Fenn Swordfish

5 years 10 months ago #9723 by AR_convert
Was great have Perth Ski Chick and 4 new Swordfish paddlers out on the cut run this arvo, although not big we had fun on the runners the 10-13knot winds produced.

Lots of smiles afterwards and shared a few coldies while people shared thier experience.

Perth is blessed to have the Duel and Doctor races which attract ski's sent by manufacturers for competitors both hired and sponsored, this really gives a big boost to the ski paddling community when they are sold off post events, from all accounts people are picking up some bargains post the races here.

Like Perth Ski Chick I had a V10L and while quick on it in the flat was all over the place in downwind conditions, and like Dicko above have found the Vault has me loving downwind.

One thing we agreed apon while enjoying some cold refreshments after the downwinder today, there is no better ski, there is the ski that fits you and works for you !!!

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Supersonic K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9729 by SimonF

Dicko wrote: I'll give it a go. I've owned a Legend and a Vault and have paddled an SE a few times. They're all good boats and you probably wouldn't be disappointed if you bought any of them.
Speed wise, on flat water the Vault and the SE would be faster than the Legend, but by using a small rudder you can bring the speed on the Legend up to something like an elite ski.

Downwind, the legend is as fast as anything on the market. Once it gets up and going it flies from runner to runner. The SE is a good downwind boat and the vault picks up every runner on offer, but doesn't have the run of the longer boats, so you have to work a bit harder.
The Vault and the Legend are about the most comfortable boats going around. Good narrow catch, great buckets. They just feel good.
The SE is a very idiosyncratic cockpit. It just doesn't feel right to me. It will suit larger guys, but I felt like I was swimming in the bucket. The SE is a very stable boat, a little twichy on the primary stability, but as solid as a rock secondary stability. The large bucket made the boat feel more unstable than it is for me, and it has a very wide catch. The cockpit and the catch would be the reasons I wouldn't buy one. They are probably the best value boat on the market, with really good aftersales service and they are surprisingly fast. If they fix the cockpit ergonomics and narrow the catch they would win a lot more fans. This may be the SEL, but I've never seen one.

The Legend is a beautiful boat to paddle but is very twitchy on the primary stability, almost as much as my old red 7 pro, but has amazing secondary stability. Just when you thought you were about to swim, bang, it just stops rolling. I never fell out of this boat, but I felt I was going to a lot. In small sideshore chop I found it difficult to handle, but in most other conditions it was a lot of fun. Great finish and the painted finish made it really easy to fix small scratches etc. Lots of good innovations with bungs and leash points.

The Vault is a great allround boat. I borrowed a demo one day, paddled it for 2 minutes, then bought it. I am as fast in this boat as I was in my red 7, but a whole load more stable. It doesn't have the same sudden secondary as the legend, but overall is a lot more predicable in the sloppy stuff. It has a tendency to wander a bit but nothing alarming. I am sure this is due to the rudder, and I'm hoping a more balanced rudder will cure this. If I broke it tomorrow I would go straight out and buy another one. I can't wait for the new rudder to arrive because I'm convinced this will make a good boat better.

So in summary. If you are looking at the second hand market, any of these boats will give you a lot of fun. If you can afford new, buy the Vault. If you have a big backside, buy the Stellar.
If you only do downwind, buy the Legend.


Thanks for that detailed assessment Dicko.
I do have a glass Legend but as I mostly paddle flat water, when I do get in the rough, I find that twitchyness in confused or sidechop quite annoying. It is preventing me from applying full power at my skill level. Perhaps I need to learn to trust the secondary stability.
It does sound like I need to try the SF or SEL though.
I am surprised the ruder size can be that influential (have a 9 inch rudder on the Legend).I'll give a small one a go for the flat.

Cheers

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9737 by Bolt
Quote taken from other Swordfish Forums "A worry for us ( three swordfish(es)) in our regular group, is the durability of the ski.. it is a light ski in the vacuum glass set-up."

This ski has become very popular in Durban and for good reason _ stable, light and fast ! I am a huge fan and bought one a couple of weeks ago. Love it - actually prefer it to my elite !

However I am a bit concerned that there are may be some quality and build issues with the Vacuum Infused boats in particular - other owners i have spoken too in Durban have been a bit disappointed with the finish (rough seams, blemishes and the odd soft spot) not something previously associated with the build strenght of fenn. I have owned at least 6 Fenns and still own 4 (Fenns) with no complaints. As previously stated I am huge fan of FENN and will not even consider paddling anyhting else !

My concern is - Has Keith compromised on build quality to meet demand (Vacuum Infused Particularly) or is it just teething problems with this manufacturing process ? A few other new owners I have spoken to in Durban have expressed similar concerns. Note: all love the boat and its versatility and this boat is gaining increasing popularity and demand in Durban due to everybody raving about it.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9738 by robin.mousley
Have you contacted Fenn and spoken to them about it?

Who is the "guy that repairs them"? Has he spoken to Fenn?

