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 Post subject: My Tandem Island Sank
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 7:54 am 
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Location: South Florida (Coral Springs)
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.

Image
Image

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.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:43 am 
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Location: South Florida
Flaneur, sorry for your bad luck, bad karma, or whatever.

I don't see why that can't be repaired--better than being forced to buy a new hull. Couldn't those scupper holes be filled with an appropriate goop (hot plastic or something), then drilled out. You probably would not be able to use your cart again, but they would be scupper holes.

Keith

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:26 am 
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Location: Charlotte, NC
Bad Luck, but great recovery and quick thinking. Agree with Chekika should be very repairable. Thermo Plastic welding is one method and should done on both sides of the tear.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:46 pm 
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This area might have been thin. Check what thickness Hobie build the boats at (average) as they will test thicknesses with a gizmo (seen this done in a kayak manufacturing facility) and then check the thickness at the tear.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:27 pm 
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Location: Palm City, Florida
WOW, is that ever an eye opener! Very sorry to hear about your boat. I'm sure you can have it repaired and it will be better than before.

It's not your fault. Given the weight of a TI, and dificulity of removing the beach cart especially when it's under water etc. However your quick thinking (using your scupper plugs in the bottom) may have saved you from something worse, and you should be proud of yourself for keeping a calm head on your shoulders.

I haven't been packing my plugs when I go out, but I'll be sure to do so in the future. Take care!

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Palm City, Florida
2014 Tandem Island


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:41 pm 
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I think we all know that 'sick' feeling that you must have felt flaneur. Sorry to hear about your damage. I can see from your explaination of events exactly how easily it all happened and although I only have an AI, I'm sure the weight of it all loaded up, could cause similar damage. Thanks for the warning. We all hope you are back on the water again soon ( with minimal cost ).

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Location: Florida
Ouch. Sorry to see that happen.

One possible fix. Get a PVC pipe with an inside diameter close to that of the scupper hole tube. Cut it to a length of the scupper tube that would fit inside the hull. Split the PVC pipe in 2 long-wise with a hacksaw or a dremel. The object here is create a splint over the broken scupper tube.

Once you have the PVC splint cut and ready to fit over the scupper tube coat the inside of the PVC splint with 3M Scotchweld. It welds this type of poly plastic. You can use some SS hose clamps over the splint to add even more strength and to hold the assembly while it dries. Gotta work fast because you get about 5 mins before glue starts to set up. So have all your stuff ready and do a trail run without glue to be sure everything fits. You may need to press or cut any jagged plastic that would keep the splint from a smooth fit. The dry run of the splint tightly clamped may do the trick

Fix once completed will still let you use your scupper cart.

People have used this method very successfully on the cracked/broken mirage drive cam columns inside the hull. 3M weld held despite all the flexing and stress giving new life to an otherwise "dead" hull. See Roadrunner's posts & pics

Using the glue would be my choice, as heat welding trends to make poly plastic brittle and the location may make heat welding difficult.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:44 pm 
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Wow, sorry to hear and see that damage. Sounds like with the suggestions presented here that you have some possible fixes and hopefully do not have to buy a new boat. Yak's suggestions sound really good. I will have to keep that in mind should I tear a hole in the scupper holes. Keep us posted on the status.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:13 am 
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Having dragged an AI hull that was at least 1/2 full of saltwater, I can only image what at beast that full TI was.

Out on the open water with a breached hull, you really are at the mercy of the current and waves, and it becomes easy to upend one of these things. When you are lucky enough to make it to shore, you still can't retrieve the boat by yourself. It weighs a quarter ton,..

So glad you kept your wits and pulled of the recovery!

May I ask why you did not use the mirage drive?. It still would have been efficient... Maybe not enough time to put it in place?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:55 am 
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Sorry to hear about your experience, but it sounds like fixes are available. This is good to hear.

I am awaiting our TI to clear customs here in the islands. (hopefully today!) so am reading up on everything I can find about the boat. I have never seen one.

