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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 6:42 pm 
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I would like to know if anyone out there has experience with sailing their AI out in the open ocean during high wind / big swells.I have alot of experience windsurfing during those condition and I am thinking the AI might work great for riding swells.
I have checked out alot of the videos on you tube and there doesn't seam to be much about it.

Thank's

Roderick
www.customglasssigns.com


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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2009 10:02 pm 
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Location: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
My experience is with swells, but not on the open ocean (bay sailing inside reefs and surfing on the reefs). First, if the swells are close enough together, the bow of the AI will poke into the swell in front rather than climb and slice. With enough force from behind, the whole boat will submerge, including the amas. During this period you have NO steerage. If the wave you were on passes under you in time, the AI will just pop up to the surface. But if the wave is large enough, or steep enough, it will keep pushing the boat under water. If you happen to not be perfectly square when the nose digs in, then the AI will broach sideways. This time if the wave is big enough it will probably flip the boat over. Even in very modest seas, with enough wind to out run the chop or swells, I am constantly poking through rather than riding over. I think, basically, that the AI just doesn't have a powerful enough hull for these conditions. Also, probably the mast placement and lack of rake contribute. As long as the swells aren't too steep or too close together, I think the AI does really well. If the waves are whitecapping or breaking, forget it. I can surf waves up to about 2 feet. After that, the only way to make it is to surf at an angle to the wave, and to have enough speed to out run it. This is dangerous though, because the rudder is too small for this and wasn't meant to handle the stress. Surfing like this is just asking to get broached and flipped. Trimarans are not good surfing boats, because the ama doesn't have enough floatation and power and can easily get buried, at which point you lose control.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 12:34 am 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Everything k-bay cruiser says is true, but, has anyone actually pitch-poled an AI yet?

We (my friend Scott and I) came close to pitch poling our AI's in unexpected 8' wind waves, but all we had to do was to remember to turn at the bottoms of the waves, to not "submarine"!

We have been out in 8' swells from time to time, and as long as they aren't breaking, it's not a problem. It does take some getting use to, to be separated by a wave and only being able to see the top of each others mast. And 8' swell or wind waves may look big when you are on top, but boy it is a LOT of water when you look up at it from the bottom! :shock:

With that being said, any water that big is asking for trouble, if (WHEN!) something breaks, like rudder pins. Be careful, slowly work up to anything new like that, and have a lot of safety gear and practice how to use it.

When the wind surfers start coming out in force, is usually the time to start heading in, as our best conditions are just under wind surfers preferred conditions.

Kayaking Bob

P.S. I run from "hungry" waves!


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 7:58 am 
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Thank's you guy's,
Here's the big give away for me,
"When the wind surfers start coming out in force, is usually the time to start heading in, as our best conditions are just under wind surfers preferred conditions."
And where you guy's sail can have harsh conditions at times. It sounds like as long as it is a long period swell without cresting and not huge it should be ok.
I spend alot of time in Baja at a great Surf Sailing location. Due to a past injury I don't surf sail any more but I was thinking it would be fun to be out there with a AI riding swell before they start breaking.

Roderick
http://www.customglasssigns.com


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 10:31 pm 
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I live on Oahu and have been out in some high wind medium swell conditions. Never been out in 8ft swells like reconlon, but I've been out before where I've definitely been surfing the waves, and I had to steer off the wave to get out from in front of it. I think around 3-4ft waves with a 10-12second or so period and about 15 mph winds will do the trick. Both times I've surfed I was running downwind and down swell(following sea).

It's fun for a bit, but I'd rather be fishing than surfing waves with the AI :) I'm still hunting for my first Mahi or Ono....

Good luck


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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 1:56 pm 
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Location: Dublin, Ireland
I find the A1 great in all conditions except lumpy seas for the reasons very well explained above.

White caps and the A1 don't go well together because the bow has a real tendency to submerge and yaw. This in turn makes steering difficult and you end up spending all your time trying to figure out how not to broach or pitch. I've experimented in various sea states and find large rolling waves no real issue. The problem occurs when they break or if they are very close together, like an ebb tide where they actually peak.

In gusty conditions, once the sail is furled and the amas are not under the water (where they drag), it rips along and provides endless thrills. I prefer these conditions and really enjoy taking the A1 out when the enjoyment level is mixed with some trepidation.

My worry with waves is when they are close enough to toss me out or to cause breakages.

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Location: Ettalong Beach, Central Coast, Australia
JollyGreen wrote:
I'm still hunting for my first Mahi or Ono....

