Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

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Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Sir Adam » Tue May 07, 2013 12:18 pm

One of the few purpose-built creek boats, the Finkenmeister seems to have a "love it or hate it' personality. Some folks have described it as difficult to roll. Most say it needs to be paddled aggressively (not a boat to just sit and brace in). Then there is the outfitting...

I'm looking forward to hearing tales, too... as I know some folks have been able to really step up their game in this boat...

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by PAC » Tue May 07, 2013 6:02 pm

Its a love / hate relationship (particularally for me when there are hip pads in the darn thing) and its big, heavy and has a bulbous nose, beaver tail and a rake that gets a lot of queer looks at put ins and take outs.

Overall I REALLY like this boat - its a "go to" for cold weather or big creeking were I know I might screw up and have some boat assistance to get it done.

You have to be cab forward and actively engaged when paddling or you're know it. Fairly fast on line and quick to get up to speed. Has the rails on the bottom edges that make it snap to it when engaged, abd help getting it up to speed and a flatter bottom to stall when needed or surf. The bulbous bow surfaces nice on drops or heavy mank and the beaver tail gets you out of harms way when you've screwed up or have to run away.

Can be a bugger to roll unless you are cab forward.

Very happy with it and its even user friendly to the slalom crowd when they get stuck creeking for the day (right Mike?).
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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by fez » Tue May 07, 2013 7:49 pm

I never got used to the positioning of the knees and missed my roll to often in it. On the other hand I had lots of fun with it and it never let me down. Clearly a love / hate relationship.
And it is fast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOuvlx580zA" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (60 sec)
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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by yarnellboat » Wed May 08, 2013 6:28 am

Maybe this thread will inspire me to get mine on a river!! As with all C-1s, I've had to mess with the outfitting to fit myself in there, but I'm in the Fink because it's got a nice tall cockpit for my big legs (and it won't be as sketchy or uncomfortable as too-small-for-me palyboat conversions). I think I've got to move my weight a touch forward, and then maybe it's ready to see more than the pool.

Seems like an interesting boat. Every boat is a bit different to roll and the Fink is no exception, but I haven't found it to be a problem, at least not after some outfitting work to get my knees as spread & low as they can be.

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Rand C1 » Thu May 09, 2013 10:26 pm

I also have a Fink. I dont have much to add to what PAC said, thats pretty much the case. It took me awhile to love my Fink but its my boat now. I am in the cockpit as far forward as it will allow. When you roll, your arms need to be forward over the deck. It definetly saved my butt on the UY a few times.

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by TheKrikkitWars » Sat May 11, 2013 5:48 pm

I've looked at getting a Finkenmeister a couple of times and always ended up scratching my head, I like the idea but I'm put off by the very low volume stern, it looks like it could give a heavier paddler the option of treating it a bit more like a slalom boat (by far the funnest way to get around)... but also that in really confused water, that it would be almost as much of a hindrance as a help. The apparently much improved speed and lack of longtitundnal rocking with agressive paddlestrokes compared to a conversion appeal a lot too, thought they come at the expense of heavily rockered bow and (especially) stern which are de-rigueur in all modern creekboat designs.

As I've taken time out of boating, and ended up doing stuff on flatwater with my old canoe club I've realised that my paddling is an unholy alliance of the aggressive "cab forward" paddling that typifies conventional slalom technique, and things pinched from the "off the stern" technique more common in the US kayaking community... I would change it, but in the converted creekboats I'm using, it's much easier to use those kayaker derived techniques sometimes as speed becomes a bit less critical.

So my question is this: Is the Fink still something you could consider a true creekboat, and will it cope with paddling shallow rocky class IV+ and steep narrow class V, if you use the right techniques.
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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Rand C1 » Sat May 11, 2013 9:24 pm

The low volume stern keeps me from getting stern squirted real hard(& flipped & subsequent loss of speed...)when I'm a little off line(nothing for the hole to grab). Lean it a little and it eddies like a champ. Not slow, I like the boat.
Rand

P.S. I don't use hip pads the bulkhead seems to do it for me.

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Mike W. » Sun May 12, 2013 4:18 pm

I've borrowed PAC's Fink twice to paddle the Meadow Run & Cheat Canyon. PFD's on both runs for me. It had great speed for plastic. It feels a little strange at first, but once you realize that you can paddle it like an open boat that doesn't fill up, it's on. We don't have technical runs like those here. If we did, I'd own a Fink. I'm still kind of keeping my eyes open for one for those trips up North.

I don't know how it rolls. It was so stable & took such good care of me on unfamiliar runs that I haven't flipped it.

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by yarnellboat » Sun May 12, 2013 10:06 pm

Wish mine could do that! Pat.

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by yarnellboat » Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:48 pm

Finally got out in a C-1 again, it was better for me in the Fink than it was in the Redline, but keep working on the outfitting of both. Obviously my biggest problem with C-1ing is that I only try it once every 18-months - no wonder I'm not getting any more comfortable!

Hey, do any of you Fink owners have access to the bow compartment of your boat? Because the cockpit is not long like conversions, the only access to storage would be through the bulkhead. The bulkhead in mine is sealed right up, so anything I'd want to carry (a spare paddle, pin kit, throw rope, water, lunch, whatever) would all have to go into the lower-volume stern instead of the spacious bow compartment - is that standard for the Robson bulkhead?

I'm thinking of carving some holes near the top of the bulkhead, where I could then at least tuck a throw rope or water bottle.

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:07 am

yarnellboat wrote:Finally got out in a C-1 again . . .
The Masked Man rides again!

Great news, Pat! :)
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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by yarnellboat » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:45 pm

Rick, if I never-ever got out, how would I keep stock of how quickly & badly my skills are deteriorating? :-?

Sadly, I think the North Shore run-off is about done and even with that quick-access ww available I wasn't able to get out much. Unfortunately paddling so infrequently makes trying the C-1s pretty useless.

So, where did you keep anything in this Fink of yours?

Pat.

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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:11 am

yarnellboat wrote: . . . I wasn't able to get out much. . .
See you at Rivers Week, Pat? The Similkameen or Tulameen would be pretty mellow for some decked boating. . .

(Far as storage was concerned, I didn't have the boat long enough to solve the issue!) :roll:
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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Sir Adam » Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:23 am

My bulkhead is not sealed off... not that there is much room to toss a paddle up that way, but throw bag, sandals, and other gear fit fine.

At least until I add more foam:)
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Re: Boat of the Week - Robson Finkenmeister

Post by Bruce Farrenkopf » Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:10 am

Wow, we are once again thinking about Der Finkenmeister :) .
I have continued to paddle mine. It has been 6 or 7 years now, although for more serious water I had been paddling my Pyranha H3 conversion. Just recently broke the H3 so the Fink is now my primary float until a new Pyranha Burn arrives.
As far as getting access to the AMPLE bow, a lot of minicell needs to be trimmed out. I can get some gear in the bow area but it is not nearly as convenient as some of my other boats.
The Finkenmeister has some good qualities - it is fast, it boofs well, it surfs, snaps into eddies, ferries on edge, resurfaces stably after a steep drop and it can take a beating. Yes, it is more difficult to roll, has poor primary stability, and I wish I could get my knees wider and deeper in the boat. The outfitting has been a work in progress and I just finished another outfitting upgrade :-? . With some boats it never ends. I finally pinned those annoying big hip pads to the cockpit rim and that makes entry much easier. Installing thigh straps was something I did years ago.
Der Finkenmeister lives on :wink: !
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