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 Post subject: 17 to Sport conversion
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Hi all,
New to HobieCat and happened upon this Cat locally and have decided a jib is a necessity for me as I just dont have the finesse required to tack this twin hull and relying on gyb for changing directions can be a challenge especially solo. Add to that the fact that my forearms will eventually get blown out hanging onto the tiller in a stiff wind on a beam reach (too much weatherhelm for this 40something). I have read a few of the posts here and I am hoping someone can direct me to a thread or other tutorial that outlines the steps and parts required for adding the jib and perhaps some hints on where to find standing and running rigging needed as well as sail to complete the mod. I suspect going new on everything might be costly so if there are sources for used parts that would be helpful as well. Thanks to all for any advice or guidance!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:23 am 
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You're probably going to have a tough time finding the parts used, but maybe. A Hobie dealer can hook you up with all the necessary parts and the conversion kit is in the Hobie catalog.

Here is the instruction for the conversion. http://static.hobiecat.com/item_attachments/52995610z52.pdf

Regarding weather helm, you need to take a look at your rudder system. You should not need a jib to balance the helm as the standard H17 (no jib) will sail with a feather-light helm if the rudders are properly adjusted. Check to make sure your rudders are going all the way down and that the cam is functioning properly and locking into the upper casting. The upper castings should "click" in to the lower casting when the rudders are down. If the cam is working properly and the rudders are locking down correctly and you still have excessive weather helm, then you need to rake the rudders farther forward (bring the bottom tips forward). Adjusting the rudder rake is achieved by moving the slider plate on the upper casting and the small set screw in the bottom of the lower casting.

sm


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:11 pm 
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Thats interesting. Feather light is far from the experience I am having in 15-20. Its more like hold on for dear life. It does seem the rudders are not seating as far down as possible. Perhaps it is just a simple adjustment. Unfortunately, that will not fix the tacking issue. I must be honest, I just dont get it. the seller told me that he always gybed because the boat just doesnt tack. And I am finding the same experience, especially in a stiff wind, the wind just stops the boat cold. If I am missing something here please tell me. I will certainly check the rudders.

I have found the jib kit parts here and there used but I am not sure I want to be piecing this together, however $1500 is a little more than i want to put into this right now.

Thanks for the rudder tips (haha)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:25 am 
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erw698 wrote:
It does seem the rudders are not seating as far down as possible.


Yep... that would do it. The cams are likely not locking the rudders in the down position and possibly already tripped into the locked position.

Here is a rudder FAQ that will help: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=467

With rudders working properly (helm can be neutral in all conditions) and the centerboards down... and some proper cat sailing technique... tacking will be much easier for you. It is a learning process and not a design issue, so read up and try some of the ideas.

mmiller wrote:
Tacking? There is lots written on this subject here in the forums. Search on key words. Basics are to keep up your speed when nearing the tack. Push the rudders over lightly at first, then further as the boat slows (continue to hold the rudders over all the way through the tack). Sheet hard into the tack and release the sheet as the boat goes head to wind. Force the boom out a few feet with your shoulder as you cross under the boom to the new weather side. Allow the boat to come well onto the new tack before sheeting...slowly. then sheet harder as you gain some speed and steerage.


Sailing FAQ section: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=18

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:34 am 
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Location: Rockford, IL
I've had 2 H-17s and didn't have a heavy weather helm on either, so yeah, look at your rudder adjustment. And your mast rake. If it's back too far, it'll add weather helm. It may be what's making your tacking difficult too. Maybe somebody more knowledgeable than me can tell you how mast rake affects tacking.
A jib won't make tacking magic. My Getaway with a jib doesn't tack any better than my 17's, maybe not even as well. I used to take the 17 down narrow channels, tacking my way along. I wouldn't dare do that with the Getaway.
When tacking, if you are pointed very high, fall off and get up some speed. Then firmly push the tiller, but don't stall the rudders. You want to come about smoothly. Leave the sheet loose until you get well past the eye, and tack well past a close reach. Pull the sail in gradually, get up some speed then head up back into a close reach. I think smoothness is key.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:39 pm 
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erw698 wrote:
Thats interesting. Feather light is far from the experience I am having in 15-20. Its more like hold on for dear life. It does seem the rudders are not seating as far down as possible. Perhaps it is just a simple adjustment.


