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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 7:50 pm 
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I'm hoping someone with experience with the V brace socket screw repair can give some advice. I had the dreaded tacking "Clunk" noise the last few sails of the summer. I was sailing a few weeks back and all of a sudden the mast receiver plate failed, causing the mast to end up in the drink (breaking the mast as well). Well, thanks to Hobie I've got a new mast and new, reinforced front aka crossbar. I went ahead and ordered a new V brace socket screw that I would like to replace with the other repairs.

Image

I'm wondering if anyone has advice on sequence for the replacemnt of these parts and any info on torque specs for the socket screw, turnbuckles, and crossbar clamp bolts. Should I consider adding a little electrical taape below the crossbar clamps to help prevent side to side movement of the crossbar? I'm also wondering about the construction of the two white plugs under the socket screw below the hull. One of the plugs is recessed about an 1/8 inch while the other one is flush with the hull. Is there anything I need to be aware of when replacing the socket screw to keep things water-tight?

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:09 pm 
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That is a bummer.

I have the tack clunk problem also. I have disassembled and replaced the mast receiver and the block. The part I have not replaced is the front brace. The bad news is that the front brace still moves during tacks. I am afraid I am going to suffer the same fate AT some point.

I do not know the torque specs but, like I said I have taken all that apart and put back together several times.

Let me know and I will try to answer any questions. I think I have pictures I will try to find and post them here.

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I'd rather be sailing,
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Great. Thanks a lot. I'm going to try and get started on the disassembly sometime this week. I'm sure it will give me a better idea on how everything goes together. I'll try to post picturs of the process (and questions also I'm sure) as I go.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:21 pm 
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Location: Texas
Ok. I will go find the pics.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:13 am 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Travt,
Bad luck about the damage but the good news is it's a simple fix. :)
You don't do anything from under the hull so leave those white plugs alone. They are only there to protect the threads used during rotomolding to secure the molded in brass fittings and have nothing to do with water tightness.
Replace the crossbar first and tighten the 4 screws securely . Use of Loctite is advised. I queried Matt a while back about torque specs and he replied they don't have any just get them tight. I didn't bother with any packing tape.
The socket screw is replaced from inside the front hatch. Screw it all the way down until tight in the molded in brass fitting. It is really only a post for securing the v-brace assembly by pulling it down over the molded bumps in the hull bottom. The locknut is what tightens the v-brace base so screw the locknut down securely. For security I added a second locknut much like sEs did. Check his excellent how to post here: viewtopic.php?f=75&t=36284&start=15


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:48 am 
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Stringy, Great info and those pics are similar to what I have.
I like the idea of a second nut on there.

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I'd rather be sailing,
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:22 am 
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Location: Texas
Here are some pics.

I replaced the block and filled it with a compound to make it more solid. I was hoping that would stop the front brace from sliding back and forth.

This did not solve the problem either. With a new mast receiver, new block and everything tightened the brace will slide during tacks.

The real problem here, IMO, is a bad design. The only thing keeping that brace from sliding is 2 bolts through the brace to the mast receiver. If any of the parts start to wear, which in my case the holes in the brace, can contribute to the slippage. The clamps hold the brace but do not stop it from sliding. I might add some rubber gaskets to help stop it from sliding.

I probably need a new front brace.

Short term, I am going to try to putting some clamps around the brace near the block to keep the brace from sliding.

At first I thought I could solve this problem via stuff underneath.
Image
P1040712 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Mast receiver removed. Note there is a rubber gasket underneath the plate.

Image
P1040708 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

The old one did show some wear and potentially was a possible reason for the brace sliding.

