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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 4:32 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:16 pm
Posts: 150
Location: Colorado
First day out on the AI at Elevenmile res in South Park Colorado (8600 feet). Very pleased with the boat. Went out in calm winds in morning (pictures are all from the morning, "sailing dog" got to go), went back out in the afternoon with a dry suit, sailed in some filled in white caps and put in a bunch of miles, went out late in the afternoon with just the kayak.

FYI, some of the shots are done with the scan feature on a Sony camera (sometimes distorts the image).

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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:22 pm 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
That looks like a lot of fun. Nice boat! I love the way you can use these boats in places that no other sailboat can go, and because of the sail, you can go further and faster then any other kayak can go. Great shots!

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:11 am 
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Location: Colorado
I really liked a number of features of the AI - one being that it has maybe the largest "easy to use" wind range of anything I have ever sailed. This day, I had no winds to maybe up to 30 mph gusts (at 8600 feet elevation so 30 isn't the same as sea level but very filled in white caps) and I would simply adjust the sail reef to always be comfortable and still maintaining speed. Without a boom, I found I was setting the sail more with the reef and always keeping it somewhat "tight" rather than sheeting out. There was an island on this lake I wanted to go around but it was straight upwind - no problem, I just peddled up to where I could sail around it. The combination of the peddles and the sail is really fricken nice! Regarding the peddles and mirage drive... wow.. nice job Hobie.. worked better than I was expecting. One point I was sailing through hundreds of seagulls floating on the lake, I think they were checking the AI out.. Yup, the AI can burn up some miles. Ive got to figure out some better ways to car top but I see lots of threads in these forums on this issue.

I didn't really have much of an issue with the forward section of the hull diving or the very wet ride (although I was wearing a dry suit and usually will at this high mountain lake)- but I also wasn't pushing the sail very hard first time out- I was almost adjusting the reef somewhat similar to how I would normally adjust a sheet.. and that reef setup is real nice for this.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:04 am 
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Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Looks like a great and interesting place to sail and kayak! Glad you had fun and are enjoying the boat and are hooked.
Some things you may consider getting soon to further your enjoyment of the AI and help with speed and learning it. These have really been great for me.

Black Beauty tell tails: Huge improvement to the stock yarn. Not only greater visibility but they don't get hung up on the sail stitching like the yarn ones do.
Trampolines: Being able to take a passenger out for a leisurely cruise is great. The extra weight will slow you down though.
The real advantage for me is being able to "Hike" out on them in the higher winds. I run the full sail in 15-25 mph wind hiked out and flying along with the hull singing. I don't furl until I cannot hold a course with the rudder. YOU Will get wet doing this I Promise. Hundreds of gallons of water poured over the sides and splashed half up the sail on me yesterday... But the Grin after is hard to remove.

Trax 2 Cart: Best for the AI.

Hope these help.

What kind of car are you rooftoping it on?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Location: Colorado
Quote:
The real advantage for me is being able to "Hike" out on them in the higher winds. I run the full sail in 15-25 mph wind hiked out and flying along with the hull singing. I don't furl until I cannot hold a course with the rudder.


I wonder if you could still get back and out even without the tramp? I didn't try this but seems you could sort of sit out on the aka bar? The issue might be being able to comfortably run the steering control lever especially if you were out on the opposite side?

Im car topping on both a pickup truck with a shell (round tube rack on the shell which of course puts a dent in the bottom of kayak) and also with a ford focus with does not have a rack. Got plans for both of these and Ive been reading posts on these forums..


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:45 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
walt wrote:
I wonder if you could still get back and out even without the tramp? I didn't try this but seems you could sort of sit out on the aka bar? The issue might be being able to comfortably run the steering control lever especially if you were out on the opposite side?
Have a look at Skua's post, where he did exactly that: viewtopic.php?f=70&t=25178
As to using the tramps to hike out, as far as I know, there has never been a case of an AI without tramps flipping, except in surf, whereas there have been a number of reports of AI's with tramps capsizing.

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Last edited by chrisj on Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:06 pm 
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Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
I think you would only capsize with tramps if you are sitting in the seat and on a Broad Reach. I Don't sit in the seat other than occasionally to help pedal through a tack and then quick back out on the windward tramp. I am knocking on wood right now..... I have yet to capsize the AI.
I wish there where more here and we could race and see which is faster.... furled and seated or full sail and hiked out with hair on fire.

I don't sit on the rear Aka bar but on the tramp near it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:12 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
I'm sure hiking out on a beam reach would be a bit faster,not to mention more of a buzz. I've never felt the need to furl because of an ama burying. I only furl to control weather helm, which a buried ama counteracts anyway.
Interestingly, Skua chooses to sit on the aka bar, even though he has tramps fitted.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:05 pm 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Thanks for sharing these shots with us wait. Love the panoramas, what a terrific spot. Pick out your favorite and enter it in the photo comp. The first shot with your dog is a ripper.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 12:16 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Netherlands
Walt, great spot, great pics! Lot's of detail, I will ask my boss for a bigger screen! ;) And I agree, the large "easy to use" wind range is another great advantage of the AI.

I prefer to sit on the rear aka instead of on the tramp for a number of reasons:
  • when I sit on the tramp, my bottom is catching waves / chop all the time. Not so when sitting on the aka. This issue can (partly) be prevented by pulling the tramps very tight, but I want to be able to easily install them or furl them on the water and then I would have to adjust the straps each time. You sit a bit higher and more dry there too.
  • When sitting on the aka, you can have one foot in the rear cargo well and the other in the seat well. This makes for a firm seat across the boat, like in other sailboats (which I like).
  • Especially on broad reaches it is great to lift the bow up a little to prevent nose diving by sitting a bit more to the rear.

It works also without the tramps, although that feels a bit less secure. It would be a great set up for higher winds, but higher wave / chop action could make it a bit "too much". Also nice for (less extreme) hiking, is to sit on the edge of the hull, for instance on the rear cup holder.

In all occasions, a tiller extension is great for this, although it is not needed for all positions. Look here: viewtopic.php?f=69&t=12878&p=100278

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:22 pm 
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Location: Colorado
Skua, thanks.. enjoyed your Holland trip picture story.

We did a little kayak trip on Saturday, my 15 yo son got the Hobie AI. It was a little breezy at first and he ran circles around everyone else. Then it got down right windy, he had no problem. My main problem with the AI now is that it would be a lot of fun to have three of them (not going to happen for long time however).

More pictures from Saturday at the same lake

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Part of the reason for the trip was to look for baby Seagulls
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