Just seen your post and we are always interested for our product to be used on different classes of boat. We would be prepared to give you an Aero Spar system to try out, in return for photos of it fitted on your Hobie. Please get in touch if interested.
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am Posts: 2386 Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
I was out again yesterday doing my regular exercise routine on my Tandem Island around Sarasota bay and had an 'EPIPHANY' (an enlightening realization). It appears my boat is unique for some strange reason. Yesterday was my 5th trip out in a week ( I was bored at home and the wife is away on business). I was out powersailing around Sarasota bay doing my exercise routine (I pedal 100% of the time whenever I am out). There were a lot of sailboats out yesterday but there was very little wind (<5mph) so pretty much every sailboat out there big and small were just sitting dead in the water with all their sails up. I started thinking about it, and I don't recall ever running across any sunfish, lasers, and really small dingies more than about a half mile from the harbor, they seem to just tack back and forth in front of the harbor, but never appear to go far, and don't appear to ever have a destination. And I have never seen anyone fishing from one. (that's one epiphany) All the larger sail boats, what are they doing when they are just sitting in one spot (in irons) when the wind dies sometimes for hours, they must play cards or something (that's two epiphanies). Add to that how in the heck do they get back to the harbor when there is no wind, quite a few of the boats I saw had no motors (unless they were inboard motors that I couldn't see). When I was younger we would just paddle the sunfish back to shore with our hands if the wind dies, how do you even reach down to the water with your hands on a 40 footer (LOL). I always look at every sailboat I go near, and have never seen any type of wing sail on any of them (ever), either wing jib or mainsail, do I have the only one, I just can't imagine that as efficient as wing sails are (in my experience), you would think every boat would have one (that's three epiphanies). Yesterday I circled Sarasota bay (about 15 miles total for the day), the bay was like glass (no waves). In total I used one dollar worth of gas. Just as a test I started my motor before raising my sails, I set the throttle to 1/4 throttle (like usual) and the boat sped up to 3.5 mph, I immediately began pedaling and sped up to 4mph. I then opened up my sails and the boat immediately sped up to 6 to 6.5 mph (my average speed on my GPS was 6mph for the day, and my top speed was 8.3), never varied the throttle. Just the wing jib alone or the main sail alone doesn't seem to work, either/or only gets me to 5mph, but working together with the mainsail pulled as tight as I can get it, the boat consistently goes between 6 and 8.5 mph, If you go to the thread Powersailing the TI ( viewtopic.php?f=71&t=49014) you can see many of my GPS tracks and results from many trips now, so this was not just a fluke occurrence yesterday (that's four epiphanies)
I have over 5000 sailing miles on my TI's over the last 3 1/2 years, always with a jib sail and always with a motor mounted on the boat. I have attempted power sailing before, using just my standard (non wing) jibs and my old Island hopper motor which is a 4 stroke 2hp gas motor, the Honda is a 2.3hp 4 stroke and weighs slightly more than the Island hopper did (29 lbs). Here is an old video of me powersailing with my old setup, it was very painful and loud, and seriously just not worth the effort, plus that motor used a lot of gas, I would get around 30 minutes of run time on a tank of fuel at full throttle, with the Honda at 1/4 throttle I get 3-4 hours of run time on one tank (same size tanks on both motors (1/3 gallon).
That was an old video of the island hopper posted over a year ago, basically with the motor on full (very loud), without the sails open the boat went 4.5mph, with all the sails 5.5 mph, and that was about it, hardly worth the effort in my opinion (that's five epiphanies). Now here is a video of my latest setup (previously posted on Powersailing the TI), this shows the wing jib, and the Honda running a little over 1/4 throttle (I discover that after making the video, if you listen to the engine rpm compared to some of the other videos, the rpm is a little higher (oops, probably the reason for the higher average speed)).