Good luck


I was in Oahu two weeks back, and bought a whole Mahi off a boat, at $5.00 a lb, and had it on a BBQ. Just wonderful. But laying out US$100 is still quite a bit for an Aussie. Mind you, there was plenty left over, and that was the smallest of the six or seven he had caught.


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2009 3:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:59 pm
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Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
I can only concur with the guys urging caution.
Let's remember here that the AI is designed as a Day/Bay Sailer and is very strong for its weight and well-designed for a variety of conditions, HOWEVER, men will be men and as Matt Miller from Hobie once said, "A lot of people are asking more from the AI than it was designed for..".
Righting the AI is not too hard in good conditions but still a task for the over-fifty, I don't want to try it in 2 Metre swells.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 3:32 am 
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Location: Central Coast Australia
I find that letting the seat straps off so I can lean back can help to get the nose up. Once they go sideways there is a risk that the plastic bolts on the akas shear. It happened to me although that was a smallish surf wave rather than rolling swell.

You can get excellent speed up surfing swell in the right wind, or catching swell that nearly breaks, but doesn't quite make it (for example near Box Head at Ettalong). But they are definitely not designed for surfing. There is also a reasonable risk that something will break and you still have to get home alive!

stevo

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 6:53 am 
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I wonder if a little drogue would be helpful in these conditions. I have been in some pretty wild conditions also, and in a big gust downwind, it is like all hell breaks loose. The nose starts submerging, big spray everywhere, I ease the sail and lean back as far as I can.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 8:06 am 
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Location: Punta Gorda, FL
reconlon wrote:
Everything k-bay cruiser says is true, but, has anyone actually pitch-poled an AI yet?


I came close, and I don't believe it is possible. It doesn't go fast enough nor does it have enough power.


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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 10:22 am 
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Location: Danville California/Kahana Maui
I floated this idea before but it seems fabricating some lifting stakes for the ama's and hull would keep the nose up in a larger swell.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:05 pm 
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Location: Texas Gulf Coast
roderick wrote:
Thank's you guy's,
Here's the big give away for me,
"When the wind surfers start coming out in force, is usually the time to start heading in, as our best conditions are just under wind surfers preferred conditions."
And where you guy's sail can have harsh conditions at times. It sounds like as long as it is a long period swell without cresting and not huge it should be ok.I spend alot of time in Baja at a great Surf Sailing location. Due to a past injury I don't surf sail any more but I was thinking it would be fun to be out there with a AI riding swell before they start breaking.

Roderick
http://www.customglasssigns.com


Roderick, I heartily agree with your conculsion. I recently completed a 200 mile "raid" style event called the Texas 200 on my trampoline-equipped AI. The Texas 200 is sailed in primarily off-the-wind conditions...200 miles of broad reaches & DDW requiring actual navigation through skinny water, We sailed in "protected" bays...that just meant we didn't have tankers bearing down on us ... most of the time :) Seriously, the wind was 15 - 25 kts and the waves were just 2 - 3 feet (4 - 6 trough to crest) and breaking. However, the wave period was extremely short and wave action often confused. I worked very hard to NOT stuff the bow. Often it was unavoidable. The boat would not only submerge, it submerged waist deep from bow to the back of the cockpit...spooky. The trampolines funneled water into the boat...instead of breaking out in the open, the wave would break under the tramp & the water "diverted" into the cockpit...not good.

As stated before, when the boat is submerged you have no control and when she starts to turn up into the wave (and she will) you are helpless. I found myself releasing the mainsheet, climbing out of the cockpit and scrambling up the windward trampoline (fully loaded with gear for the 200 mile event) on several occasions trying to save the boat. She never did flip, but my heart had to be retrieved from my throat more times than I can count.

I never felt she would pitch pole. I DID feel her on the verge of flipping when she rounded up into the wave & wind.

Having said all that, when the waves/wind cooperated it was a serious rush to surf the boat. And even in those challenging conditions it was possible...heck, we surfed in the dark! You must concentrate totally on what you are doing - eyes ahead while you play the main and tweak the rudder, but occasionally glancing windward to see what's headed your way. Be sure to keep your mainsheet AND furling line in your hand/lap at all times (you will shear a rudder pin at the worst possible moment and must furl instantly in these conditions....trust me on this).

Stephanie


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:48 pm 
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<<Be sure to keep your mainsheet AND furling line in your hand/lap at all times>>

This sentence means I need to replace the very short furling line that the boat came with. I've wondered about shifting the lead of that line to the port side as well, so that the two would remain more easily separate.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:05 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
mikereddy wrote:
<<Be sure to keep your mainsheet AND furling line in your hand/lap at all times>>

This sentence means I need to replace the very short furling line that the boat came with.

Not if you tie the two lines together (end to end).

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