fins unlimited type side boxes

I’m thinking of using four small (6 inch) fins unlimited type boxes on a retro-ish swallow tail fish and a bonzer style board. Being very aware of the different types of removable fin setups and their boxes, I haven’t seen anything I like. Time to get creative… Has anyone used this type of fin box as side bites with much success? I’ve found info on reinforcing the box with football shaped patches laminated over the box once installed - sounds better than nothing, but… I’m looking for more. Anyone had much experience with what works better (holds better/less prone to cracking from fin bumping,etc) or roads NOT to travel down (things which didn’t work well)? RedX has their system, which looks good - but I want to keep closer to the old style boards with nothing showing from the deck. I plan on making some custom fins, and want to use the ol’ standard. I’m thinking of possible reinforcements tunneled through the foam to the deck or better yet - the belly laminate, to increase the total area affected by pressure from the fin. Perhaps a sort of form moulded around the box in a fashion such as the insert/box used with speedfins and insalling them during the laminating stage with a tail patch. Any takers?? - chesser

Hey Chesser, If that’s the way you want to approach fin box systems fine. You won’t be able to put standard long base keel fins on the board but you could make all kinds of fins for the this type of fin box and even be able to move them around some. Why not install them the way all F/U boxes have been installed for years? The hole for the fin box is routed out after the board is laminated large enough so the whole box can be inserted with a couple of layers of 6oz cloth surrounding it. You put a fin in it so you get the angle the way you want it and so the box doesn’t distort. After it gets hard you just grind it down and cap with a couple layers of cloth and you’re ready to move on. It’s one good option anyway. This approach seems to hold up with some pretty big fins in it. If there’s a better way I’d like to know about it. Good luck with your project. Mahalo, Rich

Aloha Rich, I agree that this is the way to install these boxes in or beside the stringer - but - Have you used this installation method with side fins placed away from the stringer?? Not haveing the stringer for added support is the focus of my concern. Thanks for the input! chesser

Chesser, If you have to cut the stringer out where you put the F/U box then is seems to me that you are dropping it into the foam and that the stringer doesn’t offer any support whatever. The way greater strenght is accomplishe it to run stringers on either side of the fin box. or better yet have a teeband stringer with the central portion of the stringer the same width as the box. If you want ulitmate strength then you need to tie the boxes together like the future fin systems has done with their suspension system. You could route out the board and tie them together like this if you want to go to the trouble. Mahalo, Rich

Take a look at what Greg Liddle has been doing. Fiberglass Supply sells the short boxes. Placement is somewhat limited by rail thickness. You can also visualize what Rich is talking about since Greg uses Volan cloth for his “over the box” patches.