I recommend buying the TI, for solo expedition trips, for these reasons:
1- A luxurious amount of cargo space for above-board dry bags in the forward area.
2- Increased waterline means increased speed (sailing fact), especially if balanced by seating yourself in the rear and your cargo forward.
3- Captain comfort, staying more dry and with less sea motion in the stern.
4- Pitch your tent on it! (equipped with tramps) incredibly comfortable and expands your camping options exponentially.
5- You can transport an unpredicted passenger when needed, which has happened to me more times then I can count.
I certainly have my own biases based on where and how I sail and camp. Therefore, I'm wondering.
(1) Have you ever camped with your TI where there were significant tide changes, say greater than a meter?
(2) Have you ever experienced significant wave action (like along a coastal area) when camping on your TI?
(3) Would you make the same recommendations for a person who usually launches from a beach and prefers camping on shore to camping on a TI/AI?
(4) Have you ever hauled your TI loaded with camping gear up a beach (> 5' vertical) to get it above high tide line?
(5) Have you used an AI on camping trips?
(6) Do you think you could carry enough camping gear/supplies for an extended expedition on an AI?
(7) Do you think a tent could be pitched on an AI?
(8) Do you think you could stay sufficiently dry using a dry suit or dry pants with integral socks & anorak top on an AI?
(9) Would you make the same recommendation for a solo woman?
(10) Would you make the same recommendation for a person over 70? 65? 60?
(11) Would you recommend the solo TI over an AI for the 300 mile, saltwater coastal WaterTribe Everglades Challenge?
BTW, YakAttaque, I missed your videos which you posted about sailing on fresh water in Oregon, but I've caught up on them--excellent!
Thanks, it's good to hear someone watches my youtube vids
A few of your questions seem to point toward getting the TI above the high tide line. I agree this can be a problem. I usually unload mine before hand, then lift one end and drag, drop, lift the other end, etc. until I feel comfortable with the height, then I tie it to something secure in case i misjudged or it's hit by a micro-burst. I've never attempted to sleep on it while it's afloat, so wave action isn't keeping me awake.
I've never used an AI, I do have a hobie mirage with a sail which I've used for week-end trips, so I know an AI is more then adequate, but for 7-days or more, the TI is perfect. I think you could pitch a tent on an AI, I'm not certain but I think they use the same tramp size. The TI weighs a ton, even with the caddie on, so if there is going to be a lot of land distance, no boat ramp, the AI would probably work better. If your wearing a dry suit, you will need to be soaked just to keep from overheating, I have one but only use it when its cold and I'm sitting in the front seat of the TI.
Being in Oregon, I haven't done the Everglades Challenge, but if I were, and I had the choice, I would go with the TI, because of the dryer ride and longer waterline.
In 2 weeks I start a 2 week-long trip from northern Vancouver Island, where there are 23 foot tides (2nd biggest in the world), almost all 'beaches' are rocks covered with slick seaweed, and one my have a small surf to deal with. My plan is to pack in such a way that I can offload/onload easily, to lighten the yak. I'll update on how it went.