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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:01 pm 
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Location: South Florida
I recently purchased a used 2011 Hobie AI. I phoned the original seller (Hobie dealer Tackle Shack of North Pinellas Park, FL) to say I wanted to be registered as the owner to receive the new rudder upgrade. A person responded that, since I was the second owner, the Hobie warranty did not apply, AND I would have to pay for any upgrades. When I questioned that, the sales person said “I’m wasting my time on you,” and hung up. I complained about this in an email to Hobie customer support. They replied immediately, apologized, and said that the dealer was incorrect. Hobie also offered to send the new rudder ASAP. That is how I happened to receive the rudder upgrade 2 days ago.

I installed the rudder yesterday and will try it tomorrow. Here is my installed rudder, me, and the moment I happily dropped the T-n-S rudder in the trash. (Actually, I removed the SS screws before discarding.)
Image

A few installation observations.
1. View Jim Czarnowski’s video showing the step by step installation (posted by Matt Miller at http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=35376&start=0) The video is excellent and should be viewed BEFORE doing the installation.
2. Print out the installation instructions also posted by Matt. Use these instructions as you actually install the new rudder (or, better, with a portable computer, watch the video.)
3. The video/printed instructions talk of using pliers, but you need vice grips if doing it solo.
4. The new rudder has 4 thick, 36” yellow lines (2 steering lines, 2 up/down deployment lines.) Each of these lines has 2 knots in it. The instructions refer to the “first knot” and the “second knot,” but don’t identify which is which. The “first knot” is near the tag (free) end of the line. The “second knot” is nearer the rudder housing. If the installation is for an AI, the second knot is untied and the “first knot” is used. If the installation is for a Tandem, the “second knot” is used.
5. The instructions use “tiller line” and “steering line” interchangeably.
6. The instructions say to “…cut the up/down lines near the rudder head….” Go ahead, cut them; don’t untie them, cut them. Same with the steering lines. Being careful, I untied them--a waste of time.
7. The only error I found in the printed instructions was in item 3f. It says “…pulling on the lines at the tiller….” It should say “…pulling on the lines at the rudder….”
8. In my 2011 AI, there were 2 closed-cell foam blocks, one along the rail on each side of the cockpit—they are accessible from the front hatch. When I installed the rudder, an interior pulley on the up line caught on the foam block and kicked it into the bow. I have removed these two foam fillers. They may be there for floatation, but I don’t want them interfering with the up/down lines. Also, on my camping trips, I need that space—and, with my dry bags and the amas, I think there will be plenty of floatation available.
9. When finished, my “up” line seemed about 18” too long at the up handle—I removed 15” of it.

All in all, the installation was painless.

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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 May 16, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Keith, great recap and excellent tips! Thanks 8)


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:13 am 
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I must admit, I actually laughed out loud when I realized the picture was actually of you dropping the twist n' stow in the trash! :lol: Glad the installation went well, I look forward to hearing about its operation, performance and quirks!


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 2:06 am 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
Keith - thanks for sharing your installation experience. Much appreciated :wink:

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2011 AI Golden Papaya



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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 10:13 am 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Who's that older gentleman holding those rudders? Your father? Can't be you Keith. Not after following all your exploits. You must be much younger. Must be a picture from the future. Or did that twist-n-stow age you that much? :) (Still, you're looking good!)

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http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:56 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Impressive. I hear you can achieve a similar effect with the T&S by dropping a couple of Viagras in the mast well.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 7:32 pm 
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Location: South Florida
KB--Yes, that is me. That T-n-S put 10 yrs on me, but I won. I'm still standing and its gone!

Chris--I did the "Viagra in the mast cup" thing, and all it did was straighten the mast.

Long live Hobie and the vertical rudder!

Keith

PS The weather did not cooperate, and I have not had a chance to try the rudder.

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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: Tue May 17, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Awesome. Look forward to hearing all about the performance of the new rudder.

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 4:48 am 
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Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
What, yet ANOTHER bungee???

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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 10:43 am 
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Quote:
What, yet ANOTHER bungee???


On what? The cord with the red webbing is simply a safety strap for travel. If the up cleat is not engaged or falls out of the cleat, it keep the rudder from dropping on the road. Not required for normal sailing function.

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:29 pm 
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Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Thank you, Keith, for these installation instruction clarifications.

We just received the new rudder in the mail yesterday. Shame the weather couldn't allow us to sail in the Bay together on Sunday. We'll have to try again next time.

When you finally get a chance to test the new rudder, please share with us your findings. When sailing over the shallows, does the new rudder kick up just as easily as the older rudder when used in conjunction with the rudder bungee? Is the larger rudder any more difficult to turn due to its thicker size and new steering cables?

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2010 Hobie Tandem Island
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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 6:46 pm 
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Location: tampa, fl
I have had the new rudder since my EC attempt and will tell you that it totally changes the boat and my confidence in it. When it wants to kick up in shallow water, just ease the downhaul and let it. You can still steer. There is a lot of pressure on the tiller but it still steers. When locked down and 20 mph wind I have not yet found the point at which it stalls like the old one did. In fact I got the official replacement rudder just the other day and wonder if I will ever need it! If Matt reads this he may want it back! I don't think anything is different other than the lines are a whiter shade of dynema . My only complaint, and its minor, is the rudder uphaul cleat and attachment point. It tends to collect other tethers and my extended roller furling line in the back seat.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 10:19 am 
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Yeah, they didn't cross reference guys like you who got the rudder from Jim at the EC. If you can return the kit to your dealer, that would be great.

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 11:36 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
I got my new rudder today, and Keiths clarifications helped me (thank you Keith). It took under an hour to do the entire install, I can't wait to try it out this weekend. The up line on my TI seemed excessively long after installation, and I shortened mine also.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 6:53 am 
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Tried my new vertical rudder yesterday in mild conditions--12-14 mph winds. It worked fine as expected. It is the same size as the T-n-S rudder that it replaced, so when they are both deployed properly, they will likely respond the same.

One of the beauties of this new, vertical rudder is its ease of deployment. The vertical rudder is gravity deployed, so when the up line is released, it drops into place, period. Then, pull the down line tight and cleat it--a very solid, simple, functional rudder. I love it. The rudder is raised by pulling the up line and cleating it. (KB, in the next post, points out that we do need to uncleat the down line, before pulling the up line!)

The other advantages of this rudder are: (2) its housing is symmetrical, therefore, inherently the same on port & starboard; (3) no lines near bolts or hard edges; (4) no line routed through a bolt before being tied off; (5) no niche for the rudder blade to fit for proper deployment.

The vertical rudder does not stow out of the way like the T-n-S. Since I trailer my boat, that is not a problem. Depending on the mode of transportation, some may have to take the pin out and bungee/strap it on the stern.

All in all, this is a terrific design. Hard to imagine problems with 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


Last edited by Chekika on Sat May 21, 2011 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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