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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:04 pm
Posts: 13
2 weekends ago I was coming in the Palm Beach inlet going downwind with a following sea. As I was surfing down the waves I felt my TI go hard to port and I tried to counter with the rudder. I felt the rudder pin snap. I ended up about 60 degrees from going straight down the wave and if I stayed that way I could have maybe capsized. I started in the inlet with the sail reefed because I wanted to try to sail at the same speed as the swells and end up in the trough with the wave pushing me onto the back of the swell in front. It was a long way to steer with the paddle before I felt sufficiently far from waves/rocks/and ships to change the rudder pin. Can someone give me the pro-tips for surfing waves? Should I try to go 45 degree to the waves? Please learn me something!


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2239
Location: Maui, Hawaii
45 into the waves is good to start. Small adjustments on the rudder (large ones may help break a pin). Be aware that on a big (and steep) enough wave the rudder may come completely out of the water, so a strong single-bladed paddle ready at hand is helpful. A not too steep 5' wave is enough to flip an AI if broadside (been there, done that). A steeper or slightly higher wave could flip a TI. Practice on smaller waves to get the feel, before taking on 5' or larger waves may be prudent. I was fun though, wasn't it! :)

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http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
FLEETadmiralSCOTT :
I have never capsized my TI (knock on polyethylene), but have been caught in 4-5 waves several times now (never on purpose). I have broken several rudder pins now (3-4 in the last year alone), and worry about if I ever do get into another bad situation it could fail me at the worst possible moment. I'm pretty confident if those huge waves had hit me broadside without the ability to steer I would have capsized.

Just as a safety measure (just in case). What I did was take some grey spectra string(rudder line) which is very strong and made a loop of it behind the gudgeon then around the base of the boss that the rudder pin goes through on the rudder, then tied it to itself. What this does is if the rudder pin were to break (it almost always breaks first at the bottom) the rudder doesn't float hopelessly up (basically loosing all control), what it does is flop around held by the spectra string and you still can maintain some rudder control, at least well enough to steer out of danger and get your rigging down and get to a safe spot to make repairs. I didn't wrap any string around the top because it's held pretty good by the rudder lines, it only appears to break up top after the lower joint fails and pulls the rudder from the back of the boat. I'm pretty sure in all my cases the rudder pin breakage was self induced (hitting the bottom or something) where the pin got damaged, then while out sailing it failed the rest of the way. If you rudder becomes harder to steer, chances are your rudder pin is damaged but maybe not fully broken yet. I've found it's a good idea to check it closely always before going out.

If you think about it the rudder pin usually breaks from impacting the bottom or a rigid object, If you hit something rigid, and it breaks the rudder pin, chances are the loose loop of spectra string will not do more damage, it's just a simple safety valve that hopefully gets me home one of these days.

I also have safety ropes on my AMA's so if the sheer pin on the AKA bar breaks (and they do), the AMA's don't fold in. I consider this to be a bigger deal than the rudder pin.

Of course we don't get the kind of waves they get in Hawaii around here, but when we do I can handle following rollers ok as long as I have good wind on the sails, and can maintain forward momentum, as soon as they start to break, all bets are off. If it's windy make sure to roll your tramps up, they will catch the wind and flip you in rough conditions.
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 5:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:04 pm
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Thanks for the advice. The waves were probably 3-5' but the main problem coming in the inlet is the wave speed slows down and the waves start to have a very short period. My hobie is a 2012 bought used :) I haven't made any mental notes of the shear pins yet but ill look into the Bow tiedowns.

I seem to remember a when my bow would plow into the back of the swells it would push one way or the other (seemingly more up wind even though iwas running downwind) and it also felt like the amas would also steer the boat some. Some of waves i could feel the turbo fins coming completely out of the water with the bow and stern buried in the front and back waves. Also I was sitting midship because my gf won't hike out on the tramps. It would probably steer better from the rear.


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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:34 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Hobie Cat: Oceanside, CA
Surfing the Island is tons of fun. Here's an old video of some early TI testing, with some AI's buzzing around too. I think its time for a new one!



I think its important to not try to force the boat. Let it pull out of the wave and you'll put less stress on it. Try to get out before they break. As fusioneng says, "as soon as they start to break, all bets are off". Spare pins are essential too!

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2744
Location: Kailua 96734
Scott, if you have experience board surfing in general, you will have a much easier time reading and navigating waves. Surfers develop those instincts gradually and painfully. Wipeouts on a sailboat though, are a much bigger concern.

The size and quality of waves vary so much from place to place, that's it's hard to generalize. But there are some ideas I've come to believe:

-Remove or roll up your tramps! Make sure everything is leashed (yourself included-though some folks differ on this).
-Don't drop into any waves that don't look "way too easy" to make.
-Stay away from anything over 3' near shore and out of anything over 4' offshore. If a pin or an Aka breaks in those conditions, you are truly on your own and will need lots of skill and luck to recover in one piece.
-Learn to read the wave patterns (as in series) and to anticipate what's coming next.
-Use a partially reefed sail, (a full sail creates backwinded drag at surfing speeds and will tip you more quickly when turning).
-For shorebreak, sail parallel to the wave as it approaches (beam reach), building up speed before you turn and drop in.
-Do steer with the sail, as much as the rudder. Do not cleat the mainsheet.
-Steer as slowly and smoothly as possible, (hard in the excitement)! The faster the boat goes, the quicker the rudder reacts.
-Pedal smoothly while dropping in and then keep your mirage fins tight against the hull.
-Point as low as you can on the wave to stay clear. Anything higher than 45º puts you at risk of flipping and slows you down. Only go there when it's clear you need to exit the wave and the face oncoming surf.
-Balance your boat. Keep your body weight aft, windward and low. A TI with the crew hiking to windward on Hakas is maybe the safest Hobie wave ride we can expect.
-Have a short, stiff, T-handled paddle ready to deploy within seconds, (don't leave it tied up near the Amas).
-Watch out for and respect others who are out there surfing. You are, after all, piloting a deadly weapon.
:twisted:

I leave you with this thought,.. Taken this week on Oahu.

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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:07 pm
Posts: 169
Great thanks


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