Rio: tuning and maintenance...
After returning from a water session today, I heard a barely audible air hiss which seemed to be coming from the Rio's daggerboard assembly. This led me to take things apart..., which let to taking other things apart -- which ultimately lead to a few questions:
1. The air hiss was coming from the deck screws which fasten the dagger assembly to the board. I noticed that these screws (4? on each side of the daggerboard slot) do NOT have any type of rubber gasket (as is found on the vent plug screw (O-ring)). Question: is this a bad thing? Should I put a dab of hardware store (100% silicone) caulk on the screw threads before re-fastening? This would create a homemade gasket/O-ring...
2. Out of curiousity, I removed the whole daggerboard assembly. While not heavy, it does have a bit of weight to it. As my skills improve (and desire for speed increases), is it possible to use the Rio with the daggerboard assembly removed?
3. The "tuning" section of the website mentions upgrading the stock 410 "shallow" fin to a longer fin. How noticeable is this upgrade? How does a longer fin effect performance...easier foot steering?
4. The Rio's deck is covered w/ nice EVA padding. I've heard that EVA padding will breakdown over time due to UV exposure, saltwater, etc. Is there any recommended treatment that can be applied to keep the EVA deck from drying out?
Thanks as always -