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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:58 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
I have considerable lee helm on my 2011 Tandem Island, which I have to admit I only realised when I finally got around to swapping the rudder lines to the "traditional tiller" setup.
I had always understood that the safest setup for a yacht was slight weather helm so that the boat rounds up if for some reason all the controls are let go.
Given that all the things that affect helm balance are preconfigured (hull shape and length, mast step position and rake, sailplan, centreboard and rudder position) I was surprised that such a characteristic was apparently designed in. Admittedly the centre of effort moves aft when a gust hits and the mast flexes, and this reduces lee helm, but even in strong wind I suspect it will still be present. The new rudder copes well with the work which is reassuring, so it did not stop me from having a couple of glorious sails in Gulf St Vincent today.
Have others noticed this? Have I missed something? Is lee helm OK in this boat? Can I tune it out if not?
Any advice appreciated


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:35 am
Posts: 53
Location: Canberra, Australia
Hi abonnin,

Whether you have lee helm or weather helm will be greatly affected not only by the factors you mentioned, but also by fore/aft weight distribution. As Matt Miller has previously stated, the position of the mast was primarily influenced by the location of the forward seat. The drag caused by the armas will also affect the feel on the helm. (much like a sidecar on a motorbike). As you can't adjust the rake of the mast, all you really can do is adjust your weight distribution to minimise any lee/weather helm.

We have to remember that the TI is a hybrid sailing kayak, not a pure sailing vessel, so it may not exhibit all the characteristics of a 'proper' sailing vessel. For what it was designed to do, it does the job extremely well.

When sailing by myself or with my children, I always wear a harness (simple crossover webbing with a clip). Attached to a Jack stay that runs between the two aka braces, I can move all over the boat unencumbered, but should I fall over, I am always attached to the boat.

Now, I am also interested in crossing over the steering lines so that the helm is 'traditional'. Can you let me know how you modified yours? Also any pictures?

Kind regards,

Rob.

_________________
Rob,

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2011 Hobie TI


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:52 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:58 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Hello nicnrob.
Changing the steering lines was dead easy. Much of the technique is demonstrated in the rudder replacement video put out by Hobie.
Reach in through the rear hatch and free the two guide tubes for the steering lines from the upside-down padeye under the portside rim of the hatch. There are three lines there - the steering lines and the up line for the rudder. You can free them all and distinguish them by wiggling the rudder and watching which tubes move. Then undo the lines at the rudder, push the guide tubes out a bit from inside the hull - you might need to use a flat blade screwdriver to winkle the black tube-end out - slide the two black collars over the lines (one goes inside the guide tube, the other outside to locate it) and then you can pull the guide tubes back into the hull. It is probably a good idea to tie one knot in the port and two in the starboard line before you do this so you know which was which.
Then swap them around, slide the line and guides out through the holes in the hull, thread the outer and then inner collars over the tubes and lines, and re-install. Put the guide tubes back under the padeye, making sure there is a straight run forward to the steering levers over the top of the foam flotation block on which they can catch. Finally, re-tension and secure the lines, checking that the levers are centred when the rudder is straight ahead.
Sorry but can't do photos because I am too lazy to disassemble. Hope this is clear enough.
The new setup feels rather strange at first if you have gotten used to the "point and go" standard setup, but definitely is more logical with a tiller extension (of which I will post a photo soon because I believe I have worked out a rather elegant solution using PVC irrigation hose and about $5 worth of aluminium tube)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1315
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
abonnin :
Do you normally sail from the front seat or the back, this may make a difference. At least on my TI I normally sail solo in the front seat, and tend to hike out when the AMA goes under on a reach, but can't hike out easily while in the back seat. When sailing in the front seat the boat seems to have just the right amount of weather helm so it wants to head more into the wind especially in very high winds (which I think is safer). At least with my TI there is a completely different feel when I was in the back seat. From back seat the boat has pretty severe lee helm, and with no weight up front the bow is very high and tends to blow around easily. In the back position it is also pretty hard to hike out. So in my opinion weight distribution means everything on a TI. If someone really likes to solo from the rear position, it's probably very beneficial to add ballast to the front. When sailing from the front position or tandem at least in my case the boat handles nicely with a slight weather helm. I also found that in higher winds it's better to reef early, the boat actually goes faster. Showing too much sail in higher winds may be contributing to lee helm.
Hope this helps
Bob


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