Fenn Swordfish

5 years 10 months ago #10040 by Stew

Rightarmbad wrote: As to the stiffness question.
Can anybody point me to a true comparison of stiffness?

I mean two boats of equal weight but with measured differences in stiffness, not just some perceived difference because of the perceived benefits of generic layup that are really just folk lore?

Again, if stiffness equals speed? Why are there not specific sprint K1 boats made spruking the extra stiffness, instead of a bunch of people with sub 8kg boats adding weight to bring them up to 12kg for sprinting.

C'mon guys, we're talking Olympic medals here, have we all of a sudden stumbled onto a secret way of making sprint K1's go faster?

I don't think so.


Who's paddling 8Kg boats and weighing them up?

Almost all sprint boats are manufactured from 10 to 11kgs and weighed up with weight kits. They're made at that weight so the trim can be adjusted not just by the position of the seat and foot rest, but by the weights also.

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5 years 10 months ago #10041 by LaPerouser
"At 2pm we're having another go."

Rob,

Still waiting with bated breath on the outcome of your second paddle..

..and while you're at it:

What do you & Dale think of the stability of the SF vs V10S?

Your earlier comments mention the 'spacious' (sic) cockpit of the V10S vs the snugger fit of the SF - does this affect the achieved stability, and can the fit issue be seperated from the intrinsic stability of the hull?

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5 years 10 months ago #10046 by robin.mousley
Paddled the Sport twice since then...

On Sunday we paddled again in Hout Bay. The wind had died and it was flatter than expected so we chased the 88 ton Nauticat tourist catamaran.

Dale was on the SF and reported that the elliptical rudder had significantly improved steering and he was able to ride the wake at a fairly sharp angle with no risk of broaching.

I was on the Sport. It still had the standard rudder.

There wasn't really much to report; When we were behind Nauticat Dale seemed to be more in control, but he was in the prime spot on the first wave whereas I was a little further back and kept broaching off the wave. Not sure I'd blame the boat for that.

We did a couple of sprints outside the harbour and again I seemed to have the edge on the Sport; but then we did a short sprint inside the harbour on the absolute flat and we seemed to be more evenly matched. I think a couple of races will give a better indication. Put it this way, the question is whether the Sport is faster than the SF or whether they're evenly matched. The Sport is definitely not slower than the SF.

I did a Millers Run in very mild conditions last night (15kt or so) on the Sport and did 49min which wasn't a particularly good time. I definitely felt that the rudder was not very effective and I had a broach that I'd have avoided had I had the surf rudder on. The boat felt stable though and manoeuvrable (albeit not as controllable as it would be with the surf rudder).

My opinion on stability is that the SF feels more stable than the Sport; but this may well be partly due to the looseness of the bucket. The z bucket is much better shaped than the old Sport, but is still quite loose around the hips - and towards my knees, the cockpit feels miles wide. Having said that, I'd be totally confident to take the boat out in any conditions - and that it's much more stable than my Mako Elite.

I strongly feel that if Epic were to put the V12 cockpit into their next gen Sport, the boat would feel more stable even if they left the hull as-is.

Tonight we have our Tuesday Night Series race in Hout Bay. Dale will be on the Sport (hopefully with an elliptical rudder) and I'll be on the SF. Looks as though we're going to have a cracking downwind race on Saturday and I can see we'll be fighting over who gets to paddle which boat.

Great fun!

Rob

Currently Think Evo II, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others I can't remember!
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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #10047 by robin.mousley

As to the stiffness question.
Can anybody point me to a true comparison of stiffness?


Here's a test that we did some time ago on a couple of Red7 skis, identical shape, identical weight, but different stiffness.
Stiffness and Stability

All this showed (to me at any rate) that stiffness can imply reduced stability (and hence, I guess, speed).

Rob

Currently Think Evo II, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others I can't remember!

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5 years 10 months ago #10048 by Dicko
If nothing else Rob you're making sure the v10S holds its resale value.

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5 years 10 months ago #10049 by Kayaker Greg
Can anyone comment on the height of the hump in the Swordfish? Its something I struggled with on my EpicV10L and something I love in my Stellar SES. But I need something more intermediate for some conditions, but it must have a low hump.

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5 years 10 months ago #10058 by Marieski
Greg, I have a Swordfish and an SES. The hump on the Swordfish is longer and fuller than the SES and yes it does interfere more with leg movement. In fact I'm still experimenting with leg length. On a very quick and dirty estimate it doesn't seem a lot higher. I can measure more accurately if you want. I'm likely a bit shorter than you at 168cm.

