I'm back and I had some questions. I managed to bend my fcs fin on some beach break. This caused the fcs center fin plugs to come up on one side. It appears they need to be removed and there seems to be some cracks around the plugs. Has anyone ever attempted this fix or is there a fix repair kit that is easy. I have a PU board. Thanks!
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Thread: fcs fin plug repair
Jun 27, 2010, 06:45 PM #1Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2009
fcs fin plug repair
Take it to your shaper or local boardshop. I did something like that and had a cracks all around my fin plugs. I've done a few repairs but I decided not to mess with it and the guy I brought it to said it was a smart decision because the fin plugs have to be placed and held correctly or the cracks would come back and water would get all inside the board.
Jun 27, 2010, 10:59 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
- Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
Im no shaper though, so i probably shouldnt have even attempted it, but if you are ghetto like me, you will always try on your own =)
Jun 28, 2010, 12:26 PM #4
I recommend you spend the $$ on an install kit and do it yourself, or take it to a repair shop. I would not advise trying to do it with whatever tools you have laying around. Like the other guys said, it has to be done right or it will likely fail again. There's a good chance it wasn't done right to begin with... every FCS plug I've seen fail has been installed improperly.
Basically, the plug has to be bored out, any damage to the area around the plug repaired, then a new plug has to be installed.
The strength of the system relies on a proper install... a full H pattern hole bored out to the correct depth, the right filler added to the resin, reinforcement patches laminated under the bottom skin, etc. Damage like you have should have snapped the tabs off the fin... not pulled the plugs out, like the system was designed to do.
This is a common problem surfing beach breaks at low tide and I have repairs many of them. In fact, I just finished replacing both center plugs for a local kid yesterday.
If you are familiar with ding repair it is no problem, if you have little or no experience you might not want to start with this one and send it out.
Basically the steps are as follows:
1) The plugs need to be cut out and all of the damaged area removed. Usually, we're talking about an area no more than 1/4" larger than the original plug hole.
2) I use another fin as a template for placing the new plugs. Make sure you get the right ones. There is a difference between the side plugs and the rear center plugs. You will notice that the plugs have small tabs that extend out from the edge of the plug. Use these as a guide for the proper depth for the install. In your case they should rest on the stringer directly so you may have to sand the glass off to expose the wood. After you attach the plugs to a fin and verify that you have the depth and clearance to set the plugs you are ready to set them.
3)You will need two small carpenter squares to ensure that the fin is perpendicular to the bottom of the board. If only one plug is damaged, you won't need the squares. Mix up a couple of ounces of resin using a small amount of q-cell (25%) and small pieces of cloth fibers with the smallest amount of catalyst possible as you don't want the mixture to harden fast and become brittle. If your board is not white, you can add a small amount of acrylic paint to tint the mixture to match. Now pour the mix into the holes and fill them to the point where when you sink the plugs in the whole mess is above the surrounding area. Position the plugs, using the fin, the stringer, and the squares for proper alignment. Most times just the weight of the squares will hold the fin in place while the resin sets. In this weather it won't take long. If done right, the resin should be about 1/16 higher than the surrounding fiberglass.
4) After setting up for a day you are ready to sand. You want to sand the lips on the plugs completely off and sand the resin down flush with the existing fiberglass. I leave the plugs themselves a little high to allow for the next step. Just take your time and sand around the plugs a little more to get the resin flush with the existing fiberglass and the plugs a little high. This part is a little hard to explain but when finished sanding everything should be smooth with the plugs slightly higher than the surrounding fiberglass. A power sander is very helpful, I'd hate to tackle this job without one.
5) Next you have to laminate a reinforcing patch over the whole area. I cut a piece of cloth large enough to overlap the repaired area by about an inch. Use a razor blade to cut holes to go around the plugs. Carefully glass this piece in without getting any glass in the plug slots or screw holes. I use two fin wrenches and raise the screws up, leaving the wrenches in, to prevent resin from getting into the allen wrench slots.
6) After setup, sand everything smooth and you're almost done. When completely smooth, I paint a final coat of resin over the entire effected area and then wet sand and polish if needed to match the finish of the board.
7) Now go surf!!!!
Jun 28, 2010, 06:50 PM #6Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
- Long Branch