... only thing I can think of is - dont have the tramps out in high wind ? was this caused by the Starboard tramp gaining sail capacity with the gust and helping to unsettle the rig ?
It sounds like the gust did get under the tramps, and you're right, one way to avoid this is to not go sailing with the tramps on in high winds, another would be to furl the sail in a little earlier.
I approach high winds with a different perspective. I won't go out in high winds without my tramps.
If it's windy, (and the winds of 15-17mph would be windy in my books) I almost always sit out on the tramps with my feet in the kayak, and sail the AI like a regular sailboat. Even with the tiller on the opposite side of the boat, having your rear end out on the tramp and leaning across the kayak to adjust the steering still gives you much more weight on the high side of the boat. For fun, I sometimes steer with my toes, but that's not at all necessary. If you're on the opposite side of the tiller, you've got the sail close at hand. If a gust catches you by surprise, you can lean out a bit, or you can instantly let the sail out to dump wind. If you're out on the side with the tiller close at hand and the sail on the opposite side, you can always steer into the wind.
You can adjust both the sail, and the tiller from either side of the boat, but of course depending on what side you are on, one of the controls will be more readily at hand. Your strategy for big gusts may depend on what side of the boat you're on, but you always have both the tiller control, and the sail line available no matter what side you sit on.
If you plan on staying in the cockpit of the AI, then the tramps may catch wind, but in my mind, the tramps were built to hold 200 pounds for a reason! You get a bit of a wet butt out on the tramps, but that's nothing new for an AI, and if the water is cold, I just wear a pair of wetsuit shorts.
I'm surprised that more users don't use the tramps like this. It makes the boat a lot more fun in big winds, and is a much safer position to be in if the gusts come unexpectedly.
That's just my two cents.[/quote]
I second this. I love to hike out on the tramps. That is what I got them for... well and taking occasional passengers. I would like to test ( not that I can as I know no one else with an AI) a race between two boats one with sail reefed and one Hiking out w/ full sail..