Past skis: Spirit PRS, EpicV10Sport Performance, Epic V10 Elite, Stellar SES Advantage. Current skis: Fenn Elite Spark, Fenn Swordfish vacuum. Custom Horizon, Epic V7
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5 years 10 months ago #10061 by Kayaker Greg
Thanks Marie, I better try one when they are available. We have to wait until September here in NZ before they arrive.

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5 years 10 months ago #10071 by robin.mousley
Raced again last night in Hout Bay. Southerly wind kicking up a bit of chop - rideable waves if you put some effort in.

Dale was the V10 Sport, 13.5kg, Ultra layup; I was on the Swordfish, 13kg, Vacuum Glass Epoxy layup. Nick on his 13kg(?) Carbonology Vault.

Last time we raced together, 2 weeks ago, it was a similar course but with a stronger wind and bigger chop. Dale was on his V10 Ultra, I was on the SF and I beat him by two minutes.

Dale and I paddled our guts out. He had a better start than me and hung onto the group in front for a while into the wind before dropping off. I slowly reeled him in and by the first turn was just behind him.

Next leg was diagonally downwind; Dale caught some great runs and must have been 100m ahead half way down the section. He was trying too hard though and attempted to push over two consecutive waves, failed and wallowed. I made up about 50m. In the meantime I was passed by the Vault and a Millenium.

On the cross-wind leg, I paddled a better line and made up a little ground; at the turn, Dale was still about 30-50m ahead.

Now we were going straight upwind again. I chose a line out to the right and ground my up, eventually passing Dale and getting to the next turn just ahead of him. I had a great start to the downwind leg, catching a couple of runs across the reef, and overtaking the Millenium and the Vault. In the meantime Dale had cocked up the turn and started off a good 50m behind me.

A km or so later, the Vault and Millenium had overtaken me again, the Vault just cruising away downwind. By the end of the leg, Dale was on my tail and overtook me going around the turn.

Cross-wind again, Dale put his head down and opened up a 30m lead, overtaking the Millenium. The Vault is well ahead by now.

Last upwind leg, Dale leads, the Millenium slipping on his tail. I grind my way up, I'm on the Millenium's tail as we reach the last buoy. It's a 180 degree turn back to the beach; Dale catches a lucky run just as he turns and puts several lengths in.

For a while I'm neck and neck with the Millenium, but Dale steadily pulls out to about 100m in front by the time we reach the finish. The Millenium catches a lucky one and gets onto the wave in front where he finishes.

Nick on the Vault comes in 8th out of 26 boats in 53:30. Then Dale 53:56. Then Andrew on the Millenium 54:12 and finally me on the SF 54:22.

Observations:

- Dale clearly did a lot better on the Sport than he did in similar conditions on the V10. We ascribe this to the difference in stability.
- Both of us commented how much harder we're paddling - because we can. It's often much more difficult to get the heart rate up on the elite boats because we can't relax sufficiently to paddle as hard. On the intermediate boats you're not leaking away power to tippiness.
- We're finishing among the same group of people or better as on our elite skis; definitely not going any slower, at least in choppy conditions.
- The Vault definitely seems to have the advantage in small runs going downwind - evidenced over the last three races.
- The Sport seems to have the edge on the Swordfish going downwind in small runs.
- The Swordfish seems to have the edge going upwind as I've consistently caught up with all kinds of boats and people going into the wind and waves.

Next up: on Saturday we have a downwind race. Looks as though it's going to be a cracker - it's the Millers run course and the wind is forecast to be 25-28kt SE...

Rob

Currently Think Evo II, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others I can't remember!

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5 years 10 months ago #10079 by Dale Lippstreu
I have been paddling a Swordfish,a V10 and V10sport recently and find the hump on the Swordfish noticably higher. Its a pity because it adds to the "feet high" feeling that I experience in the Fenns.
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5 years 10 months ago #10080 by Kayaker Greg
Thanks Dale. I guess the search continues. I wonder why they make the hump so high in so many skis?

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5 years 10 months ago #10081 by Ric
the bigger the hump, the less space for water to fill up into...
the less water, the more speed and fun

(my theory at least)

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5 years 9 months ago #10166 by Madpaddler75
Hi Robin,
How did the swordfish, V10 sport and Vault compare in the race on Saturday?

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5 years 9 months ago #10168 by robin.mousley
Had a great weekend of paddling... Didn't start off too well though...

Friday Evening Millers Run

On Friday evening I paddled the V10 Sport while Dale was on the Swordfish. We did a Millers Run in classic conditions - 25kt or so and some reasonable size swell.

Unfortunately I had just changed the rudder on the Sport. As I installed the surf rudder I noticed that the lower of the two pins on the shaft was rubbing the top of the shaft. I also knocked the rudder on a rock as I left the ramp.

