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lanshark

No fins under boat

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lanshark

I recently bought 1999 sportster for a steal. I new it needed some work. One thing kinda weird is the two fins under the boat were removed and the holes filled in. Any reason for this? How badly will this effect pulling skiers? How difficult to put 2 back on the hull?

Thanks

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camcruiser13

youll probably want to put those back on if towing. ever used a float boat on a river?  they will help you keep it straight

i could be wrong

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gahvey

The fins are there for tracking so I am guessing the boat will be looser on the water and not turn as crisp..  Guessing if you did a hard turn the boat would pivot around the back of the boat instead of turn.

Not sure how hard it would be to put back in...if they just did gel coat, then it wouldn't be horrible, but if they glassed in the areas, then you are talking about a lot more work.

That being said, I have never done it but I am sure others on here will be able to tell you some tips.

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oldjeep

I'm guessing someone ripped them out on a lift or had them fall out and decided it was way cheaper to just fill the holes.  If they glassed the holes shut then they did half the work for you in the repair since you'll just need to drill them to the correct size for the new lags and bolt the fins on (once you find fins and bolts).

 

My inlaws have ripped a fin or 2 off their LXI in the past and had to do some glass/drilling and buy a new fin or 2.

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UWSkier

Put them back on.  2 at least.  3 if you plan on pulling skiers through a slalom course.  Boat will handle completely different (better) with them in place.  Sportster might be the most fun-to-drive DD ski boat ever made... with fins.

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Woodski

@lanshark - the fins will make a significant difference.  Any side force will allow the boat to significantly move sideways w/o them.  The shorter the line gets the more the problem will be accentuated.  As noted above, 2 at a minimum and three if you intend to use a slalom course.  Sportsters are a little hot rod, enjoy.  Also, it is a great barefoot boat.

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Eagleboy99

IIRC the Sportster only had two fins from the factory.  Marinehardware.com was the OE  I believe.  WIthout fins, a "bat turn" would be a riot!!  :)

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tvano
46 minutes ago, Eagleboy99 said:

IIRC the Sportster only had two fins from the factory.  Marinehardware.com was the OE  I believe.  WIthout fins, a "bat turn" would be a riot!!  :)

Two was standard third was a factory option

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lanshark

Thanks ya'll. I will probably go with 3 fins as shortline slalom is what I love. 2 will be easy as the holes are already visible, just filled. The third would go infront or behind the original 2?

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UWSkier
35 minutes ago, lanshark said:

Thanks ya'll. I will probably go with 3 fins as shortline slalom is what I love. 2 will be easy as the holes are already visible, just filled. The third would go infront or behind the original 2?

I can take a pic of the 3 on my Response.  Believe your Sporty would be the same.

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Rednucleus

My buddy's 98 Sporty has two fins and we use it a lot in the course. I would describe it as a "more squirrely" boat than the Nautique 200 I also use, but it is very responsive and tracks fine once you get used to it. If you are going with 3 fins, you might contact Malibu for correct placement. The 3rd fin may go in front or in back of the other two, or the set of three may be placed in a completely different orientation. I think the light weight of the Sporty plays an important part in tracking besides fin numbers.

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UWSkier

Believe they go immediately behind the keel "notch" regardless of the number of fins. Believe the front fin placement on my Response (pictured) is the same as my dad's SS VLX (which only has two fins). 

Front of the boat is on the right side of this image. 

IMG_20200416_163612.jpg

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lanshark

Once again, thank you! The input has helped a lot!

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jayR
Posted (edited)

On the 05 Malibu Response they did not use lags but instead used a machine screw and tapped into the fiberglass. I did this repair on my buddies boat last year. The front fin got torn off from hitting a log floating in the river. The way I repaired it was using marine tex to fill the holes, then drilling and tapping. I think the thing that primarily holds the fins on is that you coat the bottom of them with 4200,  the machine screws into epoxy helps add to the strength. They stayed stuck on all last year no problems and no leaks.

 One other thing I will add, some other manufactures use a thru bolt, I think the malibu v drives do as well? anyway, the beauty of the lag or tapped epoxy is that if you do hit something, yeah, you lose the fin to the bottom but almost no damage to the boat. Fin tears right off. if it was thru bolted, you might not lose the fin but I would assume the damage could be severe depending on what you hit.

Edited by jayR

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Woodski

FYI - I called Malibu many moons ago to talk to the engineering manager with a question I had.  The discussion was excellent and he was very responsive and open, point being, if you are inquisitive about the why's of what Malibu did, I suggest giving them a call to discuss.  The worst thing is you don't connect, but the upside can be very informative.

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