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 Post subject: Anyone sailing an i9s?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:07 pm 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:51 am
Posts: 1
I'm considering purchasing an i9s with sail kit. Would like to hear from anyone who has sailed one of these to find out how well they sail upwind as well as with the wind & also, in general, how stable they are when being sailed.

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:43 pm 
Hobie Approved Guru

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2570
Location: Escondido
KentLR wrote:
I'm considering purchasing an i9s with sail kit. Would like to hear from anyone who has sailed one of these to find out how well they sail upwind as well as with the wind & also, in general, how stable they are when being sailed.
The 1-9 is a fun little sailer in light to moderate winds. You should have the Large sailing rudder. This short boat tends to have a heavy weather helm (tendency to turn into the wind) so the larger rudder is essential. It's also noticeably helpful to rake (tilt) the sail forward with the forestay to help balance the helm as shown in the picture below:


Upwind sailing is not as efficient as with most sailboats, but can be improved with Turbofins (which act as a larger centerboard). Actually, upwind performance is pretty darned good if you don't mind pedaling while sailing (doesn't seem to cause any additional side slip). The mast will yield with sudden gusts because of the flexible fabric. IMO the stability is good, especially for a kayak -- the i-9 has a broad beam.

Welcome to the forum! 8)

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2014 4:00 pm
Posts: 276
Looks like the OP has hit and run, but i thought I might dabble around these issues by relating today's 5(ish) mile ocean sail on my older and modified i12s. Couple upwind miles offshore to reach a vast shallow sandy area, tool around, and return. Waves 2-3 ft except lower in the shallow area, and wind around 12mph except higher in squalls.

Well, I leave a public dock complex with the usual courteous fishing boats keeping well clear, unlike the apparently drunk cross traffic I later close-encounter from a ritzy private marina. I pedal along a narrow channel with the sail sheeted tight fusioneng-style, and it seems to defy physics but gives a boost every time there is just a few degrees wind off the nose. Flap, sail pops tight left, flap-flap, sail pops tight right, and I really move. I don't know why I stop doing this further out to sea... maybe it doesn't work well in waves and may be a rolling hazard.

I start tacking conventionally and the larger waves are slewing me around. I bear off to maybe 60 degree tacks for max wave punching power and rudder authority (large rudder and fins). The fins want to drift up; it takes attention to hold the pedals aligned vertical. Soon there is a chaos of waves maybe at 90 degree angles to each other.. probably wrapping around both sides of shallow area and converging. For this I switch to - let's call it "hypertacking" - where I pedal about 30 degrees tight into the wind with the sail still full and better rudder authority.

I enter the shallows and the waves lower to wavelets although I can see 4 ft whitecaps further upwind. I was just looking for a even shallower place to jump overboard and relax, but at high tide it seems all 5ish ft. It began to dawn on me I was now sailing like a champ without the waves to constantly yaw me around. I think I was tacking fast at around 50 degrees, and could tighten it up with some loss in speed - all with no pedaling. I found I could let go of the rudder and sheet controls normally needing split second corrections, and dally with juice bottles and camera.

All too soon I turned to head back, because on the way out I had been alarmed by a sort of an invisible wind squall. Lucky I left when I did, because a storm squall hit minutes after I made it to shore. Conditions were light on the way back, so I pedaled on and off with the sail just a half contribution. Actually it was a bit of a hazard, because the unfurlable inflato sail is hardest to dump power going downwind and I might have had to pedal in place upwind with the sail flapping to wait it out.

Anyway the lessons to me were on offshore trips to avoid erecting mast and stays on even slightly squally days, since the sail can't furl. And when there are waves or other adversity like kamikaze power boats, don't be so pure to avoid pedaling while sailing. But when the waves are low in proportion to wind such as with short fetch then sail, sail, sail without pedals. It is amusing I can have baby waves with even infinite fetch in the shallows; shallow water tips over and kills full size wind waves. The last lesson is for my aftermarket inflatable seat. Great back support, but I cannot exert regular rolling corrections. A bit like sitting on a beachball, I have to brace my hands on boat sidegrips to counteract roll. May have to strap it in more firmly.

My Hobie i12s... sailboat in a suitcase! Look for it in THIS webcam.

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