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 Post subject: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:55 pm 
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Posts: 10
I decided to move the tiller to the aft hatch, as you can see in this picture:

Image

My new tiller is a piece of black plastic shaped like a ruler, bolted to the center of the aft hatch. The tiller extension is a lightweight ski pole. A piece of automotive heater hose serves as the universal joint connecting the extension to the tiller.

It's been a month now and so far so good. I can steer while out on the trampolines or standing up. My tiller hand can rest wherever it feels best, no matter which way I happen to be leaning or sprawling.


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:27 pm 
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Looks neat. What are the lines running under the tiller extension, to the right in the picture?

Can you get full rudder left/right? Looks like stops near the hinges,are those bolts with washers and rubber o-rings?


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2761
Location: Kailua 96734
Lot of creativity on these forums. This is a really clever way to go "old school". Replacing the stock bungee cleats w/ eyelets made it an elegant solution.

Does it give more granular control of the rudder than the small steering handle?
How do you tension the center nut/bolt and keep those from unthreading?
The sheet looks really close to the new tiller setup. Is there enough clearance at all times?

Seems great for lakes. I don't know if I would be comfortable with this exposed setup in blue water, or fishing though.

There's more going on w/ your AI than meets the eye,
Maybe sometime you can explain your stern/block mods and why the Aka brace appears connected to a ball on your rear deck??

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"THE WIND IS YOUR FRIEND,.."


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:00 am 
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I made bumpers using rubber washers after a gusty day when I pulled the tiller so hard it stuck atop a hinge (moment of excitement). I'd used small sheet metal screws to attach the rudder lines to the tiller and one pulled free as I yanked on the extension a bit too energetically.

Now the rudder lines loop over machine screws held by nuts resting in a groove under the tiller. I hope that will hold. I've no lock washers small enough to fit the groove. But the nuts can't turn and I used a bit of Lock-tite on them. If one gets loose, I'll probably try some epoxy. Can't think of a reason the rudder line binding posts might need to be removed later.

The bumpers aren't really necessary if the rudder lines are secure enough to handle the occasional "holy crap!" overpowering.

The 1/4" bolt in the center meets a large washer and Nylock nut on the inside of the hatch. No signs of that unscrewing itself so far.

Yesterday the screw holding the heater hose to the tiller worked its way loose in spite of some blue Lock-tite. So I swapped it for a clevis pin and cotter ring. I think that sucker is now fixed.

Range of motion: the tiller pushed fully back rests about a quarter of an inch in front of the bumper. Fully forward is an equal distance from the horizontal position you see in the picture --about a half inch aft of the hatch screw immediately forward of the tiller.

The first version of the hatch-tiller idea involved a piece of PVC pipe rotating roughly an inch above the hatch. I wanted to minimize friction between the tiller and the hatch cover and I wanted to be well clear of the main sheet running from the block to the starboard side of the boat. But the torque on the raised tiller worried me. And I had some trouble with the main sheet catching under the tiller's edge in light air. The flat tiller close against the hatch cover is a much better solution.

I think I may need to take some pictures to answer the other questions.


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:08 pm 
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Fyr wrote:
Looks neat. What are the lines running under the tiller extension, to the right in the picture?

A rudder lock down line.

The Hobie up-down lines do a good job of moving the rudder in and out of the water. But I haven't been so happy using the down line to lock the rudder in the down position.

If the down line isn't under a fair amount of tension, the rudder will kick up just a little when I'm moving upwind and am hit by a gust. The twist-n-stow design means a slight kick up will turn the boat to port unexpectedly. Then I wonder if I need to re-cleat the line or if I might be overpowered and need to reef the sail.

In addition to those "wtf, why my boat move funny?" moments, I've worried about keeping a line under so much tension all the time. I'd prefer the rudder downhaul to have a bit of give if I happen to hit something.

So I created a second line for locking the rudder down. It pulls the rudder from a more favorable angle and so requires much less tension.

The new line starts at the starboard padeye. It then passes through a hole drilled into the rudder along its axis of rotation about an inch from the top. Then it passes through the port side padeye and on to a bungee that I loop over a cleat.

Image

Pic from today after work. Ah, summer!


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:38 pm 
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NOHUHU wrote:
There's more going on w/ your AI than meets the eye,
Maybe sometime you can explain your stern/block mods and why the Aka brace appears connected to a ball on your rear deck??

Flipping the rear akas, left to right, puts the struts to the rear. I'm trying this arrangement for the sake of the movable ballast on the boat, particularly its elbows and hips.

These things have a number of uses:
Image
I replaced two bungee cleats with two of the above. Before screwing the cleats in I stuck quarter inch bolts through the holes, heads inside and a lock nut outside to hold the bolt in place. Then I screwed a couple of ball shaped knobs I got at the hardware store onto the bolts at the proper height for the strut sockets to connect with.

Not being an engineer, I can't confidently recommend such a structural mod to others. But so far I think I'm happy with it. Yet if I could figure out a way to lay padding over the tramps just above the struts in a manner that wouldn't put too much pressure on them, I'd put them back in the factory position like a good person.

As for the mainsheet block:

I'm trying out a Scotty kayak stern light. Two of the holes in the base line up with the padeye holes on the kayak. As a bonus, with the padeye above the light base, the mainsheet is well clear of the new tiller. However, the new position means the block must swivel to keep the sheet centered on the sheave at all times.

The block in the pic is clunkier than I'd like. But it was handy.


