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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 6:26 am 
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Location: South Florida
Nice video, Bob. Impressive: pedals, 2 motors, main, & jib. There must be something else, but I can't think of it.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"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


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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 7:06 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Trevor:
Well that may take a while, gelcoat is expensive stuff (about $40 bucks worth to finish out the unit (ouch)). I'm not going to finish it pristine until I'm sure I'm going to keep and use it 'long term'. It take quite a few hrs of sanding and polishing gelcoat to finish it out like a powerboat hull. For now I'll just be using it unfinished, it's all sealed and there is a .020"-.030" thick coat of clear gelcoat on the unit. It's actually kind of strange, many years ago when I was building my racing hydroplanes we would just buy the colorant at marine supply then add it to the polyester resin ourselves, it appears nobody does that anymore, and they only seem to supply 'very expensive' pre-colored gelcoat finish all pre-mixed and ready to apply (like $40 bucks a quart). I personally think it's a racket for unsuspecting boat builders now ( LOL).

The whole unit is made from 4 lb urethane foam coated with one layer of glass, then covered and sealed with clear polyester resin, the whole unit weighs around 5-6 lbs, and is plenty strong to survive years of abuse (the unit drags on the bottom everytime I launch and retrieve from the trailer so it needs to be pretty strong).

I will likely use it just as is for a while, since I'm more for function than appearance (I don't care what the stuff looks like as long as it works flawlessly for many years). Plus during phase III it will be used for high speed operation ( >40 mph operation (fingers crossed)) so it had to be designed very strong.

One un-anticipated thing is since this is foamcore gelcoat construction, and the boat itself is very soft and pliable polyethylene. I had to foam fill (with 4 lb construction foam) the inside of the hull under the motor mount bracket and near where the joint between the hull and the transom unit meets to keep a precise (tight) joint where the two pieces meet. Basically a couple baggies filled with expanding 4 lb urethane two part construction foam were thrown into that area of the hull and allowed to fill the space, that area in the hull is now completely rigid (took all of 5 minutes to do), if I had to guess there is about a half pound of foam in there and that area is completely rigid now. Worked like a champ, and it removable if needed.

Here are some pics of the finished unit and my crazy little turbulence reducers on the motor shafts. Basically I went to Lowes and bought 2 pieces of .025" thick aluminum 6" x 18", cut them in half, then taped them together with 3M mylar packing tape over the round shaft, I then filled the inside with 4lb urethane 2 part expanding foam, of course if I ever need to remove them I just cut the mylar tape and pull them off.
Image

Image

Image

All in all it's been a very fun project for me, I will likely just use it for a while and to be perfectly honest I will likely never get to phase III, as I'm pretty darn happy with what I currently have, the boat is perfectly tweaked for the typical low winds we have around here and I will be able to cover great distances with ease.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Who says a Tandem Island can't plane.

Yesterday was another typical day in the area

Image

Actually the winds did pick up a little to 5-6 mph later in the day for short periods but the water was very flat which makes it more fun for me.

I thought I would try out my new hull modification trying to convert the TI hull into a planning type hull. It all seems to be working quite nicely, at least I had fun going out.

Here is a quick video I made with my gopro.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1OjgyqBsXk&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Ojgyq ... e=youtu.be

At least I think the boat is planning and sitting way higher in the water, previously (before the mod) the stern would be completely submerged under water. It appears to run at least 6 inches higher in the water.
I was out around 2 hrs and only saw 2 big sailboats out that day and one h16, it looked like everyone else stayed home because of the very light winds forecast.
My only day available for sailing is Saturday and I'm not about to stay home because there is no wind out there (no wind no problem, I just make my own (apparent wind) to make my wing work).
Bottom line I got bored always going 3-4 mph and not being able to sail upwind without massive tacking efforts so I made a couple minor tweaks to the TI to make it work for me in the typical conditions around here.
The boat itself is still a completely stock TI (no changes to the boat itself). All my minor tweaks just bolt on and I can leave them off if desired. Everything just stays mounted on the boat all the time and the boat is stored on the trailer like you see it. It takes me maybe 5 minutes longer to rig over the other TI's I go out with all the time.
All in all I'm pretty darned happy with what I have. I may not even go to phase 3, though it would be cool to be able to sail over 40mph with a big Main wing sail in 10 mph winds I'm to the point now where I just don't feel like thinking thru the engineering anymore. As an engineer full time I go out on the the boat to get away from my computer and spending another year thinking this thru isn't appealing to me. I'll just use the boat as is for a while (I'm finally done tweaking lol).

Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:08 am 
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Location: South Florida
fusioneng wrote:
All in all I'm pretty darned happy with what I have. I may not even go to phase 3, though it would be cool to be able to sail over 40mph with a big Main wing sail.... As an engineer full time I go out on the the boat to get away from my computer and spending another year thinking this thru isn't appealing to me. I'll just use the boat as is for a while (I'm finally done tweaking lol).

Bob

You've done great, Bob! Take a break. The TI/AI are not meant to go 40 mph. If Hobie wanted to build a power boat, they would have done it.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"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


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:22 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Keith:
But I have to admit that it would be way cool to have a 40mph capable boat that gets in excess of 100mpg that isn't at all delicate, complex, or hard to rig, or expensive ( I have about $8500 invested to date with most of that in the TI ($5500), and the motors ($2000)). The main wing sail I estimate would cost me another $150 to make.
I know now for sure it can all be done easily, But I'll be leaving all that for someone else to carry the torch further. I'm officially done putzing (lol).
I strongly doubt anything I've done is commercially viable, or would anyone else have any interest whatsoever in owning a boat like mine, but it serves my needs and I'm perfectly happy with what I have. I feel I have shown what can be done with a TI if someone so desires with a little elbow grease and ingenuity. My opinion is everyone used to do this kind of stuff in the 60's and 70's but anymore everyone has forgotten how (it's become a sad commercially motivated world), I'm just trying to keep the spirit alive.

Bob
PS I live by the 'by line' on the bottom of all your posts, and always think of it when making any mods, I thank you for reminding us all.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:39 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
OK folks I have posted a lot of different tweaks and crazy things I have done to my TI over the last 4 yrs.
If someone were to back track into this thread I think it would be pretty painful and boring reading with no apparent goal in site, so I thought I would in one post put into perspective what I think I have accomplished over the last few years of R&D and huge investment on my part (besides the cost of the boat and the motors themselves I have spent a huge amount of money trying to make my dream come true over the last couple years (almost a thousand bucks (ouch)).
My dream was to have a reliable boat that gets where I want to go in an acceptable amount of time in the usual very light conditions we typically see around here every weekend (I go out every weekend all year round).

Don't get me wrong, I love my TI but when I take out a stock TI in the typical conditions we have in my area (low winds) especially during hot weather it's not a fun experience for me. This first video pretty much shows what it is really like out there on the water every weekend when I am out.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW62S1_RfYQ[/youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW62S1_RfYQ

OK I know what everyone is going to say, that's unusual conditions and a TI normally does better than that. Well I'm being perfectly honest here, I've been taking my TI out every single weekend for over 4 yrs now, and these are the conditions I live with 90% of the time.

I've had the motor on my TI now for over 4 yrs but until recently never used it (it was there for safety backup purposes, because I go offshore often (we are scuba divers)). Here is a video of the first time I used the motor and attempted to power sail.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiK_GM_U9pY[/youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiK_GM_U9pY

Now fast forward to today, after much experimentation and huge investment on my part I think I finally have the boat that I want. I have never been so proud to see a proper wake behind a boat.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR9oJL6psds[/youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR9oJL6psds

The conditions are pretty much the same in all three videos and all three videos were take in the same general area on exactly the same TI. In the last video with the planing hull mod and the second motor added the boat finally performs to my expectations. I can go out and sail all day using less than a dollar in fuel and actually get someplace. As an example when I first got my TI I would try to around Lido key (about 12-15 miles total), this would be with my stock TI an all day affair (I've made the trip many times), today with all my mods I typically make the trip in about an hour and a half and it costs me between $.50 cents and a dollar in fuel (depending on the actual wind of course).
Watching these three videos pretty much sums up what is really going on and the thought process I went thru over the last couple (hard) years.

I hope this puts things into perspective a little.
Bob


Last edited by fusioneng on Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 3:11 pm 
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Location: ACT Region, Australia
Thanks for taking the time to document your journey along the way Bob. Your ideas have inspired a number of tinkerers, like myself, to make these wonderful boats even more versatile than they are stock.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:06 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
I went out yesterday to scope out some new dive sites, the plan was to find the sites then plunge my gopro down on a pole and video the site to see if it's worth diving there. We usually don't dive up here much because it so much more fun diving down in key west we typically go there instead. I think it would be nice to find a couple nice dive spots around here. ( note to self, next time bring a 30 ft pole, I didn't see crap with a ten ft pole (basically a wasted trip)).

