You can exhale now! IT FLOATS - and rides like a charm!!
This experiment has been referred to by many as the "Batboat
" due to its cool bat-wing seating design. The boat is officially named "Kahikolu
" meaning "The Holy Trinity
" in Hawaiian. This alludes to the Hobies ability to pedal, paddle or sail and has other personal meanings to the owner. "Hapa AI
" is term we have begun using here. It describes someone of mixed blood.
Many of you are interested specifically in how the TI Amas were grafted successfully onto this AI, but there is a long list of renegade design tweaks on this craft: BEHOLD
! 2008 "HAPA AI" Modifications:
Aka endcap extensions to properly match the TI fittings
Custom Aka load balancing struts to distribute increased up/down and lateral forces introduced by the TI's larger Amas. Functions as a reinforcing bar and shock absorber, of sorts.
(See Matt, we do listen sometimes!)
Double bungie attachments for the heavier Amas
Custom 2 piece wave deflector system with removable and upgradable stabilizers
Shock absorbing bow/anchor line
Custom "Haka" bench seating modeled after those found on Hawaiian outriggers (and picnic tables)
A 2nd generation custom "Batwing" rear seating platform, for more comfortable and efficient sailing/fishing
Sleek aluminum track system for mounting rod holders, cameras and any other gear.
A sidemounted fishfinder and deckmounted compass
2 waterproof cameras (one is a fuji finepix XP10 5mpix with 5x zoom and 720P HD video
A movable, detachable, expandable fishpole camera mount
An articulating camera mount with 6' range, 360 deg rotation and manual pan control... (more details later)
Extended tiller arm for use while hiking out on the various seating positions.
A modified anchor trolly
Modified, (strengthened and hand removable ) rudder pins
Hawaiian style "Lei Hulu" tell tale atop the mast
Numerous other thoughtful bat-touches, like modified drain plugs and padeye fittings
So who is "batman"? Like all super dudes, he likes his anonymity. All I can say is he's a retired tinkerer who is part captain, part structural engineer, part metallurgist and part mad-scientist.
His intent? To take the AI to the next level. To create a more flexible and seaworthy Hobie AI for sailing, fishing and ferrying passengers in our challenging Hawaiian waters. Maybe even the ultimate AI for these waters.
The boat is posed fully dressed here, but think of these as "modular" enhancements. You can go in full fishing mode, or full photography mode, etc, but rarely all at the same time. Our first tests were performed "fully rigged" on the water, just to see how things would work out.
So how does she sail?
Initial float tests took place in light to moderate conditions, by Hawaiian standards (8-12 kt wind and swells around 1 meter). After the owner finished his test sail, I was allowed to spend an hour or so on her, piloting through flat water, narrow channels, surf zones and the open blue waters off Waikiki. Next episode: Test driving the "HAPA" off Waikiki.