It worries me when broad, damaging statements are splashed out in public like this - especially when you've posted it on two separate threads and even more when you appear to be repeating third-hand comments and not complaints that you have yourself. I may be wrong - but that's how your posts read.

Do you own a Fenn currently? Do you have a Swordfish? Do you have a problem with your own boat?

I recommend you give Keith or Travis a call and see if they will help you. Once you've given them a chance to respond, then, by all means, report your findings here.

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!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9739 by Bolt
Hi Rob

Agreed Rob – was planning to send Keith an email (copying Quinton Rutherford – agent in Durban and a good mate of mine) – I should address this directly with him first. EDIT "I was merely trying to make Fenn aware of some of the negative comments being banded about and was responding to a previous post on build qulaity concerns. The overwhelming opinion of the Swordfish is extremely positive and it shows by the number of people paddling them in Durbs and the how many people are planning to order them based on rave reviews "Happy for you to remove the post for now.

However if you look at some of the other comments on the forum I am not alone in my concerns with the quality of the Swordfishes (esp. Vacuum Infused ones). And believe me I am a big big punter of the Swordfish and Fenn in general ! I have convinced a number of my mates to buy the Swordfish and love paddling mine !

If you have a look at my new boat the workmanship is not as good as the previous 6 Fenn boats I have owned. (still have 4 of them, an elite carbon and an elite glass, an elite double, and an old mako double ). The seams are rough and unfinished in places, there is a blemish at the tail which has been touched up and the boat has a indentation from my storage racks ( I use padding on all my racks and store the boat on the top deck not the hull). Just concerned that production standards are being compromised to meet the well deserved demand and /or us South Africans are being supplied the “seconds” while the best boats are being exported. These boats are not cheap at R10500 a pop !

Apparently were some early production issues with the material being used for the vacuum infused boats which has subsequently been rectified.

Thanks

Regards

Greg

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9740 by coldwater
I love the performance of the Swordfish and own one myself.
BUT! The build quality is definitely not up to the good standard that FENN is famous for. My SF has a few blemishes on it as well as a blister near the tail where the gel coat is lifting. Tried speaking to FENN, they said they'd get back to me but never did. It's not the first time it's happened either. It is a concern that Fenns build standards are slipping.
Rob, perhaps it's worthwhile to bring this thread to their attention to let FENN respond? I am concerned that the sub-standard boats are staying in SA while the 'cream' is going overseas...
I agree that these forums shouldn't be a place to slam others, but rather to state the pure facts.
Again-the SF performance is awesome - c'mon guys at FENN - help us out!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9741 by Dicko
I think its fair enough for a manufacturer to cop a serve if folks have an issue. Other brands have had their fair share of criticism and usually respond accordingly.....BUT.... don't whinge about the price of boats in SA. R10500 is about A$1200. The same boat is 3x that price in Australia. $1200 will buy a poor condition mako6, or a 10 year old carbon millenium, or a used synergy. $1800 will buy a 3-4 year old v10 sport. No wonder everyone in SA has 5 boats. Owning 2 boats in Oz requires a suit and tie and a visit to the bank manager.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9756 by Bolt

robin.mousley wrote: Have you contacted Fenn and spoken to them about it?

"Yes,Quinton (agent in durbs) phoned me tday to address my concerns and assured me that Fenn are committed to quality and he personally will have look at my boat."

Who is the "guy that repairs them"? [/quote]Republic Sport in Durban does most Fenn owners repairs in Durban and does a really good job. [/quote]Has he spoken to Fenn? Yes he has,apparently early vacuum boats had issues with the core material not being compatible with this manufacturing process.

It worries me when broad, damaging statements are splashed out in public like this - especially when you've posted it on two separate threads and even more when you appear to be repeating third-hand comments and not complaints that you have yourself. I may be wrong - but that's how your posts read. [/quote]
"The intention was not to do damage but rather the opposite, it was to make sure Keith and Fenn were aware of the some of the commments out there with respect to the quality and was a response to a previuos forum quote on quality concerns . The overwhleming response and comments about the Swordfish are extremely positive. In hindsight it would have been better to talk to Quinton and Keith directly before posting anything here"

Do you own a Fenn currently?[/quote] "Yes, 4 of them and have owned at least 7 in total. Huge FENN FAN" Do you have a Swordfish? /quote] Yes, vacuum Infused , 3 weeks old. Do you have a problem with your own boat? [/quote] "Aesthetically yes (seams rough, one blemish), not as good as all the prevous Fenns I have owned. Other than that its a great boat in all conditions and in my opinion will become the most paddled boat out there "

I recommend you give Keith or Travis a call and see if they will help you. "Done, spoke to Quinton today"

Once you've given them a chance to respond, then, by all means, report your findings here.[/quote]
"Very happy with their prompt response,I was merely trying to make them aware of some of the negative statements out there, the positive statements and the increasing popularity of the Swordfish far outweigh them but at the same time quality should never be compromised "

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9759 by Michael Smedley
I think the purpose of a free forum is to share advice and experiences whether they be good, or bad.