In total yesterday I covered 30 miles and can report on my fuel consumption. Unfortunately there was no wind yesterday (<5-6 mph all day) so my wing sail amplifier wasn't much help (the way it works is the more natural wind I have, the more it amplifies the wind/power). In total I used 1 1/2 tanks of fuel for the day from each motor (exactly 3 liters (.8 us gallons)) or about $2.75 worth of gas for the day. This worked out to 36 mpg for the day. What this means is if I run the engines at higher than 1/4 throttle it destroys my fuel economy if there is little to no wind and I want to maintain my normal cruising speed (9-10 mph). In total I was out about 4 hrs but there were a couple long stretches where a couple of my kids called and wanted to face time (Father's Day) so I dropped out of warp (just let the engines idle) for a while when talking to them. During that time I was just sailing the old fashion way going about 3-4 mph. If you subtract out the slow periods, and the slow areas (no wake zones) it comes out to an average speed for the day of 9.5 mph with a top speed of 11.7 according to my gps (don't know when that happened, perhaps it was a mis-reading on the gps).
I don't think I saw more than 5 sail boats out yesterday, one was a TI up just off Anna Maria ( I think that's where we were anyway) I pulled over and we chatted a bit. Beautiful day (nice flat water) but I suspect most sailers decided not to go out (winds were too low apparently).
That's one thing I love about my TI is 'no wind, no problem' I still get to go out and enjoy the water and not have to sit in a frying pan. The down side to a no wind day is when I got back my legs were like rubber and I'm pretty stiff today, but it was way better and much more fun than staying home. Even if it cost me quite a bit more in gas than usual.
Hopefully next weekend my wife will go scuba diving with me (fingers crossed), as you can't dive alone.
All in all I'm still pretty happy with my setup.
Bob

Edit: I find that the practical speed limit for the mirage drives is around 10 mph, at speeds over ten you can't provide any additional power( you can't pedal fast enough), and the drives flutter quite a bit ( which can't be good for them) so it's best to remove them.

Here are a couple chart plots from my Isailer app (the blue line was my way points to the first dive site (wreck of the Regina)). Just north of that is Spanish Rocks.
Image

Here is a closer view of the area, notice all the zeros in that area (depth), we were in the same area on our friends big powerboat last sunday all day and ran aground no less than three times (totally wrecked their prop). Hey I offered to navigate using my Isailer, but they didn't want to hear it ( LOL).
Image

Basically in that area if your in a powerboat you have to stay in the channels (they even had a depth sounder, doesn't help if you ignore it though).


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:58 pm 
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Location: Fairfax, CA USA
Longboat key?

