RE: Removing Fin
Hi Matthew and Tom A,
Yes, you need to place some "shim" material (or build up the length of the fin root) to bring your fin back up so the root is "flush" with the bottom of your board.
You can use a few layers of clear plastic tape to "shim" the front and rear taper/radius of your fin until the fin root comes up flush with normal fin bolt pressure. Might also be a good idea to put a layer or 2 of the tape on the sides of your fin root if it's loose and "wobbly" in the fin box.
Best way to bring the fin back up is to use a little filled epoxy and build up the radius on the front and rear angles of the fin root.
You can apply a little epoxy and use tape to "shape" it to the correct radius. The a few strokes with a smooth file and your fin will fit at the correct height.
For Tom A,
Yes, you could "touch up" the paint around the fin boc=x, but it's would be only for the "cosmetic effect".
Your fin box is about 1/2-3/4" thick in all directions around the fin cavity so if it chips a little, it's purely cosmetic and will not allow any leakage into the inner core of your board.
Hope this helps,