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 Post subject: Aka Brace Overboard
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:21 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Yesterday out sailing we experienced what I had feared could be cause for a capsize, an aka brace pin failure.
I had gone out with Jason, who has Cerebral Palsy (CP). Since I have got a second AI he has been out with me a few times and has really enjoyed the experience. The stability and ease of sailing the AI has given Jason a new found freedom on the water and leveled the playing field as far as his disability goes. He often sails faster than me!
Here he is on a previous trip:
Image
As he was getting serious about sailing we were going to practice some re-entry techniques and test out his new Hobie PFD. However the weather almost turned a drill into a genuine rescue experience.
The ENE winds which had been predicted to get to 30 knots were dropping when we left late afternoon but the chop was still up. We had a very wet but fun trip out into Brisbane Water with sails furled to the tell-tales and gusty winds up to 25knots but mostly around 10 -15knots. We were sailing across and slightly downwind. Jason was trying to get closer to me so he could hear what I was yelling out about changing our destination when a strong gust turned me windward and into his path. He collided into my windward ama at the rear with the nose of his leeward ama. The collision had a reasonable force to it and his brace pin broke. I turned around expecting the worst (Jason in the water) but was surprised to see him still upright and the ama still out providing stability. I came alongside him intending to fix the broken brace pin with the spare but the brace was not there. It must have released and was now at the bottom of Paddy’s Channel! :(
Jason was a bit shaken but fine and his AI was still stable even without the brace so we furled sails just leaving a little out to push us to a sheltered spot. The tide was dead low so we had to travel further than I had expected to avoid the deep mud/mangrove/oysters on the shore. On the way I released my brace just to see how well the AI would go. It was surprisingly easy to hold the ama out. Nearly 2km’s later we were on a sheltered beach. We swapped boats and decided to head the 4km’s back to the ramp (rather than call my wife to pick us up and risk never hearing the end of it! :wink: ).

Image

The trip back was uneventful. The winds were still gusty but were dropping. The broken brace ama was windward and mostly out of the water and it was easy holding it out. We gained some valuable sailing experience in less than ideal conditions and I was pleased with the way the AI performed even when broken! 8)

Follow-up
I had been aware of the possibility of losing the brace from reading some of Kayaking Bob’s (I think?) posts and had purchased a complete spare brace assembly but it was sitting back in the car as I only take it with me on extended trips. :oops:
It would be good to come up with a way to easily attach the brace so it stays attached when the pin breaks or that it floats and can be recovered. I will work on that but meantime any-one come up with a simple solution?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:07 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Yep! Been there, done that.

If you remove the extra plastic shear bolt and tie a line through the hole and then to the Aka, that won't happen again. Glad everything turned out so well. At least you already had the spare, so no down time.

Kayaking Bob
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 10:47 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Great solution Bob. Stringy, glad everything worked out OK -- that's some excellent experience! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 11:19 pm 
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Location: Terrigal NSW, Australia
Stringy, Someone (?Yakaholic) posted previously about using rope to rig two diagonal braces. Nice save.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:46 am 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
I thought it was your post I'd originally read Bob. Thanks for the simple and effective solution. It will be implemented immediately! 8)

Chris- the diagonal rope solution was the first thing that I thought of after the loss of the brace. However the rope I had just for that purpose was in my emergency spares drybag along with the spare brace back in the car! :oops:

Roadrunner- I certainly found it to be an excellent experience and was actually glad it had finally happened especially as it turned out OK! I'm not too sure that Jason would agree with me though! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 4:55 am 
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Location: South Florida
Excellent post, Stringy and others. Stringy--well done getting Jason back OK.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:25 am 
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Location: Punta Gorda, FL
stringy wrote:
However the rope I had just for that purpose was in my emergency spares drybag along with the spare brace back in the car! :oops:


I keep the mesh pocket on the back of the seat stuffed with a long piece of thin braided line, in case I need to jury rig something. Kayaking Bob's solution is a good one. I like having the spare pins in the brace, so I might just drill new holes in mine for leashes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:47 am 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
I keep the spare pins in my toolbox in the mesh pocket behind the seat (in a lock-lock waterproof container). Since I need my tools to change it out anyway, it's actually faster and easier there. I did change out one on the water, and it took just as long to get the spare pin out as it did the bad one. So for me, them being in the toolbox saves almost 1/2 the time.

