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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:16 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Netherlands
Last weekend I did a great trip that nicely shows the possibilities of the AI. I thought I should take the effort to share, so here it goes (hope you don't mind a few pics).

The trip started right at home...
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... for it takes only 100 metres of wheeling to find water that is connected (through locks etc.) to all the big waters (including, in the remote end, the salt).

Because the water is shallow and often weedy, the first few 100 metres I paddled the AI until I'm on the small lake. There I added the drive and paddled/pedaled it (at the same time, rudder up) to the small lock.
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After the doors of the lock had opened (and I answered the questions about the boat!), I paddled/pedaled it through the canal that leads to the dike that surrounds the big central lake of the Netherlands. I had a northerly wind bft 4 straight in the face, but it was no problem to do 7,5km/h. Not a bad (human-power-only against-the-wind) speed for a boat that sails so well, and obviously, it is good to excercise!

For some reason, the big lock (doing roughly 4 metres of difference to the big central lake) was out of order. The yaughts couldn't go there to sail. Some turned back; others decided to wait and see. With the AI, I had other options. I could go to the branch of the canal (that was actually closed by a line with buoys, again no problem of course), that leads to the spot where I could pull the AI out of the water.
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Here you see the pumping station and the dike that keeps my house dry (along with the houses of at least 200.000 others). For it lies roughly 4 metres below sea level.

Next step is to wheel the AI over the dike. Excercise again! After wheeling it a few 100 metres, I was at the ramp where I could let the AI in to go for a nice sail.
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Although this pic doesn't show it, the lake was already quite choppy. I saw a 6,5 metre open keelboat hesitating to go out (a "valk", quite popular here f.i. for rental). After some time in the chop the crew was wise enough to turn back; although the boat is a good sailor for smaller lakes, it is not designed for these circumstances.
For the AI however, the circumstances were great (15kts!) for an involving sail to the lighthouse of Marken (het paard van Marken) and back.

Here a still of the lighthouse on another (very low wind) trip:
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The speed close hauled was on par with the sailing yaughts going there, but they can point a little higher if they want or pay attention. I sat on the aka all the time, I like it, no more ama burying. I had the tramps on, but with this seating position, even in the gusts (up to almost 20kts) it didn't feel like it had the intention to flip at all.

I turned back after roughly 10km. The back trip was on a broad reach, better for speed! And feeled like doing some video. A few stills in all directions:
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The typical speed was like 12-13km/h, with regular bursts of 15km/h or more.
I love this sailing position. This is fun! 8)

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One of the advantages of sitting on the rear aka is that most spray is passing by. Almost all of this missed me!
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That doesn't mean that I kept it fully dry up there...
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Did I say that it was fun?

Back in normal seating position (where even small splashes are have exactly the "right" direction) ...
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... and with these back winds, the famous nose diving behaviour showed up again.
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It did not hinder me actually, these conditions were mild enough, so it did not stop the boat; the speeds were still ok.

Almost back in the harbour where the ramp is.
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Since some of the chop was breaking at the ramp, it wasn't exactly easy to plug in the cart while on the water. :shock: But after several attempts, while keeping the AI off with my foot to avoid crashing into the jetty, I succeeded and I managed to pull it out of the water without damage.
After peeling off the extra splash / sailing clothes, I wheeled the AI over the dike again, but now to the lower side, so that was easy, and it was ready to go in again, now in much smoother circumstances.
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Now I could sail the canal downwind. After the big lake, this was very lazy and comfortable! It's nice to eat and drink some too. 8)
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About time to leave the canal, so I furled the sail, for I had to take the mast down to pass a small bridge. (taking the mast down on the water is easy enough, with the wind from behind I still made headway while doing it).
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Then I folded the ama's and pulled up the rudder.
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This way I paddled/pedaled it into the lock again.
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After a few minutes I was free to go for the last few 100 metres over the small lake I live close by.
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Almost ready to land...
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And after wheeling 100 metres, back home again.

I love these trips! :D I honestly don't know of any other craft with which you can do a thing like that!