We are all aware that problems can arise with these fragile craft and problems will always happen. I think its fair to post your experiences providing they are facts and not just a rant.

I problem need not be negative for a boat builder. Its not the problem that tends to bother people, it how it is handled. If its handled correctly then this can be a huge positive for a manufacturer.

Also to be fair to manufacturers too, it can be difficult to determine what the cause of the problem was and if the product was mistreated. On the other hand if its a cut and dry case were the manufacturer is clearly at fault, then is should be fixed swiftly.

I think most of us are intelligent enough to spot someone having a rant verses someone who is passing on a bad experience. The manufacturers are also free to post or PM as well. I am sure they all check in to the forums.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9766 by kmac
Hi All,

To be fair the Fenn Swordfishes are ALL the things mentioned previously : Light, Responsive, Quick, Stable and especially fun in the messy stuff. It gains some of its speed from a reduction in rocker compared to the Elite and as it carries its volume along the waterline the resultant lower nose profile and rails does mean its quite wet, and this is most pronounced when surfing waves or short swells and the nose buries a bit. However adding some bullets to the scuppers means the drainage is not an issue and you feel very involved in the movement around you.

Adding a surf (elliptical) rudder further enhances the performance on the wave and in the runs, and SF owners wanting to enjoy the boat even more should certainly consider fitting one.

We have a collection of Fenns here and I do have to agree with some of the perceptions of the Swordfishes shared by fellow posters. The seams are nowhere near as neat as the Elites and Elite Doubles we have, and there is more flex in the surface material of the boats, especially across the broad flat rear deck. So the Vacuum Infused Glass boat certainly is noticeably "softer" than either the glass or carbon boats in our fleet. The boats perform amazingly and like any of our other boats is totally dry, but there is more surface flex and rougher finishing of the seams.

Always makes me think of the old adage with MTB components : "Strong, Light & Cheap" pick any two!

Maybe the adage is quite applicable to surf ski's too!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9767 by coldwater
Hi Kmac
you make some very valid points!
I've been considering bullet scuppers on my SF to increase drainage - any idea where to get a pair I can retro fit...?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9768 by kmac
Contact Hein van Rooyen from Carbonology Sports in Port Elisabeth RSA, they also make elliptical rudders for the SF.

The Paddling Centre in Fish Hoek Cape Town also sells bullets.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9769 by coldwater
Awesome! Thanks.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9771 by Rob1
I'm shocked regarding the price of the ski in SA, only $1200 (Aus). That would explain why in SA there doesn't seem to be an issue starting and finishing races in big surf. Breaking a $1200 ski is a big deal however breaking that same ski that cost $3100 is a bigger deal.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9772 by mario
I think that the price is also an issue in SA with lower per capita incomes.
I can assure you that South africans also sweat to pay for a ski.
I don't know about costs in Australia but to ship to Europe (Italy in particular)one must add on shipping costs, huge VAT figures(21%)and internal transport costs and storage costs which are astronomical...the margins just aren't there.....and my Swordfish is a gem!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9773 by mckengmsurfski
In the US they're around $2500, also quite a bit more than the $1340 equivalent in S.A. money. That said, they're making the trip across the Atlantic and in some cases across the US after that, so it's understandable that they'd be considerably cheaper in S.A.
My question would be how do ski prices from other manufacturers (Epic, Think, Stellar, Nelo, etc...) stack up in S.A. compared to the S.A. made skis (I'm assuming Custom Kayaks, Carbonology, etc... are priced similarly to Fenn skis?)?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9776 by Nige
With regard to SA ski prices, the answer is that the imported skis are a LOT more expensive than the locally made ones, and as a result very few (unsponsored) paddlers have imported skis.

By far the most common skis in SA are Fenn and Custom Kayaks, with Carbonology and Kayak Centre (Zeplin, EOS etc.)also around. There are still quite a few Epics to be seen, mainly from the days when Kayak Centre in Durban made them under licence.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9777 by rubberDuck
Yep, prices accross the range of manufacturers in SA seems to be the same.

On the other side of the coin the Epics seem to be more expensive, which is probably why we don't see so many Epics around here.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9779 by Rightarmbad
With a carbon V12 now listing up at $5800 in Australia, Epic are slowly pricing themselves out of the market.
I can get a carbon Fenn Elite for $3200

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

5 years 10 months ago #9784 by coldwater
As far as South African prices go - Mario's got it right - on average much lower salaries in South Africa. A Swordfish selling in SA for the equivalent if AUS 2500-3100 just simply wouldn't sell...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

hodad66's Avatar

McGregor Classic Ski (28 Posts)

5 hours 32 minutes ago
owenfromwales's Avatar

Improving Stellar SR G1 rudder (12 Posts)

11 hours 28 minutes ago
owenfromwales's Avatar

Rudder rattles (2 Posts)

11 hours 46 minutes ago

Video of the week

Protected by R Antispam