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NorCaliBu

Tracking Fins

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NorCaliBu

My Sportster LX only has two tracking fins. Would I gain enough performance adding a third to make it worth the $$ and the work?

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martho

What is your main purpose of the boat?

Are you into 22' off or deeper? And at what speed?

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whiteVLX

It's been a while since I looked under a sportster. Is there even room under there for a third fin?

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Wkerat

The only gain would be it would aid your driver and make your runs more accurate in a course since the boat would not be pulled as much. On another note you will not get anything for it on resale.

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martho

My sportster did not turn very well. BarefootOzz's RLX has a much tighter turn and tracks much better than my sporty ever did. His RLX is very similar to my 99 Sporty. However his RLX has 3 fins. I thought about adding the 3rd fin to the sporty and didnt do it before I sold it.

I would love to have a 2 fin and 3 fin sporty to play with side by side

Yes, there is room for the 3rd fin on a Sporty.

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NorCaliBu

Boy, I stepped away to handle a few business e-mails and look what happened. Biggrin.gif

I am currently running 22 off / 34 mph with occassional runs at 28 off / 32 mph. My thinking was definitely to make driving easier. A little sporty with 8 gals of gas doesn't weigh much and I can yank her around pretty good. Enough that my wife doesn't like pulling me on the skinny stick.

I haven't even gotten to the point of finding out the cost. I was curious if the third fin would make a noticable difference in the handling. Although, I guess if it didn't, they wouldn't put three on the Response.

Thanks for the feedbac so far. I have a couple other mod's to make first but I am still interested in this. If I could find a sporty that got hammered and pick up a fin on the cheap....Hmmm.

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SacRiverRat

Lengthen the boat

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VinRLX
I haven't even gotten to the point of finding out the cost.

I'd be curious to know what something like that would run. Third fin was an option on the sporty, IIRC.

Mark's comments are interesting. Not turning as quickly must have to do with the fin and non/diamond hull.

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actionadd

I thougt the fins were less than $100. Are they thru bolted or scewed to the bottom of the hull.

You could put 2 Gorilla fins on it.

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UWSkier
I thougt the fins were less than $100. Are they thru bolted or scewed to the bottom of the hull.

You could put 2 Gorilla fins on it.

Not according to Malibu. I looked into doing this on our '01 VLX. Malibu said no way. Cry.gif

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aneal000

Back in the day, I did the exact mod you are asking about. I had a 98 sportster LX. I talked to the dealer at the time and they ordered me one up, it costs $60.00, I went to the hardware store and bought some screw-in inserts, SS screws, and some epoxy. Pulled out my cordless drill, lined everything up drilled 4 holes, epoxy-ed/screwed the inserts in place - let it dry, then mounted the fin and enjoyed a few years of owning a 3 tracking fin sportster. Total spent $70! Very easy install, at least for me, but I'm used to drilling holes in stuff... so whipping out the ole 1/2" drill bit doesn't bother me at all!

I'd rate this a 2 prop install - out of 4! Go for it, I could tell a difference in how the boat performed. BTW, the 3rd tracking fin is an option on all sportsters.

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aneal000

BTW, Malibu makes 3 different fins.

1- bolt from the bottom up standard (sportster, response, etc)

2- bolt from the top down - no exposed hardware when you look at them (VLX, etc)

3- Gorilla fins - bolt from the top down, all new vdrives

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aneal000
I thougt the fins were less than $100. Are they thru bolted or scewed to the bottom of the hull.

You could put 2 Gorilla fins on it.

Not according to Malibu. I looked into doing this on our '01 VLX. Malibu said no way. Cry.gif

Define Malibu - your dealer or the factory?

And what were you wanting to do - add a 3rd or put two Gorilla fins on it?

Either way it is possible, but you will have to do some serious labor and fill in old holes, glass work, etc... It's not a simple swap, but it is possible.

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UWSkier

Malibu factory told us not to bother.

