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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:22 am
Posts: 22
True Story:

Saturday two weeks ago, sailing in 20 to 25 kt. winds in the Pamlico Sound off of Ocracoke Island N.C. Rudder pin breaks (silly me fighting the weather helm, but that's another story), maybe a half-mile away from shore. I first try to replace the pin while still offshore, sitting on the back of the boat facing backwards, bobbing up and down, and realize that it is not going to work. Also lost one of my paddles in the process.

Luckily the wind was headed towards shore, so I unfurled and ran with the wind to shore, using the paddle as a rudder. I land on a "private beach" and proceeded to try to replace the pin while some frowning condo owners looked on (and offered no assistance whatsoever). I push down too hard on my replacement pin and it breaks too! So, once again using the paddle as a rudder, I limp back home.

The nearest Hobie dealeer is 59 miles away and apparently does not have a pin in stock, so I call my dealer in Northern Virginia. They have them is stock and will send them to me, but the best-case scenatio is that they will get to me the following Tuesday, I ordered three of them and shipping cost more than the pins themselves, but I bit the bullet and ordered them. I didn't want to wait an entire 3 days to start sailing again, so necessity was the mother of invention once again.

After thinking it over and going to the local hardware store for a few abortive attempts at a temproary fix, I literally stubled upon my solution. In the corner of the shed were two small almost toy American Flags on 1/4" wooden dowels about 18" long, the kind that the kids waive around on 4th of July. The perfect diameter for the holes for the rudder pins and (hopefully) not too weak and not too strong.

I wrapped the dowels with a few laps of duct tape about 8" up from the bottom to keep them from sliding all the way through and in one went, with the other on-board acting as "back-up"! Not only did I have a rudder pin, but I could proudly fly the Stars and Stripes about a foot above my rudder.

It worked like a charm until the actual rudder pins arrived.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2563
Location: Kailua 96734
Great story, and solution.

We, of the Hobie Navy salute you! :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1035
Location: sarasota,fl
jerinaldi :
Using wooden dowel rod was a great idea. The way the grain on the wood goes down the length makes the wood dowel very strong against shear and probably slightly stronger and more forgiving than Hobies plastic pins. But unfortunately won't last very long because of the water, and wear resistance, but in a pinch, it's a good idea for a temporary fix (way safer than an aluminum rod).
I have sheared 9 pins now in the last 10 months, and only sheared 2or 3 pins in the previous two years on my TI's so I suspect there may be an issue with Hobies materials used on the pins. I just picked up 3 more spares last week before going to Key West just in case.

Hey I wonder if Hobie is using the inkjet printer marketing ploy.... they sell the printers at cost, then make all their money on the ink, in this case rudder pins (LOL)

I suspect the material Hobie is using has a too low sheer value, and may be too brittle. (basically breaks easier than the old pins).

I wonder if they went to a delrin material with either no filler or maybe 15% long fiber glass filler and gate it on the end so the glass fiber orientates down the length if it would increase the sheer strength enough to prevent the rudder pins from breaking too easily, but still able to break before other damage occurs. And as an added bonus Delrin (Acetal) resin loves water and is self lubricating. (The company I used to work for did most of Delta's faucets, and Delrin is the material of choice for faucet parts (basically lasts forever). I hope they are not using PC/ABS, as that would be the absolute worst material for this application (ask any plastics expert).
If they are using a nylon, I hope it's a stabilized grade (Dupont 800 series), because non stabilized nylon dries out over time and becomes very brittle (that's why you have to boil RC airplane propellers before you use them or they shatter).

I'm sure Hobies Engineers are aware of all this (what I suspect is a manufacturing problem) and have tried and tested hundreds of materials. I am now down to only one of the old rudder pins, and that's the one I always put in when I run out of the new rudder pins, for some reason that 3 yr old pin keeps on working like a champ and has never broke in the 3 yrs I've been using it as a backup pin.

I suspect there has been a big uptick in broken rudders, because every time I go to the dealer they don't have any in stock, and I have to wait a week or so for them. But that's all just speculation on my part and my own experience with broken rudders on my TI's.

Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 2:31 pm
Posts: 2563
Location: Kailua 96734
A Hobie dealer running out of rudder pins is like McDonald's running out of French fries.


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