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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Out sailing from Long Reef to Palm Beach and back yesterday both AIs had steering failures thanks to "new improved rudder pins". Condtions were ideal being NE 10-15kts slightly choppy seas but all in all the conditions you hope for when venturing offshore from Sydney.

My mate has a 2008 model AI with all the upgrades, has good offshore experience. I have now witnessed 2 rudder pins breaking on his boat in 5 months. First was in Sydney harbour in 25kts and was old type pin, second was yesterday about 4kms off Newport, he managed to replace the pin at sea but had to enter the water to do it. We continued on toward Palm beach with me in arears keeping an eye on my mate. I had reefed to the telltail and was doing it easy when I heard a bang followed by my steering suddenly going dead. My boat is 6months old the new style rudder pin was 3 months old and it broke. I didn't hit anything it just broke. I reefed and sailed down wind back to Long Reef like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

2 weeks ago the port side steering line broke 100mm from the rudder (not an area of chaffing problems), I have to tell you it hasn't enhanced my confidence about the boats durability. Had you been at Long Reef on our return you could have picked up a couple of cheap AIs.

I read and enjoy this forum daily and hear about issues with - plug in carts, steering issues, seat buckle slips, seat pins being dislodged, aka caps falling off, mast base screws falling out, a mast welding failure, hulls leaking and what a great boat they are- well I'm not so sure. I recall reading about the evolution of The AI being a kayak that grew arms and a sail, I'm thinking that the steering is poorly engineered and to fragile for rough conditions ie offshore and or over 15kts? I've been told that it is extreemly rare to break a steering line and since Hobie improved the sheer stength of the rudder pins that problem has gone away. I wish all that was true, I for one don't trust the steering reliability and it's going to take a bit to change that thinking, what do you reckon?

I owned and raced a Hobie 14 in the late 70s and they were indestuctable (except for the rudder blades) in comparrison to the AI and TI. My next few outings will be in the harbour with steering failure in mind as to where I sail.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:18 pm 
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I'm confused about the color of the "new" pins. Are they gray or black?

I recently had 2 pins break in a 200 yd distance. At the same time, when the 1st broke, it was only my second pin in 3.5 yrs. The 3rd (after 200 yds) was clearly a piece of crap. I've complained about the rudder design & made suggestions on page 6 (3 posts) of the thread: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=25549&p=116865&hilit=twist+rudder#p116865

The Hobie AI is a tough boat w/ a serious weak link: the rudder. It is a shame for such a versatile, capable boat to be handicapped with an over-designed and under-engineered rudder.

Keith

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Thanks for the support Chekika the pins were grey, mine came with the boat 6 months ago and my mate bought his 2 months ago from a different agent.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:05 am 
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Dave,
Sorry to hear of another rudder failure. I know how that would shatter your confidence with future trips.
FWIW, I've had two rudder pin failures, both with the old black pins. The first I fixed back on land , the second time on the water kneeling in the rear well. I've had no failures with the new gray pin. I guess though that with a pin that is designed to break you have to expect that it will at times. After my first pin break I did some practice so I was ready and able to change it on water. It was a simple fix and I was underway again in minutes.
I've had my fair share of problems with both AI's and the TI but as there is nothing on the market that compares to them I will continue to enjoy them and put up with the problems. At times I've been very disappointed (AI -cracked drivewell, TI snapped xbar mast retainer, various drive failures etc) but the enjoyment I have got from both craft far outweighs the negatives. :)
Another plus is that Hobie have been outstanding with warranty claims and have always done their best to fix a problem, even when it may not have been a fault of theirs. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:39 am 
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Pin colors: A yr ago or so, Polecat gave me 3 gray pins, saying they were the new pins. But, very recently, Rene Potvin give me one black & one gray saying that a dealer in the FL Keys told him that the black ones were new--that is the reason for my question.

Both pins I broke on our recent Flamingo-Chokoloskee trip, were gray including the one which lasted only 200 yds.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:07 am 
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I walked into the Miami boat show before it was open. I crossed a bunch of people from Hobie dragging an AI. I tried to speak to them but they seemed to be very busy. So I actually went inside the show area. No one checked my id or anything. It was amazing. I was the only tourist in the largest boat show I've ever seen.