On the way out to the rock I noticed that the rudder was sticking; I figured that it was the pin rubbing on the shaft. Our transport had already left with the Allen Key, so there was no way to adjust the rudder.

The paddle was a challenge - the rudder was sticking so in order to turn, I was pushing the pedal harder and harder until suddenly it would give - the boat would roll violently and swerve... Not the best situation.

When we got to the end of the run, we discovered that in fact it wasn't the pin, I'd actually bent the rudder shaft. We straightened it and now it's fine. Curses!

Millers Run Race

For the Millers Run Race on Saturday, we had fantastic conditions again - 25kt plus some fairly big waves. The first half of the course, as usual, was fairly messy with waves criss-crossing, but it cleaned up as we approached the lighthouse and it just got better and better from then on in.

I had a cracker of a race. I was back in the Swordfish; Dale was back in the Sport and Nick Pickard was on his Vault. Total of 41 skis including a number of doubles.

I had a good start, put my head down and cranked out to the rock, broadside to the wind and waves. As before, the stability of the ski meant that I was able to put all my strength into moving forward and I got to the rock somewhere in the top ten.

Dale was behind me; Nick Pickard just in front.

As we rounded the rock I was nearly taken out by the guy to the right of me who was hit by a breaking wave; however we rounded without colliding and I just missed a couple of strokes while he was next to me.

As we took off downwind Nick was alongside of me and for the first couple of hundred metres we traded the lead as either one of us caught a run. Eventually though, I got past him, put together a sequence and I never saw him again.

I had a total blast; the SF is so stable (for me) that I seldom miss a stroke when putting the hammer down to catch a run. The stability also makes it easier to keep ticking over when on the runs. The elliptical rudder helps too, reducing the likelihood of broaching and making it easier to point the nose where you want to find the next dip.

As is usual with a downwind race, I lost sight of all the other skis - it felt as though I was paddling on my own. Occasionally I'd see another ski either far off to the left or right. I did see the NSRI rubber duck half way down the course bobbing up and down.

At the lighthouse I caught sight of one of the SUP paddlers who'd started from the chicken run ramp. For a while he didn't seem to get any closer; he appeared to be moving at more or less the same speed as me - but when I did get up to him the massive difference in speed became apparent and we whooped at each other as I shot passed him. (I admire the SUPs and I'm sure it's fun and good exercise, but really, who'd choose to go so slowly?!)

The sea became ever more fun from the lighthouse to Fish Hoek, and I went down some massive drops; the SF is quite a wet boat, dipping its nose quite often, but a) it doesn't squirrel off to one side and b) it doesn't seem to slow down much even when the nose is under water.

As I came into Fish Hoek bay I could see a single ski to the right - Andrew Turner on a Zeplin. I put the hammer down, caught a couple of waves in sequence and got ahead of him. There was no-one else in front when I approached the beach...

I caught a wave; felt it getting steeper and steeper. I heard a roar behind me and fought to keep the boat straight. As the foamy hit me I lost control and veered sideways. Normally this wouldn't be a problem and I let the boat go, confident that I'd be able to brace and keep upright. Not this time; the foamy was just too big, my paddle sank into the water and I went gently over the side. Disaster!

The boat was faced into the wind. I leapt back on - but I had to accelerate into the wind, turn downwind and head for the beach, other skis shooting past on all sides. Infuriating!

Cursing mightily I finally got my act together and arrived on the beach having lost four places to come in in tenth place.

I'd have been sixth but the blunder in the surf. I've been having flashbacks all weekend, bleak!

Dale had a bad race on the Sport - coming in 25th. He had a stomach bug during the week which presumably was still working on him. He said he just hadn't been able to get going on the waves. We'll be trying again (my turn next on the Sport) this coming weekend.

I beat Nick Pickard on the Vault by two minutes even including my swim. This would mostly be due to the fact that I've done a couple of hundred Millers Runs while Nick said he's still a little nervous of such conditions.

The race was won by Dawid Mocke and Gabe Newton on a double; the first single across the line was paddled by Simon van Gysen on his new sponsored SA-built Allwave CX.

Conclusion?

I still need to paddle the Sport in big conditions; Friday didn't count.
The Swordfish works for me - coming "almost sixth" out of 41 even on my home territory was a bloody good result for me.

Carbonology Zest

Yesterday I paddled the Zest in Hout Bay in flat conditions. I've paddled it twice now and my first impressions (confirmed by Dale after we swapped boats) were:

- we both found the seat intensely uncomfortable. My coccyx is rubbed even when I put my butt pad in. Dale has never had problems before, but also had a raw coccyx after paddling it.
- Although the secondary stability seems very good, the boat felt quite tippy in comparison both to the Sport and the Swordfish.
- We both found that it was difficult to paddle in a straight line; the ski nose of the ski seems to skid left and right and you have to steer the boat straight again.
- In the flat water of the harbour, we did some sprints and neither of us seemed to have a huge advantage in terms of speed ie it seems quite fast.