Your rudders are definitely not adjusted properly. If I had to bet, I'd wager that your cams are flipped in the wrong position and not allowing you to properly lock the rudders down. It is a relatively simple adjustment. Read the FAQ, talk to a dealer, find someone in your area that knows Hobies, or snap a couple pics of your rudder system and post them up here. There are really only a couple things that would cause your rudders to have that much helm - either the cam is flipped the wrong way and not allowing you to lock the rudders down, or the adjuster plate in the upper casting needs to be adjusted to allow the rudder to seat farther forward.

Having improperly adjusted rudder helm will definitely effect your ability to tack successfully. Too much helm means the boat naturally just wants to weather vane (that's the pull that you're fighting). With a balanced helm, the boat will smoothly turn into and away from the wind. Tacking the 17 is a little more difficult than boats with a jib, but with a little practice and a properly tuned boat, it should become pretty much automatic in light to moderate breeze.

sm


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:31 am 
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Welcome to the class. H17 is a fine and rewarding boat.

The H17 shares the same rudder as the H16 and maybe others H18?. BUT the pivot holes differ. Maybe your rudders are from another boat.

I would encourage you to pull the rudder cam assembly to bits. Buy a new kit of cams and springs and just re-do the whole lot. It is not an expensive exercise and worth it. I did find that my original cam had skewed over because of the way it is made - it is hollow on one side. Before fitting the new one I filled it with epoxy to make it a solid cam.
Tension on the cam is via a spring loaded "piston". That needs to be free so a good solution is some lubricant. I used a silicon grease but there are options e.g. food grease, maybe petroleum jelly, anything to keep the system mobile and not cause other issues.

Tacking - not always easy but it gets better with practice. H17 is a heavy-ish boat and you can use its inertia to carry the boat through the wind.

Conversion to Sport is something I did. Being of Scottish roots I scoured the world for cheap parts before seeing that the best option is just to buy the full kit. Maybe you can get really lucky and find it all in a package from someone parting out their boat, but I suggest you don't try to cobble bits together from all over the place.
Hobie downloads has helpful info about how to deal with the change.
If you do go to Sport, consider upgrading the tang to the H16 fitting that gives more support for a head sail than the original mast fitting.
Good sailing...


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:13 am 
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gmhendo wrote:
The H17 shares the same rudder as the H16 and maybe others H18?. BUT the pivot holes differ. Maybe your rudders are from another boat.
The rudder blade is the same on the 14, Wave (not the EZ-Loc blade, though), 16, 17, 18, Getaway.

The 17 shares rudder castings with almost everything except the 14 and 16. The rudder castings determine the hole placement in the rudder blade.

While the upper, aft hole is in a similar location, the forward holes are so different between the 16 and 17 pattern, it's doubtful you could even fit the blade to the castings with mis-matched blades.

From what you've described, you've got rudder cam problems, and your rudders are not locked down.

Tacking the 17 is easy - once you get the technique down. Steer gently - and consistently (don't let go of the tiller in mid-tack). You must ease the mainsheet in mid-tack - probably 4 feet of sheet at least. Make sure the mast rotates. Don't start sheeting in until you start moving on the new tack, then pull it in slowly as the boat accelerates.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:17 am 
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Thanks for all the helpful information I will order new cams today. I do have the black Kevlar blades according to seller. Not sure if that makes any difference. Sounds like if I can get them vertical, the torque will be lessenned substantially. I will try that before I spend the 1500 on a jib setup. From what I see, the greatest potential savings going used is a few hundred dollars which isnt a large enough spread to sacrifice the peace of mind that comes with new equipment .I do plan to replace standing rigging.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:50 am 
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Likely the EPO rudder, but not Kevlar. Those are fiberglass.

