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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 7:53 pm 
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Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
I was out for a short run on Sunday as the Forecast was for 74F and 10-20 mph wind. Sounds like fun even if the water is 56F. Turns out the wind was more like 15-20 w/ higher gusts. Sail reefed at around 50% rudder cleated down. Ripping along and getting very splashed (so much so that even my dry pants got soaked and the sail got wet) Fun and Scary at the same time. This is the fastest I have gone in her yet and I wasn't quite expecting it to feel like that. Problem and the most scary thing was that at times the rudder had no affect at all. Hard over or just a little bit and I just kept going straight at the shore anyway. Sometimes even with pedalling and frigging with the mainsheet she was a beast to turn. The rudder pin is fine and the rudder lines turn it fine at slower speeds or when running downwind. Thinking I will save the strong wind days for the spring and summer as the cold water pressurewasher effect makes for short sailing trips as I gave up after 30 minutes.

So anyone have any thoughts to what I am doing wrong or what is up? Maybe it is my being brand new to sailing. :oops:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:17 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Did you try reefing the sail? With too much sail for conditions, the AI can be hard to turn.

Kayaking Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:09 pm 
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
I have also experienced poor turning under strong winds - usually reefing solves that problem, BUT you say you had reefed 50%, so the other thing to check is that the rudder is ACTUALLY all the way down, a few times when i thought i had my rudder down all the way a friend advised otherwise, you really need to pull HARD to ensure clamped down to vertical AND its best to be locking down when joystick for rudder is in the straight ahead position, which remember is actually about 45 degrees away from centreline of hull.

I suggest you practice with the AI on dry land so that you can see what i mean, as unless you have a very flexible neck there is little chance once at sea.

Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:19 pm 
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i tri wrote:
I have also experienced poor turning under strong winds - usually reefing solves that problem, BUT you say you had reefed 50%, so the other thing to check is that the rudder is ACTUALLY all the way down, a few times when i thought i had my rudder down all the way a friend advised otherwise, you really need to pull HARD to ensure clamped down to vertical AND its best to be locking down when joystick for rudder is in the straight ahead position, which remember is actually about 45 degrees away from centreline of hull.

I suggest you practice with the AI on dry land so that you can see what i mean, as unless you have a very flexible neck there is little chance once at sea.

Good Luck!


I have been having trouble with rounding up in strong winds i tri and your post came to mind. I realised I was always getting turned to port, never starboard, but everything would seem OK when the wind dropped a bit. After looking at the rudder on dry land, I can see that what has been happening is the rudder pops back just a couple of inches, so it looks OK, but this greatly restricts its movement to starboard. I tried it out in strong winds (25 knots +) with the rudder cleated down hard and Eureka! - no more problem. Thanks :)

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:43 am 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Chris-I'm guessing that was you I saw out on Brisbane Water yesterday (Monday) afternoon in that howling Southerly?
Would have been a good test for that rudder! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:03 am 
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stringy wrote:
Chris-I'm guessing that was you I saw out on Brisbane Water yesterday (Monday) afternoon in that howling Southerly?
Would have been a good test for that rudder! :wink:


That was me alright Stringy. I had my eye out for you around Koolewong, but didn't see you.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:26 am 
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Location: Seal Beach California
Element AI I was out in conditions similar to what you where in last weekend. The only time I had problems with the the boat rounding up was when a wave would hit. I found that a quick dump of the mainsheet would un load the boat and allow me to gain control then I could quickly pump the main in and surf the wave. The one difference in my day was the air temp was about 15 degrees cooler. I was wereing a sailing drysuit and stayed confortable all day. I know this is a somewhat pricey solution but it does allow you to enjoy the boat near year round.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:13 pm 
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Location: Pensacola, Fl.
chrisj wrote:
I have been having trouble with rounding up in strong winds i tri and your post came to mind. I realised I was always getting turned to port, never starboard, but everything would seem OK when the wind dropped a bit.