I love that place.
My wife's family is from down there. Her grandparents were on longboat key for many, many years. We keep talking about making a trip back there so my daughter can see what real white sand looks like, and my wife can pay her respects.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:00 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
I have been watching some of my older videos vs some of my latest videos, and have come to realize as I continue to tweak my TI I'm getting diminishing returns on my tweaks. I'm starting to think my mods peaked about a year ago and much of what I have done in the last year like converting the hull to a planing hull and adding the second motor only gained me 2-3 mph additional average speeds over that I was achieving with just the single motor and wing sail.
Running the single motor at somewhere close to 1/4 throttle propels the boat to about 5-6 mph on flat water with no sails out. With twin engines at the same throttle the boat goes around 7.5-8 mph (with no sails up) on flat water. I get around 3 hrs run time per liter of fuel with the single engine and 2 hrs run time per liter of fuel with twin engines. Both work out to about 45-50 miles per gallon of fuel with no sails out and fairly flat water in very low winds.
Obviously I don't ever go out without trying to maximize my economy by trying to sail as efficiently as possible and pedaling whenever I can at a steady cadence about 90% of the time. I've been out enough times now that I can average out my typical speeds and fuel economy.
The average wind speed I'm using for this is 5-8mph winds, which I encounter probably 90% of the times I go out around here ( a good place to start), obviously the more natural wind I have to work with, the higher speeds and better fuel economy I get.
Now for some reason that I can't explain I found that the actual run time when sailing and pedaling seems to use less fuel per hr when sailing vs motoring with no sail, I can't explain this since I thought fuel usage was dependent on the throttle setting only (apparently a bad assumption on my part). I have kept track of all my trips, noted my average speeds and always precisely measured the fuel I used on each trip.
With the single engine (without the planing hull mod) my average sailing speed works out to 6.5 mph, and 1 liter of fuel lasts about 3 to 3.5 hrs of run time. This works out to roughly 70 mpg at an average speed of 6.5 mph (a 25 mpg gain over not sailing). Of course these are averages and assume I have the throttles locked at under 1/4 throttle and I have resisted the temptation to open the throttle up to get through the passes against the current ( it's actually nice knowing I have that reserve speed capacity just in case I get in trouble). Obviously if I open the throttle up and run the engine at higher rpm the fuel economy goes way down quickly, but surprisingly the average speed doesn't go up by much, maybe 2mph and that's it.
Now with the twin engines and the planing hull mod I have been out enough time to determine typical averages. One added feature of the twin engines is my emergency speed capacity is much higher, and if I'm in real trouble out there trying to out run lightning storms I can open the throttles up and get home at around 10-11 mph (with no sails out) but fuel economy goes out the window at that point. At max full throttle I have 1 hr of fuel 1 liter fuel per tank equals 2 liters of fuel used per hr at full throttle ( I think this is Hondas published fuel consumption rate, I tested and confirmed it) . At WOT ( wide open throttle) with twin engines, using the custom 7 inch pitch props I made, no sails out on flat water the boat seems to average about 10 mph. This is difficult to figure out precisely but it seems to get around 30 mpg just running flat out with no sail assist on pretty flat water with hardly any wind (too many variables involved to lock down a precise number), plus I would never do that anyway, but it's nice to know.
It's still early to come up with good precise averages with the twin motors, but it appears at 1/4 throttle I average around 8.5-9.5 mph with sails up and working them with as much efficiency as possible and pedaling at a steady cadence 90% of the time, vs 6.5 mph with the single engine. Just a rough estimate on the mpg comes out to around 55-65 mpg with the twin engines ( I will get more precise figures as time goes on). Basically I go faster (around 2-3 mph faster), but as a result I do use about 25%-30% more fuel (not 100% more fuel like you would think because of the twin motors running).
Of course all these figures are calculated in the typical minimum wind conditions we get around here. Obviously the mpg, and speed increases if I have more natural wind to work with. And obviously if I have winds over 10-12 mph I can just stop the motors, tilt them up and just sail the old fashion way. The weight of the motors (about 60 lbs) doesn't seem to affect the sailing performance of the boat at all. In my experience the boat sails pretty much the same whether you have one person or two people on board (at least I cannot tell the difference anyway), however when you have 3 or more on board the performance takes a hit, unless you have the massive sail area (like I have), and/or motor assist, then you can make up the difference.

What does all this mean, ..... 'absolutely nothing' it's just some stats I've been gathering as I go about having fun with my 'favorite hobby'. I just thought it might be of interest to anyone who follows my crazy exploits.
Hopefully it makes sense.
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:55 am 
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I was out again this weekend doing my regular exercise program. It was very hot and the water was very flat with winds 3-6mph thru most of the day (pretty typical for around here especially thru the summer). I looked out onto the bay and there were only 3 sailboats out on the entire bay as far as my eyes could see, all the rest were powerboats (hundreds). The outside temp was around 90f (about max around here) and the sea temp is around 84. This is pretty typical around here for about 7-8 months out of the year.
I believe there are more than a few dozen TI's/AI's in this area but I didn't see a single one out this weekend (besides me). I always launch right next to the Sarasota Sailing squadron where there has to be 300-400 sail boats stored (maybe even more). I commented to one of my friends who has his H16 out pretty much every weekend, who was just coming in when I arrived, on how people can own all this stuff and pay like a thousand bucks a year to store at the yacht club, in addition I'm sure many of the sail boats stored there I could buy 10 or 20 TI's for what they cost, yet the vast majority appear to be never used. I said I didn't understand how people can buy stuff then never use it, anything I have I'm going to use the heck out of and get my moneys worth, he kind of laughed and agreed.

I store my boat completely rigged on the trailer in my garage and it takes me all of five minutes to put the hitch in and connect it to the car. Once I'm backed to the water it takes me 15 minutes to unload the and rig the boat. Here is a video of me unloading and rigging on a typical day.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az2_doAgzCM[/youtube]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Az2_doAgzCM

It takes no longer with the second motor to rig, and the planing hull mod on the back of the boat is permanently mounted and never leaves the boat so it's totally maintenance free.

While out doing my exercise routine I was reflecting on all my mods and how well everything has worked out for me, as well as what I would do differently if I had to do anything again.

