Yes, I have been thinking the AI is definitely stronger than you would expect. In my 2 years of AI-camping experience, the only thing I've broken is 1 (one) rudder pin.
I've done that 70-mile coastline 8 times in sea kayak (2 different ones) and twice now in an AI. Of course, in those 8 sea kayak trips, we've had some windy days comparible to this year's AI trip. My original sea kayak, the white one in the story picture, was a real diver in steep waves. I am dead (bad term) serious when I say the bow would completely disappear sometimes--but, it always came back. My second kayak, which I still own and use, is a Current Designs Extreme (now called "Nomad.") It has the typical upturned bow of British sea kayaks. It also has some rocker; my white boat had very little rocker. Really, my white kayak was sort of a precursor to the Epic, which in turn is modeled after a surf ski. When a boat like my white kayak or the Epic has 100 pounds of gear, supplies, and water, it is going to be a diver. Same is true of the AI hull--when loaded, it is going to plow through waves and occasionally dive under a wave. Thus, when the AI is doing about 6 mi/hr in strong following winds, and it is expedition-loaded, it is ready for diving competions.
Your typical British sea kayak can handle big waves and wind, head-on with no problem. Cross winds are not too bad. The ones I've always found the most bothersome are strong winds quartering in over your shoulder. It seems those winds generate waves which hit the back of your boat first, then roll under the front of your boat. Quite destabilizing. Tail winds are uncomfortable especially if your rudder comes out of the water. Boats without rocker, like my white boat and the Epic, tend to broach on steep waves in following seas--they are hard to keep straight down the wave. A boat w/ rocker, like the British boats turn easily and can be kept on course. But, it is all part of the game.
I do intend to press this AI hull/ama issue w/ Matt under a different thread. I don't understand why Hobie does not make a much more rockered, extreme rockered ama. That would solve the diving issue.
Thanks for your comments, Stringy.
"Don't kid yourselves, sharks are everywhere in the Everglades" Chekika
"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 Feb 03, 2010 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.