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 Post subject: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:57 am 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Looking at my almost new boat today that has only been in the water half a dozen times and inspecting the rudder pin, I became acutely aware of the amount of lateral play that the rudder blade has in the down position which must allow slapping of the blade any which way when sailing.
This lateral movement is caused by the looseness of the pin in the pintals and the brass insert in the hull.
I would appreciate a response of various owners as to whether their rudders show similar amount of lateral movement, say half and inch at the bottom, and if it reasonable to believethat such movement may lead to accentuated underwater vibrations or movements which may stress the pin to the point of failure. If so Mr. Hobie just needs to improve the tolerance when having pins manufactured. Also whilst on pins they are a real pain to get out so I have re-designed them for Mr. Hobie's benefit for the next batch to leave China. Here is my fix which is based on the notion there is ample space above the pin both in the up and down positions to allow for an extension of the pin itself to be used as a handle to get the buggers in and out easily. No more need to use long nose pliers...come on Mr. Hobie....give us a break...or do we have to go it alone.

Image

Just the same pin with a closer specs to the rudder pintels and hull insert, and with an extension on top for ease of checking and replacing..Nothing more...Pirate :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:53 am 
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Good idea, Pirate.

I'm sort of dreading the day my first pin breaks. I hope Hobie incorporates your idea soon enough that I can use it.

Keith

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:31 am 
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Location: Lakes Entrance, Aust
Heaps of slop in my rudder as it can pivot laterally or longitudinally on the pin. Bigger dia pin or smaller dia hole required...

It would have to improve rudder responsiveness.

I can't see that they would tolerate twice the slop on a boat twice as big. It'd be moving up and down as much as the tiller moves left and right! :shock:

Dave

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:41 pm 
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Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
geocacher wrote:
Heaps of slop in my rudder as it can pivot laterally or longitudinally on the pin. Bigger dia pin or smaller dia hole required...

It would have to improve rudder responsiveness.

I can't see that they would tolerate twice the slop on a boat twice as big. It'd be moving up and down as much as the tiller moves left and right! :shock:

Dave

Plenty of slop in mine too Pirate
A pin that's easier to remove would be a big improvement on the current one. Let's hope that Mr Hobie takes your idea onboard.
Maybe if enough of us add a post to this thread the modification will be added to the 2010 model :wink: 8) :D
Mickey


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:02 pm 
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I doubt Hobie will change the pin. I think they'll change the boat.

If you search the forum, you'll find a thread where someone (kayaking Bob aka reconion?) got a stronger pin from Hobie as a test, and he broke his boat! Doh!

I don't know how many pin failures have occurred as a percentage of Adventure Islands in use, but it seems to be discussed here a fair amount, and my wife popped two pins in short order one day. Assuming it is seen as enough of a problem...

They've tried a smaller, unbalanced rudder, and found that the AI really needs the new rudder. Now they've tried a stronger pin and broken a boat. The next thing to try may well be making the boat stronger, then trying again with that stronger pin.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:16 pm 
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The pin is designed as the weak link. Anything else that fails would be a bigger problem than just pin replacement. Pin strength is not a new issue. We have the same situation with the catamarans.

Normal use should not fail a pin of the current design and materials. Removal and installation is also easier with the "D" shaped head.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:20 pm 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Tom Ray wrote:
I doubt Hobie will change the pin. I think they'll change the boat.

If you search the forum, you'll find a thread where someone (kayaking Bob aka reconion?) got a stronger pin from Hobie as a test, and he broke his boat! Doh!

I don't know how many pin failures have occurred as a percentage of Adventure Islands in use, but it seems to be discussed here a fair amount, and my wife popped two pins in short order one day. Assuming it is seen as enough of a problem...

They've tried a smaller, unbalanced rudder, and found that the AI really needs the new rudder. Now they've tried a stronger pin and broken a boat. The next thing to try may well be making the boat stronger, then trying again with that stronger pin.


You are a 'Doubting Thomas" Tom :D
From your knowledge, has anyone researched the rudder play in relation to the pin failures though?
Also has anyone seen a correlation between pin useage and failure rates? That is if I were to change the pin every time I sailed, am I ever likely to have a pin failure?..Pirate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:30 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
The pin is designed as the weak link. Anything else that fails would be a bigger problem than just pin replacement. Pin strength is not a new issue. We have the same situation with the catamarans.

Normal use should not fail a pin of the current design and materials. Removal and installation is also easier with the "D" shaped head.


Matt - it's nice to know you are following this thread. 8)
I don't think Pirate's modification was intended to strengthen the pin - simply make it much easier to remove out in the water whithout needing to resort to pointy nosed pliers. Nor was his modification meant to alter the "D" shaped head - just raise it so that you can grab it with your fingers.
Raising the pin height (lengthening) does not appear to interfere with anything.
I haven't yet personally experienced a pin failure - but I have only had my AI for a month. I have experienced quite varied weather conditions in that short time and have frequently noticed a considerable stain on the rudder when sailing downwind - so I am not sure what you perceive as "normal use". :roll:
We are considering upgrading to Turbo flippers and would expect that the AI could stand up to the additional strain they must cause.
Mickey


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:35 pm 
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I can guess that the biggest failure rate is in hard sailing conditions, rough water, beach landings and higher winds. Most recreational users will not fail pins. We get tons of use from our trial boats with little issue. Pins can be damaged in storage and transit from Hobie or at dealer locations. This is an issue on all Mirage models as the boats are shipped with the rudders on the hulls. Freight damage / impacts will not show. Best to remove the pin and inspect before sailing.

