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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:05 am 
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I am an avid kayaker and sailor. I have not owned a sailboat in a few years and now I am trying to figure out which way to go to trade up my existing liquid logic kayak to a hobie so that I will have the sailing feature. I tried out the Adventure island tandum, but it was pretty boring for the second person who wanted to be an active part of the process, plus as a female, it was very hard for me to manage. It also felt like the amas actually got bogged down which then slowed it down. Now that may have just been me since it was my first time out, or maybe it is the boat, that I don't know. Now I am considering whether to go with the adventure island single, or whether or not to go with the revolution 11. All of the posts show that there are lots of ways to modify the revolution to make it fairly sailable. The Revolution is definately appealing because of it's size (I am already equiped to haul it in my pick up), and its overall size and weight are very appealing. I guess my question is, how fast and fun is it to sail compared to the adventure island single? In some ways I can see where the revolution could even be more invigorating, but am I just fooling myself? I have not sailed either yet and I was hoping all of you experienced folks could provide some input. My preference would be to go with the revolution 11, just because it is smaller and will better meet my transportation needs as well as kayak needs, but then I don't want to later wish I had gone with the adventure island single. Any feedback from those who have sailed both would be much appreciated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:20 pm 
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With the available sail (1/3rd the size of the AI sail) you're never going to sail at the same speeds as the AI. On the other hand, smaller boat + less stability = more excitement.

I think it really depends on what you're buying the kayak for. I have a Revolution 13 and use it mostly for fishing. I rigged it with a sail and the Ama kit mainly just for kicks and to try it out and see what the sailing thing was all about. I enjoyed it enough that I decided that what I needed to really get deeper into it was an Adventure Island.

Now having said this, I must tell you I haven't yet sailed my AI (still waiting on all the trailer parts to show up) but any time you triple the sail area while only increasing the weight and size of the boat by maybe 30% it seems likely that there's going to be a big difference in overall performance.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:00 pm 
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I agree. Definately a big difference in sail size, but also in weight. I too would think smaller boat with sail equals excitement. I plan on also paddling traditionally as well as setting the boat up for fishing. How does the boat do paddling ? I bet you are looking forward to getting your new boat out on the water. I look forward to hearing what you think. Have fun.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:11 pm 
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It's difficult to know how to answer this question. Tom is right -- it depends what you want to do. The boats emphasize entirely different things.

For pure sailing, the AI runs circles around the Revo 11 in terms of speed and sailing capabilities. Both serve as excellent kayaks in their own right.

I have both and like them for different reasons. For getting out on the water and general kayaking, the Revo 11 is so easy to launch transport and store, you're on the water before you know it. You can kayak, carry the sail and step the mast any time any place. Sailing performance is limited -- it's fun but not fast, very tender (with any good breeze) without Sidekicks, but very stable with them.

The AI can be kayaked as an Adventure. In the kayaking mode, it is fast, quiet, and is great in wind and chop -- it's an exceptional cruiser. If you want to sail, you would normally make that decision before launching and rig it as the trimaran. Yes, you can still kayak with it that way, but not nearly as well. But when sailing, the boat is exciting, often wet and fun.

Both boats are easy to sail. The AI has dock like stability in most situations. At 16 feet, the AI can pose a storage problem for some, and though easy to load overhead, is no match for the Revo 11 in terms of easy transport.

Bottom line, the AI also makes a great kayak (as the Adventure) and a fun and exciting sailer. The Revo 11 also makes a great kayak (very responsive but not as fast), gives you a sailing experience and is unbeatable for transport, handling, and easy launching. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:39 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
I have AI (single) and Adventure. My $0.02 is that it does (as others have said) depend what you are looking for.

If you are interested in dead simple, light, cheap, easy kayak sailing and are happy with laid back, chilled out progress from a to b at kayak speeds driven by light winds with the challenge of sailing a keelboat (inherently unstable) ... then the Adventure with the sail kit, larger rudder and daggerboard may suit you well.

If you prefer the thrill of speed (possibly you like racing/competing or otherwise thrashing around at high speeds in other pursuits), you don't want a boat which leans, and you don't mind paying for, carting about and setting up quite a lot of extra paraphernalia and weight (much longer mast/sail, akas, amas) AND you don't mind getting quite wet in stronger wind conditions ... then the AI may suit you well.

My personal preference is the kayak - I rarely sail my AI. When I want a sailing fix the kayak is just so quick and easy and it gives exactly the same experience as on a "proper" yacht. The interest, enjoyment and challenge for me comes from sailing a micro-yacht to the best of its capabilities which are more subject to the effects of wind, tide and sea state than a bigger boat .... and I absolutely love it !

