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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 7:34 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
I (and I believe many others) have been perfectly happy with the twist and stow rudder on my 2009 AI. The new rudder looks like it's going to be unwieldy when transporting and storing the boat. I also like being able to roll the hull over after a sail to drain the mast well and that won't be possible any more.

While something clearly had to be done about the TI's rudder problems, I wonder if it was a good idea to put the new design on the AI as well. It seems like a bit of a backward step.

Chris - I can't say that I ever had a problem with my 09 AI in the 2 yrs I had it either. :roll: That is certainly not the case with my new '11 model and the current "temporary fix" is most unsatisfactory.
The latest prototype certainly looks rather unwieldy. So in relation to the AI I am inclined to agree with you. :wink:
I think we all gave them a thorough "road test" and they performed admirably. :?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:10 pm 
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If you have not broken an AI rudder pin, great. But, many people have, and it inhibits where and how they sail their boat. You don't have to break a pin often to become a bit gun shy. See http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=34077

I often sail solo. That is one reason why I have an AI with no intention of purchasing a TI. My AI is a 2007, and I have gone through the various upgrades and changes to the steering system. Stll, I have thought, the one upgrade that might encourage me to get a new AI is a reliable, robust rudder. Of course, it would be very nice to (1) have a new tiller and (2) add a wave deflector to discourage diving. Then, Hobie would be approaching the "perfect AI" in my mind.

I, for one, am looking forward to an AI with a reliable, robust rudder.

Keith

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:18 pm 
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Looking forward to this coming out for the TI.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:25 pm 
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TxYackMan wrote:
Looking forward to this coming out for the TI.

Hear hear 8) :wink:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Whatever the design of the rudder, the pin is always going to have to be the weakest point. Hobie's only problem with pins is producing one that is weak enough to break before the rest of the rudder/transom assembly, but strong enough not to break spontaneously.

Why would the latest design be any less likely to result in broken rudder pins?

I may be wrong here, but I have a theory that many of the "spontaneous" rudder pin breakages are a result of trying to force the rudder to steer the boat when it is being overpowered by the wind, instead of de-powering the sail. If that's the case, a bigger rudder blade is only likely to make matters worse.

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Last edited by chrisj on Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:59 pm 
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Looks to me like a single bolt will remove the rudder blade for stowage. If so, thats fine by me. Personally, I like the look of this updated design, most specifically because it looks somewhat idiot-proof (with respect to setting it up to work properly, which I reckon is the biggest issue with the current design).

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:17 pm 
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Chris--apparently, the new pins on the TI are not breaking.

If you can redesign something to eliminate a problem, why not do it? If Hobie must redesign the transom and the rudder, to solve a problem incurred by users, I think it should be done.

If you never sail in winds over 10-12 knots, you may never break a pin. If you sail your AI in "challenging" conditions, it is inevitable that you will break a pin. If, as on my last trip, you break 2 pins (grey ones) in 5 minutes--the second one before I had even begun to get up to speed--that is not operator error. That is a design/production error. If Hobie can correct that, it should be done.

I applaud them for making a real design correction to the steering system to save their users some grief.

Keith

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:30 pm 
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It's easy to avoid pin breakages - just use a steel or brass pin. The question is what happens when the rudder encounters an extreme force. Stringy broke the rudder housing on his TI while using a Hobie rudder pin. I don't know if he feels the pin should have broken first in the circumstances in which this occurred (washed backwards onto a sandbar).

I've sailed many times in 20-30 knot winds and I'm still on my first pin. I'm not suggesting that's due to any skill on my part - I probably lucked out with the pin that came with my boat. Maybe the problem lies with producing consistent quality pins, rather than with the up-down mechanism of the rudder.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2011 11:13 pm 
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Chris
I think the problem with rudder pin breaks has a lot to do with sea conditions more so than wind strength, the pins I know of that have broken have happened while sailing to windward in choppy conditions. The boat slightly jumping sideways and or waves hitting the boat side on are the ones that do the damage I think. The rudder is providing considerable lateral resistence and the rudder pin is the designed weakest point. I would like to hear more details about pin breakages to test my theory. Chris I never overpower my boat, why would you when reefing is so easy?

