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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Hello all more experienced Getaway sailors,

I bought my '02 Getaway last summer. So, admittedly, I'm still learning the ins and outs of her.

Last weekend in 25+ knot winds, I was having difficulty putting the rudders down. The weather side rudder kept popping up for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, one of these times pulled my attention away from the wind and I wound up full-turtle with a broken wire bridle and a big hole in my bow spreader! I'm hoping I'm not the first getaway sailor with these problems after sailing in heavy winds solo.

All problems aside though, I don't know how to fix the rudder issue. I've taken the rudders apart completely, cleaned all the parts, made sure the cam mechanism is functioning and added a new rudder tightener to each bolt. I'm not sure what else to do?

Has any one had this problem? Is the new EZ Loc system a result of this problem? Do I need to upgrade to the new rudder system?

Any help or direction would be much appreciated for a still learning hobie sailor!

Nick

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Waquoit Bay, Mashpee, MA
'02 Getaway
'12 Bennington Pontoon
Two Hulls are Better than One


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Location: Oceanside, California
The EZ Loc system was created exactly due to this issue. It is just that... EZ.

Your problem could be technique or mechanical.

There is a FAQ on locking-cam-system type rudders: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=467

Basics... Round the boat up into the wind to reduce possible loads on the rudders when lowering or raising.

To Lower, go to each rudder separately, do not try from the middle of the boat. Lift the tiller arm and push aft hard and quick to force the rudder down to the casting. When the rudder hits the casting, lower the tiller arm with a quick snap movement. This should engage the cam.

If the rudder can slip aft... the cam is not locked. Raise by pulling hard on the tiller arm / tiller crossbar. Repeat the down technique. If the cam is rolled over to the lock position... you can not get the system to operate unless first you release the cam. See the FAQ.

If you are sailing while attempting this, water force on the rudder will inhibit the rudder from getting all the way down. Round up to release the load and repeat the lowering technique.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 6:22 am 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
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Location: Jersey Shore
Just to add to the above...

Before you even leave shore, make sure you understand how the rudder mechanism is supposed to work (it sounds like you do). With the boat on the trailer, lock the rudder down and take note how the cam latches and both holds the rudder forward in the casting and the tiller arm down. Pick up the tiller arm to release and make sure the cam rotates properly to the "up" position. Improperly functioning cams are probably the biggest issue with the Hobie rudder system. If the cam does not actuate, you can not lock the rudder down.

On the water, do as Matt said and operate each rudder independently using the individual tiller arms. Lock the rudder down and when you think it's down, lightly lift the tiller arm. If the arm comes up, then the rudders are not locked down.

If you're having issues with the rudder not staying down, then you need to tighten the screw in the bottom casting which will put more pressure on the cam. Be careful not to overdo this because if you put too much pressure on the cam, it will not rotate at all. If you sail in high winds a lot, you may want to consider tieing bungee cord around the rudder/pintle to help hold the rudders down.

sm


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:48 am 
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If you've got the stern lifted, and you are able to lock the rudders down, place a strap around each rudder about 7" up from the bottom tip, and attach it to a fish scale. Pull the fish scale/strap until the rudder releases. It should release around 15-25lb of pressure. If it is too light, then you need to tighten the adjustment screw mentioned by the previous poster.

I had the same problem - my rudders simply wouldn't stay locked down. It wasn't until I took them completely apart that I discovered that my cam plunger was actually broken. Not completely in half, but fractured/torn, and useless. As a result, the cam wouldn't lock in place, and would release even in light winds. Makes the Getaway REALLY hard to steer as a result.

Root cause of my problem was that the cam plunger springs were gummed up with grease and sand, and were completely seized. Since they wouldn't move, the plunger took the brunt, and eventually failed. Once I took them apart, and degreased/cleaned them up, they starting moving properly again. The plungers were done, however, and I had to replace them.

As it turned out, the day after I replaced my plungers was a great day with 30 kt winds. I took it out with a buddy, and came right straight back fighting it the entire way, because the rudders wouldn't hold. I actually broke both plungers again, simply because they couldn't hold up against the strain of the rudders fighting against the water/forward motion of the boat (e.g I was going way too fast...)

Now I'm thinking of a way to reinforce the plungers, because I think they have a design flaw.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:46 pm 
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captain_canuck wrote:
Now I'm thinking of a way to reinforce the plungers, because I think they have a design flaw.


30 Knots of wind is extreme sailing for sure... certainly more than most people would sail in.

This cam system has been used on everything but the Hobie 14 and 16 since introduced on Hobie 18s in 1987. They were used on Hobie Wave, Getaway, 17, 18, 18SX, 20, 21SE, 21SC, so this is not a design flaw... they worked.

The issue is tolerance between the cam position and the casting opening were the plunger slides up and down. If the casting surface is worn at the point the plunger exits the casting or, more likely, the cams have been replaced with the screw type pins (or the hole is worn / drilled larger), the cam may be riding higher which allowed the plungers to get high enough to tip out of the casting... then they get wedged, damaged or even sheared.

I believe you can build up the casting in that area to correct it. I personally have never done that, but it makes total sense.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2013 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:23 am
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Thanks Matt and others. Just want to say how much I appreciate this hobie forum. For a newbie like me, the wealth of knowledge here is awesome and to be able to get such great responses to technical questions is equally awesome. Love Hobie Cat!

I'll be doing some sailing this weekend and I'm going to try the suggestions on technique. If I'm not able to make it happen, looks like I'll be upgrading to the EZ Loc system.

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Nick
Waquoit Bay, Mashpee, MA
'02 Getaway
'12 Bennington Pontoon
Two Hulls are Better than One


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:12 am 
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Posts: 22
Hmm...Matt, you make a couple of really good points.

I did replace both cams about a year ago, as they were really worn down, and as you mention, I had to drill the pins out and replace them with the screw-type ones. I never thought that the pins might be slightly smaller in diameter, which would of course cause the cam to ride higher.

And thinking about the tolerances, even a difference of 1-2 mm would cause the plunger to come higher out of the casting. My castings are fine, not worn down at all. But I think I may look at the cams again this weekend, and see if there is any lateral play in them.

thanks for the expert opinion!


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