Thanks for the thumbs up Slaughter and I will give my thoughts on the new rig asap. The minor upgrades quite impress me now I have had a good look at them. The new aka connections are far more user friendly, the 'tiller' handle is larger and nicer, the alloy anodised alloy finish is nice (though I doubt it will last any longer than the paint), the rudder is yet to be perfected though the pin breakage problem is definitely a thing of the past, and all the other great things about the AI are still there.
I cannot see how the boat would sit lower in the water. The aka bars are the same size & angle, the hull & amas are the same weight & size as the 2009 so I cannot see how the cosmetic differences can change the boat's flotation characteristics. I do imagine the new carry handles will direct water into the cockpit but we will get around that.
Just one more thing about Alpine Country Sale, my Hobie dealer. After picking up the boat yesterday I mentioned I like using my mp3 player whilst sailing and Ritchie presented me with a free portable speaker kit to be used with an iPod. Now that is a generous touch they didn't have to do. Also gave me a $30 sun hat and genuine Hobie dry bag that no-longer comes with the boat to make me even happier.
Anyway after walking the dog, and some paperwork that must be done, I might get down to the water to christen my new baby today if the weather holds out, possibly to be known as 'Pirates Island', unless someone can come up with something better...Pirate