Hobie Cat Forums

It is currently Sun Dec 21, 2014 3:24 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:45 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:31 am
Posts: 20
I went out this morning and bought my season launch pass at Burnham Harbor in downtown Chicago. Rigged on the trailer and launched at the car ramp at about 10 am.

No sails allowed until you are out of the harbor so I took a few paddle strokes out from the launch, turned around, and experienced the magic of the Mirage Drive for the first time. WOW - What a triumph of engineering! Wind was from the north so I had a tail wind as I exited the 1/3 mile harbor, keeping pace with the other boat traffic around me. Exited the harbor and turned straight east.

When I came around the break-wall I met winds of about 15 knots with gusts to 20 and a pretty consistent 2-4 foot swell. I took it easy at first with 1/3 of the sail reefed to get my bearings and a feel for the craft. After about 30 minutes tacking, jibing and feeling out the simple 2 line system and trying to keep the dagger board down with my leg. I left the Mirage drive in and used the port side bungee to hold it back. I let out the rest of the main and bombed out about 4 miles east towards the keel boat racing areas past a "Crib" (city water intake fortresses that dot our coast about 3 miles out at regular intervals north and south).

The AI is a blast! Ride was wet and water was cold, but I was wearing a full dry suit and neoprene gloves and a hat. Being so low really gives a sensation of speed, and was a lot of fun for this former keel-boat sailor. Surfing waves downwind was easy and thrilling. The rudder is very effective.

I had to get used to the flight stick as opposed to tiller steering arrangement. For the first hour I kept reversing myself until I got it wired down. I'll need to really keep an eye on it, because one tends to revert to their instincts when in a tense spot or close quarters. I tried to be very deliberate when steering inside the harbor today.

On a reach I was able to keep up with some of 25 footers, but they ate my lunch when trying to point. I was gaining ground on a big Pearson 30 when running downwind and surging in the surf. I think a boom and vang would improve downwind performance. Are there any aftermarket mods or homebrew tricks to simulate a vang?

I really enjoyed sitting basically in the waves and water, even when close-hauled (or as close-hauled as she gets) as the bow would bash through, slap down, or dive into the water ahead. I love it! I think a spray deflector would have decreased my fun, at least today.

I'm impressed that the simple bungee system kept the amas in place, though I could hear and feel play in the whole system, which I suppose is how it is designed to work. The wind was not too strong, but at some points I reefed in a bit because the leeward ama would bury when I got a gust and big wave combination. Later I kept the whole sail out and tried to round up just a bit too high when pointing to take the bigger sets head on, and then back off and accelerate forward again.

After 5 hours of fun I decided to call it a day. After heading back to the harbor entrance I reefed and pedaled my way against the wind back to the ramp. I was able to cruise with little effort at about 2/3 the speed of the big boats pulling in. I got a lot of questions and thumbs up from multiple keel-boats that motored past me in the harbor. One guy on a 36' Jeanneau said that it looked to him like I was "having more fun than him and his crew, for a couple hundred thousand less". He couldn't have put it better. Another captain joked and asked about how he was supposed to treat my craft with respect to right of way - "are you a sailboat, kayak, or ????" As I churned the Mirage Drive I told him that I felt like I should be considered motorized or "making way under-power" (though that is probably and definitively, technically incorrect).

I'm hooked on my new AI and will probably go out again tomorrow. I'm only about 15 minutes from the big lake and I have the boat ready to go on a trailer in my garage. It is almost as quick from home to under sail as when I had a Cal 25 on a mooring can in Monroe harbor, what with waiting for the harbor tender service (mandatory in Monroe harbor) and spending 10 minutes killing spiders once climbing on the boat.

I can't wait to learn more about this awesome little craft, get advice and hear other stories from the group. Lake Michigan should give me a chance to put the AI through its paces in every sort of condition short of a tidal race. Advice about its limits and weak points would be highly appreciated before I break an aka. I do always go out prepared to survive in the event my boat sinks or I am tossed out. (Dry suit, pfd, marine radio, flares, signal mirror, cliff bars - and maybe an EPIRB someday if I try to cross the lake in this thing!) I thought of using a surfski tether to connect myself to the front brace but decided against it even though I carry a river knife on my pfd. Any thoughts on tying in?

I'd love to hear ideas about vang-esque solutions. Telling me not to worry about the bungee aka ama connections would be great if you are being honest and speak from experience in big water. Lastly, I think that larger amas may be really beneficial, though from just one outing it is probably hard to tell how that might apply to any conditions besides what I was out in today. I saw some pics of an AI with TI amas while lurking, although I sense that sort of setup is not kosher (or readily available) as of yet.........

Thanks for reading,

Motti Pikelny in Chicago


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:20 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1625
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Hi Motti. What a trip report !

A couple of points. Firstly you mentioned the dagger popping up and I wondered if you have the bungee threaded through the eyelet before attaching it to the lug on the hull rail. I have this white plastic hook on the bungee like this .......

Image

...........which simply hooks onto the eyelet in the hull holding it down.

As far as breaking Akas goes, I'm pretty sure it has never been done except for in the Miami to Montreal trip, but that was in a storm with the land as a contact point.

As far as tethering or leashing yourself to the AI, there are a few threads and discussion on it. I use a spiral wound heavy surfboard leash connected around the Aka behind the seat and around my upper arm. Just remember if you get separated from the AI, unless you 2 have a very close relationship, it apparently doesn't wait around for you and sails off to it's new owner a lot faster without the baggage.

