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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:53 pm 
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Location: CLEARWATER, MN
Forum member 'Anakritis' mentioned that he had trouble with his Tandem when trying to steer to starboard (port worked fine)...

I have been using my Tandem for the last three weeks, and it has sailed flawlessly...until this afternoon.

Even tho' winds were from calm to about 4 knots, I decided to take the Tandem out and get some exercise from the Mirage drive.
I dropped the centerboard and the rudder. I first had to do a moderate port turn. The Tandem turned on a dime! However, shortly thereafter, I had to do a starboard turn...
Nothing happened! I could turn the tiller full to the right and the Tandem kept going straight!
Rotating hard to port...the rudder rapidly swung and I could hear it cavitating. Turning the tiller back straight, the rudder straightened out. Turning to starboard gently (or hard)...the rudder did not turn at all, even tho' the tiller was rotating to the right. I could feel the 'bungee cord(s)' stretching.
As I gently turned back to port I could feel the spectra rudder lines 'pop' and they made a thumping noise, but the rudder responded. Again turning to starboard, there was abnormal tension on the tiller along with an interior noise but no starboard control.
I released the rudder line cam...still no starboard control. I tension locked and unlocked the down rudder control line several times without correcting the problem.
I finally decided to cycle the rudder up and down a few times...I released the cam and pulled the rudder up. I then dropped the rudder back down without locking it. I moved the tiller starboard and the rudder swung correctly.
The Tandem then proceeded to track correctly for the next two hours.

Just before beaching...I raised and lowered the rudder about ten times but could not get it
to starboard 'jam'.

When the Tandem was back on the trailer...I opened all of the hatches and with a mirror and light I traced each spectra line...but couldn't see a spot where the line(s) might have hung up or jammed. But I know I could both feel and hear the line(s) interfere somehow when I had lost starboard steering!

Because the winds were nearly non-existent and I was absolutely alone on the lake, there was not reason to panic...but the possibility of this 'malfunction' happening in a high wind or traffic situation has me spooked. For over a year my AI has never had a rudder problem.

Whatever the problem is...it is not consistent...and seems to be a 'starboard' interaction.
Port turnings always worked correctly.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 9:27 pm 
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The conditions you describe sounds like an unlocked (or cocked) rudder -- turns port, but not starboard. Retensioning the up-down line will not lock it. You need to cycle the rudder up and down as you did to relock it.

Since you did not cleat it in at that point, it would have popped out again if you were sailing with any speed. At the slower pedaling speeds though, there wasn't enough lateral force to pop it out.

Next time it happens the best procedure is to:

Cycle the rudder up and bring it down smartly. Then tension it with the cam cleat. This new lock notch is more robust than the AI, needs a little more positive engagement to snap the rudder in position.

With dual rudder controls, there is more friction from the the rudder control springs -- they can click and pop and make the rudder control feel heavier than the AI you're used to.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Not good.

Solutions so far seem quite involved, especially when you have to turn starboard quickly for an avoidance maneuver. The scary part is that it seems to be a sporadic problem, which occurs when you least expect it.

Thank you to forum member "Tidalwave" for starting a new topic on this. This is an important subject which is deserving of its own heading.


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:08 pm 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
I guess we'll all want to know more about this one :roll:

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2011 AI Golden Papaya



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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 11:19 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
So far, I've had no issues with my TI, in 4 trips out.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 12:35 am 
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Location: HISC Chichester Harbour UK
Was the rudder tensioned down with the down line or just relying on the locking tab to hold it down? If it wasn't tensioned down, maybe it got knocked back when launching?
I often sail with the downline untensioned when I am in the shallows and likely to touch down.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 3:27 am 
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Location: Plant City, Fl.
All

I have had my TI out 6 day with out a problem. I also have 2 Outback’s that we sail and have had these for a year now. I had one of them give my son in law the no starboard turn problem last Sunday. After beaching and looking the rudder was not locking down in the clip. I adjusted the tension on the down line but it still had trouble locking. After getting home and pulling the install document off the web site. I started looking at the problem and found that after using the up / down for a year the center bolt that holds both halves of the rudder together had tightened up to the point that it would not move free enough to lock. When we would turn to starboard the rudder move up instead of turning the boat.

