Yater Spoon Stringer / Water Damage Question

I Currently have a 9’2 spoon and have a Q about the fin box in regards to what appears to be water damage down the double stringer (pictures attached).

The # on the board is 8869 if that gives you an
indication of when it was shaped, I got it used as a gift three years ago.


I’ve taken it locally to a ding repair shop in LA for  and they can’t exactly pinpoint where water would be getting in. The response, because these Spoons have a
redwood stringer, what appears to be water damage is infact just wear and tear and the bleeding of the redwood stringer into the foam.

Has anyone heard of this before?

 It does appear there’s a hairline fracture between the box and string where it could be taking on water. When these are shaped, is the fin box placed withing a water-tight space that’s already shaped into the board? If that’s the case - perhaps the slight “fracture” would not matter.

In your opinion, is this water damage or is this just what happens, a “weathered” look.

Thanks so much!

[img_assist|nid=1061169|title=Yater Spoon (Bottom)|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=75][img_assist|nid=1061170|title=Yater Spoon (Top)|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=75][img_assist|nid=1061171|title=Yater Spoon Fin Box 1|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=75][img_assist|nid=1061172|title=Yater Spoon Fin Box 2|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=75]

Looks like it’s leaking to me. Pretty common problem with fin boxes like this. Not much you can do about the discoloration but it can be made watertight again. Fairly easy repair for someone with a bit of experience.


Redwood doesn’t “bleed” into foam. Any time you have localized areas of yellow or brown foam, you have a leak.


No such thing as a “water tight space”. Boxes are routed and glassed into the foam. Crack the box or surrounding glass, and it will suck water. The bad thing about redwood or balsa stringers is once they begin sucking water, they develop black rot that will spread through the wood. Gotta fix 'em.

Those boxes were installed the "easy" way.  After the lam and hotcoat.  Usually with q-cell or ground fiber and white pigment or gel-coat.  No four ounce under the box and no patch over the box.  Any "whack" of the fin or box would crack the glass at the front of the box.  Usually resulting in water seeping under the glass and turning the foam brown,

Hi -

I blew up the pics to see better.  Some blanks have been known to discolor along the stringer due to the glue used but it does look as if you may have some leakage around the box.  A spot that hasn't been mentioned is where the leash attachment is drilled through, filled and redrilled. 

I would scuff the area around the box, tape over the slot (leaving as much of the box exposed as possible) and laminate a glass patch over the seam.  I would also redrill the leash attachment, fill the hole and redrill with a smaller drill bit.  As an added step, a plastic drinking straw can be inserted in the hole with a chunk of modeling clay to plug the hole and a final bit of resin poured around the straw.  This will usually seal any remaining pin holes that may communicate with the foam.

I'm not trying tp pick your board apart - it looks like a nice Spoon but I also notice a discolored area on the right side of the deck - likely from pressure dent fractures.  You might consider removing all wax and laying a 4 oz patch over that whole area.  If you use sanding resin, you can likely get by with just a layer of cloth and leave it textured.

PS - Fin box leaks can be tricky.  I've repaired some that appeard to be OK at the surface but by prying straight up from inside the box, I was able to locate a fracture along the horizontal slot into which the retaining pin  fits.  I.E. the box had split sideways leaving a top and bottom section.  Replace the whole thing if that's the case.




The enlarged photos definitely show discoloration on the deck. A sure sign the foam is getting wet. I agree with John. That area needs attention. If it hasn’t delammed already, it most likely will sometime soon.

Thanks all for the insight!

Very helpful to get multiple opinions and definietly going take the advice of laminating a glass sheet over the box and over the potential future delaminated area on the right side of the board (top). Also, to address the leash plug, going to have that filled in all together since I’m not using a leash.

Also going to look into seeing if there’s a fracture w/in the box and if that’s the case, have the whole thing replace.


Thanks again -




The board is not real old. I would be curious as to what blank was used? I have seen a few boards from some of the did not make it but gave a good try blank companies after Clark closed that look like that now. 

If Rennie used sequential serial numbers throughout all his shapes, then that board is probably mid to late 90s . I have a “Baby Spoon” with a serial number of 10096 . It was built for me in 2002.

I don't know how Tony Chaninn set fin boxes, but Clyde did it the way i mentioned above   Those were the two glassers Rennie used the most in the 90's.   No glass under, no glass over means prone to problems.