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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:26 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:13 am
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Hi there, I just got an used AI (2010) and took it for a spin twice so far in lake Ontario. While I can feel the fun of this thing, before I attempt to put it into the more open waters of the lake (ie. crossing to NY and back) I think some modifications could be made to get more sail power/control over it. I've seen some suggestions already in this forum, so thanks for any/all that can contribute:
1) Can I put the higher mast and bigger sail of the TI into the AI?
2) Can I substitute the old (shorter) rudder with the one on the new AI's? Would it fit or do I need to change the whole system?
3) Similarly to #2, can I just change the fins of conventional Mirage Drive to the longer (turbo) fins, without having to change the whole drive set?

I also have the idea of creating a center board based on the Moth design (horizontal fin for weight lift) and insert it through the pedal well, so that when sailing in stronger winds not only you can get more control but also take some (not much, for stability) weight off the water. Has anyone seen/tried that yet?

All the best, Daniel


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Daniel:
First congrats on your purchase you will love your AI, especially as you get more used to its unique capabilities. Though I don't own an AI I am very familiar with the design, and sail the two seated version of the same boat (called the tandem island), they are virtually the same boat except the number of seats.
There are many AI owners who are extremely happy with the sailing performance of the AI as is out of the factory and feel no need to want for more. Keep in mind the boat is a pedal boat with the mirage drives primarily with the sails to assist as needed (don't lose track of this concept, as the boat will never be a sunfish or laser (it's way more than that). The sail is fully furl able so depending on conditions you can dial in as much power as need to suit the conditions. Yes the boat is lacking in performance in low winds (below about 6-7 mph wind) but when winds are light you can supliment the power by pedaling (can't do that with any other boat). As soon as the winds get over 10 mph then the AI comes into it's own and the standard sail provides more than enough power to propel the boat, actually if it gets over 15 mph wind you need to typically furl the sail in a couple turns or it overpowers the boat, so putting on a much larger sail is probably not a good idea as the floatation on the AMA's is pretty evenly matched to the standard 60 sq ft sail adding more sail just results in capsize, which believe it or not is very difficult to do with an AI (a huge plus).
I suggest spending more time with the boat as is before making any mods, I think once you gain some experience you will be quite satisfied with the stock setup.

As far as retrofitting the new style rudder onto this AI I recommend against it, the standard rudder was always sufficient on the AI's, it was the TI's that had the rudder issues, later on because the AI and TI are sisters, the AI got the same rudder as the TI, but I think this was just for Hobies manufacturing purposes more so that the AI needing it (most AI users were very happy with the old t/s rudders, and many continue to prefer them.

Definitely get the turbo fin upgrade kit from Hobie you will be happy you did, as long as your at it you might look into the upgrade to convert the drive to a v2 drive vs a v1 drive (the v2 drives are a little better IMO). Even if it's a couple hundred bucks, your getting virtually a new $700 mirage drive for two hundred bucks (most wearable components are replaced with new as part of the upgrade (really worth while in my opinion). I'm curious though as the stock AI back then came with the turbo drive I thought, maybe someone pulled a switcheroo or you already have the turbo drive.
Hopefully some of the AI guys will chime in and give you some real advise.
Good luck
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:13 am
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Thanks Bob. From my experience this week, the rudder seems to be the problem and reading the forums I learned there is a new rudder that allows for better steering in high winds. Best, Daniel


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1977
Location: South Florida
Daniel, I think you have scoped the old Twist-n-Stow rudder pretty well. The new rudder, added starting with the 2011 AI model, is much better--hands down better. Still, there are plenty of older style rudders in use and most (not me) are happy with it. I don't know of anyone who has successfully retro fitted the 2011 rudder (vertical rudder) to an earlier model boat. I suspect Hobie, on the 2011 model, did more than just mold the transom to take the new rudder. They probably strengthened the whole stern area.

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: Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1612
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Given that you have the older hull which is not compatible with the "up and down" new rudder, there are only two solutions for you. It is possible to lock down the twist-n-stow (do a search) which is only an issue when in really shallow water, or, you will need to limit that power generated by the sail so you don't overpower the rudder.

It is a common newbie error to hang on to too much sail area, when there is a ready solution at hand. Rolling a bit of sail round the mast can improve the balance of the boat, and (maybe surprisingly) increase speed.

As Keith said, there are many AI owners who are happy with the original twist-n-stow rudder.

As regards trying to gain performance by the use of foils... realistically, the AI (or TI) has a displacement hull, and will not generate enough speed to gain any noticeable benefit from foils (I think a moth weighs not much more than a single ama!).

If you are looking for more speed, perhaps you should look at adding hakas as well as tiller extension, so you can hold on to more sail in stronger wind.

Enjoy your new weapon, and remember that the Miragedrive is worth pedalling a lot!

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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