That H-channel, as in the hand drawn crosssection earlier in this conversation, runs from end to end of the kayak. CD would cut a small slot to access the center space to run the cable through, one outside at the stern, one inside, about at the front edge of the seat. Original at the factory they'd put 2" long pieces of tubing into the slots, presumably to make it look like real cable housing, minimize the cable potentially slowly cutting into the plastic profile, and/or trying to keep water out of the H-channel?

As a general rule, rudder cable catches if it has to "jump a ledge", in this case the "ledge" is the end edge of those short tubing pieces. So, to gain access to the cable end, I'm pulling out the tube in the cockpit (if it hasn't been worn through and/or lost before), which let's me fish out the cable end.
If all goes reasonably well, that would be the "quick" and dirty version of feeding new cable through those H-channels.
However, there's no real stopping that cable end from going past the slot because there is no plug there that would close off the cable housing section between the two access points in the H-channel from the unused section between cockpit and bow. So stopping the cable in the position that lets you actually fish it out is the tricky part...

Would I want to do that in the field? Probably not if I can avoid it.
Hence the (IMO) improved version...

I started plugging that hole at the forward end of the access slot with a thickened quick set resin. And to make feeding the cable easier and mostly avoiding the need for cable fishing, the plug is not a perpendicular wall that the cable end is simply bumping into, but more like a ramp at the end of the slot that guides the cable into the cockpit without catching.

As mentioned, happily learning about the better way(s) to replace those cables that I'm apparently missing? Short of putting proper cable housing tubes in, that is.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: CPS

CPS

Paddler
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
204
Location
BC
Red kite, just as you described we ended up pulling out that little tube and fishing the cable out through the slot.

Such a stupid way to put things together. Cannot imagine doing that in the field.
 

red kite

Paddler
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
157
Location
comox valley
Such a stupid way to put things together.
And doing so for about a decade or more!?!
I think the oldest one I've done was a mid 80's Pisces, the newest (that I'm sure about) would be a 1998 Solstice GT HV. Someone must have ordered several kilometers of H-channel that needed to be used up, and wasn't willing to spend money on cable housing...

I think if I'd take an older Solstice on a trip where cable replacement in the field was a remote possibility, putting in proper cable housing would be high on the pre-trip boat preventative maintenance check list.
 
Last edited:

CPS

Paddler
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
204
Location
BC
This one was an '08, so it was a stupid idea carried on for a LONG time.
 

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,380
it was a stupid idea
weeellll, what if the H channel was transparent and you put in linear lighting, huh? Or what about continuing the SS wire all around the whole boat and putting little tiny rudders in all along the boat . . . then if any one fails, you still have a whole bunch left working, huh whattabout dat? Or what about a larger H channel with exterior pockets and a loosish perimeter grab line was installed that you could grab anywhere in intervals around the kayak? Or whatabout extended H channels with multiple slots for combinations of all three?
Or what about really strong H channels that use low heat set glue that you can melt so that you then insert reeeaaalllly tall H channels in order to go from a Low Vol to a High Volume?

sounds like 'little channels to paradise', to me!
 

Mowog73

Paddler
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
57
Location
SW Ontario
Now I need to go out and look very closely at the condition of the cables in my 95 Solstice GTHV. Using the H channel was a good idea IF they would have put proper cable housing tube in there as well. I'm glad my wife's 14 Solstice GTS has proper cable housing tubes.

Several people have suggested using Spectra line in place of SS cable. Is Spectra line UV resistant?
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,152
Location
Victoria, BC
Several people have suggested using Spectra line in place of SS cable. Is Spectra line UV resistant?
Q-Powerline (used on surfskis from Think, and as replacements in many sufrskis (and gradually, kayaks) seems to work well in boats used in sunny locales.
I haven't noticed any changes on the very short sections exposed the the sun at the stern. If I do, it will be a simple matter to 'move' some slack line inside the cockpit into action and just re-knot.

Do you store your boats in the sun or under shelter?

BTW, I think that, for rudder steering lines Q-Powerline is superior to ordinary Spectra which has a softer sheath.
 

red kite

Paddler
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
157
Location
comox valley
Using the H channel was a good idea IF they would have put proper cable housing tube in there as well.
That's why I think it was mainly an attempt to keep cost (and a neglectable amount of weight) down, . Even with the need to properly seal the through the deck hole for the cable housing, it'd probably easier/faster to pull it inside the boat instead of through the H-channel, though.
 

Mowog73

Paddler
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
57
Location
SW Ontario
I haven't noticed any changes on the very short sections exposed the the sun at the stern. If I do, it will be a simple matter to 'move' some slack line inside the cockpit into action and just re-knot.

Do you store your boats in the sun or under shelter?

BTW, I think that, for rudder steering lines Q-Powerline is superior to ordinary Spectra which has a softer sheath.
Our kayaks are always stored in indoors when not in use (the pool shed was recently extended to accommodate the kayaks, got them out of the garage), although the yellow gelcoat on mine has become quite faded over the years, even with being stored indoor and sporadic application of 303 protectant.
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,152
Location
Victoria, BC
Using the H channel was a good idea IF they would have put proper cable housing tube in there as well.
If you mean: "Once the decision to use H-channel was made, using it to route rudder cables", I could perhaps agree.

H-channel as a way to build boats is definitely inferior (IMO of course) to a 'glassed on both sides' hull-deck joint. Leaks into the H-channel from the outside find their way to the ends of the boat where the original glass taping may be less-than-perfect.
In a rudder boat, the water would just leak into the cockpit, which is preferable.
 
Last edited:

mick_allen

Paddler & Moderator
Joined
May 15, 2005
Messages
3,380
H-channel as a way to build boats is definitely inferior (IMO of course) to a 'glassed on both sides' hull-deck joint. Leaks into the H-channel from the outside find their way to the ends of the boat
That's an interesting problem, but don't you think that a manufacturer would think the simple H shape [without channel] would be a brilliant way to align both wobbly halves of the kayak when trying to align in-or-out when assembling . . . and then to think or see a channel included would be another simple time and material saving godsend?
What they probably should have done is interrupt/cut the H-Channel both at the peg and rudder end, cut off the legs and intruded/extruded the central box shape a few cm. And then immediately continue with another piece around the yak until the next rudder or peg situation.
Only problem with that, I guess, would be how durable the in/extruded box shaped channel alone would be over time.
 
Top