Anyway, I got to speak to one of the reps at the Hobie stand. He said that there were absolutely no plans to improve the AI rudder and that the new pins were wonderful. I was sort of uncomfortable that a rep would bother (censored) an AI owner. I pointed to him that changing the pins and perhaps the rudder would make things really challenging for a guy trying to do a long haul.

Since nothing is coming our way from Hobie, what are the options. I know that my old full metal Aquaterra rudder would easily fit the back of the AI. Has anyone found a good reliable rudder replacement?

Keith, "over-designed and under-engineered" is what I should put on the side of the boat when Miami press comes to pay me a visit ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:25 pm 
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I'm a believer that the pin design cannot serve two masters:

1. Susbtained pressure in high winds/heavy seas.

2. Breakaway safety if you hit something.

I've discarded 2. and gone with a stainless pin and epoxied in the hollow tail section.
Almost two years and counting with no signs of fatigue factor. You takes your chances.

Maybe Hobie engineers should be required to change a rudder pin in heavy sea conditions. Off the Kona coast where the attorney's hang out. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:13 pm 
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I was thinking similar thoughts whilst looking at the rudder today (re option 1 versus 2). A couple of questions if I may...

Where did you purchase a stainless steel pin?

If the answer to the above was that you just found a stainless nut and bolt... what about the bit at the top of the pin the steering cord passes around (is this bit necessary?).

Epoxied in the hollow tail section... please explain as I'm new to this :-)


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:49 pm 
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Chekika wrote:
Pin colors: A yr ago or so, Polecat gave me 3 gray pins, saying they were the new pins. But, very recently, Rene Potvin give me one black & one gray saying that a dealer in the FL Keys told him that the black ones were new--that is the reason for my question.

Both pins I broke on our recent Flamingo-Chokoloskee trip, were gray including the one which lasted only 200 yds.

Keith

Keith the original pin on my previous (2009) AI was black and the new improved upgrade pin is grey.
My new 2011 AI with the larger rudder has a large grey pin.
I never really experienced any problem with the old rudder and never had the misfortune to break a pin, however I do have some concerns about the new rudder and look forward to the new replacement that Hobie is currently testing and should be distributing to owners in the next few months ........

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:36 pm 
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This is getting confusing.
As Mickey said the original pins were black. The upgraded were gray.
I'm wondering if Hobie have received another bad batch of pins?
For those who don't know- there should be a spare pin under the rear hatch lid.

Rene,
You could add a bullet proof rudder to your AI but the next weak link is the transom and you don't want that to get damaged. I think it was K-Bob who ripped the transom on his AI testing a stronger pin?

JP,
The pin from a 10mm x75mm (US 3/8 x 3" ?) Dynabolt fits perfectly but you risk transom damage. I carry one as an emergency spare. Image


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:00 pm 
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I'm wondering if Bob's transom damage occurred with the old screw-down rudder. With the more recent rudders (pre-2011), the rudder will still pop up under extreme duress, even when it's cleated down.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:20 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
I'm wondering if Bob's transom damage occurred with the old screw-down rudder. With the more recent rudders (pre-2011), the rudder will still pop up under extreme duress, even when it's cleated down.


Quote:
Bob's
:?: :roll: :?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:29 pm 
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mickeymouse wrote:
Quote:
Bob's
:?: :roll: :?

stringy wrote:
You could add a bullet proof rudder to your AI but the next weak link is the transom and you don't want that to get damaged. I think it was K-Bob who ripped the transom on his AI testing a stronger pin?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:48 pm 
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Rang around today to buy more rudder pins - my dealer has none with a back order with Hobie Aust, I suggested that they must be breaking regularly and was told , no people like to carry spares hmmmm!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:48 pm 
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davew wrote:
Rang around today to buy more rudder pins - my dealer has none with a back order with Hobie Aust, I suggested that they must be breaking regularly and was told , no people like to carry spares hmmmm!


As chance would have it I was passing my friendly Northern Beaches Hobie dealer on saturday and picked up 2 grey pins. I told them they were spares....
Not sure if they were the last of their stock or not.

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