rip em' out

i have a tri fin that would work much better as a single fin. what would be the best method to remove the fcs plugs??

First of all, how can you know this?

Second, why not just tape over them for now, since you will probably be proven wrong anyways.

Howzit poser, I agree with lee, just cover the plugs. I’d get some of those FCS stickers they put on the deck to cover the circles, They should fit over the plugs really nice.Aloha, Kokua

wrecking stuff is not a solution,it is creating another sometimes greater problem tape is good although I like wax and foam …a little fitted block of foam and seal with old wax…ambrose… americans are hybrid wreckers of toys

I had the center plugs removed from one of my boards. Use a router to cut the slot for the fin box you’ll be installing, and rout out the old plugs. The bit will get toasted but should get you through the job. The plugs are slightly wider than a box so you will have to fill these voids, a minor cosmetic issue. Now I mostly ride it as a single, way more fun for this particular board. You can get a small center fin too and ride it as a tri, with the center fin positioned where you like it. Now you have lots of options for how you fin it. Enjoy.

Ride on-

I occasionallly ride 2+1’s as singles and in certain circumstances they work well. Several years ago I tried filling the side boxes by grinding down an extra pair of Futures sidebites, the only system I use. I noticed no difference between the ground-down fillers versus empty boxes. There may be no need for you to do anything but stick in a single. It didn’t occur to me to mess with board integrity, and eliminate versatility, by pulling the side boxes out. The foam plug/wax that was suggested seems preferable if you need to fill 'er up.

well either way i have to take fin plugs out, in the center. how do i do it, so i can replace it with a fin box?

with a slightly oversized hole saw, no pilot bit, and a plywood jig.

Although I use a same-size ( 1") hole saw ( for doing replacements), a pilot bit set just ahead of the saw teeth and a busted tab with a small pilot hole drilled in it, say 1/8" by 3/8" or so deep. That gives the pilot drill in the hole saw something to follow when you’re getting started and after that it pretty much stays with the plug. The other advantage is you’ll be able to feel when you stop cutting plastic so you can stop right then and there. Then, take the tab-with-pilot-hole out ( use it for the other plug) and with the biggest screwdriver you can find, give the plug a twist to get it free of the foam. Voila, replacement plug hole or minimum size hole.

hope that’s of use


Dang, you marsh rats are clever! (I would have thought you’d just gnaw them out with those teeth, ha ha!!)

good tips, Doc!!

Actually, due to a minor mishap ( important safety tip: when hanging around with hotel barmaids after hours, do not mistakenly do a swan dive into the shallow end of the hotel pool ) my front teeth are mostly epoxy now. They do a great job on steaks and apples, but they ain’t quite up to gnawing fiberglass…

Y’see, I always have trouble getting a jig into place and keeping it there without using the better part of a roll of duct tape. However… it’s not all that tough to make a vacuum jig for fin boxes and etc. You may need to do a little calculating if you’re using a bit and router collar setup, but that’s relatively minor stuff.

A very crude, very generic diagram. The additional bits of weatherstripping are to give more traction than just the stuff around the outside and around the hole the router runs in. This can, of course, be adapted to any shape cutout. While a shop-vac doesn’t develop a lot of vaccum, if you make the jig itself big enough that doesn’t matter.

Clear plastic is good, not only can you see what’s underneath but you can use a straight-edge and a small, sharp tool ( like an awl ) to scratch your centerlines and/or lineup marks in the top quite easily.

doc… gnawing away…

you guys are awesome.

after i rip out my center fin plugs, i can fill in the holes with q cell and resin, covering them with glass? will that be sufficient for a fin box placement in the same area?

If you do a good job of carefully removing 'em ( using the hole saw method outlined above) , no massive collateral damage, then the size of the holes will be pretty close to the width of the Fins Unlimited style box you’re looking to put in, mebbe a skosh wider, but those’ll just show up as a couple of faintly wider divots on the otherwise straight sides of the cut/inletting for the box. We’re talking something on the order of 1/8" wider here, nothing that’ll show.

You don’t want to fill them first, by any means. Think what’ll happen as you’re going along with a power tool, cutting happily through some thing lass and soft foam and then ya hit solid resin. You’re likely to have your tool want to take a fast left turn or else bash the solid plug right out of there, making a big ugly crater. Not good, y’know?

Surprisingly often, the easy approach is the right one…

hope that’s of use