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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 5:03 pm 
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I have two Hobie Outbacks...older version...and love them, but on one of them I loose control to turn right when I have a good sailing wind, so therefore it pushes me out of the wind and not in the desired direction. My other boat is fine. It is almost as if my rudder is folding up as if for storage, but I have it adjusted just like my other boat and it works great.....any suggestions?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:09 am 
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You must lock the rudder down for sailing - there is a cleat located on the cockpit behind the rear down line - lock this into the cleat and it won't lift up while sailing anymore.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:42 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
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Location: Auckland NZ
I suspect that the answer may depend on which rudder system you have.

The early OBs had the "straight up and down" style rudder - I don't know of any reason why you would lose rudder control on a boat with one of these.

Then Hobie introduced the "Twist and Stow" rudder which lies flat on the deck of the boat when stowed. These rudders are much more complex and when pressed under sail they can lose grip on the water. What happens is that the rudder lifts up into a '1/4 stowed' position and loses its ability to hold the boat on course. The T&S rudders did have a design feature to prevent this occurring - in the form of a 'catch' built into the rudder stock - the rudder was designed to seat into this catch when deployed - but unfortunately they had a tendency to lift out of the catch when pressed by water flowing over the blade and lift causing the boat to 'sideslip'.

To counteract this problem on the Hobie Adventures (where, due to the additional sail area and boat speed, the lifting could occur so frequently as to prevent the boat sailing properly) Hobie introduced a "lock-down screw" to prevent the rudder from lifting. With this you had to deploy the rudder and screw in the plastic lockdown screw at the beach before sailing off but it worked fine and the plastic screw was designed to shear if the rudder suffered a heavy impact.

Then Hobie introduced the "pull cable and cleat" rudder deployment and lock down system that you see on the most recent models.

I expect that you will find that you have an early T&S rudder without the cable system but if you do have the cable lockdown system then you need to cleat the cable off after deployment. If you do not then you will probably need to either:
a) install the cable lockdown system - available as a kit I believe and easy enough to install (did it on my AI for which it was offered as a free upgrade);
b) install some sort of lockdown screw system (I do not think this modification was featured on any boats other then the AI). In the comfort of your yard/garage examine your rudder in the down position and you should see that 2 parts, one on the stock and one on the lifting rudder part, come together as it comes down - that is where the screw needs to go: through the rudder part and into the stock part - you may even find a screw hole there but no screw. As I say this solution was effective at the expense of being unable to lockdown the rudder at sea (in fact this is quite possible but not without getting wet!);
c) sail more conservatively - I found that the problem only occurred when sailing upwind on a starboard tack (sail out to LHS of boat) in stronger wind conditions when the boat was moving quickly - these were the only conditions in which my boat's rudder would slip out of the catch and lift.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:32 pm 
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Thank you so much.....where is the best place to buy the screw down kit. I do have the older model twist and stow rudder. Thanks again!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
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Location: Auckland NZ
I do not think there is a screw down kit. There is, however, an up/down cable kit available from Hobie: speak to your friendly neigbourhood Hobie dealer or find the parts list in the back of the Hobie Kayak brochure and you will probably find it listed there.

If you want to make your own 'screw down kit' all you really need is a suitably sized bolt and a suitably sized holle through the two parts of the rudder. Hobie supplied a plastic bolt with a knurled knob instead of a hexagonal head on it; this screwed into the moving half of the rudder mechanism where it stayed when the rudder was up - when you wanted to lock the rudder in the down position you lowered the rudder and then simply screwed the bolt further in by hand, into a matching hole in the rudder stock part.

I reckon pretty much any old bolt would do so long as it won't decompose in a marine environment and as long as you can get enough torque onto the head to be able to screw it in by hand (so's you don't need to take any fancy tools out into the water to effect the lock down) remembering that if you use a metal bolt and you hit the rudder into a hard object underwater the bolt will not shear off but the rudder or the back of your boat might!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:38 pm
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We have a pair of Outfitters bought in '06 that have many miles on them under peddle and sail. They have the twist and stow rudders. They have both, several times now, lost weather helm to one side or the other while under sail in heavy wind. There are two causes/fixes (don't know if this applies to other models):

1. In the water with the rudder down, see how easily the bottom of the rudder pulls aft. If it is not pretty tight, adjust the lines that control raising and lowering the rudder.

2. If the rudder is tight and won't drift back, adjust the steering control line on the side you lose helm to remove any excess slack (if you can't turn left/port, tighten the slack from the left line to the rudder). You may also need to loosen the right side a hair to have enough slck get things right.

3. One other note - on the Outfitter the rudder control lever is not centered when properly adjusted and the rudder is straight. I have seen folks adjust the rudder to center the control (OCD?), but this will prevent full rudder movement in one direction. You need to adjust the steering lines for equal movement left and right, regardless of where the control ends up.

The above procedures have always corrected our inability to steer and maintain control in the wind. Sometimes it takes me two tries to get it right.

If you have the bigger sailing rudder (which I recommend for sailing in anything but the lightest winds), the stretching of the various rudder control lines and need for adjustment will be more frequent due to the extra load. We currently have one Outfitter rigged with the bigger rudder and one without.

Peter


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