It sounds like it's possible to access the inside of the hull from the outside. Am I reading this right?

we have a lot of coral reefs, uncharted coral heads, etc. here and it's just a matter of time before we bounce off something sharp. How to patch a hull while living in a remote area is a topic of extreme
interest to me.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:11 am 
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Location: South Florida (Coral Springs)
NOHUHU wrote:
May I ask why you did not use the mirage drive?. It still would have been efficient... Maybe not enough time to put it in place?

I was just sitting down in my boat, shoving off beginning to get everything in place. It happened so quickly I just reached for my paddle. Putting the pedals in would have required more time. Even though I was in a shallow channel, I was still fairly close to water that was only 2 feet deep and would have had to remove the drive before beaching. If I was further out, I probably would have tried the mirage drive. I used Google Earth to try to measure some of the distances of where I thought I was, but at the time, I didn't feel like I had to go much more than 100 feet to get to a semi-dry piece of land.

There's some interesting ideas presented here. The PVC splint seems interesting. The only problem with any fix would be that nagging question in the back of my mind when I'm offshore and far from land just wondering if the fix is going to hold. The reason the dealer told me it was not repairable was because of the location and size of the hole. Being that it's inside the scupper holes, they said they couldn't get to it to fix it properly. Also, they said the size of tear is much larger than what they normally weld. I suggested just closing the scupper holes all together by fitting a piece on the top and bottom and welding that into place. However, that presents its own set of issues, although minor to the alternative. Also, with Yakaholic noting that welding can make the plastic brittle, any repair sounds like a band aid that I'm going to constantly worry about coming off at the most inopportune time.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:16 am 
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Hi Flaneur.

We can relate to the challenge of installing and removing the heavy duty cart from the TI while it is in the water. It is a beast to lift the TI. It was only a matter of time before one of us punctured these holes. Sorry you had to be the first.

Brilliant thinking to install the skupper plugs under the hull. You were lucky it leaked so fast. Can you imagine if it leaked slowly... and sailed miles offshore before you noticed it was sinking?

I understand your concern about experimenting with any unproven band aid fixes. When we're sailing off shore, we'd like assurances that any fix will hold strong and keep us afloat.

Please keep us updated with your progress. While you wait for the fix, you're invited to continue sailing with me on my TI here in Palm Beach County.

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2010 Hobie Tandem Island
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:20 am 
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Location: South Florida (Coral Springs)
mkrawats wrote:
Hi Flaneur.
You were lucky it leaked so fast. Can you imagine if it leaked slowly... and sailed miles offshore before you noticed it was sinking?

Mkrawats - Thanks for the Palm Beach sailing offer.
Yes, I've thought many of times that I'm glad the holes were so large that I noticed it right away. Things would have been exponentially worse had it been a slow leak and I was miles from shore when it was noticed.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Location: Hilo, Hawaii
Flanuer,

Sorry to hear about your unfortunate mishap and I’m feeling your pain! Hoping Hobie can come up with a good resolution for you.

Scupper holes and its surrounding area seem to be very vulnerable to breakage. Your recent experience got me thinking that it would be a good preventative measure to somehow reinforce the scupper holes for those owners who uses a cart. Especially for heavier kayaks that has a higher probability of stressing the scuppers to break. Yakaholic’s idea of using tubing and combining it with a mechanical hold from ss clamps looks like a good one. Perhaps using a less intrusive adhesive like Goop would work if you’re just reinforcing the area; but, not as a permanent fix for an already cracked scupper.

Much mahalo’s (thanks) for the share. I’m adding scupper plugs to my ditch bag list.

Aloha,

Cliffs2yak


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:17 pm 
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If it's too hard to reach for the PVC inside patch, you could take one inch outside diameter PVC, paste it with marine goop and shove it into the scupper holes. Once it sets up, coat the edges of the PVC with more goop or the weld product. I think that would hold. You wouldn't be able to use the wheels in them, but they would still drain. If you can reach inside, you might want to use both methods for peace of mind.

Ted


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