How to fix (surf ski insides)

-- Last Updated: Feb-08-09 6:34 PM EST --

OK. I deleted my previous message, since I found out what the source of the grinding noises in my "new" Futura Spear surf ski was.

There is a hatch behind the seat. It is made from a fiberglass pan attached to the deck or high on the hull on the sides. It also seems to be about 1/2" above the hull below it but it must have been attached to it with some sort of connection maintaining this clearance. However, it has now detatched from it, and the area makes rather loud grinding noises even with a little twisting pressure or when leaning the boat.

I can feel that when I press down on the hatch bottom with the boat on the ground it connects with the support below it (just 1/8 of an inch or may be less of movement). If I gently step thru the hatch opening on the hatch bottom and try to wobble the boat about while keeping pressure in the middle of the hatch, the noise is gone. So it is definitely the hatch area has separated from the hull area below it.

I'd like to fix it if it would not be too hard.

Does anyone know how the Futura Spear or other similar skis are constructed internally in that area?

Could I just inject some epoxy there thru a small hole while keeping pressure on the hatch down, hoping it will cover the adjacent parts, reattach to the hull below it and be done with it?

Or would there be a better way to do it?


If you use an approach that simple, try
to get the new flexible West epoxy. Make sure the repair area has been dried out thoroughly.

I can’t quite visualize how the hatch sits in relation to the hull. If you can do a digital photo and post it, that would help. For such repairs, I like to get inside and use some cloth as well as epoxy for the repair. The fact that the hatch broke loose indicates that however it was glued or fixed in place did not take into account the stresses that have occurred since then.

Of course you can consult the manufacturer. Also, if it were my boat and I did not actually use the hatch, I might consider just ripping it out and covering the gap over.

On a separate note - paddling it :wink:
On a separate note, today being my very first day on a surf ski, I thought I’d share how it went.

The Futura Spear is only 16’ long with may be 15’ waterline or so. At just under 19" wide at the waterline, it actually felt very stable and not twitchy at all. It was in fact easier to straddle-remount it than my 22" kayak! Side-sitting remount turned out to be actually even easier and faster since the straps on the sides hinder cowboy reentry a bit. The only time I fell from it was when I wanted to practice reentry and once I had to stop fast when someone else turned infront of me…

I could apply all my power into forward stroke with the wing paddle as well. Also surprisingly to me, I could edge it deep so that it fills with water during the turn, with a wide sweep stroke/low brace with extended paddle and to turn it just as tight if not tighter than my 17’ Tempest kayak - the contact with the seat bucket and my feet is pretty good in the ski and because it is lighter it is more responsive.

The pool being flat water (with some 6" waves from rolling kayakers) of course is no indication about how I would feel in more txtured conditions, but I think most of the time where I paddle it will not be an issue at all.

Can anyone comment if the newer “stable” skis, like the Epic V10 Sport, are of similar stability or just a little less stable? I guess trying one is the way to tell, but it will be a while till the weather warms-up enough for me to brave open water in a ski and I’m trying to collect information to make a decision if I should shoot for something in the 19" V10 Sport or the next step down like a V10 so that I do not need to upgrade too soon after?

The hatch
I’ll take a photo tomorrow, hopefully. But the hatch has similar contour like the hull, except that it is flatter, hence the space b/w its center and the center of the hull (the hull is round under the hatch).

Imagine a flat-bottomed pan dropped on top of a round hull and the center of the square is connected to the curve of the hull below it.

I’d like to keep the hatch as it is a convenience but might need to rip it out if that’s the only way to do a good repair.

Contact Futura
Fix might be easy if something like just the upper edge is coming apart, or you may need to remove and reinstall the whole pan to get at stuff below. Can’t say without builder info/pictures/surgery. Best to know what sort of stringer or blocks might be in there, and what they’re made of, before you start mixing epoxy…

Certainly worth a call or email with some pictures to Vince:

Vince Darwood


Office: (415) 595-8391

Can’t see much on the website (but does show where hatch is):

Thanks - I’ll give him a call
Mine is an older model with a small round opening on the hatch, but otherwise looks identical.

Spoke with Futura and …
… it seems that the grinding is likely not an issue.

FYI. Appears in older models they used a wood stringer that might have dried/swollen out of shape/size a bit.

Vince was very helpful over the phone and explained that the grinding might just disappear over time and there is no need to repair. He also made a thoughtful suggestion to create a bottle holder from the opening, should I decide to repair and cut a small area to access under the hatch bottom.

That’s a relief and I hope the noise will go away over time indeed. Looks like the previous owner had not had it in the water for some time so perhaps the area will smooth-out with use.

Speaking of wood under the surface, I might try my electronic stud finder to see if it can locate the precise location of the wood piece and may be squirt some adhesive on it thru a small hole in the hatch…