Easiest to do is review the cam FAQ. Lubricate, adjust and understand how the system works. Rudders locked down is what you need.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:43 pm 
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Further inspection revealed both cams were locked down, not sure how long this has been like this. Where can I find a digram that shows cam position relative to rudder position and how and when the cam moves relative to the rudder postion. Seller advised the cams hold rudder down and open if rudder strikes an object underwater. I get that. What I dont get is the relative positioning.

BTW, snapped both cams trying to open them. I did however get them open.

Replacements in transit.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:56 am 
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In the FAQ on cams, you would see that inserting a blade screwdriver to depress the plungers would allow you to open the cams. Then lubricate.

The cam has a "hook" that faces upwards when open. There are two indents that the plunger rides on. Shallow open and a deep one when locked.

The cam image below is pretty much what if looks like when locked down.

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:29 am 
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Thanks Matt,

I would really like to better understand positioning. When should the cam be open and when should it be closed and how does that happen?


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:59 am 
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When lowering the rudders, the upper casting has a plate that presses down on the cam as it is lowered. The cam rotates to the lock position... the cam holds the plate down.

If you lift the upper arm... the plate pulls up on the cam hook and rotates it to the open position.

From the Cam FAQ:

Quote:
CAMS -

The Hobie rudder cam system is pretty easy to deal with if you keep it greased. Use marine grease, if possible, between the cam and plunger. Anything will do as a temp lubrication: Suntan lotion, WD-40 or Chap Stick etc. Marine or bearing grease just stays there longer. Lubricating the system will prevent damage to the cam and plunger that is caused when the cam gets stuck in the down position.

A tight fit is required between the upper arm and cam (lower casting) when the rudder is locked down. The rudder should be held firmly against the lower casting. Any rudder movement, aft from the casting, indicates a miss-adjustment that can allow the upper arm to disengage from the cam without forcing it to rotate into the open (unlocked) position.

If the cam sticks in the down position there are several methods to get it to rotate release. From above and forward of the assembly, lift the upper arm and rotate it aft and out of the way. Loop a line around the cam yank the line to pop the cam open. You can also use the tiller arm to assist this technique by wrapping the line around the cam, then lowering the tiller arm and wrapping the line a few times around the tiller arm. Pull up on the tiller arm which (through the line) levers the cam open. There are several tools that can also be used. I use a large blade screwdriver that can be inserted into the side of the cam to leverage it open. There is also a tool (Hobie Part # 83103 / 2003 Catalog page forty eight) that has a small hook that can be used (by drilling a small hole in the cam to allow it to be inserted) for leverage. You can also use a small flat blade screw driver to work between the cam and plunger... force the plunger down to unlock the cam. I find that this works very well even if the cams are dry and un-lubricated.

If the cam is really stuck down, the only tool needed is a small blade screwdriver. You work the blade between the cam and plunger to force the plunger down and release the cam. Don't bother with the big screw under the spring they often are fused in place and the spring does not need to be adjusted but a few times in the life of the boat.

If the cam keeps getting stuck down, even when greased, there is a miss adjustment in the upper casting plate (newer boats), the rudder is drilled wrong causing too much play in the system or it is worn out (too flexible) where it hooks the upper casting.

A cam plate too far forward can keep the cam from fully locking. A cam plate too far aft will allow the rudder to slip aft in the lower casting or allow the upper casting to be raised without pulling the cam open. To adjust the upper plate, lock the rudder down and hold the rudder firmly against the lower casting (forward most position). Loosen the upper plate then back it away from the cam a little. You want to seat the plate tight against the cam (in the fully locked position) while holding the rudder forward in the lower casting. Ease the plate forward while wiggling the upper arm up and down just a bit. The idea is to find the point of deepest insert that the upper plate can get into the cam. That may mean that the upper casting is not touching the lower casting. Don't force the plate too far forward as this will begin to force the cam open. When tightening the plate, be sure the plate doesn't move. I usually tighten with the wrench handle rotating forward towards the cam to move the plate forward if anything.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:13 am 
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This is a Hobie 16, but system works the same.

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