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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:04 pm 
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Location: South Florida
This year there were so many Hobie AI/TIs entered in the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge, that they warranted their own classes: Hobie AT, Hobie TI, Hobie IM (modified Island--Jim Czarnowski in his jib-outfitted AI).

A number of TIs suffered broken Mirage Drives (the pedal shaft). There was one mast step failure which might have been an older, out-of-production mast step. I didn't hear of any failure of the bolt in the mast step, but lack of breakage, might also been inversely connected to the Drive failures. The winds were light to moderate, so more stress was put on the Mirage Drives as competitors tried to keep ahead or at least keep up. The sails and masts were not really given a workout in Everglades Challenge fashion.

One person on the WaterTribe forum suggested the reason Hobies did not have the great, trouble-free history of Kruger boats was because Krugers were "designed to be expedition boats," whereas, Hobie AI/TIs, are designed to be more "Sunday sailor" type boats. When the Hobies are put into the pressure cooker environment of the WT Everglades Challenge, there will be failures.

Many sea kayak manufacturers have a popular line of kayaks, but in addition, they will have an "expedition" kayak which is supposed to be able to take more abuse.

I wish that Hobie had "expedition" versions of the AI and TI. In these version, the drives would be strengthened, the drive-well would be strengthened. The mast and mast step might be heavier and sturdier. The stern and rudder would be strengthened. The akas would be a bit heavier and bulked up in the weak spots. Wow, wouldn't this be the Hobie adventurer's dream.

These "expedition" AI/TIs would be more expensive, but they would be more reliable for 7-14 day expeditions into real wilderness areas.

Its just a wish.

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: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:26 pm 
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I love the mast, sail, and the whole package of being able to sail, paddle and peddle.
One thing I'd change is the weight - it's a heavy beast.
I've love a marriage between something like this: http://smalltrimarans.com/blog/?p=4994 and an AI/TI.
Hull weight of 38kg vs 56kg for the TI (but what that includes for both sides isn't clear - beams? seats?).
OTOH, the spider only has a 160kg crew weight, which isn't nearly enough for a TI - presumably BWL is far smaller.
How smart is the mast storage *in* the hull?!

So I'd love an expedition version, but don't add to the weight (and preferably take it off using some new, space-age (=I don't have a clue how) materials).

Oh, and submersible to 10ft with bow plane controls for the perfect snorkelling companion :D.

Damn, I just noticed that the Spider is closer to the size of the AI (weight, length, etc). Still, maybe Hobie can do magic...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:28 am 
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I have been sailing and racing boats for a long time going back to the large hobie one design fleets, the one thing I can for surely say this is the best boat I have had due to its cost and ease of use. After completing the last EC I am in agreement on the wish list.
These are mine.
Change shape - of hull so better speed can be achieved with either Mirage Drive or sailing. Going into a current which is sometimes unavoidable need to be able to get thru it. Also, would give a little more confidence in playing weather conditions.
Keep simple - Main sail only, with better sail controls and sail shape. Rotating mast and its ease of removal are great.
Storage - Some of the boats had water issues in main hull from opening to get needed items. It would be nice to have a few small compartments to store dry bags that are closed off so not water will get into actual boat.
Hydration - Several areas in main hull for Drometory bags that are movable in hull depending on conditions. Drinking hose coming out of hull.
We kept a 24 hr supply of food, water and suppliements on deck in dry bag but would be nice to reduce what is on deck all times.
One can only wish, and look forward to the next adventure.
LETS GET MORE TI's AT NEXT WATERTRIBE EVENT, GREAT PEOPLE / GREAT TIMES..... :D :D
PedalOn


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:30 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Were there many equipment failures among the AIs? I've always felt they're pretty good expedition boats as they are. How well did the Kruger boats do in the final result?

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:42 pm 
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Location: High Point, NC
If you removed the sail, the amas, the akas, etc., and just paddled the AI or TI in kayak mode (ala Kruger style) I doubt there'd be any failures.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Chris, There wer two AI failures--one had a leak in the seat pin region and another had the pedal shaft break.

On the TI, it seemed to be mainly Mirage Drive pedal shaft breakage. Jim Czarnowski, of Hobie, CA, thought it was some bad alloy that the supplier had used, making the drive shafts more brittle. Perhaps, but I think that one could also claim that the drives were stressed more this year due to light winds, hence more dependence on the Mirage drives for propulsion. Supporting this was the fact that the lead Tandem (the boat which was more or less in a tie with Dogslife & another tandem for the lead among Hobies near Highland Beach/Broad River) lost one of its crew, who had to be lifted off the TI in a basket by a helicopter and transported to Marathon. His problem was due to breakdown in soft tissue which was overwhelming his kidneys. This type problem occurs in car accidents when tissue is destroyed, AND in endurance races. To me if you are destroying soft tissue on a TI, you are stressing yourself and your Mirage Drive in the extreme. Result: 1 person failure, 4-5 Mirage Drive pedal shaft failures, and one mast step failure. Jim aka PenquinMan said the Mirage Drive problem would be addressed "immediately," and owners who reported the problem would be helped.

