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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:47 pm 
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Location: minneapolis, MN
I've had my Outfitter for a year, and I've made a couple of changes.

Mast:
When I first got my outfitter with sidekicks, it took me only one week to bend the mast (at the kayak entry point). After straightening it by heating it and bending it back, I drilled a small hole in the top of the mast and tied the mast down to each carrying handle. This allowed me to sail in much higher winds and I could reach GPS reading of 5.5 mph without Mirage Drive assistance. The mast would bow against the tie-downs, but would hold without bending the mast. However one of my knots slipped in a strong wind last month and the mast bent slightly again. I fixed the mast this week by taking a 3/4 of an inch diameter threaded rod, ground it down to the right diameter, heated the aluminum tubing, straightened it by putting pressure on the bent area and hammered the rod in place. It's now almost perfectly straight, and the weak spot is not strengthened.
As an additional support, I now have a cord from the top of the mast to the carrying handle on the front of the kayak to see if that will keep the mast stiffer, something that the inflatable Hobies do for their support.

Jib:
Today I made a jib for the Outfitter. The jib cost me less than $20. I used the technique shown on this website:

http://members.aol.com/polytarp/weekend.htm

I used a 8x6 blue poly tarp. I used two of the finished sides, so my sail didn't have the curvature of the pattern from above on the vertical and horizontal edges. To make up for this, I put about the same size v-darts in the sail, even though my jib is about 1/2 the size of the one in the pattern. My vertical edge of the sail is 6.5 feet, my horizontal edge is 4 feet long, so the sail area is 13 sq feet. This size gives enough clearance for the person sitting in front from worrying about the sail.
I replaced the grommet in the corner of the tarp, which allowed me to reinforce the corner, which I thought was needed. I also tied all the perimeter cords together on the sail.

I attached the jib head by tying it to the black strap on top of the main sail. I then ran a line from the tack through the half ring used for the lifting handle and ran the cord back to the back cleat. I then had a cord from the Clew to the hook that attaches the bunge for the main sail.
I took it out with very light winds today. I found that I ended up removing the clew line from the mast hook and held it either to the left and right to give the job a better shape. This also allowed me to release more cord going downwind...becoming a mini spinnaker.
I am waiting for some better wind this week, but I was impressed so far of how manageable the sail was, but I don't think I will have the jib out in strong winds (>10-15 mph). I can furl the jib by releasing the tack line, rolling up the jib and tying it to the mast hook.

Seating:
I have three small kids (7, 5, and 2) and they LOVE riding in the outfitter...and they don't like to take turns! I have given rides to all three at once. I take the mirage drive out of the front seat and put a Crazy Creek chair in the very front, putting the seat handle under the front bungee. I then put another Crazy Creek chair in the back, with the seat under the bungee to hold it secure. At first I had the back seat facing backwards, but that was a tight fit. It will work better facing forward, but the back seat can’t be used when sailing.

The pictures show the seating, jib, mast tie-downs, and two kids enjoying a beautiful day on the lake!

-tracker

Image

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:08 am 
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Location: sacramento california
Hi Ya Tracker :D


Last edited by kepnutz on Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:41 am 
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Location: minneapolis, MN
Kepnutz,
In regards to the bent mast...I am a tinkerer more than a sailor, so my sailing techniques probably need improving to keep the mast from bending. I have been out in 20 mph wind with 25 mph gusts, which is well over the recommended limit, but it's too fun to hang on and try to see how fast the yak will go. I'm guessing there are times that I should be spilling the wind instead of holding. With mast mods I'm all concerned that if the mast is too stiff it will end up wrecking the yak (next weakest link), and then the party's over. I've also heard of people breaking off the sidekicks, which would put a damper on the fun as well!