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Hobie Cat USA


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 5:53 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
The pin is designed as the weak link. Anything else that fails would be a bigger problem than just pin replacement. Pin strength is not a new issue. We have the same situation with the catamarans.

Normal use should not fail a pin of the current design and materials. Removal and installation is also easier with the "D" shaped head.


I am sure Matt that is what Hobie are trying to achieve but as reported here pin failures are happening whilst being subjected to normal use sometimes by the women folk.
Please explain:
1. Why is there so much play in the rudder from new? Mine has 20 mm lateral play that is directly a result of poor tolerances. Others here have reported the same amount of play with their newly delivered boats.
2. The D pin which is just a flat machined into the the lip may well be an improvement over the original but it can be further improved so easily with a finger hold on top. Cost the Company next to nothing and there is room, so why not? I have not yet had the unpleasant task, but like others I am not looking at having to do it at sea.
3. If the plastic is not strong enough without the very weak pin, then why has it not been beefed up previously with a stainless plate that incorporates the now brass insert (that captures the pin) and carries the stressess further out into the body of the hull?
I am not a young man Matt and do not cherish the idea of swimming in winter to change a difficult pin just because the normally inovative Hobie Comany won't spend any more time on R&D to overcome the problem. With current comsumer laws, if it resulted in a death because of this simple pin failure Hobie would be certainly be in the spotlight here in Australia....Pirate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Lets not get crazy here... quoting consumer laws and all.

You certainly do not need the rudder to survive on the AI, so it is not a big safety issue here. Simply reduce sail and use the fins and or use the paddle to steer. Lets keep it real here.

This is not being ignored. We did a lot of listening and changing of design and materials to get this pin to what it is now. We will still listen.

I do not believe there is room above the pin as the control lines pass directly over the head... that is the reason for the "D" shape head. This allows the insertion and removal past the control lines.

We are not talking a high speed aircraft or product that requires extremely tight tolerances. Actually, the rudder needs some amount of play to rotate up and down (drum)... then the pin fit in the hull. So, some "rudder slop" is designed in and more is adjustable (drum tension). None of this has effected the boats over all performance in the years since its introduction. In many cases, sailors are simply demanding more from this product than it was originally designed for. We have made many changes since day one, but there will always be limitations.

If the pins are failing in conditions that are moderate... there may be an issue of materials here (inconsistency), but I also suspect that possibly the down control lines may be over tensioned and racked on and off to a point where damage is occurring in the pin in the simple function of up and down control.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:15 am 
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mmiller wrote:
Lets not get crazy here... quoting consumer laws and all.

You certainly do not need the rudder to survive on the AI, so it is not a big safety issue here. Simply reduce sail and use the fins and or use the paddle to steer. Lets keep it real here.

This is not being ignored. We did a lot of listening and changing of design and materials to get this pin to what it is now. We will still listen.

I do not believe there is room above the pin as the control lines pass directly over the head... that is the reason for the "D" shape head. This allows the insertion and removal past the control lines.

We are not talking a high speed aircraft or product that requires extremely tight tolerances. Actually, the rudder needs some amount of play to rotate up and down (drum)... then the pin fit in the hull. So, some "rudder slop" is designed in and more is adjustable (drum tension). None of this has effected the boats over all performance in the years since its introduction. In many cases, sailors are simply demanding more from this product than it was originally designed for. We have made many changes since day one, but there will always be limitations.

If the pins are failing in conditions that are moderate... there may be an issue of materials here (inconsistency), but I also suspect that possibly the down control lines may be over tensioned and racked on and off to a point where damage is occurring in the pin in the simple function of up and down control.


Hi Matt, It is not my intention to denigrade Hobie. The Adventure Island is a great compromise all-round boat which I am proud to own. I wasn't threatening or quoting the laws...just making observations based on my experience.

Secondly take it from me that there IS ample room above the rudder to build in a longer pin incorporating a second top lip to allow for a finger hold.

Image

Thirdly I am not yet familiar with the engineering of the rudder up/down haul system other than how it looks, but would be extremely surprised to hear that a neat fitting pin would impede it from operating as it is designed.

Just to reiterate, the 'apparently' regular failure of the pin out on the water in moderate wind and wave conditions is poor, but having an poorly engineered replacement pin that can't be replaced until back on dry land in its current form is in my opinion inexcusable.....Pirate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:40 am 
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Pirate,

If you have to extract a pin, you push from underneath. No need for pliers to pull a pin. I have replaced a few this way, though not on the water (yet).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:52 am 
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Hi Tom, I value your comments. The only time I am wanting to pop a pin out is after it has sheered which will be from the experiences of others reporting here, nearly always near the split at the bottom. In that instance pushing up from the bottom will do no earthly good at all as the top will be separated from the exposed bit if that indeed is still there in place. It needs to have a handle at the top, which is so easily achieved...Pirate


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:58 am 
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When my wife's pins broke, the rudder assembly fell off and was dragging along by the lines both times.

The boat comes with an allen wrench, which would make a good poker to remove a stuck pin fragment, if one became a problem.


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