I had the exact same problem. I thought I could bungee my rudder down and save on rudder pins. It didn't work. Though I had a strong bungee attached to the "down" line, it would still give when I tried to turn to starbord, and I would be pushed to port instead. I had to abandon my "bungee idea" and cleat the rudder down hard. Guess I will just live with replacing the rudder pin every few months or how ever often they need to be replaced.
Ron Patterson


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:39 pm 
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Darwinian wrote:
chrisj wrote:
I have been having trouble with rounding up in strong winds i tri and your post came to mind. I realised I was always getting turned to port, never starboard, but everything would seem OK when the wind dropped a bit.


I had the exact same problem. I thought I could bungee my rudder down and save on rudder pins. It didn't work. Though I had a strong bungee attached to the "down" line, it would still give when I tried to turn to starbord, and I would be pushed to port instead. I had to abandon my "bungee idea" and cleat the rudder down hard. Guess I will just live with replacing the rudder pin every few months or how ever often they need to be replaced.
Ron Patterson


Ron, The reason the bungee on the down line doesn't work is that there are already two bungees on the downline, inside the hull. One is inline with the downline and the other is between the handle on the downline and the hull. It is this second bungee that is fully stretched when you pull hard on the handle, but the first bungee is only partially stretched, so there is always some give in the system. Try it on dry land - with the downline fully pulled back and cleated, you can still pop the rudder up manually without too much force. If you have a feel around inside the hull, you can feel the two lines emanating from the downline handle.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:34 pm 
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Location: Danville California/Kahana Maui
Well you have to reef the sail and work it on the turns and I would check to see if your rudder lines have some slack, I had to that up some slack on both my AI's after the first few runs


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:02 pm 
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Location: Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
It also really helps to rake the daggerboard back in higher winds. I've sailed in winds over 15 without a rudder by reefing the sail and raking the daggerboard. This balances the boat pretty well. A slightly raked daggerboard actually resists leeway better than a vertical one when the boat is moving well. Also, as the wind gets real strong, you just can't try to point as high. Even though you don't notice it, the boat is slipping sideways a lot in heavy winds and close-hauled. So, you actually make more ground to windward by falling off a bit, increasing your speed and reducing leeway. And the boat won't be trying to roundup all the time.

OK, that didn't really address the first post. To that, I say I try to avoid any hard turns in heavy winds (which saves the rudder pin as well). The rudder will stall easily in heavier air. If you lose some steering, keep wiggling the rudder back and forth, without going too far past center. And just don't go fast (de-power) when you must have maneuverability. But, back to the point. I do find that the AI turns one way better than another, but don't remember which.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:11 pm 
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k-bay cruiser wrote:
It also really helps to rake the daggerboard back in higher winds. I've sailed in winds over 15 without a rudder by reefing the sail and raking the daggerboard. This balances the boat pretty well. A slightly raked daggerboard actually resists leeway better than a vertical one when the boat is moving well.


How do you maintain these fine adjustments in the angle of the daggerboard? Do you remove the bungee? What holds it at the angle you want?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:18 pm 
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I never use the bungee. I am a quadriplegic and don't have the hand/finger control to attach the bungee through that hole. Perhaps I have sand in the well. I'm not sure. My daggerboard never comes out of the boat. The launching cart I built has clearance underneath to accommodate the daggerboard swung up. So, I just launch, swing the daggerboard down when I get into deeper water and it stays where I set it. I find it actually hard to move at times. My bungee is all stretched and torn from pulling on it to swing the board down.


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 Post subject: Raking the Daggerboard
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:44 pm 
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That's interesting. Thanks K-bay. I will have to experiment more with the bungee not attached. I have been following the advice of someone on the forum to pass one of the seat straps through the bungee loop to keep the daggerboard tethered when it is out of its slot, but that doesn't mean is has to be actually pulling.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:40 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
That's interesting. Thanks K-bay. I will have to experiment more with the bungee not attached. I have been following the advice of someone on the forum to pass one of the seat straps through the bungee loop to keep the daggerboard tethered when it is out of its slot, but that doesn't mean it has to be actually pulling.

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