Also remember that the cross brace is the same on both sides, so another choice if the damaged/missing on is on the leeward side (for your return sail to shore) is to move the good one to where it's needed.

I do have a bowline and a poor-mans barber-hauler line on each boat, sized to use to rig the X (diagonal ropes).

But, since Murphy is always watching, I've never needed to use my spare cross brace, since I started carrying one. That's one way of fixing, ever breaking one again.

Kayaking Bob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:53 am 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Tom Ray wrote:
stringy wrote:
However the rope I had just for that purpose was in my emergency spares drybag along with the spare brace back in the car! :oops:


I keep the mesh pocket on the back of the seat stuffed with a long piece of thin braided line, in case I need to jury rig something. Kayaking Bob's solution is a good one. I like having the spare pins in the brace, so I might just drill new holes in mine for leashes.


Great post Stringy and highlighted the safety aspect of these fine little craft. Good solution as usual Bob and that is the way I have gone after reading your earlier threads. (Even yellow cord I note). Not sure If I would drill another hole in the brace though Tom, but if you do ensure you de-burr it thoroughly so as not to create any opportunity for future cracks from the holes to develop....Pirate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:00 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 4:55 pm
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
Thanks Bob, after reading your post and seeing your pictures I went out and did the exact same thing to mine. I now have a tether on everything except tha paddle.

Ron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Quote:
except tha paddle.


EXCEPT THE PADDLE!?! :o

That's normally the first to be leashed.

You don't need no stinking paddle! :lol:

(I carry two!)

Kayaking Bob
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 5:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 7:23 pm
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Location: Ft Lauderdale FL
Man that was an exciting story. I guess I should be more dilligent about reading failure stories. I just returned from a 5 day everglades camping trip in similar conditions. winds 15 to 20, 25 plus kt gusts very short steep choppy seas. How come whether your going north or south the wind is always in your face. On first read I was thinking holy crap I should of been carrying an extra strut, but thinking about it I had plenty of spare line on board the boat. I also carry a bunch of tie wraps, which come in handy for connecting various leashes and repairs. In fact my blocks for the barber hauls are connected by double tie wraps. This also provides a weak link in extreeme conditions. I may add a strut brace to my kit anyway.

As far as Hobies being the vessel of choice for people with dissabilities I could not agree more. In fact my 23 year old Downs Syndrome son has a Revo. He is healthy, and clever but completely non verbal, but he loves to pedal his Revo. I am thinking of putting a sail kit on it to see if he could do it, although he won't be doing any days over 10 to 15 kt winds.

Also IMHO Hobie is missing an marketing/goodwill opportunity here. They should feature some disabled people in some of their ads.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:48 pm 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
reconlon wrote:
Quote:
except tha paddle.


EXCEPT THE PADDLE!?! :o

That's normally the first to be leashed.



But the paddle floats. I know because I tried it today. If the paddle gets away I can just turn around and retrieve it. But if anything sinks to the bottom, it's gone forever. And leashing the paddle is a real hassle. The tether is always getting in the way. No, I will not leash the paddle and take my chances.

Ron


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 3:59 pm 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Darwinian wrote:
reconlon wrote:
Quote:
except tha paddle.


EXCEPT THE PADDLE!?! :o

That's normally the first to be leashed.



But the paddle floats. I know because I tried it today. If the paddle gets away I can just turn around and retrieve it. But if anything sinks to the bottom, it's gone forever. And leashing the paddle is a real hassle. The tether is always getting in the way. No, I will not leash the paddle and take my chances.

Ron


You won't be saying that when you lose it in any kind of a whipped up sea Ron...It will just become invisable....But after all they are only $150 bucks.... :( Pirate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 4:12 pm 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
Pirate wrote:
You won't be saying that when you lose it any kind of a wipped up sea Ron...It will just become invisable....But after all they are only $110 bucks.... :( Pirate


They are only $110 bucks if you get them from Hobie, but they are $25 to $35 from a multiple of other sources. And they work just as well.

Ron


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