Here is the GPS log from that trip in the video:
That makes 5 epiphanies all in one day. The questions I have for everyone is why are there no other boats like mine out there, my boat appears to be unique, none of this stuff is rocket science or expensive, it's all actually pretty simple stuff. For those that are not into gas motors, I see absolutely no reason the gas motor could not be switched out with an Evolve system, adding solar panels and a spare battery would extend the range in my opinion to all day. Think about it my hybrid TI gets better fuel economy than the best hybrid cars out there, I think that's awesome, but the funny thing, nobody seems to care LOL. It's not like it's overly complex or anything, basically you just start the motor, start pedaling, and open up the sails, nothing complex about it, and it doesn't seem to care which direction the wind is coming from at all, and appears to work just fine in even almost no wind. My next question is at least in my experience exploiting the tri-power capabilities of the Tandem Island (wind, pedal, and electric/solar, or small extremely fuel efficient gas hybrid) in my mind is the future of boating (my opinion). People are really tired of spending a fortune in fuel (rightfully so) for very expensive powerboats and jetski's. Most Island owners and kayak owners that I talk to are former powerboat or large sailboat owners, but could no longer afford to keep them (our situation). Now this doesn't mean that now days people don't like the water, everyone still loves to go out on the water (especially around here), it's just few can afford that luxury (and fuel) any longer. This is just my opinion of course (and I'm sure I will hear about it), but in my opinion the days of everyone joining yacht clubs and walking around in polo shirts and white shorts are long gone many years ago. There is still a small community of people that are still into sailing around bouys, and pitching their skills against each other in restricted one design classes, where you can't change your boat from factory specs (not even a screw). My opinion of that whole one design system created by the industry manufactures is just like the inkjet printer industry, where they sell the printers at cost, then make 1000 times the revenue on the ink and supplies (we were all suckers on that one). Hey to each their own, and if that's what these people like to do, more power to them, that’s not the point of this thread. My opinion is if companies want to attract new people to sailing and being on the water, following that really old horse is not the way to go. My opinion is people still like to go out on the water, but can't afford the expensive powerboats and jetski's, and the fuel (though that’s probably what displaced most of the sailing industry in the 70's and 80's). Yet families still want a means to go out and spend the day on the water. I still see a limited market for that club sailing for the people who just like that stuff, but I feel that's a very small crowd. I see the typical purchasers of boats in the near future mass market as young families, husband, wife, and kids, or Grand parents who grew up with boating (more so powerboating then sailing), and wanting to spend time with kids, grand kids and friends out on the water, a group 10,000 times larger than the sailing crowd of late. The vast majority have never sailed before, and have no desire or interest whatsoever in joining a yachting clubs and running around in white shorts, most are just regular people that want to go out and enjoy a day out on the water once in a while with their family without having to invest a large fortune on fancy powerboats and pay for the fuel and maint (everyone is a little wiser now, and not so easily sucked into that huge void). My opinion is future family boats should be safe where the likelihood of capsize is extremely unlikely who would take their 3 yr and 5 yr olds out on a boat in possible rough conditions with a 50/50 chance of capsizing, answer nobody, we all know that. I think the reason kayaking has become so popular is because it's inexpensive, and a means to still get out on the water even if you can't afford a powerboat anymore ( I have owned many powerboats). Yet kayaking is very limited, a typical paddle kayaker only goes a few hundred feet from shore, typically in very protected waters, and seldom venture more than 2 miles from launch (those were our limitations). When we got into Mirage drive pedal Hobies our range tripled, then when we added the sail kits our range tripled again. Even with the full setup (miragedrive, sail kit, AMA's , etc) you still can't get very far at a reasonable pace (a reasonable pace in my eyes is between 6 and 10 mph). Then we got a Tandem Island, what we call our SUV, Our range and capability expanded tremendously, we love the TI. However the ocean and intercoastal system is very large, and in the typical light winds that get in Florida it gets very boring very quickly trying to get to a destination at 2-3 mph. Since we typically destination sail, we want to get where we are planning to go in a decent amount of time, and speed (clue….faster than 2-3mph). That’s my main reasoning for adding more sails (and the motor) to my TI in the first place so I can go 15 or 20 miles in a reasonable amount of time to our destinations (ie… sand bars and other islands to meet friends, go out snorkeling, and scuba diving, go to Treasure Island for the day (bar hopping), etc). Basically all the same things we used to do with our powerboats. With my hybrid Tandem Island I can do all these things, even in very low winds, I can maintain between 6 and 8 mph all day if necessary, and if the wind picks up I can go way faster, massive sails and complexity is not what it’s all about though, and being able to do 25 mph on one keel isn’t what it’s about either. It’s about a family orientated general purpose boat that can be used for many things, is easy and fast to