Fenn Swordfish

5 years 10 months ago #9914 by robin.mousley
Further update...

Took both boats to Hout Bay last night and put my paddling partner Dale Lippstreu on the SF while I paddled my carbon Mako Elite. (BTW, I weighed the SF, it's about 13kg - or about 900g heavier than the Elite.)

Hout Bay was "flat". In Hout Bay, that means there was a small chop, the bay has sheer cliff sides and there's always reflected waves running in all directions. A 10kt southeasterly was blowing, with much stronger gusts at times near the Chapman's Peak side of the bay.

Even in such small chop, I had no discernable advantage in the theoretically faster boat. Dale sat there cranking steadily away, while, although I never did a full brace, every now and then the Elite would wobble and I'd clearly lose power for a stroke or two. Each time he'd surge forward and I'd scrabble to catch him again.

We paddled as far as Noordhoek Corner and then raced back downwind. We went absolutely flat out - and I just managed to beat Dale by a length.

So, once again, it really does look as though, at our level, we gain nothing by paddling a top-end boat. On the other hand, Dale remarked, as I did, how relaxed he was when hit by the gusts near the cliffs. And he remarked how my stroke rate sped up as we turned at the far end and I felt tippy going cross-wind and cross-waves.

On Thursday I'm getting a demo V10 Sport Ultra with the narrow seat to compare with the SF. Dale and I will race the boats against each other.

Would love to give the equivalent Carbonology/Genius/Other boats a go at the same time if any of the other manufacturers is listening! I'm definitely becoming ever more convinced that "sub-elite" is the way to go!

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 #9915 by kmac
The shoot out wouldn't be as interesting as you think....

We had a batch of 6 V10S's as the skis that many of the local paddlers cut their teeth on, they certainly played a vital role in our formative years.

Subsequent to this all of the paddlers have tried a Swordfish and 90% have gone out and bought one. I don't think you need any more proof than that! To a man they all find the Swordfish a far more intuitive and responsive boat. The hull design is at least 5 years newer than the V10S so its hardly surprising it out performs it. The vacuum layup is also about 2 kg lighter than the hybrid model V10S's we have.

The V10S has less primary stability (partially due to a really high seat), it has huge volume in the tail making it susceptible to buying its nose when surfing and also getting pushed skew on the wave (not swell, wave) It seems to have even less rocker than the Swordfish which makes up some of its flat water speed on its Elite stablemates by having noticeably less rocker. (greater waterline length = greater hull speed) We've found a SF will dip its nose more in the surf and steep swells than an Elite or Elite SL, not that its a problem, just a bit more water coming over that low nose... a bit like in a double, makes it a candidate for a spray deflector too.

In summary all the V10S to SF converts here are subsequently quicker on the flat, having more fun in the surf and certainly showing enhanced and sustained downwind speeds. The gap at the finish to the elite boats has certainly shrunk noticeably. With the addition of an elliptical surf rudder its a great all round boat.
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5 years 10 months ago #9917 by Rightarmbad
Alright, after a paddle today, I believe that a carbon Swordfish is bugger all difference in flatwater speed to my V10 performance layup.

Gotta get me a carbon boat.

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
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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9921 by Kocho
Can you "translate", please :S Are you saying the carbon construction has advantage on the flats over the mostly fiberglass one, but that otherwise the SF isn't much different than the V10 for you?

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5 years 10 months ago #9924 by Rightarmbad
Translation:

Carbon Swordfish and my performance layup V10, not V10 sport, are bugger all different in speed on the flat.

In actual fact, I normally out sprint and generally out paddle the swordfish owner, we swapped boats and even though my knees were somewhere near my chest due to leg length differences, I took off and dropped him.

I'm going to nab his boat for some more comprehensive testing now, set the legs up right and do 10 x a 2 to 5 minute set course, swapping boats every 2 laps and then see what comes out of the data.

Watch this space.......

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

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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9925 by Kocho
Thanks, I'm all eyes :woohoo:

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5 years 10 months ago #9931 by Dean
Thanks All for the interesting analysis of your thoughts on the Swordfish.

As mentioned by DG i paddled this boat for the doctor and loved it. Like most Oz paddlers my background is from the Surf Life saving.
For a while i had an inkling that a spec ski was as good as these boats in certain downwind conditions just that the 18kg and requirement for minimum width etc held them back overall.

