inner strap inserts for Formula 158 and smaller fins?
I've just bought for a very good price a nice Starboard Formula 158 wood ('04) in almost perfect conditions. I think in the next spring-summer it will be the perfect partner of my Starboard Serenity in Venice for the usual light winds, with my camless HSM Stealth 9,5, switching from one to the other at 10 maybe 9 knots.
Due to shallow waters of my spot I think I won't be able to use the 70 cm fin, but I'll have to use a 40/56 german seaweed fin or the Select Delta Antiweed XXL that I commonly use with the Serenity.
I was wondering if the two smaller fins and with less lift than the stock Drake 70 will make impossible to use the straps as they are set now, and if would be better to make - now in wintertime - add to a local shaper inner strap inserts like there were in the Freeformula of the same year. What do you think about?
Most sailors would not add new holes/inserts, as a bad job might leak. However, if you have a good board repair person nearby, or are good at epoxy, gravity, and routing, you can do it yourself now. Bear in mind, footstrap mounts farther inboard would be set at the flat deck of the board, so you can't effectively lean out and weight the rail, to hold the big sails. It's placement would wreck havoc on your ankles.
A mast track farther back than standard, boom lower than normal, will help the fin raise the windward rail so you can use the existing strap positions with smaller fins.
Conventional thought is that for Formula boards, a fin longer than 58 is needed, if you're going to use the straps in the sub 12 mph range of windspeeds.
I wouldn't add any straps until you've sailed the board. It light winds you don't need to be in the rear strap, in fact on the F158 one could sail very well in light winds by having the rear foot on the front screw of the rear strap.
If it is for shallow waters, I don't think you will gain that much by using a smaller fin. I cannot imagine doing 15-20 knots and only having 10cm of water underneath the fin. With Formulas you can easily travel long distances and go both upwind and downwinde well, so you're better of walking and sailing further out.
Thanks for suggestions. I'll wait to test the board and then see what happen, even if the situation of living in Venice makes every future choice a little tricky, as in Venice we have no cars so the board, after brought in Venice, must be carried outside with boat+ car or walking+train..
No, I cannot simply walk outside to reach deeper waters, as there is no sea near my spot, it is the Venice Lagoon. With NE winds, but usually strong enough to use the 98 lt freestyle, I colud try a longer fin, but I don't know If 70 cm can be possible. With the lighter and much more common SE winds I've literally scratched away day up to day half cm from the tip of my PB seaweed with my former lightwind board, a Fanatic sting Ray 138 lt, as the spot is really with shallow waters.
So let's see.
Might want to try a Lessacher 40 cm Formula Duo Weed Fin.
I've sailed alot of Formula and wider Free Ride boards with sails up to 9.2 m2
with this fin in the shallow waters of the Pamlico Sound between Hatteras Island
and the mainland.
The Formula Duo Weed really does shed the weeds, as it Wolfgang's proprietary
It's also very good for overall speed and upwind ability (compared to most other weed fins),
and the rake angle will give you a much greater "safety factor" in the shallows.
If you do run aground, with the tip of the fin, you slow down much more slowly, giving
you time to unhook/sheet out without getting tossed over (or onto) the front of the board.
Hope this helps,
P.S. I agree with Krister.
I would not add inboard footstraps.
If you really can't quite get planing, the back foot right in front of the rear
footstrap (on the rail) works well, and you can move your foot further onto
the board if necessary.
Once you get the board up on top of the water, you can pump the fin with
your back foot to increase your speed and break the board really free and
onto a full plane.
With sufficient sail size, you will be planing in around 8 knots of wind pretty
I absolutely agree with the safety factor of weed fins. I have tested by myself in the past some real "landing" in something between a shallow water and a sand bank with a film of water, and the stop was waaay safer than some stop with a straight fin on our s. Croce Lake.
You can also add the fear of some forbidden deposit of stones and debris that some criminals use to leave sometime in the lagoon, and you can understand why even in the deeper zones I don't feel safe planing with a straight 70 cm fin,
Already seen the super nice formula duo weed, absolutely a must but with the price of all formula fins, even slightly less, but not really affordable for me, think that I've spent almost the same for the whole Formula wood 158 board, with 70 and 53 fin and new boardbag, and for 100 euro more they "left" me all the other stuff, an almost new Fiberspar All Carbon 220-258 boom that I'm really happy to keep for me and use here, and 9,8 Gaastra Nitro 5 +Ignition 520 100% combo that instead I want to sell.
So I'm convinced I won't add any new insert until I try the board with my camless 9,5
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