View Full Version : shallow water

10th February 2007, 10:22 AM
g'day hoping someone out there can give me some advice.
Down here in Australia we are in a huge drought, which has meant my favourite lake for sailing on is running very low on water.
I am learning on a 155 GO and loving it but find that the 55cm drake fin is too long as is the 47cm weed fin.
I have tracked down a 32cm Carve fin but will this be too short for the GO!

10th February 2007, 01:29 PM
Have you tought about the dual fin HiFly Madd?
Much more shallow water use than single fin board.

10th February 2007, 01:32 PM

10th February 2007, 05:18 PM
u've got a problem there m8. How good is your level and what conditions are you sailing in etc because that 32 cm fin, is waaaaaaaaaaaaay to short for the go155. I own a Go139 and the smallest fin i can use is a 40 cm Select Ride and i need to have the conditions for it, anything shorter and i just get spin outs all the time.
If u'r considering changing boards u can see if the Mistral Ntrance isn't available, big boards with a sword in the middle which compensates for the small fin (it's about 30-35 cm).
If you're already quite a good sailor (u know eg beachstart and harness) then u can even start looking at (depending on your weight) lighter boards.

hope it helps,


11th February 2007, 10:39 AM
Thanks for the advice guys.
It looks like i will need to stick to the fins i currently use or find more water as we are getting the lake down to less than 50cm in many parts at the moment! Maybe even go back to the ocean!
Starboard do have a shallow water fin for the GO i may have to just order one. $$$
Catch ya

11th February 2007, 10:51 AM
Hmm... If you are using a 55cm fin as your standard fin, I would think you could get away with a much smaller weed fin than the 40cm you are talking about. For my 9.8m2 V8, most people use a 70cm upright fin or 42cm weed fin. With that logic, I would think you need a much smaller weed fin. Maybe you should be looking for a 32-35cm weed fin?

Let's see if someone else can confirm what I'm thinking.

11th February 2007, 07:36 PM
If i would reply to this topic before him, i would say exactly what o2bnme said. The weed fins don&#39;t go as deep in the water as the regular fins, but they have just as much SURFACE, and that is what really matters when trying to avoid spin-outs. Don&#39;t use a 32 cm fin unless you are really experienced, lighter than 70 kg and sailing really small sails (<5.8). But if that is so, i can&#39;t see why you would be using a 155 litre board.

All the best

Sam R
11th February 2007, 11:05 PM

Hey mate, I understand the long fin in shallow water problem.

I sail a Free Formula 198 that is 90 cm wide with a 65 cm fin most of the time here in central Ohio in the US. However, on light wind days I sometimes put on a True Ames Shallow Water 38 cm fin that works well for me.

I have used the 38 cm fin with my 10.0 Retro in 10 knots and could still go upwind. I also used it in strong wind witha 5.5 Retro and that worked too.

I just got back from 3 weeks in Bonaire and the water there is really shallow at low tide. I rode the HiFly Madd 165 that comes with two 36 cm fins. However, those are too long for there and I used my own 30 cm True Ames Teardrop fins. They worked well for up to 8.0 sails. I even used 25 cm fins a couple of days with a 5.5 sail. You can get used to shorter fins in a couple of days. You just can&#39;t push on the back leg against the fin until you&#39;re going pretty good.

The local pros use very short fins and do amazing free style in about calf deep water.

Let me know if you try the 38 shallow water fin. I got mine from Isthmus Sailboards in the US for about $100. I think it might be the answer you&#39;re looking for.


12th February 2007, 09:32 AM
I started out on an original Start from 2001 which came with the Drake 40cm wide chord fin. I always thought that wasn&#39;t such a bad fin with sails up to 8.5.

13th February 2007, 11:44 AM
Hello BJ2701,
The guys have given you some pretty good things to try here.
I agree with both o2bnme and Sam that there are some better weed fin
designs that might work for you.
Here&#39;s my take on this (I just got back from Bonaire and was sailing an Isonic 122 with a 32 cm Lessacher Design with sails up to 8.5 m2 in the very shallow Lac Bay waters.) I had almost no spinout with this fin, and it cleared the bottom except when the tide was at it&#39;s lowest.
I also use a different design weed fin (Tangent Dynamics Reaper 32 cm) with up to a 7.5 m2 SW Retro and again had very little spinout.
Weed fins have quite a bit more area than more vertical fins (for a given depth or span) so you can use a smaller weed fin with a larger rig and get away with it.
The weed fins are inherently safer (in shallow waters) as well since they are raked back at 45 deg. or more and this allows the rear of your board to be pushed up over the shallow areas with a much less rapid deceleration when you get into water that&#39;s too shallow for the fin.
So, look at some different weed fin designs and see if there isn&#39;t something available there in Australia that will work for you.
The True Ames Shallow water weed series would be really good also, but I did not have one in a small enough size (44 cm is the smaller of the 2 I currently have) to work in Bonaire where the rental boards all have fins that are 32 cm or shorter. I&#39;ve used the True Ames Shallow water 44 quite a bit here in Hatteras and it works well with sails up to around 9.0 m2.
The Drake 42 cm cleaver fin is pretty good, but you don&#39;t get the added safety feature of a raked back leading edge so if you "go aground" on a
"cleaver style shallow water fin, you get the same rapid decelleration (and often a major catapault type wipeout) that you would with any vertical LE fin.
True Amea makes a really nice 38 cm "cleaver style" vertical shallow water fin that you might want to look into as well.
Hope this helps,

13th February 2007, 06:40 PM
Thanks very much for the advise it is great to get other opinons as I am a little out of the city here and besides there are only 2 windsurf shops in Adelaide!
I&#39;ll keep looking for the "right" fin.

13th February 2007, 07:42 PM
Hi BJ2701,
I&#39;m pretty sure that if you have a major credit card, you could probably order fins from True Ames, Wolfgang Lessacher, Gorge Fin Co., Tangent Dynamics, etc. and they would be able to send the fin right to your door.
Yes, the shipping could be a little steep, but not having fun, because you are "dragging the fin" or become afraid to "let it all hang out" for fear of the big crash when you go aground, could be even more "costly".
If you need the links, we can provide them. Some of these companies may have some sort of distribution set up in Australia.
Or, if you know anyone who does business trips to the US or Europe,
order the fin and have them pick it up on their next trip.
Hope this helps,

13th February 2007, 10:39 PM
Hallo BJ 2701 ! You should try the 36cm Duo Weed in 100% carbon.
Shipping from Germany to Australia 2 weeks. No spin outs. Asymmetr.
fin. 550cm?? area. Diagonal 51cm long.
Look: www.Design-Lessacher.com

14th February 2007, 07:08 AM
Great to see you on here Wolfgang! I am hoping to pester Roger to try some of your fins he has while at Windfest. ;-)

John Kemsley
16th February 2007, 04:53 PM
I use one of Wolfgangs fins on my GO - awesome, no problems