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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:25 am
Posts: 47
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Hello,

I finally received my correct sail kit (previous post "wrong sail kit") and went out on the water solo with it for the first time yesterday. Since the winds were a bit strong and the water unusually shallow (water levels are very low in Eastern Canada this year) which inhibited my ability to get my turbo fins in & my rudder down in a timely manner, I was quickly overpowered. I tried, unsuccessfully, to furl the sail so that I could paddle into deeper waters in order to get the rudder & fins down. While I paddled with ++ force, the main sheet and sail were luffing & flapping like crazy. I returned to shore after being mildly humbled, and decided to take down the sail. I had a nice pedal trip but was disappointed in my first sailing experience.

My questions are the following:
1/ What is the 'best' technique to furl the sail so that it doesn't flap around uncontrollably while awaiting to be unfurled?
2/ What is the 'best' technique for tightening the mast stays? I pulled from the stay from the clip end (as opposed to the sail end) and then did a few round hitches to secure it.
3/ What is the 'best' technique for keeping the turbo fins in the full downward (dagger board-like) position for both of the fins without risking hitting them on the bottom when soloing a tandem? I don't think I could get to the front fins and pull them up fast enough if I was alone. Perhaps someone has rigged up ropes or something?
4/ What is the 'best' technique for setting up the sails on the water? Would you have the stays clipped in and the mast lying on the deck and then just raise the mast, get it into the deck mount and bungee it down? This is the only way I can imagine doing this solo...

A comment:

It would be really helpful to have a step-by-step video or photos for rigging and sailing the inflatables. Perhaps this will all become evident in the next few attempts, but so far I've had a few 'boat bites' and humbling moments. I sailed dinghies all of my youth, so I should know how to do this. :) If anyone was the inclination to do this, I think many people could benefit.

Thank you to everyone for your input and generous support. This forum is great :D

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Hobie i14T,
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 9:49 am
Posts: 403
Location: Point Lookout, Maryland
ddrury wrote:
My questions are the following:
1/ What is the 'best' technique to furl the sail so that it doesn't flap around uncontrollably while awaiting to be unfurled?
2/ What is the 'best' technique for tightening the mast stays? I pulled from the stay from the clip end (as opposed to the sail end) and then did a few round hitches to secure it.
3/ What is the 'best' technique for keeping the turbo fins in the full downward (dagger board-like) position for both of the fins without risking hitting them on the bottom when soloing a tandem? I don't think I could get to the front fins and pull them up fast enough if I was alone. Perhaps someone has rigged up ropes or something?
4/ What is the 'best' technique for setting up the sails on the water? Would you have the stays clipped in and the mast lying on the deck and then just raise the mast, get it into the deck mount and bungee it down? This is the only way I can imagine doing this solo...

I realize it's not the same as the i14T, but I sailed quite a bit with an Outback and the optional sail kit last year, and a couple times this year. Normally I keep the mast down while getting out to where I want to be, then raise it and unfurl the sail. This solution worked best in calm to light winds, as waves would quickly douse the lowered mast/sail and make them drag in the water. Your 4th bullet sounds promising - I'd try it and see how it works out!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Escondido
Of course, with the inflatable boat, the sail has to be set up before heading out -- there is no furling because of the stays.. I wade out to about knee height (deep enough for the fins and rudder to operate), set up everything else, insert the Drive, rig the mainsheet, drop the rudder, then stay the sail last. Then I point the boat into the wind (sail free to luff), grab the mainsheet, hop in and immediately start pedaling. I have speed and rudder control within seconds and I'm off and sailing!

Once you get the hang of it, it will become automatic. To begin with though, it's much easier to learn in less wind when you have a little more time to get the operation down.

The secret -- always launch where it's deep enough to pedal. :wink:

In the tandem, the front drivewell should be plugged when soloing. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:25 am
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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Thank you for the replies -- I maintain that the Hobie community is very generous!! This is certainly a big plus to those of us who are novices!
Roadrunner: an easy question: if I was to keep the front drivewell plugged, rather than having the 2 sets of mirage drives in, would the bow get pushed off wind constantly? I am thinking of trying a bungee or rope system that I can pull the front mirage drive into the fully upward position from the rear seat ... have you tried that? It sounds easy and it might allow for better pointing and forward (rather than lee) movement plus protect the mirage drive from hitting obstacles along the way?

cheers & thank you again, Donna

PS: ironically I got the sail up easily this weekend but there was absolutely NO wind... it did help restore a bit of dignity & confidence, though :P

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Hobie i14T,
Innova Sunny,
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:37 pm 
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Location: Escondido
No, I haven't done it, but it's certainly worth a try! Let us know how it works. :wink:


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