I just made the jib yesterday, so as the wind picks up I'll get out on the lake. My wind meter won't be delivered until Monday, so I'll have to wait a little to get wind readings. I'm spending an extended vacation (to July 13th) on the lake, so I will be out and about. I will post speeds as I get them next week along with handling questions. If there are any suggestions, please send them, as I am an extreme novice, soaking in as much as I can from the Hobie forum.

Right now I'm using 3/32 diameter white nylon cord for the jib line, the same cord I bought for making the sail. That's probably a little thin, but that's what I had available. Any suggestions on what would work best?

I do not have cam cleats yet for the jib. In the meantime I was thinking about running the line through the seat eyelets and back to he cleat. What type of cam cleats do you recommend and where/how would you mount them? Any experience would be helpful before I start drilling/screwing in hardware! I'll be looking on the forum as well.

Tracker


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:27 pm 
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Location: sacramento california
Hi Tracker


Last edited by kepnutz on Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:12 pm 
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Location: minneapolis, MN
Kepnutz,
Thanks for the input. I think your insight was correct after taking a couple runs today.
There was very little wind today, but when I did get a little breeze, it put la lot of pressure on the top of the mast and really curled the top third of the mast, spilling all of the air from the main sail. :?
I think I'm going to need the leave the kiddies on shore and play around with this a little.
I think the mast will need to be stiffened to support a jib. I will be looking to add a wood rod myself at the top of the mast (not sure if I'll be able to find bamboo in Minnesota). One sailing buddy of mine suggested filling the mast in with epoxy, but I think that might crack and then be useless, just adding weight. I haven't found anyone on line yet that has tried that permanent mod.
If I were to make another jib, I'm not sure I would have put such large v-darts in the jib....maybe none at all. It seems to create too much of a pocket.
The jib was high to support an adult sitting in the front, but it may be that I just won't be able to use a jib if there is someone sitting in front. (I'm preparing for an Apostle Islands trip with my wife...but then the Apostles will likely have too much wind to have a jib anyway.)
I was somewhat limited to how tall I could make the jib with the size tarp I bought (7.5 x 5.5), but I could have gone a little bigger. The larger tarps in the stores around here were different colors on each side (brown and green :( ), which I was trying to avoid. I'll try mounting my existing jib lower and see what happens...even though it will still be attached to the top of the mast, so it still might put too much pressure on the mast.
I found your boombat links on the forum; that's something I will need to try as well.
How about the rudder winglet you were considering adding? Did you ever add one, and if you did was it worth adding to the sailing rudder? I have had kick-up issues with the rudder, but I found one of my lines needed tightening and I thought that would fix it by keeping the rudder in the notch, but I haven't had a reasonable wind to test it yet.

Thanks again. It's nice to get such quick feedback, allowing me to continue to play during my vacation :)

Tracker


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:50 pm
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Location: sacramento california
Hi Tracker :)


Last edited by kepnutz on Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:50 pm
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Location: minneapolis, MN
Kepnutz,
Thanks for the pictures...my shopping list is getting more detailed :)
Is your boombat a fiberglass rod? I found TJ's jib this morning on the forum. I like his stays...I know mine were connected too high (at the top of the mast), but I wanted to see someone else's design before I permanently attached something to the sail or had a sail cutout to attach something to the mast. Maybe stiffening the mast along with the stays will be enough to get the jib performing better.
If the mast mods and lowering my existing jib shows enough promise, I will then try to improve the jib size/shape. That's one nice thing about using polytarp...cheap prototype material. I'm not a fast worker, and I was able to put the first jib together in three hours...the next would probably take half as long.

Looks like a little more wind on the lake today, I better get working on those mods!

Tracker


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:24 am 
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Location: sacramento california
Hi Tracker


Last edited by kepnutz on Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:29 am 
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Here's what I have done so far.
Boombat:
At the hardware store I found a 5/16 inch fiberglass rod 6 feet long that is used for cleaning chimneys (~$6). I cut it and pointed the end a little...it just barely fit into the sail...I had to bend up the eyelet a little and bend flat one of the teeth into the fabric, now it fits very snug. What I liked about this rod is that it has a ready made handle. I drilled a hole in the threaded ara for a rope tie and then used the bolt end I cut off to lock the rope without needing to tie it.