Currently with the twin motors running at 1/4 throttle (with the throttles locked) in the low typical winds around here my typical sailing speed averages between 8 and 9 mph and I get around 2-3 hrs run time per tank of fuel (each tank is 1 liter x 2 tanks). According to my GPS my max speed was 10.5mph but have no idea when that occurred (possibly riding the surf in just outside of big pass).
What I really like about my setup is I always have a nice breeze blowing on me to keep me cool along with an occasional splash on me as I crash over powerboat wakes. I measured my fuel usage when I got home and used exactly 1/3 of a tank of fuel from each motor, in all I traveled 10 miles as measured on my GPS for the day ( a short day). The original plan was for me and wife to go scuba dive offshore at point of rocks (about 10 miles south of where we launch) but it was a little to hot and sunny for her so she bailed on me, since I can't dive alone, there went that plan... We ended up spending the afternoon in the pool.

I'm pretty sure all the sailing purists hate me very much, and have fun talking about me. We tried to join the Sailing squadron a couple years ago, but many of the people there were downright mean to us, and my wife wants nothing to do with them.

I don't think of my boat as a sailboat, I consider it to be a hybrid pedal boat that I can take out even in the lightest of conditions (pretty typical around here) and still get somewhere and have a nice time without having to sit in irons and bake in the sun. If the winds ever picks up to where I can actually sail I'll raise and park the motors and sail when I can. In my opinion this is the best of all worlds. And best of all if I'm threatened by a sudden storm with lightning (which occurs pretty much every afternoon in the summer here) I can always high tale it home at pretty high speeds if I need to. If any one has been caught 5-10 (or more) miles from launch when something bad happens they know where I'm coming from. Trying to get back to Key West Island from the south when the wind is coming at you from the north at 25 mph is about as scary as it gets fighting 4-6 ft waves and the lightning flashing all around you. Next stop Cuba.

I still have my giant spinnaker and use it once in a while (mostly down in Key West where we have nice steady trade winds). But don't use it much up here in Sarasota because my current configuration is faster than the typical wind we get here and the spinnaker can never be deployed (you can't sail faster than the wind with a spinnaker), so I typically just leave it in the garage.

My original plan (cash in hand) when I bought my TI was to buy a brand new H16, I went to the Hobie dealer and he convinced me to buy the TI instead (which was brand new back in April 2010). I have also looked at the Windrider 17 and the WETA, all very nice boats in my opinion. Of course I also looked at the F18's and Wildcats but feel they are so far above my budget as well as extremely technical, they were out of my reach.

As far as bang for the buck goes I feel I have the most bang for the buck over pretty much anything out there, where my mod'ed TI is faster and more versatile than anything I have seen out there on the market (in light winds of course). My total investment to date is around $8500 bucks (including the boat, trailer, and motor costs, and all my home made sails, rigging and stuff). I think the Windrider 17 is a little over $10k (W/O trailer) and the WETA I think is around $14k, and we all know what a new H16 costs.

Sure it took me a few weekends to make some of the stuff, but that's all part of the hobby for me. Everything I have made was made in my garage with a hack saw and cordless drill, though I worked in tool shops all my life, I no longer have access to any of that stuff.

In conclusion if I had a do over button would I do anything different ???
1: The modified planing tail on the boat cost me over $250 buck to make and a great deal of work, was it worth the effort. NOT REALLY, pretty much a waste of time, I'll continue to use it, but it's not one of those things that's a night and day difference.

2: Adding the second motor, sure it gives me 2-3 mph higher average speed, and a way higher WOT max speed, but the single motor worked just fine and I was able to average 6 to 6.5 mph average speed with just the single (the single engine at WOT with no sails out propels the boat to 8-9 mph on flat water, which is sufficient to get you out of most trouble). I probably wouldn't do it again if I had a reset button. I'm not about to remove it, and I'll continue to use it, but that extra thousand bucks for the second motor, I'm not sure was wise.

3: On my Wing jib if I had realized going in that it works no differently from a real airplane wing (totally different principles from standard sails), where you have to have a certain minimum forward motion in order for it to operate at all (thus the reason for the motors). I would not have made it. If you don't have at least 6-7 mph of wind passing over the wing it does absolutely nothing whatsoever besides being a terrific wind vane (the wing jib is free standing and rotates 360 degrees freely as it follows the wind (just like a weathervane).

Hopefully some of these insights will help others make better decisions as what to do with their boats, and if it's worth the effort to even proceed on self mods. I'm perfectly happy with my total package, if I were to remove some components would I be as happy, it's really hard to decide.

Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:02 am 
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Wow! Quite impressive. I have nearly zero inclination to modify my TI (I get my speed fix from a sailboard), but there are a thousand great ideas here, and as many unforseen issues (which are lessons in themselves). Keep up the tinkering, I'm enjoying the engineering and the sail reports.
-RH

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