I am a new Hobie i14T (2011) owner. I have had the kayak out on the water a few times and have enjoyed it very much. However, there is a problem with the steering control. The control is very firm, but sometimes becomes extremely tight (especially turning to the right), eventually requiring two hands to move the lever. I'm not the strongest guy around, but I know it should not be this difficult.
I tried lubricating the ends of the lines with dry silicone without success. It was suggested that I might allow a small amount of slack into the lines at the rudder end by adjusting the amount of line wrapped around the rudder screws. However, the length of the rudder lines barely allows for them to wrap once around the screws. They are tight and the tension cannot be loosened at all.
I spoke with my dealer (halfway across the country) and with Hobie representatives. They suggested that since the kayak is under warranty, I can send it in to be adjusted or repaired. I tried contacting a couple of local Hobie dealers, but none are currently available to check it out for me. I thought that before parting with the kayak for a few weeks, I might try changing the Spectra rudder lines . The Hobie rep I spoke with was kind enough to send a length of Spectra line for that purpose.
Searching the forums, user manuals and other web sites, no specific instructions for replacing the lines on a Hobie inflatable seem to be available. I was hoping someone who has performed the line replacement on a Hobie inflatable would clarify the procedure.
It appears the only way to accomplish the task is to tie the new lines to the ends of the original lines and pull them through to the opposite end. Would it be best to tie the new lines to the controller end or to the rudder end before pulling them through? I would also like to confirm that a knot will slide into and through the tubes. Is there a particular type of knot that would work best?
I would gratefully appreciate your suggestions.