Image

Mast stiffening:

For trying to stiffen the top half of the mast, I ended up using a plastic coated hollow metal gardenstake found at the hardware store. These seemed a little stiffer than wooden dowels that I was also looking at.

Image

I trimmed the bumps off with utility knife and then had to take a grinder to the plastic to narrow it a little more. It fit really snug. I sawed off the plastic end to expose the hollow tube in case I wanted to try to fill that later with something else.

Image

Before I put the stake in, I supported the ends of the top section of the mast (most horizontal) and hung a 20 lb weight in the center of it of it. It deflected 1 and 1/4 inches in the center. After I put the stake in the mast, it deflected 1 and 1/8 inch. With the stake in, it took 23 lbs for the mast to deflect 1 1/4 inches. So it did help, but I'm not sure what this will mean in performance. The stake it very light, so I wouldn't think it would have any negative impact. Last Saturday ( sailing without the jib) the wind changed dramatically when I was out and I was caught in 25-30 mph gusts. Fortunately there was an island nearby that I could hide behind and get the sail down, as the mast was severly bending with the stays attached to the top of the mast. I was glad the top did bend to release some of the wind in that situation.

Stays:
Following the i14 inflatable sail design, I glued using goop a 1 inch wide strap onto the sail to attach the stays. I attached it in the same location as the i14 sail, as I figure that someone at Hobie must have figured this was a good location on the mast to provide support.

To tie down the stays, and possibly even use for the jib, I plan to try temperarily use these metal ties that I found at the fleet farm, to avoid mounting cam cleats before I know where I will want them placed.

Image

-Tracker


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:48 pm 
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I've seen people on the forum use shrouds and even a forestay for their hobie kayaks, but has anyone tried using a spreader on their shrouds? I'm curious as to whether a spreader would take out some of the noodle effect of the mast...or make it worse...

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:04 pm 
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Hi Ya Tracker


Last edited by kepnutz on Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:17 am 
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Finally a sailing report! :)

First I did one more noodle test on the mast. (I have a stock spare to compare them). I put the two-part masts together, laid them horizontal on a deck, supporting the bottom tube and hung a 3 lb weight on the tip of the top tube. The stock mast bent 4 inches and the garden post stiffened mast bent 3 5/8 inches. Again, it shouldn't hurt, but I don't know if this stiffening is going to show dramatic improvements.

I put all the sails in place and here's what it looks like:

Image

I use the rock in front for weight when I sail solo.

The figure 9s worked great for the shrouds. When I started sailing, I found they also were in a great location for attaching the jib, which made line management much easier. I just needed to wrap the jib line around once and it held...very quick. I used a slightly thinner line for the shrouds than for the jib, so this allowed me to use them for both purposes. I could make the jib line even thicker, as this figure 9 supports thicknesses up to 3/8 inch. The figure 9s are rated for 50 lbs, which I think would be enough...it's hard to imagine these bending. Time will tell!
I had two lines for the jib, one for port and another for starboard, so that I didn't have to try to reach around the mast when switching sides.

Image

The gray line is the shroud line and the white is from the jib.

Image

Using a Skymate wind meter and Garmin foretrex 101 for GPS, I took about an hour run. Overall I was pleasantly surprised!

To note, I also had the boombat in the main.

The winds were a constant 5-6 mph (some gusts to 8). Close hauled using the jib, I was sailing around 3 mph. When I released the jib, I dropped to around 2 mph. I repeated this several times with the same results.

Sailing with the wind, there was slight improvement, increasing from 2 mph, to 2.2-2.3 (wind was 3-4 mph).