For the record my personal opinion is that the Fenn skis surf the best, i have paddled others and they also had there strengths regarding comfort and water line in the flat.

However, in the big downwind (my favourite) i found the slightly shorter spec ski a bit more managable, particularly in steep short spaced chop.

I had a little theory that the SF would perform well based on a couple of reasons hence why i used it in the doctor after only paddling the vacc glass one for about an hour prior to that.

I like the fact it has a reduced volume nose and more bouyancy in the tail. I find this allows less low down grunt to get the boat up on the runs. Th elite boats are at an optimum when they are running, but i find they all tend to "bog down a bit coing off the run unless you're unbelievable and simply link everything together.

Why i wasn't concerned about the long race in the flat... The elite boats, to me, have come from a kayak theory keeping them up on the plane is key. The SF is more forgiving in this aspect and at 11kg the weight is no problem. So when i'm tired and my stroke suffers, and hence pace i don't get the best of the run of the boat.

And the obvious, the SF for my rather portly backside is very comfortable. I use a pad or some height, with no stability issues, and as Rob and other mention stability = good transfer of power. Regarding the macho comments... get over it. You'll feel more humiliated when the guy/girl beats you on the SF becaouse you've been bracing in the side chop!

One last point, the fastest boat is what you make go the fastest, test them till the cows come home it won't matter, the variable we paddle in and our own day to day physical condition makes this all irrelevent. Get comfortable and get paddling i say, you want to go quicker, train harder!

Cheers see you on the water (in my SF)

Dean
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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9934 by zachhandler
Will someone please translate "bugger all different" into american english for me? In the USA "bugger" describes an old man who sodomizes boys. As in "Jerry Sandusky is an old bugger". Google it if you are not in the states.

So does "bugger all different" mean very different or not very different? And should I be wearing more than just spandex when I sit my rear down on a bugger surfski?

I'm confused...

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5 years 10 months ago #9935 by MikeWoodrow
"Buggar all different" is Australian slang for "no difference at all".

You could also use the phrase "a bees dick" ... which runs on the assumption that a bee has have a very small penis.
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5 years 10 months ago #9942 by Kocho
I had to google it too and Wikipedia provided the answer :S Amongst the many nasty things "bugger" is associated with, when you add the "all", it turns out it means as explained above - not enough difference to matter.

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5 years 10 months ago #9944 by Steve Hansen
So how is it that Fenn builds such brillant skis but when it comes to rudders they seem to be behind the times ?

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5 years 10 months ago #9950 by robin.mousley

So how is it that Fenn builds such brillant skis but when it comes to rudders they seem to be behind the times ?


They've played with other shapes from time to time, but Keith said that they like their rudder specifically because it's pretty mild. I was frustrated again last night in our Tuesday night race when I tried to turn sharply around the marks and stalled the rudder. Can't wait for my elliptical rudder...

Raced the Swordfish again last night, this time in very flat conditions in Hout Bay. Hout Bay always has a little chop but last night it was so small that there was virtually no discernable benefit going downwind (although it's clear that I was in fact going faster on the last downwind leg).

I raced primarily against a friend paddling a Vault. What happened was that he dropped me towards the end of the first outbound leg when he went the other side of a slower paddler whom we'd both been slipping. I tried to put in an interval to catch him, but could not. Going downwind he steadily pulled away from me. In the cross-wind leg I maintained distance, but going into wind I pulled almost all the way back up to him.

At the start of the second downwind leg, I was on his tail but screwed up the turn around Barnacle Rock and started downwind about 40m behind. Again he steadily pulled away.

The last leg to the beach, I tried to find a better line to seaward and seemed to pull some distance back, but ended up finishing 15th, 16 seconds behind the Vault.

In summary - the Vault paddler steadily pulled away from me downwind (bearing in mind that it was very flat) but going into wind I was able to grind away and catch him up. Possibly this might be because the effort required to make the SF go faster is more than that of the Vault. Into wind you're moving slower anyway - the resistance from the wind is more of a factor than the drag from the water.

The other thing that I noticed was that I battled to keep a straight line in the SF when slipping on the other boats. Some boats (like the Red7) stay absolutely straight; the SF's nose seems to dance about with every little side wave. Will this improve with the elliptical rudder? Not sure.

Anyway, we seem to have lined up a Genius SLK and a Carbonology Zest to play with and compare with the V10S and SF, so we'll have an interesting couple of weeks ahead.