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88Skier

It cost me $80 for the 3rd fin when I ordered my boat. If you're in Maine this summer, come on by and try mine.

I wouldn't add Gorilla fins. But if it's just a matter of adding a 3rd fin and not having to relocating the other 2 fins, it doesn't seem that adding a 3rd would be that difficult.

Edited by 88Skier

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VinRLX

C'mon, Michael. DIY! Be sure to do a tech article to balance out your useless posts. ;) And put a string of christmas lights on the new fin for us?

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88Skier

I'd have to want one really bad to take a drill to the bottom of the boat.

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SacRiverRat

If you had fin envy like Michael, it would be worth it..

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aneal000
I'd have to want one really bad to take a drill to the bottom of the boat.

Don't trust yourself? Biggrin.gif

Back in the day I used to take drills, wire cutters, and the like to brand new Jags, BMW's, Vetts, and other expensive cars... taking a jig-saw to the roof of a brand new Mit. 3000 was fun! You learn real quick to measure twice, cut once, and trust yourself.

So drilling a few holes in fiberglass is childs play anymore...

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NorCaliBu

Thank you everyone for the useful info. I'm definitely going to look into it further if it's something I could do for less than $100. Thumbup.gif Obviously I won't be able to do a side by side comparison but I'm infinitely aware of the handling characteristics of my baby so the change will be readily apparent.

Thanks again (especially you Tony, you're the man.) :)

Oh, SacRiverRat...... :biteme:

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88Skier

Back in the day I used to take drills, wire cutters, and the like to brand new Jags, BMW's, Vetts, and other expensive cars...

I bet they weren't your cars. It's a lot less stressful (even fun), :) modifying other people's stuff, especially when they're asking you to.

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aneal000
Thanks again (especially you Tony, you're the man.) :)

Oh, SacRiverRat...... :biteme:

See, even us wakeboard punks know a useful thing or two every once in a while! :)

Back in the day I used to take drills, wire cutters, and the like to brand new Jags, BMW's, Vetts, and other expensive cars...

I bet they weren't your cars.  It's a lot less stressful (even fun), :)  modifying other people's stuff, especially when they're asking you to.

[email protected] right they weren't mine! Which made it all the better! But there was still a respect for, and awarness of value - so you tried not to mess up... :)

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NorCaliBu

Talk about digging one out of the mothballs... :lol:

Well, it took me six years but I'm finally going to add a 3rd tracking fin to the Sporty. :thumbup:

Actually, it took me six years to find one for $40... :lol:

It's on it's way to me from the east coast so I should have it in a week or so. I'll post the results so all of my slalom brothers with two-fin tractors will know if it's worth the effort. I have a feeling it will be. One of my best friends has a 99 Sporty that is mechanically identical to my 00 so we will be able to do a side by side comparison.

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NorCaliBu

Wow!! I tip my hat to the USPS. My tracking fin left MA on Tuesday and arrived in CA on Thursday. For less than $11.00 shipping.

What adhesive do they use on these things?

There are pieces of gelcoat from the boat it came off of stuck to the bottom (or top? :unsure:) of the fin. :shocked:

Also, Chris sent the machine screws with it. Anyone (dealers or someone from Malibu) know if they install SS inserts to thread the machine screws into? Or just thread them into the glass? I'm thinking inserts, no?

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85 Barefoot

Wow!! I tip my hat to the USPS. My tracking fin left MA on Tuesday and arrived in CA on Thursday. For less than $11.00 shipping.

What adhesive do they use on these things?

There are pieces of gelcoat from the boat it came off of stuck to the bottom (or top? :unsure:) of the fin. :shocked:

Also, Chris sent the machine screws with it. Anyone (dealers or someone from Malibu) know if they install SS inserts to thread the machine screws into? Or just thread them into the glass? I'm thinking inserts, no?

How long are the screws? I would think it would have a washer and nut on other side....have you looked at your 2 fins?

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