I applaud Hobie for addressing the issue and will watch the testing with interest.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:34 am 
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I concur Dave. For me it nothing dramatic, just beating on a steady course with 15knot trades with just the wrong combination of bow and side swell. (Well actually, it got pretty dramatic after that!)

A few lucky souls may never have one snap. It does not change the fact that it "could" happen at any time. I think this is what unnerves AI owners after they experience one or more failures.

(BTW, if your rudder pin has never broken after years of hard sailing - replace it immediately! :shock: )

If the twist and shouts were really better for sailing crafts, they would be deployed on the larger Hobies... the arrival of the TI finally proved it was time for a new design.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:48 am 
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NOHUHU wrote:
(BTW, if your rudder pin has never broken after years of hard sailing - replace it immediately! :shock: )

I'm in two minds on that one NOHUHU.
On the one hand, my pin is over two years (and many miles) old, so it may be gradually fatiguing and ready to fail at any moment.
On the other hand, it looks as good as new and has proven itself. Should I swap it for an unproven pin that might snap after five minutes use, as Keith experienced?
I dunno :? :? :?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:00 am 
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I’m surprised that there haven’t been any comments on the similarities of this Hobie rudder, to the SmartTrack rudder that’s been around for about 10 years now. I once had one of these on a sea kayak I owned and it did work great. But, I often managed to whack the rudder into to things when car-topping and when carrying it around.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:39 am 
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The SmartTrac has not been mentioned, but it has been shown in a couple pictures. I think the new Hobie AI/TI rudder is closer to my Klepper:
Image

Of course, the new Hobie rudder will win on style points, but the Klepper will win on simplicity and durability, having been around almost exactly 100 yrs. Simplicity and durability--that is the key to a good rudder.

Here are a couple more pictures of rudders I have posted elsewhere when suggesting possibilities for replacing the T-n-Stow rudder.
Image

Image

Considering some of the comments here, I hope Hobie designs the new rudder to have 3 positions: up, down, and horizontal. The horizontal is not critical, but might make it easier to transport.

Keith

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:25 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
Stringy broke the rudder housing on his TI while using a Hobie rudder pin. I don't know if he feels the pin should have broken first in the circumstances in which this occurred (washed backwards onto a sandbar).


I did feel that the pin should have broken first Chris but I guess hitting something going backwards is rare. The opposite forces are involved and it's probably too much to ask of a design to work both ways. I had also complicated the issue by adding the cam cleat.
When the dealer saw the damage it wasn't a first for him. He had seen similar radial cracking on an AI that had also hit something going backwards. Interestingly, he didn't think that the cleat contributed in any way either.
It was a shame this happened as I had been very happy with the way the cleat worked in holding down the rudder. As I can't be sure if it was a factor I haven't added it to the new housing though. :?
I tend to agree with you. The AI pin issue was due mainly to a bad batch of pins and operator error in not depowering when necessary.
The TI rudder issue is different. The larger rudder needs more holding down force. I liked the twist-n-stow rudder and would have prefered to see it improved with a better lockdown. I guess though this wasn't easily done within the original design? :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Depower! Depower! When to depower?

I think it is a tough call. Someone's trash is another person's treasure.

Someone may depower at 12 knots, others at 18 knots, still others never. Everyone wants to sail as fast as possible on a particular boat--that is the fun of it for most people, and it may be in challenging conditions.

I think a boat ought to handle conditions which make sailing fun without losing steering. If you (Hobie) have to design a new rudder and rudder housing, and re-enforce the transom, then that should be done. If that adds a hundred bucks to the price, I would pay it for peace of mind (and to go wherever I want.) It is rare for other parts of the boat to break. Let Hobie fix the weak link.

I applaud Hobie for coming up with a design to solve the rudder/steering problem. Let's call it a robust, functional design.

Keith

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