rig or car top, and all can be stored in your garage (no storage costs), can easily carry two adults and two or 3 children, and doesn’t cost a small fortune in fuel to use . What I would call a Hybrid family fun boat. Must be simple enough to operate for non-sailers to pick up easily (like the present TI), since 90% of this new million strong market have never sailed before, and have no interest whatsoever in joining Yacht clubs, or participate in one design sailing races in their white shorts. If marketed correctly as the next fun family boat. A hybrid family fun boat ready to go out of the box and start using right away for under $8000 (Honda powered Hybrid 100mpg) to $10,000 dollars (Evolve powered with solar, and extra batteries, "totally green") would be a huge hit, since the next available option is to go to a full powerboat ($40k plus, plus storage, maint, and fuel). Hobie already has all this with the TI, the Evolve system, and the Mirage drive system they just have not put it together as the next generation Hybrid family (tri powered) type boat for everyone, or tried to market it as such. Even if offered with a small fuel efficient outboard as an option for those not comfortable with the electric/solar (because of it’s limited range and at least right now extreme cost) it wouldn’t be the end of the world, to be able to go out all day and have fun, and really be able to get somewhere for about a dollar in fuel. Paying a small amount for gas is not going to deter anyone in this new group (they are not tree huggers, but everyone is green conscious these days). They are not sailing purists, and could care less what the propulsion is as long as it doesn’t cost a fortune to operate (that’s the key). And as far as pedaling the mirage system goes, that’s all part of it, good exercise, and most young couples would have no problem pedaling along, it really is no extra effort, and it makes you feel like you are doing something. Heck I’m in my 60’s and I have no problem pedaling to get somewhere, and neither does my wife, we often pedal all day. I can go on and on, but the point is there should be a family orientated family fun boat offered with hybrid (tri powered) capability, and marketed heavily as such. Of course all this is just my opinion, but I really think Hobie has stumbled onto something really big here, and doesn’t fully realize exactly what they have developed, and it’s ramifications. My two cents Bob
Hi Bob, I don't disagree with almost everything you've said. The cost of getting into sailing for youngsters puts people off - gone are the plywood dingheys and getting on the water for <$500. Lasers and other basic boats are now $5,000, and more if you want to be sailing-competitive. On the other hand, have a look at the Jarcat range. I've had a Jarcat 6 and 5 (=meters long) and they are very similar to what you're talking about with the TI, except you get an enclosed double bed as well . I do have a new AI I'm looking forward to getting wet on as well, and expect equally if not more fun...
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:20 pm Posts: 273 Location: London UK
Ok we finally got the chance on a not so sunny weekend to try out the outboard which i had sitting in the shed for ages, and the adjustable mount.
Noise is no issue but the ability for us now to get in or out of the harbor in half an hour as opposed to half a day if the wind was not playing ball has changed the game completely. Not withstanding the getting you home is something breaks. (we still have the evolve for fishing as the clutch sometimes does not let you go slow enough). The motor is completely out of the water when you want to sail only.
1 the mount, for me works best in the front position 2 you get 10kts at half throttle 3 with the sail out you can sort of go straight into wind at minimum throttle 4 i need to lower the mount to get the prop deeper into the water 5 its easy to get you trolling lines caught in the propeller if you have more than one out 6 Bass is very nice for tea
_________________ May the odds be ever in your favor..
Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm Posts: 2781 Location: South Florida
Nice commentary, Fusioneng. You obviously like to "tinker" with your boat and have come up with some neat things; however, it is not for everyone. Myself, while I've done a few small things like hakas and sprayskirts (http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=240; http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=285) which I have found very useful, I'm not interested in modifying the sails or adding sails. A small, gas engine would be nice. The Honda 4-strokes are great. But they really clutter up the boat in my mind. Of course, my wife and I have AIs and a Honda would be a bit more problematic than on a TI--and we would need 2 of them, hummm. The virtue of a motor is that it allows you to comfortably venture well off-shore, maybe 10-15 mi or more. Of course, I'm sure people have taken their AI/TIs that far off-shore w/o motors. If they have trouble, that is what PLBs, SPOTs, and VHF radios are for. We routinely do trips along coastal Everglades, and while we seldom are further than 2-3 mi off shore, we are commonly 20-30 miles from any marina. My last Everglades trip from Flamingo to Chokoloskee, 70 miles, was done solo and w/o motor backup. (http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=255) Of course, you also have the people doing the annual WaterTribe Everglades Challenge from Ft. Desoto (near St Petersburg) along coastal Florida to Key Largo. During that race people in their AI/TIs regularly venture 10 mi offshore at night and solo. No gas motors allowed.
So, keep doing your interesting modifications--I and others like reading about them--but I will probably not be doing many of them. Bottom-line, I like to keep things simple, and, since I camp, I like to keep my weight down. As the old saying goes, "different strokes for different folks."
