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PostPosted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:57 pm 
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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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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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Location: Sarasota,Key West 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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Location: Kailua 96734
A Hobie dealer running out of rudder pins is like McDonald's running out of French fries.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:52 pm 
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Location: Jacksonville, Florida
tonystott wrote:
I must admit to being a little surprised at the lack of reaction to my emergency rudder (apart from Oceanmoves, thanks mate).

I do not need response to pamper my ego, but I am intrigued that nobody seems to think that there is a real risk of needing external assistance if suffering unrepairable rudder failure while offshore. This could be due to multiple rudder pin failures (how many spares is too many?). or breakage of internal rudder lines, or (unlikely) damage to the rudder blade itself.

As there seems to be general concensus that steering TIs via a paddle is marginal at best, I came to the conclusion that having an external emergency rudder onboard for serious offshore trips is a good risk mitigator.

Is everyone else comfortable with the risk? Have you all experimented to see how effectively you could control your Island without its rudder? Just askin'



I just had a rudder failure 3 days ago when I was about four miles offshore (line broke). It was my maiden voyage (just posted a new thread about it last night). I am very interested in an easy solution, and it seems you may have come up with it.

I, for one, will be experimenting very soon with this (or something very much like it!). Thanks for putting this up!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:03 am 
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Location: South Florida
Vertical rudder pin failure?? I've broken one pin on my vertical rudder in 2 yrs, and that occurred because I mindlessly sailed into our shallow water landing w/o raising my rudder. It was at the end of a trip, so it was not a problem. I do carry 3 spare pins. On my AI, I've never experienced a pin failure (new vertical rudder) or other type rudder failure on open water. I have to ask the obvious, are these failures occurring largely with tandem AIs? If yes, why? Is it because there is an huge majority of tandems on the water, or is there a problem with this rudder on the tandems?

Also, I don't understand why rudder lines are breaking? These are 1000#-test spectra braided line. Why are they breaking?

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"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 Jun 22, 2014 6:51 am 
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Keith, my rudder line broke inside the hull. It was very early in the life of my TI, and I can only suspect that somehow the rudder line was sent on the wrong side of a scupper during initial assembly and therefore failed due to the friction. I agree that the dyeema line should not break with that huge 1000# strength. I know one failure on a TI was not a broken line, but a line coming loose at the rudder. I prevented this by adding a stainless washer, and wrapping the line a full 360 degrees around the fixing screw under the washer.

I don't think there is any intrinsic shortcoming in the rudder arrangements for the TI compared to the AI.

As regards rudder pin longevity, I have broken three in over 250 outings (2 on the same weekend trip to Broughton Island last year!), and now make a habit of fitting a brand new one before any "big" trip offshore, keeping the old ones as spares. I too have had the odd grounding of the rudder, as my local lake system has lots of unexpected shallows (sometimes in the middle of nowhere), but fortunately these tend to be soft sandy bottoms or weeds. Interestingly, close inspection of used pins tends to show tiny marks where the pin has been forced against the lower rudder pintle.

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:46 pm 
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Location: CT
To All…..

I did play around with using my Hobie Kayak paddle as a rudder while sailing (tied my rudder up)
The Hobie paddle flexed too much under the load.
I then bought a Carlisle Guide Canoe paddle in the longest length….It has an Alum handle and much
larger plastic paddle….. I find that I can sail it pretty well in 10 kt winds…. I could get to land in order
to change the rudder pin…. I did replace my rudder pin on dry land and realized that bobbing up and
down to change it would be near impossible. The canoe paddle is easy to maneuver while sitting...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:04 pm 
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I've used a single blade Carlisle paddle for the past year. It should be much better than a double bladed sea kayak paddle as a temporary rudder. Because it is rugged and cheap, it is good for pushing off from shore or a dock piling. If I am using my AI in simple kayak mode, I would use a kayak paddle.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"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: Mon Jun 23, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Yep! The single blade Carlisle paddle is my choice too. I normally carry one on AI and TI, just in case...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:26 am 
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Never had broken rudder pin on my TI (3 years old) but am still using the old rudder (with the cleat). My Hobie Dealer told me that the new rudder design is more prone to broken pins?

Can anybody confirm that?

Peace
Serbi


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:02 am 
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My experience is a strong "NO." I had a number of broken pins in open water with my older twist-n-stow rudder--terrible rudder for Islands. None on my 2-yr-old vertical rudder.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"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: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:13 am 
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I know this is a rudder thread, but reading it and the pin issue brought something back to mind - in searching my garage for something to clear the hinge hole when a pin breaks off the top (as happened to me ..) I found the perfect tool to carry out for this as well as the perfect "I broke all my rudder pins .. so this will do"

.. an Aluminum rain gutter nail sanded down smooth

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'07 Hobie Adventure Island #1
'07 Hobie Adventure Island #2 Golden Papaya AI LadyJane
'06? Hobie Outback SUV


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:42 am 
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Location: Puget Sound, Washington USA
I think I hear a consensus that most rudder pin failure is caused by beaching without uncleating the down line. Even failures at sea may be / are probably due to previous damage from grounding the rudder.

If that is correct, it is too bad that the tip up feature of the rudder cannot be used to save it in the same way that the tip up feature of the off center board saves it. But of course, the rudder has to be cleated down in order to work properly.

Couldn't the problem be moved from the rudder to the cleat? Couldn't some clever chap come up with a break away cleat that released the line before the pin broke or was damaged or even before a rudder line broke, as in Tony's case? I'd rather re-cleat the down line a dozen times on each trip than have to replace a rudder pin once in my life. I'd even rather replace a broken cleat than a broken rudder pin because the cleat is on deck in front of my chair and next to my coffee cup. And if the cleat has to destroy itself to uncleat, couldn't we design a bracket with a quick release holder to replace the cleat in a few seconds?

Please help this mechanical idiot to come up with something or to understand why cleating is not the problem. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:13 am 
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I hear you, but for the sake of accuracy, I should point out that the line I broke was actually one of the left-right ones, not the up-down ones, so did not involve any cleat.

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Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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