...I have always been unimpressed with the complexity of the AI rudder system.
I tend to agree with Keith, thinking the Twist
N Stow was bigger on the "wow" factor than a functional improvement, at least on the water. Additionally, it appears the system has always been a challenge for Hobie. When the larger sailing rudder
came out, the system seemed to be overworked and changes were made internally as well as special methods to hoist the heavier rudder
Many remember the breakaway threaded screw that attempted to keep the rudder
in place after the AI's first came out. Then there was the internal detent inside the twisting mechanism. Finally, the up/down lines seemed to tame the rudder
's wayward tendencies.
The concept is not without its merits, however. Besides the "coolness" factor of flipping your rudder
, the convenience is great. Those who had the earlier (pre T&S) Hobie rudders can appreciate how much easier loading, transport and storage are with the T&S.
In spite of the additional maintenance the system requires, It's a pleasure to use when it works well. I was fortunate enough to have had no issues with it with a couple of different TIs. The system evidently worked well for both of the TI challengers in the grueling Water Tribe races earlier this year under extreme conditions.
Hobie obviously has a commitment to the system and has been able to overcome it's inherent disadvantages so far. The TI problems seem to have materialized in a post-production environment. IMO, it's premature to ask Hobie to abandon the concept without giving them a decent opportunity to study the issue and develop and test a reliable solution.
There have been some excellent suggestions on temporary fixes as well as possible avenues to investigate. Not only has this has got to be very helpful feedback to Hobie, but also for the rest of us on how to recognize and address any problems that we may have.
Thanks to all those who have participated -- some great stuff here!