I said I was done with this thread, but here I am, just one more time.
Astro and Ron, I guess there is a lot of “head shaking” going on—I’m shaking mine.
To say “the expectation that nothing will break when away [on a trip],” leaves me a little baffled. Who said we expect nothing to break? We carry 2 tool kits and Hobie AI parts. We hope nothing breaks.
In fact in 15-yrs of kayak-camping and 2.5 yrs of Hobie AI tripping, we’ve had almost nothing break--only 1 rudder pin on the AI and nothing on kayaks. And, we have never needed any kind of a "rescue." But, in my mind, that was not what this thread was about. I began this thread trying to suggest a modification or an accessory so that something will not break under a stressful situation.
I’m shaking my head, because I don’t understand why that has evoked such an emotional response—myself included, although I've been known to get emotional about things I care about.
And, frankly, I love to be 40 miles from “safety” and pretty much dependent on my own abilities and creativity if something does go wrong. I’ve also done 2 kayak-camping trips to Alaska which were self-guided and self-supported. These were 12 and 13-day trips. On those trips we were sometimes 100 miles from any kind of help—and any help you might get was sure to be slow in arriving. Does that mean we should not have done those trips? Are you saying that was poor judgment, lacking in common sense? You could accuse a lot of good people of that. Frankly, the trips I do with my AI are pretty tame compared to our Alaska trips. Here is one of the AK pictures. The 2 fellows sitting in kayaks just happened to be camped near us. My group is standing, Ivan Molten, Mary Parrott, and my wife, Nancy. The strong winds have not come up yet, but they will.I never bought my AI for day sailing.
I bought it for extended camping/fishing trips. There is nothing in the manual that says you should not do that. Hobie has consistently showcased their AI and tandem AI in the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge--about as far from day-tripping as you can get. Actually, this year the tandem AI is entered in the “Ultimate Florida Challenge”—a “race” which circumnavigates Florida and includes a 40-mile portage. On our trips, you can’t always depend on the weather to hold or the winds to be mild and favorable. Being a kayaker, you generally have to stick to a schedule. I’ve always liked sticking to a trip schedule. I don’t see why I should change when I am using my AI. You might say that lacks common sense at times. Ron, might say it is poor "seamanship." I look at it as a bit of a challenge. BTW, I will be 75 yrs old in a few weeks. The kayak trips in Alaska were done after I was 68 yrs old. I'm still working at getting experience and improving my seamanship, Ron.
PS From my experience and a few others I have read about on this forum, the AI is tough as nails. Still, there is room for improvement in the current configuration—the T-n-S hatch cover seal is the most obvious and an add-on wave-deflector to reduce diving--Shufoy's make-shift wave deflector shows it will work.