(The pictures are at Picasa, album name is Hobie21SC.)
Well, I finally changed the springs...
No, it was not easy because I did not want to have another hatch on the deck, and I hated every minute (and there were many minutes) of it.
So, when a week later the other set of springs failed (jamming the centerboard in the process) I wondered: "Do we need springs at all?"
When do we need the centerboards down AND springs at the same time? Beaching the boat while going to windward? Not a very likely scenario, and in any case one crewmember can hold one board down until it touches the sand.
So I got rid of the springs and drilled a hole through the deck, angled so that the line that replaces the springs goes through it to a clamcleat. It works really well, and replacing the line is easy.
The one thing that I would have done differently is place the clamcleat further back, so that the angle is better.
Another mod concerns the mast bob. One week after I put the mast up the bob, and the boat around it, was covered with seagull poop.
(OK, some of you, Forumites of excellent taste, may be thinking that anybody who has a bob painted like Shamu, San Diego's Killer Whale, deserves all the palmiped excrement he can get.
You are right, of course, but the fact is that I had no choice. When I took delivery of the boat my girlfriend went: "Oh, this is cute". Her girlfriend went: "It's aDOHrable!" And the girlfriend's kids screamed in unison: "Look, mommy! It's SHAMU!"
General Custer had more of a chance than I did. So, since I couldn't kill the whale, I had to save it.)
I drilled three little holes, screwed in self-tapping screws, and strung stainless steel wire from them to the tail. (Sort of like the antennas in old propeller airplanes.) I haven't had a problem since then.
Finally, I have seen what sunlight does to EPO rudders, and also Hobie recommends protecting the comptip. (How do you protect the comptip, short of dropping the mast after every sail and using a cover?)
So I sanded and painted the rudders and comptip. I used Rust-oleum Appliance Epoxy. It is very forgiving, very hard, and not too shiny.
The only problem with doing this is that once they are white and shiny, you see that the shape of the EPOs is not exactly... fair.
Practice makes perfect, so be careful what you practice...