We'll be spending some more time on the Zest - anyone else paddled the boat?

Wake Riding
While I was on the Sport, a trawler came out of the harbour. I latched onto its side wake and found it extremely easy to stay there. The surf rudder works very well in this circumstance and even when the trawler increased speed (twice) I was able to sit there, going quite often at a diagonal and then straightening out to stay on the wave. We must have ended up at about 18kph, thundering along out to sea. Exhilarating.
(And indicative of the control the elliptical rudder affords on steep runs.)

Great weekend of paddling!

Rob

Currently Think Evo II, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others I can't remember!

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5 years 9 months ago #10175 by richardh

Carbonology Zest

Yesterday I paddled the Zest in Hout Bay in flat conditions. I've paddled it twice now and my first impressions (confirmed by Dale after we swapped boats) were:

- we both found the seat intensely uncomfortable. My coccyx is rubbed even when I put my butt pad in. Dale has never had problems before, but also had a raw coccyx after paddling it.
- Although the secondary stability seems very good, the boat felt quite tippy in comparison both to the Sport and the Swordfish.
- We both found that it was difficult to paddle in a straight line; the ski nose of the ski seems to skid left and right and you have to steer the boat straight again.
- In the flat water of the harbour, we did some sprints and neither of us seemed to have a huge advantage in terms of speed ie it seems quite fast.

I've paddled the Zest a couple of times, one river and one ocean. I found the seat a tight but comfortable fit.

I agree with the tippy feeling in the river, but didn't feel that tippy in the ocean. I rarely get time for an ocean paddle, so perhaps there was too much else going on!

In retrospect, I agree with the skidding feeling as well, for the river at least.

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5 years 9 months ago #10178 by robin.mousley

I found the seat a tight but comfortable fit.


Yep, seats are definitely one area which is very subjective. Fenns are quite notorious for giving some people sciatic problems (dead leg).

We're going to spend some time getting familiar with the boat and Hein is sending us some alternate rudders to try.

For example, the Swordfish's performance is markedly improved by the elliptical rudder I've installed - both in terms of directional stability (the same thing we found with the Zest) and manoeuvrability in downwind conditions.

Also hoping to try the Vault again at some point - I've been very impressed with the way my buddy Nick Pickard paddles away from me in small bumps doing downwind when I'm in the SF!

Rob

Currently Think Evo II, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others I can't remember!

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5 years 9 months ago #10180 by coldwater
Hi Robin
Any chance you guys can throw in a comparison of the Knysna Racing G40 & SF?
I've heard some good reports about the G40...

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5 years 9 months ago #10183 by Ryan
Rob the question for me is that you have an Elite, as do I. You seem to be having a blast in the more stable boat, is the SF making a case for a two boat quiver or are you finding yourself wishing you were in the SF when you paddle the Elite in anything but calm conditions.

Cheerio
Ryan

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5 years 9 months ago #10187 by robin.mousley

Rob the question for me is that you have an Elite, as do I. You seem to be having a blast in the more stable boat, is the SF making a case for a two boat quiver or are you finding yourself wishing you were in the SF when you paddle the Elite in anything but calm conditions.


A mate of mine up in Durban also has a SF and an Elite. Says he paddles the Elite now only 10-15% of the time; the SF the rest. (He's a stronger paddler than me - top end of B grade.)

We have a race in Hout Bay tonight. 10kt offshore wind, should be flat, flat, flat. We're putting Dale onto the V10 Sport while I paddle my Elite for the first time in a couple of weeks. Last week Dale eventually beat me after a great dice - I was on the SF; he was on the V10 Sport. In theory, given flat conditions, I should have an advantage tonight.

So yes, we've also been discussing the idea of rocking up at races with two boats and making a decision which to paddle based on the conditions.

Rob

Currently Think Evo II, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others I can't remember!

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5 years 9 months ago #10188 by robin.mousley

Any chance you guys can throw in a comparison of the Knysna Racing G40 & SF?
I've heard some good reports about the G40...


What started off this whole thing was the idea that one could be as fast or faster in intermediate boats - hence SF, V10S, Zest, Genius SLK (the SLK is supposed to arrive shortly). Knysna are sending us a Genius Blu as well. The SLK is supposed to be beginner to intermediate level; the Blu intermediate.

The G40 is aimed at the elite level... If we get our hands on one, we'll give it a go for sure but for the moment we're just trying to get to know and paddle the intermediate boats.

Rob

Currently Think Evo II, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others I can't remember!

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