My TI is less than six months old and I keep losing those white ball bearings around the mast. They just seem to fall out when I'm transporting the boat. Up until now I've found them all in the bed of my truck. But today I lost some on the highway. Is this something that hobie will cover under warranty? Why am I losing bearings? How can I stop this from happening? If hobie won't cover this where can I replace them?
Hi Dom, been there, saw the movie
Firstly, I would be surprised if Hobie consider this a warranty issue. Secondly, there are two solutions.
1. Undo the top and bottom plastic bearing plates from the crossbar (I put a saucer underneath to catch the delrin balls as they fall out during this). Place each place "inside down" (eg the side that faces towards the crossbar) on some sandpapern and gently move it about to remove any high spots. Do both top ans bottom bearing plates. Refit and see if the delrin balls can still escape. Remove and continue. Just be careful not to remove too much material as the balls still need to spin freely inside the race created by the two plates.
2. Once you are happy that the balls cannot easily fall out any more, buy a pool noodle (the bigger sort with the hole in the middle) and cut off a 3 inch slice. Squeeze this into the centre hole whenever the mast is removed.
Step one reduces the balls falling out, while step two stops them falling out even if you omit step one!
I bought replacement balls from my Hobie dealer (part # 90610111), and I believe you need 24 to make a full set.