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 2:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 1940
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Now that's a trip report!:wink:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading that well illustrated report Skua. 8)
Great pics and the stills from the video were very impressive!
It is interesting seeing your unique waterways. 4m below sea level! :shock:
You've demonstrated the great versatility of the AI very well with this trip.
Love the hiking pole.
How far did you travel and what gear were you wearing in those cold looking conditions?
Thanks for posting! :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 3:14 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Skua, that's fantastic! It's true - it would be hard to find any other sailboat that could have done that trip. Did you have any padding to sit on when you were on the rear aka? Did you try sitting on the crossbar when sailing downwind with the bow submerging? I've found that very effective for lifting the bow. Thanks for making that report. It's got to be the definitive illustration of the AI's versatility.

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 7:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:18 am
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Location: Texas
Awesome report.

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Location: Sydney - Parramatta
Great report. Loved the pics.
Looks like you might need one of Bob's sprayshields though :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:30 am
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Location: Seattle, WA and more times than not, Camano Is, WA USA
Skua, thank you so much for sharing your sail trip with us. Great stills! It looks like quite a production, and well worth it, to get your boat out on the ocean.
I'm curious about the yellow ropes you have connected to your peddles, and also the yellow rope going from the front to back of your AI.
Really nice report.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:59 am
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Location: Plant City, Fl.
Skua, That’s a great trip report and very nice photos. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful place to sail.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 4:50 am 
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Location: South Florida
Excellent report, Shua. Great to see where you are sailing. Thanks.

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:25 am 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
skua - thanks for sharing - great report and photos.
I am coming to your country for the first time in Sep - Nov. Staying in Haarlem - is that anywhere near you???

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 9:46 am 
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Location: Morristown, NJ
Yes, great report.. how did you rig up the pole attached to the rudder control?


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
Awesome report - looking forward to more!

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:01 pm 
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Location: Netherlands
Thanks all for the positive comments! I thought it was time to pay you back for all your posts, pics and reports!

Stringy, the hiking pole / tiller extension is great, you will love it (make an extra long one and you can pan your great camera at the stern by hand! :D ). I didn't travel that far, I guess it was a bit over 30km. Temps were neat actually, 18 degrees C (my warmest trip since october). I wore a kayak shirt and underpants and a shorty wetsuit (short legs and arms, so free to move). On the big lake I added a semi-dry pants, a sailing jacket and a pfd.

Chrisj, I added some padding (actually pipe insulation foam), and that makes all the difference. It now sits like on a bicycle saddle, which is good enough for me. I did try sitting on the crossbar some other time and I agree that is quite effective for lifting the bow, just as effective as sitting on the aka, I think. I have some foam on the crossbar as well. With the seat straps disconnected, that padding makes lying in the normal seating position very comfy as well. 8)

Cows, although the spray is mostly fun in the good season, it is one of the main reasons I hardly sail in winter, so yes, I could use one! Bob, do you happen to have them in black as well?

C Lion, I only went to the big lake, not the ocean. Those yellow lines on the pedals were an experiment. I wanted to try out roadrunner's "stirrup" idea, but concluded that I should make a better version, without taking the time to remove them. The yellow line from the front is the bow line. The yellow line on the back is from an extra (not really needed) rudder lock. Is that what you meant?

Mickymouse, Haarlem is not far from where I go, rather close by your australian measures I think! Would be fun to go out together. In september the weather can still be very nice (the still of the lighthouse was from last september). Do you have an AI and a car then?

The tiller-extension is attached with a carabiner, as per Chrisj's idea (viewtopic.php?f=69&t=12878&p=86008). I used a pvc pipe. I hope to post details and pics of my version there soon.

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:28 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Sure do! :) Black seems to be the most popular color.

Nice pic's

Great post!

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 5:59 pm 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
skua
Quote:
Mickymouse, Haarlem is not far from where I go, rather close by your australian measures I think! Would be fun to go out together. In september the weather can still be very nice (the still of the lighthouse was from last september). Do you have an AI and a car then?

skua - It would be great to go out with you but alas, I don't think the AI will fit in my airline baggage allowance - even if I used shrink wrap :lol:
We'll be over for a few weeks and although we'll be based in Haarlem, we plan on travelling around and having a look at the countryside. A TI would be handy sometimes :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 10:48 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Skua, your excellent post really does a top notch job of illustrating the amazing versatility of the AI. It's also a great education of what it is like to ply the waterways in your part of the world.

Your vivid pictures give us a front row seat. Thanks for taking the time to bring us along! I loved it -- didn't even get wet! :wink: 8)


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