ATT: SWORDFISH owners...

7 years 8 months ago #15232 by coldwater
Interested in getting feedback on the full carbon layup...
How do you find the build quality?
Holding up well to the normal wear & tear?

Handling characteristics? Do you feel it gives you the 'early jump' on runs etc...?

Interested to hear any other observations etc...!

Thanks in advance!

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7 years 8 months ago #15234 by mario
Replied by mario on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...
Hi,
I have both a glass vacuum and a carbon.
I feel the carbon is a little more twitchy but it does have the edge over the glass vacuum in performance in that it seems to be quicker off the mark.Construction wise the carbon certainly has the edge in that the gelcoat seems to be harder (the gelcoat is chipping where I sometimes hit with my paddle in front of my feet on the glass vacuum construction) On the carbon layup I have not had any sign of damage.I reckon the carbon is really worth the extra money
Otherwise I reckon it is a dream of a ski.I get reasonable speed out of it, feel confident in messy sea and have huge fun downwind!
I am at the point whilst paddling it where I am thinking it is a bit like a longboard in waves.
I am a bit biased re Fenn skis!
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7 years 8 months ago #15235 by Kneewall49
I have a glass vacuum and find it very satisfying. My previous craft were a pair of Mako 6’s one glass the other carbon. I found the carbon fine and fast on the flat but I couldn’t paddle it as fast as the glass out to sea. My light weight 68kg I think didn’t suit the carbon boat, I was just spending too much stroke on stability correction.
So when the SFish came out I went for that and found it a great intermediate between the two Makos. It’s nice and light, extremely manoeuvrable, doesn’t broach on runs (as my Mako tended to do occasionally) picks up a run easily, is comfortable. All round a great boat. You would not be unhappy in a Swordfish!

Northern Beaches, Australia.
[Fenn Swordfish, Fenn Spark, Carbonology Zest Double
Pain is temporary, glory can be even less so...
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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #15236 by latman
Replied by latman on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...

I had to repair a glass/vacuum swordfish as there was a large "soft spot" where the coremat had delaminated (split) where the owner carried it on his hip , I think the carbon/foam cored construction is a better option(although it can have different problems) the one pictured had a large crack that needed repair
Attachments:
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7 years 8 months ago #15254 by Rod Thomas
OK this is pretty shocking. But thanks for posting. I have been thinking of ordering a SF and shipping it to Japan, but now I am having second thoughts. Presumably you also think it is shocking otherwise you wouldnt have posted it. So is this a Fenn problem, a Swordfish problem or is the user at fault for carrying it on his hip!? And what % of SFs glass vacuum have this problem 1% or 50%? It isnt good enough to say "well take it back to the supplier if you have the same problem, they will be very nice about it". I wouldn't have that option and have to get it right first time. While one doesnt want to libel manufacturers, this forum is the closest thing to a consumer group that I have to make informed decisions about purchases, so being open and honest about skis and their problems is good not bad. Obviously anecdotal evidence is insufficient but a customer satisfaction survey of owners, if the right questions were asked and the sample size big enough would be very helpful. I'm not volunteering as I'm pretty new but a ski repairer or other expert could do this well.
You say the carbon/foam cored construction can have different problems -but what exactly?

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7 years 8 months ago #15258 by mario
Replied by mario on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...
Hi,
I don't think you should worry. I have had about 20 Swordfishes come through my hands and no problems with any of them.I deal with many ski brands and I am of the opinion that the Fenns are the sturdiest skis on the market
M

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7 years 8 months ago #15262 by latman
Replied by latman on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...
I agree Fenns are usually quite sturdy but I think coremat does not vacuum bag well ,It gets squeezed too thin and there is not enough resin left to keep the cores integrity under load . when the owner carried it on his hip the core simply split in half

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7 years 8 months ago #15266 by zamalek
The problem with the SF being soft was only with the first bunch.How many?Only Keith could tell you.Mine went soft around the rudder,was returned to Fenn in East London and replaced with a new one.Since then you would swear I have tried my best to break it,a huge nosedive into a sandbank being one of many attempts to test the SF.It has come back for more and I give Fenn 10/10 for a great and strong boat.It is also way lighter than my Mako 6,stable & a downwind ski of note.You will not be dissappointed.

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7 years 8 months ago #15267 by mario
Replied by mario on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...
As far as I know Zamalek is right...only the first few skis might have had a problem.I always carry mine on my hip (I'm a bit of poser)and have had no problem.I am not very careful with them and have knocked them around a a bit. Certainly one of the better built skis around and it's so sweet in rough water!

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7 years 8 months ago #15268 by Rod Thomas
OK, Thanks for the replies but they beg more questions. Is the ski in the photos one of the early SFs? So why is latman repairing it and not Fenn? If the "coremat does not vacuum bag well" is the lay-up inherently weak? When I tried out the SF at the Paddling Centre FH in Jan I carried it on my shoulder and could push in the bottom of the hull with one hand. Is this normal? I couldnt do that with the Vault I also tried and my Horizon would never do that.