The other common breakage in TIs, the bolt at the base of the mast, did not occur. Hobie has apparently replaced the bolt with a better constructed bolt--better stainless steel alloy. But, again, the winds were such that the questionable bolt was probably not stressed.

Tom K--Do you know ANY Hobie AI/TI owner who is thinking of PADDLING their Islands in kayak-mode in a 300 mi race? The Kruger is a heavily, & I mean heavily, layered fiberglass boat. It is tough as nails. It has been paddled from Alaska to Patagonia by Verlen Kruger himself. I don't think it is really a good idea to get into a "best" boat argument with Kruger boat owners. They are a rabid group who love their boats more than most Hobie owners love theirs. The fact is there were a number of Hobie Island failures during this year's WT EC. As far as I know, there were zero Kruger failures. The Kruger is an "expedition" boat. It is the gold standard of "expedition" kayaks. Anyway, it is like comparing apples (Kruger) and oranges (Islands) or is it apples (Islands) and oranges (Krugers)?

In addition, there are people who couldn't care less what boat they use, as long as it gets them to the FINISH LINE. And, it better get them to the FINISH or they are going to be very upset.

All in all, I think the Hobie Islands did a very nice job this year. They did not rely on their sail as much as previous years, but still finished nicely. I was surprised at the number of TIs (3) that did the much tougher Wilderness Waterway out of Chokoloskee. 2 AIs did the Wilderness Waterway. With the lighter winds, these folks doing the WW must have done a lot of pedaling and may have faced tough opposing currents through some of the creeks and rivers. Quite an achievement. At least 2 TIs doing the Wilderness Waterway did so with their son (Pelican/Falcon) or daughter (Sundance/GoldenSun)--just to give them the full Everglades Challenge experience. It was Chumbucket and TriSherpa's first EC. I wonder whether they will go though the WW next year or the outside around Cape Sable?

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 Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:09 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Speaking of human & boat failures, here is SirTackalot's description of that fateful night off Broad River confluence with the Gulf--the middle of coastal Everglades. It was lifted from his account on the WaterTribe forum.
Quote:
Just a summary of the events myself and Windwatcher (my son-in-law) had last Monday during the race. We had left #2 [Checkpoint 2, Chokoloskee] about 3 PM on Monday. On the Hobie TI we worked our way our of the pass against the tide and headed back into the gulf. As early evening approached Windwatcher started getting sick. Vomiting and then severe dry heaves. He kept getting sicker as we moved South. There was a discussion about turning around against the following seas and peddling/sailing North. We had broke off one of the Mirage drive peddles leaving #2 so even if Alex could peddle, (he could not) we only had one set. We discussed heading to one of the campsites on Cape Sable, but the closest was at least 10 hours. Neither cell phone could pick up anything. We tried calling any vessels in the area on the VHF, no luck. I did a Pan/Pan call to the Coast Guard. Key West picked right up and asked us questions for 20 minutes until the VHF went dead. Our second VHF had gone dead due to water intrusion (waterproof...right..ha). At that point, about 11:00 PM we decided to head east to land. Alex had started getting chilled a few hours before and was now in early stages of hyperthermia. He was in his dry suit, with a cap on, with emergency solar sleeping bag wrapped around him. We also carried hand warmers to put close to arteries to warm the blood. My thoughts were to get to land, set up the tent, get him dry and in a sleeping bag, start a fire and rethink our choices. As I watched him continue to get worse, when he asked again to push the 911 button on the SPOT, I did. 15 minutes later a chopper flew over 4 or 5 times. We hit the strobe lights on our vests and lite up the boat with flashlights. A few minutes and a rescue swimmer was at the boat asking questions. They had Alex go in to the water in his dry suit and the rescue swimmer floated him away from the Hobie. They were afraid the chopper would flip the boat. Up in a basket and he was away.

Later that night as I tried to sleep I also had hypothermia setting in. My dry suit holds the moisture inside and when you stop moving its easy to get chilled. I changed out on my dry suit into Gortex dry pants and a warm jacket. Adding a extra solar blanket over the top of me as I was in the solar sleeping bag and then 3 sets of hand warmers, under arm pits, groin area, and hands. It worked!

Alex spend 2 days in the Marathon hospital. He had Rhabdomylysis. It can be caused from extreme muscle strain that causes muscle fibers to release their contents and puts protein into your blood that can cause kidney complications. He has made a full recovery.

So what did we learn?

1. Thank God for the SPOT. And knowing that if the SPOT did not work we had 2 PLB's to use. I hated to use any of them, but was down to no choices.

2. 2 "waterproof" VHF's are fine, but dry bagging at least one is smarter

3. Solar bags/blankets are good. Hand warmers are a real plus near the right body parts.

4. Extra dry clothes double bagged close to you are required from now on.

5. Cell phones are fine except in the Everglades and off shore.

Hope that helps. And a big thanks to Chief for requiring the gear he does. Its a case like this that makes it all so important and worthwhile. See you on the beach.

Roy

Keith

_________________
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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