By comparison the AI isn't inherently unstable and the experience of sailing a stable trimaran is completely different from that of a boat which leans, so while a lot faster it loses much of its challenge and appeal for me personally. Also as I have said it is a whole lot more messing around to store it, get it to the beach and set it up - and when I get out on the water I usually get quite to very wet.

That said, both are very enjoyable in their respective ways.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:39 am 
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I am really enjoying the dialogue and this is exactly what I was looking for as I attempt to make my decision. One thing that I am exploring is a little bit bigger sail for the Rev. The Hobie sail is basically 20 sf without a boom and a mast that bends. I am considering something around 24-28 sf with a boom and a carbon fiber mast. I am also considering stays to give it more support. Does anyone know the tolerance level if I consider going to a bigger sail with a boom on the Rev. My thought is that on gustier days, I could sail with a smaller sail but on slow days, go with the bigger sail, and again, I can add stays if that would help. . I just don't want to damage the boat. I am also planning on adding almas, probably behind the seat. I am considering either the hobie almas, scotty almas, or the spring creek almas. I am seeing real mixed reviews on the hobie product because of the spinning that they do and because it looks like they sometimes go under or even break. Thoughts from this savvy group of kayak sailors?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:47 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
One way of increasing the sail area for very light wind days is to add a jib.

I have done this very successfully on my Adventure (also my AI) and it works well but you need to be mindful that the tolerance (as you have identified) that the boat has towards carrying extra canvas is very small.

I have reported on my modifications in other posts on this site but basically the approach is:

1. Beg/Borrow/Steal/Buy/Make a suitable jib - mine is from a Topper (I believe) sailboat - about 1.8sqm - so it just about doubles the sail area of the std sail - more than enough for my sailing environment & risk profile :-)
2. Stay the mast - the mast can't take the extra pressure of holding much more canvas aloft in a breeze and bends like a noodle so you need stays. I have a system of running backstays and a single (doubled) forestay that allows the std sail to be used on its own and the jib to be added as & when conditions permit. N.B. the jib is set 'flying' not 'hanked on' to a standing forestay. In fact staying the mast dramatically improves the sail shape of the standard sail in any sort of breeze (at the expense of being unable to roller-reef/furl in my implementation)
3. use a circular jib sheet so that you can't lose the sheet when sailing
4. probably add a padeye somewhere on the foredeck to attach the tack of the jib (you need to be careful not to upset the balance of the boat when you add more canvas and moving the centre of effort too far forward would be inadvisable so attaching the tack of the jib to a point behind the very bow of the boat is likely to be best - my setup works very well & the balance of the boat under jib is improved if anything over the standard Hobie mainsail-only set up where the centre of effort is set very conservatively and very far aft)
5. add some cleats to belay the jib sheet

You also need to be very methodical and disciplined when sailing with the jib and conservative in your decisions to deploy it - the amount of line in the cockpit increases significantly and it can catch on anything (especially the drive - I frequently pull mine when sailing with a jib), tacking and gybing require much more preparation and care, and of course you are at much more risk of an unexpected capsize due to gusts.

It all adds to the fun though and you do get much better light-wind sailing performance. Sailing such a tiny boat as this with 'full" sail, so to speak, is very entertaining and can be quite challenging - to set up as well as to sail.

Personally I love the excitement, risk and challenge of sailing the kayak as a kayak and nothing would persuade me to add any sort of ama to mine... not that I would wish to try to influence you in any way (lie, lie) :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:48 am 
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Hi Stobbo,
Thank you for your ideas on adding a jib. I do believe that is definately something that I will pursue with the rev 11 and your details are quite helpful. I have already been looking for a sail. I have seen your involvement on the forum and I wonder if you have heard of anyone going much bigger with the main sail? I know that I want to go bigger and add a boom, I just don't want to damage the boat. Thoughts? How strong do you find the mast hole on the smaller hobies to be? The sail that I am looking at can have stays which would also allow for the jib, I am just trying to decide whether it would be safe to go 26 or 28 SF. the Hobie sail is 20 sf, yet has a bendable mast which dumps wind and no boom.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:04 am 
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Here's a user video on Youtube I just watched this morning on sailing a Revo13 with a Sidekick ama kit...they are a lot of fun, but nothing like an AI or TI

Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PQb-4d1q6Y&sns=em

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:37 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
Well on the basis that in my experience a stayed standard Hobie mast can definitely support the main (2.0sq ft) plus a jib (of ~1.8 sq ft) without any noticeable effect on the mast, rigging or boat - I would suggest that there wouldn't be a problem in rigging a mainsail up to the combined dimensions of these sails (i.e. 3.8-4.0 sq ft).

