although not that great a contributor, i would like to say how nice it is to regularly delve into this forum to glean info, hear whats been going down, err, like whats been happening in our world
, and to see how some of us are improving our time spent s'ai'ling.
i received my ai the end of may, and must have sailed in her umpteen times.. a month.. never having sailed before, ive learnt a lot, but being a 'waterman' (someone who enjoys all things water) has helped because its been 99% exhileration, 1% fear. ive been out in horrible conditions and then the next sail, even worse conditions and i love it. ive caught about 5 sea bass, and some mackeral, but try to limit the numbers as i have a hard pull up the harbour hill and any extra weight isn't welcome (put another way, my neighbours dont get free fish nearly as often). ive been out over some pretty big swells in trying conditions, tried to ride them on a reach, sailed along the backline on smaller days (and was glad to not be one of the masses, wetsuited up on a summers day, hoping to surf a 2 or 3 footer alone), and had near perfect wind conditions to master the ai.
on my last outing, i used my new wind direction indicator, stuck in the mast top. being able to track the winds variations around headlands and the likes, has done more for my sailing than all the time spent reading your most useful posts on this forum. my tramps will be here soon, so will winter. i plan on getting a dry suit so i can sail through both autumn and spring, conditions permitting. ive learnt how to take a pee onboard without too many problems, that soup is a lot better than beer, and that sailing alone can be lonely.
a handy tip is to carry some pool noodle lengths, say 600mm in length, which can be easily be stored inboard. when caught on a stony beach, placing a few under either bow/stern and using the opposite end to pull or shove, allows the kayak to roll/slide over the noodles, rather than rasp/grate over stones.
ive had absoloutely no problems with the rig and as i say to those who listen, even the (hobie) packaging was top notch. im not planning to ever use sprayskirts, good idea they are, because as my username suggests, i dont mind getting wet.
to those who are undecided on whether to buy or not to buy, buy. being an ai owner and user has given me something i didnt have before, that being the ability to enjoy and harness the wind, alowing me to cover greater distances than traditional kayaking in not perfect conditions. in fact, standard kayaking around newquay for me has lost any apeal it may have had. in any other location, maybe from an exploration trip but when it comes to getting from point a - b, then c, d and e, etc, sailing is magic..
before making the initial decision to purchase, and putting a home improvement project on a backburner as a result, was for me the right one. adopting the motto 'adventure before dimentia' helped and besides, lots of my free time is now booked, and im hooked.
enjoy life, sail..
and to finish, a ti logo.. WE'TI'ME