broken u.s. fin - need advice
Hi all (ROger??)
I broke my 30 cm Drake Crossover 300 fin, hitting a sand bank sailing my Kombat 105L here in Italy.
The fin, a U.S. box in G-10 material, is like new but I snapped the part of the fin which lodges the screw.
Question is, is there any chance I can fix it by glueing with 2-component epoxy? alternatively, can I change the fin upper part that connects it to the box and keep the fin body which is immaculated?
Should I necessarily buy a new one, there's no SB shop around here ... so, no Drake fin available. Which similar fin do you suggest for use with 5.9 Severne S-1 and 6.4 North Duke?
smaller fin I have is a 26cm Drake Natural wave, beautiful but not big enough and too flex for my largest sail...
many many thanks
There used to be a Special little device for that made from stainless steel where you sanded down the sides of the fin a little to fit it. It memory serves it was made by a german company made Concrete Wave. A nifty little thing, but I don't know if it is still made or if someone else makes something similar. Just glueing the old piece back will not work.
Maybe someone else can help you?
Regarding replacement fins, I think you can fins something suitable in the Select lineup. It is not super sensitive. Any good freeride fin in the right size will do.
Is there any of the front section of fin left ? (ie sticking out/they sometimes break accross hole )If there is its possible to reshape and make new hole hole futher back. If not ??? Well if there is any "overhang" to rear of fin it is possible to move the pin that locates fin in fin box to front of fin and put bolt hole to rear. (ie Pin doesn`t need any overhang) You have to be very careful placing pin in correct place (depth wise). Make sure its exactly same depth from base of fin in new place as it is in "old". But if you put pin to front next time you run aground the box will give; not your fin !!!
If neither of above are possible the little device mentioned by Ola is your only choice. Concrete Wave used to make them but try Gun Sails (UK, Brian) ,he`s very good at finding those little bits we used to take for granted. They are not easy to fit but do work fine.
PS Try Ebay for a new "second hand" fin. It might work out cheaper !!!
Or try these ?? Never used them but looks like they should work. (Follow link to see how it works)
The little tab to repair your fin used to be called the "Fin Saver"!
The US Fin repair kit that Floyd suggests is very similar, and should work
I made a few "fin savers" of my own in the old days before all the new style fin boxes
The ones I made were sawn out of about 1/8" thick aluminum/brass/stainless plate.
Cut a little tab the same width as the fin slot, and make it about 1" long.
So you have a little tab that's approx. 3/8" wide x 1/8" thick x 1" long.
Take a fine blade hacksaw and square off the tab on the front end of your fin.
Then mark out a 1/8" wide by 1/2" deep slot at 90 degrees to the fin vertical axis in about the center (vertically) of the tab.
Carefully saw the <1/8" slot in the fin and use a thin jewelers file to make the slot a snug fit
on the 1/8" thick tab.
Put a little dab of strong epoxy glue on the tab and glue it into the slot on the front of your fin.
When glue has cured, drill a new hole for your fin screw and you should be back in business
(You may need to use a shorter screw).
Or, as suggested, if the tab is still long enough (Starboard/Drake "E"/"A" box fins tend to have particularly long tabs at the front) just drill and counterbore another hole just behind where the first tab broke off.
Or, order the repair kit Floyd suggests and follow the directions.
You would need to square the broken tab off just as I suggested above, but instead of working a slot and tab into the front squared off tab, you would drill a hole the correct size for the pin part of the repair kit to press into.
Lots of ways to fix your fin.
As long as the leading edge still has even a tiny bit of tab in front of it (down on the fin root) you can save the fin pretty easily.
If you don't run your fin agound or hit things like rocks and logs, a repaired fin will work just as well as a new fin.
The tab and screw only hold the fin in the slot, the slot does all the supporting.
That's why all the high end custom boards with "E"/"A" fin boxes have the reinforcing wood strips along the sides of the finbox slot.
Hope this helps,
thank you guys I knew I'd find precious help in this forum. Will try to put this into practice before the next session. The fin saver looks a feasible option.
Thanks for the links Floyd, there's no piece of front section left, the whole front section just broke. so it's either the fin saver Ola H suggested or a device made of my own following Roger's instructions which proved very effective in previous occasions. meanwhile I'll have a look at any U.S. box fins available on the web in that size. all the best
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