Tybee Bomb Squad wrote:
I just tightened my fins a bit to gain a little more thrust after watching the kayakfishnation vid.
Unfortunately that info is not totally accurate. In theory it's a good idea, but in practice, not so (at least for speeds below about 15 MPH). It's true, tightening the fins makes it harder to push. But, it also reduces forward thrust while increasing sideways thrust. Forward thrust is made by the fins twisting like a propeller blade. When you tighten the clew outhaul like it shows in the video, it removes this twist and makes the fins act more like wash boards -- you end up pushing the water back and forth with less forward motion! Since they are harder to push this way, you'll also get fatigued sooner.
In their defense, the Hobie instructions also provide the same incorrect information. Even worse, the factory assembles them that way (or at least has in the past). How can I be so sure? I've done a lot of experimenting on this and would add that the loose clew alternative is race proven. Hopefully Hobie will update their info one of these days. It was a great idea -- it just didn't pan out in speed realm of kayaks.
The optimal setting for Turbos is shown here:
Adjust the clew outhaul so that the fin foot (rear corner) is tucked in the sprocket guard slot about 1/8", just enough to keep it from popping out. As a double check, the fins should have about 1/4 to 3/8" vertical sliding room on the masts to wind up and twist.
The fins set this way will give you the best acceleration, top speed and fastest cruise for the effort. Try it out!