First post on the forum although I did read here extensively prior to purchasing in April. My thanks to all who shared their experiences.
Hereâ€™s the current dilemma: I contemplate getting a second one to go out with wife and/or friends but I am have trouble rationalizing the storage and transportation logistics. Let us just say Iâ€™m sporting goods heavy and storage light. Amazingly I think there is a HIGH probability someone reading this can empathize. If Iâ€™m not the only one in this predicament is there anyone willing to swap access time or maybe a reasonable local rental fee to another AI owner? I am particularly interested in the upstate NY area of Great Sacandaga lake while we are on a late July vacation and an intermittent ongoing basis in the Annapolis/DC area. By habit Iâ€™m launching at windsurfing sites Iâ€™m familiar with (more suitable to car top than trailer) but if anyone likes the trade of time idea Iâ€™m open to meeting up anywhere that would be family friendly while doing my share of shore time (situation description forthcoming). If you are interested send me a note especially when the wind forecast is up. I also have an Old Town Appalachian set-up with airbags Iâ€™d let out if anyone wanted to log some tandem whitewater, or even general canoe, time in exchange. Maybe if there are enough people in this situation we could consider a spare boat co-op?
Comments on passengers: The pictures of the tandem rigged seats for kid companion sealed the purchase deal. My wife had been pointing out windsurfing was/is a solo activity (for now) and the 3.5 & 1.5 y.o. boys plus our large lab were not happy when left at home or on the beach with her. Itâ€™s been a good purchase. The 3.5 y.o. has been out with me extensively. Itâ€™s a great time and his weight doesnâ€™t alter the performance much. I am contemplating getting him geared up to handle the fishing parts; heâ€™s been practicing in the yard. The 1.5 y.o. loves it too although he only gets out close to shore on quiet days w/o sail. The lab despite being a horrible car dog apparently is willing to sign on to all necessary behavior modifications in exchange for being allowed to spend more time on the water. He is beefcake and throws off the trim, noticeably changing the performance. The vet says he looks great at 105 so altering his weight isnâ€™t really an option (heâ€™s tall and muscled up fluctuating between 100 and 115 depending on whether his workouts are more swim or run heavy). With the lab Iâ€™ve still got headroom to the total capacity so Iâ€™ve contemplated throwing some weight up front to balance the ride out when Iâ€™m out with him. Any comments on this as a strategy and how others balance the trim vs. weight tradeoffs? I really struggle to see how any of you are managing a second adult back there without having experimented.
Transporting your AI: Although there are many threads on this I offer a few comments I havenâ€™t seen. Think about where you are going to launch. From the time Iâ€™ve spent windsurfing I can tell you that there are some great sailing access points that are incompatible with a trailer. The hullavator has been a good solution for me but itâ€™s not perfect. On the plus side it certainly does speed up loading transitions and Iâ€™ve put the speed feet into my factory track so I can get the rack itself on/off the vehicle in under a minute. The minus side I havenâ€™t heard others mention is that if you are parked at an odd angle it doesnâ€™t work properly. Additionally I havenâ€™t weighed all the pieces/parts but I suspect that two hullavators, two AIâ€™s, masts, akas, and amas would put me over the factory track (note that is track not rack) carrying capacity. It is an elegant solution and some engineer may have a huge factor of safety built into that published number but no one is giving it out. Finally if you do get one Iâ€™d advise skipping the mail order discount and buying from a merchant with a good return policy. My first one was missing some hardware including one of the rivets. REI swapped it in under 10 minutes.
Final thoughts: We need a mid-atlantic class association, regatta, or festival of some sort. If anyone is taking the initiative Iâ€™d throw in a few hours of supporting effort.