k-bay cruiser wrote:
My first pin lasted for perhaps 25 outings of 4 or more hours each in all conditions (including very rough) over about a 6 month period. I never even realized breaking a pin was a worry. (In the 5 years or so I spent in EXTREME Hobie Catting on 14's, 16's, and 18's, I never broke a pin, so never considered it.) The next two pins only lasted two days in very modest conditions. My current pin has been in for quite a while. To those of you who haven't broken a pin even in rough conditions, I am very happy for you. Hopefully, you don't ever experience a run of pins that are breaking for no apparent reason. While one can claim that the pins are breaking under stress, thus saving the hull, clearly some have put great stress on pins (as have I) without any breakage. And, at other unlucky times, some pins (even brand new ones) have failed under very modest stress. With some right combination of equipment the pin lasts a long time, and the owner develops a sense of confidence as I had with my first pin. But, once one starts going through some rapid pin failures as I have, one loses that confidence and has to develop back up strategies. It's probably wise to have been using those from the beginning. Breaking a pin is not costly. It is not a REAL safety factor. But, it is EXTREMELY annoying and frustrating when it happens and ruins what was supposed to be a great day of sailing. Or worse, when it happens 4-5 miles from home and it takes you 3 times as long to make it back and it starts getting cold and dark.
Hmm - I hear the voice of experience coming out here
Whilst you haven't drawn any conclusions as to why you suddenly experienced a run of rapid pin failures, it makes me wonder whether there isn't a quality control issue - not to mention the current design issue which may make on-sea replacement extremely difficult.