FCS II Install issues

First of all I want to thank everyone here for the valuable information shared on this website. I’m building my first board (5-7 epoxy minisimmons) and this site has been a wealth of knowledge. During the build I’ve made a LOT of mistakes, but I think I’ve finally made it to my last mistake. I’ve searched high and low in the archives and couldn’t find any information specifically addressing my issue. Here’s what went wrong:

When installing my fcs II plugs i set my router depth properly, test fit the plugs, and then brushed epoxy all over the bottom of the plugs and in the routed hole. I did NOT pour epoxy in the hole and allow for overflow. Due to this lack of resin, my plugs never raised the 1/16" to sit flush with the board. Compounding on this, I didn’t notice several large air bubbles between my cloth and the plugs during lamination.

Now I’ve reached my “sand the hotcoat stage” (after numerous other mess ups). Because my plugs are too shallow I ended up sanding to foam (!) in some small areas around the plug when trying to expose the flange. In addition, there were areas of unsaturated cloth (from the bubbles) which I cut away with a razor. I probably could’ve tried saturating with resin once exposed rather than cutting away but sometimes I just get caught up in what I’m doing. The way I see it I have three options (listed from best fix to worst):

  1. Route out the plugs, set new plugs to the proper height, lam on football patches + a deck patch, hotcoat, sand
  2. Lay fiberglass patches on either side of the plug and try to push them + resin down into the air bubble voids. Make these patches large enough to cover any exposed foam but try to avoid covering the fin plug openings as sanding those flush will be almost impossible without hitting foam again.
  3. pour resin into the voids and fiberglass over any exposed foam. Cross fingers and replace fin boxes propery if/when they pop out.

Anyone have any experience with this issue? Maybe there’s an easy fix I’m not thinking of? Like I said - this is my first board so I’m not to bummed about it - it’s been a learning experience. FYI - I’m only using FCS (original) fins in this board so I’m not too worried about getting the flange height perfect as the screws should properly secure the fins. Also - I managed to get all finbox stickers off - the pictures show two of the fin boxes with stickers on as I had spares and was about to start pouring resin before I decided to take a night to sleep on it. Much thanks to everyone!

Fill the voids with resin, sand flush, laminate a 4 oz patch over the fins, hotcoat and sand the area again.

If the fin boxes are too deep you’ll have trouble snapping the fins in as the base will press on the glass. Test this first before moving forward. If they don’t snap in you’ll have to dig out some glass to let the fins set correctly.

Not ideal but no biggie. The board will still surf the same and you’ll be stoked on it.

Thats a tough one you are up against. I guess I personally would first, freak out… Then probably make a post like you did…
Then, probably let everyone give me their advice. Ultimately would probably settle the score by covering any exposed foam with just some thin cloth so you can hopefully fair it our pretty smooth again after. But ultimately after capping it with more glass, I would just try to get the box opening exposed where your tape covers the screw holes and such. Dont worry about exposing the rest of the box edges. Make it kind of “sunk in” the way a futures box is set. If you have a kind of thick lip of resin where that sticker stops, it will be fine enough… not ideal but fine enough to get you in the water without too much more frustration.
I also have never set a FCS box, so my suggestions may be just plain dumb.

Haha I didn’t really freak out - more like “f*ck this is gonna be pain in the ass to fix”. I knew full well that this board was gonna be full of mistakes. I’m doing this as a hobby to relax - not stress out. Having said that I do wish everything went smoothly bc jersey has been getting the perfect waves for this board!

I think I’m gonna do pretty much what green light suggests. I’m gonna try to fill the voids with resin, then glass up to the edge of the opening on either side of the box using a spare squeegee as a dam to keep resin/glass off the stickers. Once it cures I’ll test fit and if all works out hotcoat and sand.

Worst case scenario you won’t be able to use FCSII fins and will be forced to use 2-tab fins with grub screws. Nobody will know but you.

And just for future reference: if in the future you ever do decide to drill or route out a messed up FCS plug or FCSII box, MAKE SURE YOU REMOVE ALL METAL COMPONENTS FIRST.
For the old plugs, this just means removing the grub screw. For the FCSII box, removing the spring pin is more involved, but essential to the well-being of anyone who might be in the vicinity when routing.