(Hein van Rooyen of Carbonology said that he would rate the Zest as comparable to the SF. Not sure if that means he thinks the SF is a beginner boat! If not, what is the Vault?)

Here's my track from last night

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 #9951 by Hiro
Hi Robin, I don't know if I'm the only one, but everytime you post a link to one of your tracks, garmin connect doesn't display the map.

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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9952 by AR_convert

robin.mousley wrote:

The other thing that I noticed was that I battled to keep a straight line in the SF when slipping on the other boats. Some boats (like the Red7) stay absolutely straight; the SF's nose seems to dance about with every little side wave. Will this improve with the elliptical rudder? Not sure.


I find that very interesting Rob as although the Vault too loves to slip boats it also can be a handful to keep straight and requires lots of micro adjustments not to keep moving in on the lead paddlers paddle area......I'd put it down to it's reduced waterline length...in fact it's got me thinking I'm losing a little bit of speed on the flat. I thought the SF increased length would make it more directionally stable. As for side waves I'd guess the reduced volume in the nose of the Vault is why I love it in the side chop/waves, it laps it up which is ideal for adventure racing where it's about point to point, not downwind ;) I guess there's not too many paddlers who demo a boat just to see how it handles side chop and wind...but that was me :blush:

I had asked Hein from Carbonology if hypothetically he made up a Vault ski with a longer waterline what the effect would be, perhaps it wouldnt be any more directionally stable and or if it was it may reduce it's ability to change direction downwind.

Maybe I'm asking the boat to be too many things :huh:

BTW, if you set auto laps at 500m or 1km on your garmin you can see what speed you were doing in different sectors of the race.

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 :)

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5 years 10 months ago #9954 by Gavin Gottschalk
Interesting comment on the slipping, Rob.
I haven't done any slip riding on my SF yet, but it's always fun to wash ride in the wake of a big powerboat that's going just at the right speed. A good measure of holding the line, as you've commented on before with the Hout Bay ferry. I always struggled to hold the line on the steep wash with my old V10L Ultra- the nose always wanted to swing sharply to run parallel to the wash (equivalent to a broach, I suppose.) My Green 7, as you mentions, holds it really well.
I had a long and fun wash ride on the SF. Sure, it needed a fairly firm and constant foot on the peddle to keep the nose from swinging in, but it held the line really well and I could have kept going and going...if I'd had the puff.

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5 years 10 months ago #9955 by jtresfon
Hey Rob

If you do get around to doing a comparison of intermediate boats then please throw a Zeplin/EOS665 into the mix for us bigger guys. The intermediate boat list that comes to mind with the guys I paddle with seems to be:

- Fenn Swordfish (on or two)
- Kayak Centre Zeplin (lots)
- Epic V10s (were lots but declining)
- Think EVO (on or two)
- Genius (for the smaller chaps)

If you need help for a test I've got a Zep and a V10s...

J.

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5 years 10 months ago #9956 by philcox
Hey Rob

also add the Focus from Custom Kayaks

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5 years 10 months ago #9957 by Dicko
Had just written 3 magnificent paragraphs explaining why an eliptical rudder will reduce your boat wandering in the flat when the power went out and I lost the lot. The new version is here....an eliptical rudder should stop your boat wandering significantly. My vault is much straighter with a the new eliptical rudder.

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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9958 by Ric
... as one of the "smaller chaps", I took the Focus for a spin on Saturday and loved it. It actually has enough leg adjustment for Mark to use it, and for me?!? That's quite a darn huge height diff.

As reference, I can't paddle the Vault because its shortest setting is too long. Same with the SF & Zeppelins.

There should be a Focus around soon for you to get a paddle on, Rob - if you can't get a chance get hold of me...

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5 years 10 months ago - 5 years 10 months ago #9959 by rubberDuck
The Genius Blu is more of an intermediate ski whilst the Genius CLK is more of a starter ski. Don't see how one would compare a Fenn Swordfish with the Genius CLK and Carbonology Sport Zest.

Not all the Genius skis are for smaller paddlers, the Genius G20 is, but the Blu I have has lots of volume. So much so that at 78kg I do not sit the ski deep enough into the water, with the result that I struggle a bit with it's primary stability. In fact, it feels more twitchy to me than my new Red 7 in hybrid (epoxy/carbon) layup.

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