Submitted: 04-18-2006 by Kevin
This is an update to my 3-10-2005 review. I've added another modification to improve the tracking on flat water and smooth out the maneuverability on surf. I came into some scraps of carbon fiber panel recently though this mod could be made with 1/8" aluminum as well. I fabricated a center tail fin out of the carbon fiber panel scraps which is about 5" at its root and contours to a "loose J" at its terminus about 8-10" from the root. The carbon fin is a little over 1/8" thick laminated from a piece of 1/8 and 1/16 carbon fiber. One inch of the root is reinforced to be three times this thick. To that is attached 2 5" lengths of 1/1 aluminum angle to form a "fin box". This is attached to the tail end of the Reggae with 4 1/4-20 stainless hex round head bolts and wellnuts. The attachment is very strong and I can pick up as well as rotate the kayak in slings by the fin. The fin is bolted with 1/4-20 nylon screws and stainless steel nuts so that shearing in the long axis of the kayak can take place if the fin comes into something (like the bottom) too hard. The trailing edge of the fin is tethered to the aft toggle handle.
The length and shape was chosen to eliminate the tendency on flatwater for the stern to pivot forward as well as improve carving in surf conditions.
This boat is now out of production but the fin can be easily removed if necessary by loosening the 1/4-20 bolts that mount the "fin box", and screwing them back in to the wellnuts, thereby plugging the holes.
If you're interested, e-mail me for photos.