Image
P1040698 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Image
P1040694 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Image
P1040696 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Image
P1040690 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Filled the block with a rubbery compound.
Image
P1040718 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Image
P1040726 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

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I'd rather be sailing,
Mark.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:32 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Great pics there Mark. 8)

Travt,
I should clarify the under hull white buttons in the brass threads are there to streamline the hull more than protect the redundant threads. On my first AI one fell out, exposing the brass thread which is only on one side of the brass molded-in fitting, so leaks aren't possible. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Travt:
Marks pictures are very telling of what appears to be the biggest feature to watch closely. The 3/4 x 1 inch rectangular block cannot be allowed to have any side play.
I also broke the weld on my front AKA cross bar and had to replace the cross bar. I had one of the very earlier TI's and the weld itself was defective, which I noted to the dealer when I purchased the boat, it lasted about a year before needing to be replaced. The first year I had the boat I had a big problem with the cross bar clunking back and forth no matter how I tightened all the nuts and bolts on the assembly. The 1/4" holes in the rectangular aluminum block were clearly oval from the side to side motion. Once the holes were worn oval, it didn't seem to matter how tight you tightened the screws, it would still slide.
Since replacing the rectangular block, and the front AKA cross bar all my problems have gone away. Just to make sure the problem wouldn't occur again, once everything was all tightened down I pumped bondo body putty into the rectangle block surrounding the screws inside the block to prevent any movement (probably not neccessary).

I don't know if I assembled my system the correct way but it seems to work. What I did was install the mast reciever, secured all the bolts to the deck, then I lowered down the V brace by adjusting the long bolts until it was over the stud, I then tightened the nut (on the hull bottom) securing the bottom of the V-brace to the base of the hull ( I also put on double nuts). I then placed the 3/4 x 1 inch spacer in and adjusted the V-braces to get the hole alignment and distance very close to the center and the correct height for the two screws in the rectangular block to line up correctly. I then put in the two screws holding the rectangular block down. I used liberal amounts of locktite blue on all the screws and nuts where ever possible. I would guess I have 500 to 600 miles on the boat since the repairs with no issues. I keep a close eye on all adjustments double check everything everytime I go out.
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:08 am 
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Thanks Stringy.

What fusioneng says it spot on.

I was hopeful that the side play in the block was the ONLY problem and perhaps it was but, I think what has happened is the side play then caused the brace bolt holes to wear. Even with a new block, new mast receiver, the brace is sliding as much as before the repairs. I have a few ideas to try to stop the sliding maybe I just buy a new front brace?

Maybe Hobie would give me a price break on it?

Here are some pics of the original block and the play it had.

Image
P1020849 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Image
P1020839 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