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 1799
Location: Terrigal NSW, Australia
mudskipper wrote:
I'm trying this arrangement for the sake of the movable ballast on the boat, particularly its elbows and hips.

That's interesting MS. How are you positioning yourself? I've been playing with Skua's suggestion of sitting out on the rear aka and I find that the strut (in the forward position) actually provides some useful support.

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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:04 pm
Posts: 227
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Who was it said the Yellow doesn't fade like the red??!??
Interesting Idea for those of us who really like to Hike out on tramps.

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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:28 am 
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chrisj wrote:
That's interesting MS. How are you positioning yourself?

In the seat leaning off to the side, or on the tramp next to the seat.

How do you sit on the aka? You must pad it somehow.

Know what would be cool? If Hobie would replace the rear aka with, say, a 1" x 12" truss with a sliding seat on top. Re-design the aft end of the boat to be flatter, like a stand-up paddle board, to make moving around easier and maybe get the boat up on a plane.


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 7:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 1799
Location: Terrigal NSW, Australia
Errr, I carry my padding with me :roll:. I think Skua said he is using some pipe insulation wrapped round the aka, but I'm still looking for something suitable. I'm surprised how long I can sit on the aka before I get a numb bum. The strut takes some of my weight, but I try not to overdo it. I agree a sliding seat on the aka would be great - like on a racing scull. It adds a whole dimension sitting up out of the seat, either on the aka or behind the crossbar. Cowsgomoo took this clip of me sitting behind the crossbar in about a 5 knot breeze and you can see how nicely the boat was running with the bow raised. It really makes a difference when running downwind with lots of wind waves. Needless to say, some sort of tiller extension is necessary, so this is not entirely off topic.


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:41 pm
Posts: 10
I experimented with sitting on an inflatable cushion just aft of the rear aka. It was very relaxing and the boat was easy to handle in a stiff wind. But it seemed slower and I think I felt more weather helm.

Oh Hobie AI, you are such a tease. You tempt the sailor in me with your trimaran ways. But your deeper kayak nature shines through when you think of me always seated in the same place.

Oh Hobie AI, if only you would allow me to be the movable ballast that your pretty sail seems to desire. Then you and I could tack and tack with hardly ever stall.

Think of it: a bench seat in place of the rear aka allowing the driver to slide from windward to leeward. Make it slide and swivel; that will be fun and something new. You might even dent the growing interest in the Weta.


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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:32 am
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Location: Terrigal NSW, Australia
mudskipper wrote:
Think of it: a bench seat in place of the rear aka allowing the driver to slide from windward to leeward. Make it slide and swivel; that will be fun and something new. You might even dent the growing interest in the Weta.

Hmm, I have been fiddling around with fashioning a kind of bench seat:
ImageImage
I'm wondering if I extend it further out to the sides, if it might approximate what you are suggesting.
Thanks for the heads up on the Weta - looks very impressive. If I was looking for a bigger boat that needs trailering (like a TI), I'd certainly consider one of those.

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Last edited by chrisj on Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2761
Location: Kailua 96734
mudskipper wrote:
chrisj wrote:
That's interesting MS. How are you positioning yourself?

In the seat leaning off to the side, or on the tramp next to the seat.

How do you sit on the aka? You must pad it somehow.

Know what would be cool? If Hobie would replace the rear aka with, say, a 1" x 12" truss with a sliding seat on top. Re-design the aft end of the boat to be flatter, like a stand-up paddle board, to make moving around easier and maybe get the boat up on a plane.


Muddy, I totally agree with you on the elbows / hips vs xbrace issues. My boney arse gets bruised all the time as I hike around the xbar and tramps in waves. So I admire your solution - move em!

For those who want to hike on the xbar and Akas, roofrack pads fit on these perfectly and really take the bite out of them.

I use the high quality 28- 30" surfrack pads made of the heavy fadeproof material and the densest foam. Something like these:
http://www.essentialsurf.com/ikorb.php?func=catalog&category_id=79&product_id=15618
You will like how they have squared tops, can velcro to the middle section of the Hobie bars and feature tiedown bungee ends.

In fact, I leave the rear xbar pad on ALL the time now and add one to the front xbar whenever I transport and store the AI. They provide added protection when cartopping and flipping the yak over on the roof. Have prevented a few concussions as well, (know what I mean?) :wink:

For the xbraces I have pieces of 3/4" foam pipe insulation to slide over them and will secure them with one-handed velcro.. Going to try these under my tramps tomorrow and see what the tush says.

I have seen guys out here w/ full-blown rear deck seating platforms which allow you to slide around at will and sit out PAST the rear Aka, which seems like the perfect position to sail and fish. Picture Chris's PVC tubes extending out from the hull with a nice flat padded surface.

There's apparently lots more room for tweaking these crafts.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 1799
Location: Terrigal NSW, Australia
ElementAI wrote:
Who was it said the Yellow doesn't fade like the red??!??

Ah, but when yellow fades, you get pale yellow. When red fades, you get.....pink.

Nohuhu, thanks for the suggestion about roofrack pads. I'll try them for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: AI tiller relocation
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:41 pm
Posts: 10
ElementAI wrote:
Who was it said the Yellow doesn't fade like the red??!??


Fading is the price you pay for leaving your AI tied to a dock all summer.

But on the plus side, you sometimes get interesting visitors. Guess which New England water loving mammal left this calling card:

Image

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