I used the install instructions to reinstall the bolt and it works fine now. It seems that the two halves need some play to move properly and that the bolt will tighten with use.

http://www.hobiecat.com/support/pdfs/Tw ... Manual.pdf

Good Luck and tight lines.

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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 7:20 am 
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reconlon wrote:
So far, I've had no issues with my TI, in 4 trips out.
larryhts wrote:
I have had my TI out 6 day with out a problem.
I've had the boat out several times and never a hint of a problem either, even after deliberately trying to pop it loose. IMO, the TI rudder system is secure and reliable when properly adjusted, locked and tensioned.

TIDALWAVE wrote:
..I released the cam and pulled the rudder up. I then dropped the rudder back down.... I moved the tiller starboard and the rudder swung correctly.
The Tandem then proceeded to track correctly for the next two hours.

Just before beaching...I raised and lowered the rudder about ten times but could not get it to starboard 'jam'.
Restated simply, if you don't have right rudder response, your rudder isn't down and locked all the way. Recycle it and you should be good to go! If it ever pops out, 1) make sure you remembered to tension and cleat the "down" line; 2) make sure the T&S bolt is properly set. If you have a problem after that, you could possibly have a warped or damaged housing (rare).


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 11:35 am 
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I concur... tight and cleated down line. Be sure the drum bolt is not so tight that the latch can not engage.. that means the rudder is also not all the way down and will be exposed to side loading when turning to starboard... which forces the rudder up.

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 3:07 am 
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Location: Belgium (Flanders)
Hello Tidalwave :)

I to have a similar problem.
Have you checked if it could be a "nutty knots"-problem with the spectralines near the tiller?
Sometimes I even can't get past the 'straight ahead'-point, when moving to starboard, on the tiller because the knots in the lines hook into each other :? .
You can find some pictures with what I mean in: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=25591
Worth checking, you never know :)


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 9:47 am 
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Location: CLEARWATER, MN
I checked the 'rudder drum' tightness and the center bolt-nut was solidly tight!
While the Tandem was on the trailer I raised the rudder several times. About 1/4 of the time
the rudder clip did not engage, but I still could get the rudder to swing to starboard. I guess when the rudder is in the water and the clip is not engaged the rudder refuses to go to starboard.
As recommended by Larryhts and the Hobie Rudder Installation instructions...I backed off the
center bolt-nut so that the drum halves had about a 1/8-1/4 inch play between them. The rudder clip always engaged.
I also went over to my AI to look at the drum on it. It had about a 1/4 inch play on it.
I have never had the AI loose starboard steering.

For three weeks of Tandem sailing I never had a steering loss...but as others have mentioned
the rudder drum bolt may slowly tighten enough so that the rudder clip does not fully engage.

From now on, whenever I go sailing with the Tandem, one of the checklist items will be
drum tightness and checking that the rudder clip is locking.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:45 am 
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Lots of great info! Glad to hear the Tandem is working well so far!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:01 pm 
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Subsequent to loosing all starboard steering (see above), I have been playing with
the rudder system.
I found that after three weeks of on&off sailing, the drum bolt had gotten so tight that the rudder was not able to drop into the holding clip. The noises I heard from the rudder lines were the bungee cords pulling and releasing. After loosening the drum sufficiently, the rudder snapped into its clip correctly, no noises from the spectra lines and I had full control of starboard steering.