Here are some pictures:

Image

Image
Image

Image

I think the jib could be a little wider to overlap the main a little. The experts out there may be able to take some of these pictures and fine tune it...but I think the bottom line is that this mast can support a jib in 5-8 mph winds and it will improve your speed!

When I got back in, I noticed that the strap had peeled away a little from the sail. I used goop and sewed it a little, but I think I need to sew is with many more stitches to reinforce it, as my thread broke. (It's hard sewing through goop!) I don’t think I attached it in an ideal way either, as all the stress is on the top edge of the strap. I maybe should have glued the strop to the front with the loop facing down, so that the pressure was distributed more across the entire strap (I think that’s how the i14 strap is set up).
The shrouds and the jib are attached to this strap, so it's a high stress area.

Image

With the shrouds attached lower on the mast, the mast behaved much better. I am hoping to get some 10-15 mph wind in the next couple of days.

-Tracker-


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:46 pm 
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Hey Tracker :D
That Jib looks awesome..!!
How were the Jib and mast working at the lower down position?
Did it help you to sail close to the wind , point higher than just using the main sail alone.?
That sounds like some pretty good mph numbers for how little the wind was blowing. 8)
I dont think you would want to use a bigger jib in 10- 15 mph winds but the one you have in these photos looks to be the ticket for those wind speeds.
I would try using a bigger one for 5<10 mph winds and see how that works.
How was the boombat..?
I found it to be more noticable in the higher wind ranges.
I have a lighter air boombat (3/16" dia) that I made earlier and it does well in easy wind as it allows the main to keep a well rounded foil shape and to squeeze every last drop of speed out of the lighter winds. :wink:
Cant wait to hear how it worked out when you get the faster winds to play in. Keep me posted .
Have fun out there
Kepnutz


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Location: minneapolis, MN
Kepnutz,
The lower jib position is definitely the way to go. After your comment, I did some browsing and noticed that many Hobie craft do not have the jib as tall as the main, but definitely have it cover the lower part of the main.

example:
Image

So fortunately the jib I made fit for the new attachment location of the mast sail for the shrouds. The mast really behaved well, unlike with the higher mounted jib, where the mast was bending like a wet noodle in low winds.

At first I thought my v-darts on the jib were too big, but now, after reading some of the theory for jibs from the below article, I’m not so sure.

http://www.arvelgentry.com/techs/A%20Re ... Theory.pdf

I think it would be possible to sail with a jib with a person in front. It might actually be fun, as the person in front could be in charge of the jib, possibly putting the lines through the eyelets of the shroud figure 9s and bring them back toward the front for attachment (or just hold them, as they don't need to worry about the main or the rudder control). Then they can just loosen the line and pull the jib over the head when tacking.

Since the jib doesn't overlap the main (Genoa), I did try securing the jib in the center to see if I could just leave it there. It worked OK, but it did impact the performance. I was only going 2.5 mph center mounted instead of the 3 mph when I had it secured only to the side.

I was also surprised to get 3 mph with such a wide yak with low winds...before the jib I didn't even bother to sail unless there was over 10 mph winds. But I'm sure that would be much slower with another 150 lbs or so in the front seat.

The boombat sure kept the sail stiff in that light wind. I could see going to something lighter for lighter winds, but I’ll save that for another day. :)

It was hard for me to tell about sailing angle. I think it helped, but I think the boombat didn't help with the lighter winds I had

I modified the jib/shroud strap by running a line from the top of the mast (I have a small hole drilled in the top of the mast) to the loop cord on the strap. This should take the shearing pressure off of the black strap. For now I used another figure nine to make it very tight, but easy to remove when I want to take sail off the mast.

Image

Hopefully the weather will be favorable tomorrow to try again, :) as my vacation is almost over and probably won't get in the water again until mid August :(

Thanks again Kepnutz for helping out this deck hand! :)

-Tracker-


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:21 am 
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How Ya going Tracker :D


Last edited by kepnutz on Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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