I guess you could go quite a bit bigger too if you wanted - the rigging that I use will surely support it (dyneema line - I think that's what it is called... same stuff as the Hobie rudder lines - is stronger & lighter than steel wire) - the mast doesn't seem at all stressed by the experience though I could envisage problems if the loads were applied unevenly along the mast's length - the "chainplates" that I use (standard Hobie plastic screw in padeyes) aren't deforming or showing any signs of pulling out - plus the natural tendency of a monohull is to heel to a strong breeze anyway, which spills wind from the sails and thereby reduces the maximum load that the rigging and hull might otherwise be subjected to (N.B. this feature does not apply to a trimaran or cat in the same way!)...

...however... before stringing up huge amounts of additional canvas I think you should give careful consideration to the issues of a) sail balance and b) stability.

Sail balance. My jib addition has not negatively affected the sail balance - in fact I think it has improved the balance: shifting the COE forward (by putting a sail in front of the current COE) weather helm is reduced and the ship feels better under sail (feels more like a proper yacht). Adding sail that moves the COE aft would, IMO (this is a pure guess based on my experience of how the stock boat sails vs how the boat sails with jib & main) NOT improve the sailing characteristics of the vessel. I suspect that the Hobie engineers have put the COE well aft as a safety feature (makes the boat round up into the wind when overpressed) - I believe that my jib mod moves the COE forward, reducing this tendency without overcoming it - but I think there is a danger if you shift the COE aft any more that you might exacerbate the tendency to round up to the point that sailing becomes a constant battle to overcome this "weather helm" on almost all points of sail.

Stability. Adding more canvas aloft increases the risk of a capsize. Any monohull kayak with a sail up is going to be a very tender craft and you are already at risk of being blown over in your Hobie kayak with just the standard sail up if you go out in winds that are too strong. When you add a jib you SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the wind range in which you can sail and the boat becomes noticeably more susceptible to being blown over in a gust. Now, personally, I am quite happy to toddle along sailing my kayak as a monohull with or without a jib depending on weather conditions - I love the feeling of sailing a monohull, the challenge of getting the best out of it under sail and the engagement required to mitigate the risk of being blown over - if I wanted more stability & speed I would add the AI amas & sail & get on with it... but mostly I prefer not to... as I say I just love sailing my kayak as a kayak. But this is not for everyone - for a start I sail in an area in which the conditions are frequently just ideal for kayak sailing and the water is not dangerously cold - not everyone is so lucky. So others may prefer more stability and they may want more speed in which case they may prefer a trimaran of some sort. If your preference is a trimaran I think you still should consider carefully the impact of adding significantly more canvas aloft - I don't know much about it but I am aware that getting the design of a trimaran right is just as tricky as designing a monohull - and one of the key considerations is the competitive relationship between the buoyancy of the amas and the pressure of wind in the sails. If you don't get this right you might end up with a boat that sails like a dog with unfortunate stability characteristics rather than the stable wind-driven speedster that you dream of.

Hope this gives some food for thought.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:11 am
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Location: Keyport, WA, USA
Along with what, where is also a big question. If you are sticking to inland lakes and rivers, stability is not as big an issue. I sail in Puget Sound, and just added a Tandem Island, already had an Adventure Island. I would not go out without the amas. Originally bought just the Adventure Kayak, without the sails, but quickly decided to get the add on kit. In really freaky conditions, where a wave interference pattern had set up off Bainbridge Island, actually had a rogue 12 foot wave pop up under me. Went almost vertical, at least 75 degrees, and did not flip. Always the best ride!!! Would not have been able to do that in a single hull.
For either of the Adventure Island boats, a trailer is going to make life a lot easier, although it limits where you can put in. I just modified my little Harbor Freight trailer to lengthen the tongue and stack the AI over the TI, the AI rack tilts to load/unload the AI after the TI is launched. Significantly less expensive than the Hobie trailer, but probably not as durable. Already had to do a lot of rust-oleum on it, and I never actually put it in the water, just take it to the edge, although it gets salt water dripped on it. Have a friend with the Hobie trailer, with two AIs side by side. His is a lot easier to launch and load.
Not that the AI can't be car-topped, my little sister does that on her Subaru, just have to break it down first, but that is pretty quick. Got to get her a set of Hully rollers one of these days.
Sailing the Puget Sound is a challenge. The winds are always crazy, and right near my home launch is Agate Passage, where tide currents can exceed 6 knots. Only had to try going through without consulting the tide table once. Ended up walking the boat to try and get through, and ran out of room on the beach before I was able to get clear. Gave up and headed back only to have the wind shift back, so ended up tacking all the way back. At least I made it back out before the tide shifted against me again!!


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