The drum absolutely has to have about 1/4 inch gap between the drum halves, to get sufficient looseness on dropping the rudder into the rudder clip.
After loosening drum tightness and while the Tandem was on the trailer...the rudder dropped and clicked into the clip. However, after launching, water resistance was enough to slow down the rudder enough so that the rudder did not engage the clip. I had to loosen the drum bolt slightly more until the rudder had enough speed to hit the water and
click into place. Don't assume that just because the rudder drops correctly on the trailer that it will correctly engage when the stern is in the water. I have found that it doesn't take too many raising and lowering to change the drum bolt tightness. I plan to check tightness before every launch. I am thinking about marking the bolt head orientation...and putting
a couple of drops of water-proof 'locktite' on the bolt threads to help keep the bolt from
tightening up.

After carefully looking at the rudder system...there is only about 1/4 inch of plastic on
the rudder clip that actually holds the rudder in place! I am going to make sure that
I always cam-lock the rudder spectra lines down to minimize the chances of the rudder
popping out of the clip. If it does...you totally loose starboard control!
The rudder clip looks like the weak link in the Tandem rudder system. Hobie really beefed up the rudder pin bracket compared to the AI...but starboard steering is preserved by a small black plastic clip as far as I can tell. If the small clip breaks or the edge rounds away...the rudder will be free to swing away. If the clip breaks, the whole rudder hull bracket will have to be replaced with subsequent re-feeding of the spectra lines. At least with the AI, if the rudder pin broke...all you had to do was replace the pin.

On the whole...I still prefer my new Tandem over the AI.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Location: Boynton Beach, FL
Hi TidalWave,

We plan to sail our new TI with our young children in the busy waterways of South Florida. Sudden loss of rudder control would be inconvenient.

Your sharing of your experience and providing us specific recommendations to adjust and monitor the drum bolt assembly is greatly appreciated.

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2010 Hobie Tandem Island
Boynton Beach, FL


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:36 am
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
TIDALWAVE wrote:
Subsequent to loosing all starboard steering (see above), I have been playing with
the rudder system.
I found that after three weeks of on&off sailing, the drum bolt had gotten so tight that the rudder was not able to drop into the holding clip. The noises I heard from the rudder lines were the bungee cords pulling and releasing. After loosening the drum sufficiently, the rudder snapped into its clip correctly, no noises from the spectra lines and I had full control of starboard steering.

The drum absolutely has to have about 1/4 inch gap between the drum halves, to get sufficient looseness on dropping the rudder into the rudder clip.
After loosening drum tightness and while the Tandem was on the trailer...the rudder dropped and clicked into the clip. However, after launching, water resistance was enough to slow down the rudder enough so that the rudder did not engage the clip. I had to loosen the drum bolt slightly more until the rudder had enough speed to hit the water and
click into place. Don't assume that just because the rudder drops correctly on the trailer that it will correctly engage when the stern is in the water. I have found that it doesn't take too many raising and lowering to change the drum bolt tightness. I plan to check tightness before every launch. I am thinking about marking the bolt head orientation...and putting
a couple of drops of water-proof 'locktite' on the bolt threads to help keep the bolt from
tightening up.

After carefully looking at the rudder system...there is only about 1/4 inch of plastic on
the rudder clip that actually holds the rudder in place! I am going to make sure that
I always cam-lock the rudder spectra lines down to minimize the chances of the rudder
popping out of the clip. If it does...you totally loose starboard control!
The rudder clip looks like the weak link in the Tandem rudder system. Hobie really beefed up the rudder pin bracket compared to the AI...but starboard steering is preserved by a small black plastic clip as far as I can tell. If the small clip breaks or the edge rounds away...the rudder will be free to swing away. If the clip breaks, the whole rudder hull bracket will have to be replaced with subsequent re-feeding of the spectra lines. At least with the AI, if the rudder pin broke...all you had to do was replace the pin.

On the whole...I still prefer my new Tandem over the AI.

Tidalwave - glad to hear you like it more than the AI :) But from what you have written - and given your previous experience with the AI - it sounds like this problem could do with a design improvement to ensure it works every time.

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2011 AI Golden Papaya



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