_________________ 2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am Posts: 2386 Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Chopcat : I have the short shaft Honda 2.3, and my motor is mounted around 3-4 inches lower than yours, and it seems to work well for me. I really like how quiet the motor is with the underwater exhaust. I always sail from the front seat (so I can hike out, and control all my sails easier) so I built a tiller/throttle extension so I can control the motor from the front seat, that really works nicely for me. I've tried sailing from the back seat, and just feel trapped back there. 99% of the time if I am running the motor I'm powersailing, in my opinion this opens up an entire new world for me since we typically just don't get very good wind here in south florida, and I just hate roasting in 90 degree sun in no breeze at 2-3 mph. Once you get over 6-8mph it's fun sailing again at least for me anyway, you get enough breeze to keep you cool.
One thing I did on mine that seems to help is I tilted the motor on the mount so the prop is almost under the boat. If I had to guess the angle is around 5 degrees, I added a little extra oil to the motor to compensate for the tilt. I also turned the motor so it is turned slightly outward with the tiller locked, this helps the boat track straight when under motor power. With my motor mounted straight up and away from the hull I found the boat wanted to turn to the left badly, and I couldn't turn right under power (the TI rudder is a little small). Once I tilted the motor and got the prop under the hull all my steering problems went away, the prop no longer sucks in air (cavitation) when on a starboard tack, The motor still tilts up very nice and clean when not in use. bob
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 4:16 pm Posts: 89 Location: Chicago Area
Tom Kirkman wrote:
But, from what I know as of late, there are some things being worked on by Hobie that could soon heat up the Islands a bit. We'll see.
Have they officially given an unofficial statement that they're working on a jib/spinnaker/bowsprit design? I'd be a little ticked if I gathered all the info I needed from the forum, purchased the materials, and put in the time just as Hobie started selling a jib for the TI
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am Posts: 2386 Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
DM06: When I bought my first TI in spring of 2010, I suspected that it might be a little light on the sail side, but Hobie was advertising at the time that an optional jib would be available very soon (they were still working on it). After the first few times out it really became apparent that the boat was lacking in sail area in the typical very light winds we have on the gulf coast 10 months out of the year. I was a little disappointed sailing at 3-4mph in the typical 5-7 mph winds we have around here. Plus because it is so hot around here if you aren't moving very fast and there is no breeze, it's like sitting in a frying pan out on the water when it's 90 degrees outside with little wind (you just don't want to be out there). I held my breath for a couple months waiting for the jib option to come out, which I was pretty sure would cure my problems (basically a little more sail area is what was needed for light winds). Come summer I simply couldn't hold my breath any longer (turned blue) waiting for Hobie to come out with something, so I went ahead and designed and built my own stuff. It wasn't complex or expensive, and didn't cost me a fortune (couple hundred bucks in materials and a little bit of my time ( a couple weekends)). Now fast forward 3 1/2 years, I'm still using the exact same setup with exactly the same sails and hardware. The original jib did finally wear out and had to be replaced, and I have had to replace a few lines here and there, and made a couple small improvements but the majority of the original stuff is all still being used. I go out every weekend all year round, and a typical day for me is between 15 and 30 miles. That's way over 5000 sailing miles over the last 3 1/2 years. I'm on my 3rd TI now, but have always just transferred all the stuff into my new boat when I buy them, in as there are no modifications at all to the basic Hobie TI required. Since putting the jib and spinnaker on my TI I have never gone out without them not even once. My boat has great performance even in the typical low winds we have around here and Key West (during summer). When I first started posting about my mods, I had been running for about 6 months when a couple of the forum members asked me to start posting some of my stuff, I really had no plans to do that, I just like tinkering with and use the boat on weekends as my hobbie and exercise program, but they talked me into sharing some of my stuff.
Basically you have two choices, you can hold your breath and wait for Hobie to come out with the stuff, or you can spend a couple weekends putting it together yourself, and enjoy your boat in the meantime (pretty much any jib from a laser, or H16, or any small dingy will work, and even a Hobie Kayak sail works great if you have a few laying around). Obviously everyone's situation is different, in as the guys in California, Hawaii, and the Aussies typically have plenty of wind to make their boats perform with no need for anything else. But at least in my case in South Florida we simply don't get wind like that except once in a blue moon, so I rigged my boat accordingly and have been having fun every weekend ever since with no complaints (I love my Hobie). Good luck Bob