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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:10 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
Aloha! First time caller, long time listener.

I picked up a late 07 AI recently (fantasized about it for a year, thanks to you folks) and am now wearing that silly "Hobie" grin all the time. :mrgreen:

Unfortunately, the sail was in marginal shape. The plastic view panel was cracked and losing threads. Every time I furled it it became worse. I 303'd the entire sail and was looking for someone to replace the window, but the sail material along the bottom edge has failed as well. You'll notice there is only a thin strip of fabric below the plastic panel. Once the panel fails, that strip is the next to go.

Any advice on the feasibility of repairs or finding an affordable replacement would be appreciated, I am leaning toward a new one. Mine is red/grey and white.

And on the subject:
How long do your sails generally last in the wild?
What did it cost to replace yours?
Are there any alternatives to the Hobie stock version, perhaps with more sail area?

I'll post to the "stuff wanted" forum in case anyone has a gently-used spare AI sail.

And Thanks. Hobie Rocks! Matt Rocks! You Guys Rock!

RT

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:13 pm 
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Might be worth getting a quote from a local sailmaker. It's what they do.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:35 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
For comparison, a brand new sail is $410

Good luck on your replacement. Let us know how it works out. (I have one sail that's getting that bad too.) :(

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Nothing in your vast inventory, Bob?

I heard the local dealers came to YOU for parts.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:30 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
NOHUHU wrote:
Nothing in your vast inventory, Bob?

I heard the local dealers came to YOU for parts.
I'm not quite that well stocked! :)
I try to keep a little bit of anything, that might break or wear, as it can take a while to get parts here. I do try to help others here on Maui and friends on The Big Island, when parts aren't available locally. I do have a spare mast! :D

When I can get the clear replacement sail material, Dee will try to repair it on her new (used) industrial sewing machine, between sprayskirts.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 am 
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Folks - here's what you can expect to see when your sail window fails and things start to unravel. This damage took about 2.5 years of steady use.

Image

This mylar panel, and the very thin fabric strip below it, are likely to fail long before the rest of the materials. You can see it clearly here, even though the upper 80% of this sail is still in good shape.

Image

I would guess this area gives out earlier due to the materials, and all the stresses along this "curved" bottom edge (from repeated sheeting, furling, contact with the pilot and overall exposure -even when furled).

Note that the black threads running through the plastic give strength against the wind but do nothing to stop tears, once the material breaks down. Under use, tiny "cracks" in the clear plastic quickly become tears, which slice the threads until the thin fabric edge is all that is holding things together.

Unfortunately, it's just a 1/2" strip of unreinforced nylon material. RIIIIIIIIPPP! :cry:

Image

I hope you never hear this terrible sound. At least, not far from shore.

Please keep an eye out for the warning signs. If you are starting to see stress cracks or have other sail injuries, best to ripstop them or have them repaired ASAP

Or you'll be back to paddling (like me) till the new sail arrives.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:46 am 
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Location: Victoria, Australia
If you replace the sail with a new one, you may be able to re-coupe some of the cost by making a matching jib sail from the old one and selling it, or just sell it for the same reason but let them worry about the mods.

I know I wouldn't mind a yellow one :wink: sham its red and so far away :cry: .

Glad to here you are at least enjoying your own personal Island 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:56 pm 
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You must be storing in the sun when furled? That is clearly UV damage by looking at the color change / fade along the foot and leech.

If you look a big sailboats who have furling jibs, they often have a wide strip of UV stable cloth in these faded areas. A sailmaker would be able to do that for you. Especially if leaving the mast up for long periods. Then when furled, it's like having a sail cover on.

We do recommend storing in the bag and out of the sun though.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:41 pm 
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ELM wrote:
If you replace the sail with a new one, you may be able to re-coupe some of the cost by making a matching jib sail from the old one and selling it, or just sell it for the same reason but let them worry about the mods.

I know I wouldn't mind a yellow one :wink: sham its red and so far away :cry: .

Glad to here you are at least enjoying your own personal Island 8)


A jib - hmmm,... (now that's making lemonade!)

Thanks Elm.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:35 pm 
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mmiller wrote:
You must be storing in the sun when furled? That is clearly UV damage by looking at the color change / fade along the foot and leech.

If you look a big sailboats who have furling jibs, they often have a wide strip of UV stable cloth in these faded areas. A sailmaker would be able to do that for you. Especially if leaving the mast up for long periods. Then when furled, it's like having a sail cover on.

We do recommend storing in the bag and out of the sun though.


Thanks Matt, you are correct, this was stored outdoors, dry. I inherited the problem from the previous owner. :roll: My new sail will be bagged.

While I had the privilege, I wanted to illustrate for others what happens with accelerated aging and where the points of failure are. Maybe save them $500.

Following your advice, I would also like to suggest Hobie reexamine the sail design and think about ways to upgrade and reinforce these lower points. This one area is exposed to multiple sailing stresses and to the elements (even when furled). It's most likely to come in contact with people/gear too, and to take damage during portage or bagging.

I feel a 1.5" strip of reinforced sail edge (or canvas) and more stitching would add to their lifespan. Hobie designers could take this even further. Feel free to use these photos for your shipwreck "archives." :)

My new red sail is on order and I hope will get to Hawaii this week. (We have 20-30 mph winds headed our way!)

Could I ask you a couple questions about it?
How does the new sail ship? Is it folded or rolled? Require special packaging?
Will I need to buy any other parts or is it ready to slip on my old 2007 mast?
Does it include battens and mounting pieces, etc?

Any advice on the process of transferring AI sails and the parts needed would be helpful to everyone.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:12 pm 
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Ships rolled I believe. Does not (should not) include battens. Comes with all the sewn on hardware ready to slip on your mast, install battens and off you go.

The narrow strip of dacron along the foot has to do with visibility through this section of sail more than anything. More cloth, less vision across to the lee side.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:46 pm 
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That's good to hear. Mahalo. Feared taking out those old white batten anchors (or luff caps or whatever those are called).

I would totally prefer the stronger edge. It would still have better visibility than the red duct tape I have now. :mrgreen:

OMG, the winds are howling here already.

Here's our forecast this week. Gonna need more tape.
http://www.iwindsurf.com/windandwhere.iws?regionID=159&siteID=232&Isection=Forecast+Graphs

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:43 pm 
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When you move the battens to your new sail, don't just tie them like the instructions show, but tie them tightly, every which way with good permanent knots. Many people, especially in Hawaii have lost the rear batten. Many have not even notice it was gone.

No sailing for me for the next few days. I try not to get out in small craft advisories. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:07 pm 
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Thanks KB, I know exactly what you mean.

I had one fly off a luffing Revo sail, as it was beating me senseless.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:16 pm 
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NOHUHU wrote:
I had one fly off a luffing Revo sail, as it was beating me senseless.
:) That brings back memories... The time I replaced the rope at the clew with a ball bungee... then the first time my sail started luffing... :shock: :roll: :oops:

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