Okay, maybe sank is a bit of an exaggeration, but it was on its way. Before I could make it to dry land, both cockpits were under water, with the back being several inches below water. When I beached and opened the hatch, I noticed the hull was probably 90% full of water.
I had just hopped in the rear cockpit (riding solo) with probably 30 pounds of gear in the back (I'm 190) and within seconds water started coming into my seat. I thought to myself that I'm surprised that small amount of additional weight in the back would cause the boat to ride this low. As it began to get lower (I'm still thinking the boat is just settling in) I decided to climb into the front cockpit to distribute the weight more evenly. As I'm doing this I turn around and notice the entire back end under water, with the front cockpit now barely above water. It then began to dawn on me that I'm sinking! I had not started paddling but the current and wind was quickly moving me offshore (the sail was reefed). I was about 300 feet offshore when I picked the paddle up and began feverishly paddling back to a small island about 100 feet from me. I made it to this small beach, which was actually a Mangrove island with only a small beach at low tide. This small beach was quickly eroding as high tide was coming in. I started to assess the situation and wondered how the boat could possibly fill that quickly. I checked the drain plug, which was beneath the water (there was no way I was pulling the boat all the way out of the water with the hull full of water), to find that it appeared to be intact. I began disassembling everything and pulling off my gear so I could roll the boat to empty the water. The drain plug wasn't an option since it was under water and it probably would have taken over an hour for this amount of water to drain out. After getting the boat on its side and examining it I could not figure out where the water came in. Then after a couple of minutes the horror became apparent, I noticed the scupper holes were torn inside! I'll get back to that in a minute. So, I was losing beach fast as the tide was coming in. I still had about 200 feet of water to cross to get back to the shore. Fortunately, I had packed scupper plugs. I stuck them in the scupper holes in the bottom of the boat which worked very well and kept the water out of my hull on the way back to shore.
So what happened? I can only deduce what happened given the nature of the tear and the events leading up to the damage. Obviously, I would not have proceeded out into the water had I'd known the condition of the hull.
So I'm rolling the fully rigged TI into the water with my Hobie heavy duty cart. The plan is to float the boat and pull the wheels out as I normally do. However, I run into some muck and the wheels get stuck. So I decide I will just lift the boat up, and have a friend reach under and pull the wheels out once the post clear the scupper holes. Then I can drag the boat the rest of the way into the water. Well as you probably know, this is a very heavy boat. When I lift it I run out of strength, don't quite clear the scupper holes, and am forced to set the boat back down. I'm pretty sure this is when it happened. Instead of the cart post going back through the top of the scupper holes, the stars aligned (in a bad way) and the cart post went straight through the hull inside the scupper holes and ripped up through the top as the weight of the boat came down. Not realizing this, my friend and I then rolled the boat on its side enough to pull the cart out. The rest is history.
Here are a couple of pictures of the tears. These are the scupper holes just forward of the back seat. Both the left and right scupper holes have very similar tears.
My dealer says this damage is not repairable. They will be talking to Hobie to see what my options are...if I have any options. In the mean time, let this be a lesson learned to all - Do not ever try to lift you boat off of your cart, because if you do not clear the post and set your boat back down, you see what can happen.