help with setting fins

hello all-

I am working on my first board and have gotten to the stage where i need to set my fin and put the fiberglass panels on them. Unfortunately I cannot seem to get them to stay standing while I put the fin panels on them. I have tried three times, each a different way: first, I tried with using a thickened resin bead on the bottom of the fin as per the JC video, but they wouldn’t stand at all.

Second I did the bead again but then added masking tape across the fins to hold them upright. This worked until I needed to take the masking tape off to add the fin panels, when the fins fell over again! Imagine my frustration.

After calming down I tried something different by using hot glue on the bottoms of the fins to hold them up (I guess this probably isn't right, but I was out of ideas). This worked great until I added the fin panels. The weight of the resin soaked fin panels pulled the fins right over. Arrgggh.

I have searched the archives, but I couldn't find anything. I would appreciate any suggestions or tricks that you all use to set your fins. If it matters I am using RR epoxy.

Thanks in advance as Swaylocks has already been indispensable in getting me this far.



I use hot glue to place my fins then laminate. Others use quick setting epoxy to set them up. This might be a better solution for you since you are also using the RR.Mike


Is this just any two part epoxy glue that I can get at the hardware store?



I think so. Never used it, myself. Be patient. More answers on the way. Also, you’ll read this a lot. Check the archives. Lots of info on mounting fins. Mike

Seeing as you’re using epoxy, the quick set is the best idea. The five minute stuff you buy in stores is good enough, after all, you’re only using it to tack the fin on. Add a little cabosil if you want to stiffen it up a bit.

Once it’s tacked on and cured, no matter what way you attach it, the fin will still be reasonably fragile, so take care when doing the layup.

I’ve put fins on using a microballoon cabosil mix as a radius, then when hard gelled the cloth layup, no rovings. Strong enough, a little lighter than rovings, and holds the fin solidly while doing the layup.

Howzit topher, I use a glue gun first to attach the fins then trim the excess glue from around the base of the fins. After making sure that the glue is only under the fins I paint a thin coat of resin about 1/2 " wide up the face of the fin and down over the board bottom a 1/2" wide. It helps stablize the fin. Aloha,Kokua

I already said that in another thread: cyano-acrylate glue works just fine for sticking fins quickly. One or two drops are enough and only ten seconds holding the fin in the right position. Then glass as usual. Hot glue works very well, too.

Thanks for the help everyone. I am going to buy some materials today and try again.


Chris, just in case you didn’t catch that, the cyano-acrylate that Balsa mentioned is good ol’ Super Glue or Krazy Glue.

And yes, I prefer the 5 minute epoxy from ACE Hardware. Works for putting on nose & tailblocks too. And other stuff…

Kokua has you going in the right direction. When you add the resin to the base, add in a touch of cabocill to thicken it up a touch. Just make sure it is not lumpy or anything.

When you lay up your fins with cloth and rope, are you wetting it out before you put it on the fins? Make sure to wet out your rope and cloth before you lay it up on the fin.

I am wetting it all out before applying the patches and the rope, but I think that the extra weight of the resin in the fiberglass is pulling the fin down. I think I will try the epoxy glue and see how it goes.


Howzit topher, I don’t think it’s the resin weight, probably due to the resin shrinkage as it kicks and cures. As you do more fin installs check to see if you are getting about the same amount of degree change, like 1 degree or whatever. I notice it even happens with FCS so I just set the fins at an angle to compensate for the change and that way when everything is done the angle is what I really want.Aloha,Kokua

Thanks to everyone for your help. I tried the two part epoxy glue yesterday and it worked like a charm. It was easy to prepare and sets up really strong and fast. Once again thank you all for once again saving my first board with your expertise.