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7 years 8 months ago #15269 by zamalek
Can only be the "old" one.Mine was like that.The new one is completely different.I paddle mainly from Umdloti,north of Durban -
read heavy shorebreak,sandbanks at midbreak and a solid backline.
Downwind conditions are often extreme,possibly why there are so many paddlers who excel in these conditions from here.The only SF problems I have seen were all earlier batches.There are 5 (all more recent) in our group of buddies and zero problems.

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7 years 8 months ago #15287 by jamshort
Hi Rod,

if you want to try a Swordfish, I live in Tokyo and have one. I normally paddle in the Aushi/Hayama/Yokosuka area but can also head out to Chiba as well.

Let me know and we can arrange to meet up.

Cheers - or as they say here in Japan "Yoroshiku"

JS

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7 years 8 months ago - 7 years 8 months ago #15288 by Rod Thomas
This is awesome! I didnt know anyone was paddling nearby. I used to paddle the Edogawa and Arakawa rivers and Tokyo Bay off the Kasai Rinkai Koen. I'm now in Sendai (actually Shichigahama) and paddling a Horizon. Most days in winter it is a strong offshore (N) wind, and really cold, so I dont go out much. You must come up and I'll race you in my Horizon, haha. I tried out the SF and really like it. It is the construction I'm having doubts about. I'm toying with the idea of getting a Vault.
Yoroshiku onegaishimasu...

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7 years 8 months ago #15289 by Michael Smedley
The SF in the pic was mine.

I was told the fault was not warranty. I then sold it on and declared the repair to the buyer. It is now retired to calmer waters I believe.

I paddle daily so I had no time to dispute the matter. I just ordered another SF, carbon this time, which I was going to do anyway before the fault appeared.

I have since sold the carbon SF (which was faultless, well made and solid) Iv now moved up to a carbon elite and I also own a solid glass elite too.

I was taken care of by the local Fenn rep on the other purchases so I consider this compensation for the repair I had to fork out for.

I would not be put off by Fenn brand at all. To be fair, I do plenty of paddling and the vac glass SF must have done over 250 hours before the problem occurred.

We also tackle shore breaks were we are and you get it wrong once in while too. The Fenns stand up to the task pretty well considering.

I don't know much about boat building, but I believe that the problem is now resolved.

My personal preference is the carbon lay up. Its stiffer, more buoyant and responsive. It is however more twitchy.

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7 years 8 months ago #15290 by Nige
Replied by Nige on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...
Rod, you don't need to have any concerns about the Swordfish construction. I know a lot of current Swordfish owners and none of them have had any problems.

As mentioned by the other guys, there was a time about 5 years back (I would guess) when Fenn first started the glass vacuum construction and had some early teething problems. These were quickly resolved and all the defective skis were replaced without question.

Since then I have not heard of any problems with any Fenns, and in any big surfski race in Durban SA they are in the the majority, with well over a hundred on the start line.

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7 years 8 months ago #15296 by Metro
Replied by Metro on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...
Agree here, Fenn as a brand is one of the most bomb proof and I certainly would not be put off about construction. I beat my carbon Swordfish as hard as I can and no problems after a year.

As to the Swordfish itself, I think it is a marvelous intermediate downwind boat. Not the fastest thing in the flat, but it was not designed for the flat. If you are looking to have fun outside, you will not be disappointed with the Swordfish.

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7 years 7 months ago - 6 years 10 months ago #15689 by Rod Thomas

jamshort wrote: Hi Rod,

if you want to try a Swordfish, I live in Tokyo and have one. I normally paddle in the Aushi/Hayama/Yokosuka area but can also head out to Chiba as well.

Let me know and we can arrange to meet up.

Cheers - or as they say here in Japan "Yoroshiku"

JS


Hi Jamshort,
When you have time wont you send me a quick email.

Thanks
Rod

BTW I saw my Horizon on Google Earth
38° 17.733' N 141° 4.625' E
(sorry I cant send .kmz files)

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7 years 7 months ago #15718 by owenfromwales
Jamshort - I`d heard you`d relocated from HK recently. I`m still down on Okinawa, along with Brett (although his OC1 got smashed in the last typhoon and he`s still waiting to get it sea-worthy again). If you (or Rod) fancy visiting Okinawa main island, give us a shout. Plenty of space to crash here. My boats are antique, but still good enough to brave the 22C water we have to put up with this month!
okiowen(at mark)gmail

189cm 90~100kg
Present skis:
2017 Stellar SEI 2G
1993 Gaisford Spec Ski
1980s Pratt Spec Ski
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor
Previous
1980s UK Surf Skis Ocean Razor X 3
1987 Kevlar Chalupsky (Hummel) (Welsh copy!)
1988 Kevlar Double Chalupsky
1992 Hammerhead spec
2000 Fenn copy
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7 years 6 months ago #16209 by youngy
Replied by youngy on topic Re: ATT: SWORDFISH owners...
Hi Jamshot- I live in Tokyo but spend weekends on the Chiba coast. Started paddling an Epic V8 a year ago. Would be great to meet a fellow paddler if you ever head out to the Kujukuri area. paul young japan (all one word) gmail . com

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