Image
P1020835-2 by PhotoByMark, on Flickr

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I'd rather be sailing,
Mark.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:56 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
travt:
One more point, On the older boats The harken cleats on the front AKA cross bar are mounted with one cleat on each side of the right outer AKA cross bar hold down clamp. This is the preferred position of these cleats (I have noticed some users have moved the reefing cleat closer to the mast to get a better pull angle when reefing the sail). I don't advise doing this. Placing the Harken cleats very close to the right side brace limits the maximum side to side motion possible for the AKA cross bar (the cleats run into the right side hold down brace and prevent the cross bar from moving more than a 1/4 inch or so). You can also put electrical wire pull ties around the cross bar to further limit the side to side movement, though probably not neccessary for most people, as in Marks situation he has already fixed everything else, and still has side to side motion, hopefully adding the electrical pull ties would help his situation ( Two small blobs of marine epoxy between the Harken cleat and right side brace would probably also work fine).
One other thing I did when I installed my mast reciever is I filled the area between the mast reciever and the huge hole in the deck with silicone before tightening everything down (hoping this would help water seal plus limit any side play between the hull and the mast reciever. When removing the mast reciever (during the repair) I had noticed some scuffing on the plastic hull from side to side motion of the mast reciever against the hull even though the screws were tight and checked regularly, the silicone fixed that potential problem.
Hope all this helps you.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:24 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for such great info. It is very helpful to hear from others who have already gone through these repairs. They did send me a new rectangular block as well. Maybe the holes in this have a tighter tolerance to limit crossbar movement(?). It will be a few more days until I can get the repairs going. Fusioneng; thanks for the sequence you used in your repair, that is helpful. I assume that I will have to loosen the v-brace turnbuckle to compress it enough to replace the socket screw at the bottom of the hull. I am also assuming that the v-brace is tightened back up by "expanding" it vertically. How tight should the v-brace be when re-adjusting the turnbuckles? My boat is an older model with the harken blocks on either side of the crossbar clamp. I had thought about moving them both inboard but I guess I will not do that now. Winter is setting in quickly in western NC so I probably won't be able to test out the repair until mid December when I will be in sunny Florida for a couple of weeks. It would be great to get out for a sail with you FL guys while I'm down there if you're available. I'll be staying in the West Palm Beach area but wouldn't mind traveling when down there.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:14 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
travt:
You might be able to get the stud out by putting double nuts on the old stud to remove it. Then use double nuts to screw the new one in (without having to remove the mast reciever or the V braces.
As I described before, the last screws to go in are the two screws that hold the 3/4 x 1 rectangular block. What you do is assemble everything else and tighten all the screws and bolts, including the nut on the bottom of the hull ( I suggest putting a double nut on that and locktite blue. (remember there is no need to remove the white plugs on the outside hull bottom (they are not related to this repair, as Stringy suggests).
You then adjust the V bars up until the spacing for the rectangular block is close to the final location both vertically and side to side ( On mine I couldn't get it all the way up vertically until I tightened the two screws through the rectangular block, so just close should be fine). I then put in the two screws through the rectangular block (with locktite), and tighten them up very tight (don't break them though). Remember some of the V brace screws are left hand threads.
I'm not sure this is the correct way, but it seemed to work for me. Hobie is pretty darn good about instructions on this kind of stuff, and have likely posted something previously ( Matt ? ). If you are unsure, and your dealer is close, you can just have them do the work. In my experience all the Hobie dealers I have worked with are real experts on all aspects of these types of repairs, and should be your first recourse, especially if this is a warranty repair.

One other suggestion is to measure the length of the V brace bars before starting (and write it down), just so you have an idea where to end up (assuming they were in the factory position when you start), (wish I had done that)

Good luck
Bob


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:45 pm 
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Thanks to everyone for the info and pointers. I got the new V-brace screw and crossbar on today. Turned out to be fairly straight forward. I used blue loctite on all screw threads. For the bottom v-brace screw I also used a lockwasher and a second nut in addition to the original nylock nut. That should't loosen up anytime soon :lol: . The original screw was bent so I'm glad I went ahead and replaced it. I noticed the original stuck to a magnetic dish I was using to hold parts. Does this mean it wasn't stainless steel? I also used marine goop on the mast reciever plate that screws to the top of the hull as I think Fusioneng had done. A bit messy but will help make sure this area is watertight. I also used a few dabs of marine goop below and on top of the rectangular block to try to help hold things in place and to attemtp to keep it quiet if it still has a bit of movement when tacking. It seems like this block should be machined from a solid block of aluminum and the plate that it bolts to should be aluminum as well (?). I also went ahead and did about three wraps of electrical tape around the outside crossbar clamps. I do think this will help add some pressure to the crossbar and help keep things tight. These clamps were bottomed out before and they really aren't as substantail as I thought they'd be. I wasn't really sure how tight to make the V-brace. I ended up adjusting back to about the same legth it was from the factory. I did notice before taking it apart that the two sides were adjusted to slightly different lengths originally.

A couple of things I noted:
-On the V-brace the bottom lock nuts are conventional threads and the top are reverse threaded.
-The new harken cleats are a bit thicker than the older ones. I went to put on the cant plate for the furling cleat and the longer 8-32x1.25" that I had used before is not long enough now. It looks like it is now going to take a 1.5" screw. I put the old cleat on until I can get some longer ss hardware.

The mast reciever in the new crossbar is welded front and back:
Image

I've got more pictures of the process if anyone is interested. Now I have to get the new mast assembled and get the sail on it...


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