Hope this helps and looking forward to discussing trips and issues with you in the future.

_________________
Image

Don't take life too seriously................it ain't permanent.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:50 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:37 pm
Posts: 52
Hey Motti123,
Great sail report! Boom and vang are problematic, due to the furling system (which is a great design in itself). Poking around the forums, you will find several variations of whisker poles, barber haulers, jibs and spinnakers. Many great ideas on how to tweak.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:15 am 
Offline
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Sun May 22, 2011 3:15 pm
Posts: 175
Location: Camas, WA
I posted a simple combo Whisker Pole/Tiller Extension a few days ago. Yesterday I got to try it out as a Whisker Pole and it seemed to work quite well. I moved downwind much better than in the past. I twisted the hook around the mainsheet about 6' from the clew and held it out while in the aft seat. It would work better if it were a couple of feet longer.

Didn't have enough wind to hike out and try it out as a Tiller Extension but I'm confident that it's going to do well.

_________________
It's a good Life, Let's sail!

iHop

Dune TI - 6/4/2011
Camas, WA


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:26 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:31 am
Posts: 20
Do you mean the eyelet that has a rope attaching the dagger-board foam plug? I didn't get that white plastic hook when I bought the AI last week - is that a standard part? I put a little more tension on the bungee before attaching it to the lug with another bungee pulling sideways as a leash and it seemed to stay down a bit better, but not good by any means.

I used a big Velcro Huki surfski leash to attach my leg to the rear center receiver bar as I couldn't get a arm or shoulder mount to fit comfortably.

Another great day out on the water. I think I can shave 10 minutes off my setup time if I pickup the AI cradles for my trailer. Are they worth the $$?

Thanks,

Motti

Slaughter wrote:
Hi Motti. What a trip report !

A couple of points. Firstly you mentioned the dagger popping up and I wondered if you have the bungee threaded through the eyelet before attaching it to the lug on the hull rail. I have this white plastic hook on the bungee like this .......

Image

...........which simply hooks onto the eyelet in the hull holding it down.

As far as breaking Akas goes, I'm pretty sure it has never been done except for in the Miami to Montreal trip, but that was in a storm with the land as a contact point.

As far as tethering or leashing yourself to the AI, there are a few threads and discussion on it. I use a spiral wound heavy surfboard leash connected around the Aka behind the seat and around my upper arm. Just remember if you get separated from the AI, unless you 2 have a very close relationship, it apparently doesn't wait around for you and sails off to it's new owner a lot faster without the baggage.

Hope this helps and looking forward to discussing trips and issues with you in the future.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:09 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 2105
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Motti,
Great trip report. 8)
The white clip is Slaughters solution for holding the DB.
It sounds like you are not threading the DB bungee through the eyelet as seen in this post
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=35009&p=141332


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:48 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:31 am
Posts: 20
Thanks for forwarding this thread to me. It looks like my 2011 is one that doesn't have the dagger bungee eyelet as show in Matt Miller's post in the thread. I was just attaching the dagger bungee to an empty fitting (t-shape) up to the right on the rail. Is this something my dealer should have and/or have known about? I just bought the boat last week.

Thanks,

Motti



stringy wrote:
Motti,
Great trip report. 8)
The white clip is Slaughters solution for holding the DB.
It sounds like you are not threading the DB bungee through the eyelet as seen in this post
viewtopic.php?f=75&t=35009&p=141332


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:56 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 2105
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Motti,
Just checking your terminology is right.
The DB padeye is the fitting that the DB plug is clipped to. I'd be surprised if you didn't have this fitted. The DB bungee needs to be threaded through this padeye and then up to the post (which is probably what is missing?).
Image
You can add extra bungee and clip to the paddle cleat (your T fitting) but you must thread it through the padeye first to keep the DB locked down. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:17 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 10:31 am
Posts: 20
Correct - the DB padeye is there but the post is missing. I wasn't going through the padeye because it seemed a tight fit, so not intuitive for the bungee. If I go through that padeye, and then can take it up to the paddle cleat is it really necessary to drill another hole and install the missing post to get the DB functioning properly? I'm a bit wary of adding another piece that sticks out into the seating area that threatens to snag / tear my drysuit.

Thanks,

Motti



stringy wrote:
Motti,
Just checking your terminology is right.
The DB padeye is the fitting that the DB plug is clipped to. I'd be surprised if you didn't have this fitted. The DB bungee needs to be threaded through this padeye and then up to the post (which is probably what is missing?).
Image
You can add extra bungee and clip to the paddle cleat (your T fitting) but you must thread it through the padeye first to keep the DB locked down. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:12 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2243
Location: Maui, Hawaii
As long as the bungee is through it's padeye and is under a little tension it should work fine.

_________________
Image
http://KayakingBob.com - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:00 pm 
Offline
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 5:06 am
Posts: 1625
Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
The white clip I have isn't ideal as it has a little too much length so the tension on the bungee isn't as tight as it should be. But it still works OK and I find a hook allows for quicker removal and assembly.

Just have a think about attaching yourself to the AI via a leg rope around your foot. If you go overboard in a 20 knot plus wind, you'd get dragged backwards and would it all pull up before you take on a substantial amout of water up the nose? Personally I think the upper arm is safer and doesn't hinder any movement. What do others think ?

_________________
Image

Don't take life too seriously................it ain't permanent.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group