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 Post subject: 2010 AI Rudder Question
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:33 am 
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I'm thinking about purchasing a 2010 AI in excellent condition. I've read all about the 2011 Island rudder upgrade and wanted to find out if this should be a deal breaker for me. I can't afford to go with a new one at this time so wanted to understand if anything pre 2011 is worth it or not because of the rudder issue.

Here is what Hobie has posted: "Islands experiencing rudder problems. Some users have had the rudder kick up making steering difficult; others have experienced loose gudgeon screws, and some have had worn or broken steering lines."

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:19 am 
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If you are planning to sail at times in strong winds and/or rough waves (much more that 3 foot) then the new rudder is great. Otherwise, it's actually overkill on an AI in the calmer conditions most users experience.

I still own 2 AI's with the older rudders and you can learn how much they can take without breaking a rudder pin or overwhelming the rudder and loosing some steering control in more extreme conditions. With that said, I have my last 2 AI, with the older rudders for sale, to be replaced with new boats with the new rudder. 8)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:42 am 
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Prior to 2011, the Adventure island built a HUGE following with virtually no one having any issues at all with the original rudder. There is absolutely no problem at all with the original rudder, the new one is probably better, but it addressed a problem that no one was worried about.

Go ahead, buy the 2010.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:30 am 
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I have just the opposite view from Augaug of the original AI twist-n-stow rudder. It is a contraption designed to look cool and be different from every other kayak. It may have been fine on simple touring/fishing Hobie kayaks, but it was a poor design for the AI/TI. I sold my 2007 AI and bought a 2011 just to get the new vertical rudder.

If you like to go any distance from shore, breaking a pin in the twist-n-stow rudder will put serious doubts in your mind about doing such trips. Save your money until you can get a used 2011 or later.

Keith

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:14 pm 
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augaug wrote:
There is absolutely no problem at all with the original rudder, the new one is probably better, but it addressed a problem that no one was worried about.
Back in 2007, 2008 and 2009 the Rudder was the main topic of complaint among AI sailors. MOST OF THE TIME the old rudder would work fine. But I remember one particular terrifying moment in a tight channel with a large vessel coming at me and the rudder failing at the absolute worst time almost causing me to turn into the path of the large vessel.

The rudders failed but yes we still loved sailing our AI's. I upgraded to a 2012 model primarily to get the new rudder which is fabulous. Especially the fact you can take it into very shallow water and if you unlock the rudder tie down, it will only gently nudge upward if you hit bottom. Allows me to skim some across some really shallow stuff and allows me to get in areas no other boats can access.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:24 am 
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Ok... I stand corrected. The rudder pins do break on the old ones. I had that happen. It wasn't a huge deal for me, but that's true, if it breaks at a bad time, that's not good. But other than the pin, I believe the rudder performed fine? Maybe I need to be corrected on that too.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:13 am 
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Anybody who thinks the "new" gray pins on the 2010 & earlier AIs don't break is sailing in different waters (different planet?) than I did.

My dislike of the T-n-S AI rudder is its Rube Goldberg nature. It has a lot of working parts, and it is unsymmetrical. Like a Jaguar, when it was tuned correctly it worked fine. Just keep it tuned.

The beauty of the Hobie AI is its simplicity. The original rudder (through 2010) contradicted that philosophy.

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:24 am 
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Fortunately my TI has the new up and down rudder, but the clear proof that there was a design flaw with the T&S rudder was the addition by Hobie of a bungee to prevent it failing to accept sailing loads, which negated the very concept of the T&S mechanism. Seeing someone bring an AI to the beach and then wade aft to release the bungee so the rudder can be raised was rather telling

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:09 pm 
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I have a 2007 AI with twist and stow. Hobie sent many of us, at no charge, an improved blade which they said was better. It was. Then they allowed for a free upgrade from the simple up down lever to a pull up and pull down lines system which locks into a jam cleat and holds the rudder down perfectly. Without that upgrade you will have a rudder that has a tendancy to ride up in windy conditions. Also the older design did not have a check valve in the plastic tubing carrying the controll line which caused water to siphon into the boat. The new lines have check valves which elliminate the water in the hull issue. Having said this, I think my 07 is a fabulous boat with zero rudder problems. Yes the new design is an improvement over the twist and stow rudder but the old twist and stow with the puill up and down conversion is perfectly adequate. My first rudder pin broke from two summers of sailing fatigue. My first and only grey pin broke when I was portaging around a beaver dam and a branch caught it. So the jist of all this is, If you have the twist and stow system on an older boat it is absoutly fine so long as the cleating/up and down system has been installed. IMH. On a side topic we all have plastic shear bolts which are supposed to break when an ama hits something. I'm not too proud to admit that that I have sheared two of these at slow enough speeds so as not to cause a capsize: Once was a soft tap on a dock, the other I hit a rubber mooring. Both times the arm stayed put and didn't go overboard. I am considering replacing the plastic bolts with stainless for safety. So, what type damage should I expect to encounter when I hit something again with the stainless bolts? Has anybody out there checked this out? Thanks. Doug

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:10 pm 
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It all comes down to a matter of cost scfa. If you look at the old posts on this forum, you'll see that we have all loved our AI's for years, even with the old model rudder. I'll bet even Keith, who advises you to wait till you can afford a new model, wouldn't have missed out on all the fabulous expeditions he had in his old model AI, for the world.
The new rudder is a significant enhancement to an already great boat but if it's likely to be years before you can afford a newer model, I wouldn't be missing out on those years.
What I would demand, is a substantial discount on the 2010. I don't think it's worth missing out on the new rudder for the sake of a few hundred bucks.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:55 pm 
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scfa wrote:
Here is what Hobie has posted: "Islands experiencing rudder problems. Some users have had the rudder kick up making steering difficult; others have experienced loose gudgeon screws, and some have had worn or broken steering lines."
None of those problems is any real reason for concern, and quoting them tells me you are being somewhat misinformed. Gudgeon screws, for example are on the new model not the older ones.

What's are your location, experience and sailing intentions? Hard to really answer your ? without knowing this.

Generally, weather and budget should guide your decision. If you are going to sail in heavy wind/waves I would opt for the new system, even if it means waiting for a used one. Having a rudder pin break or the steering be overpowered in life-threatening scenario is the thing to focus on here. Those are more likely with the older rudder.

If you are doing casual sailing on inland waters, the older boats are more than adequate, when maintained properly. (Keep a supply of grey pins on hand and know how to change them quickly or how to steer with the rudder).

Without knowing more, I'd say go for it. You can always buy this one, learn the ropes, have some fun and sell it later to upgrade. Right?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:39 am 
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Thanks everyone for all your replies. My head was spinning a bit but I think the info I've gathered here has helped.

NOHUHU - good questions. I'm in the North East (US) so our season is a bit limited, April - October, and mostly May - Sep. I have not sailed before except when I was a kid on a small lake in a sunfish. I have two intentions, 1) will be to casually sail it with and without my kids on the trampolines, 2) to use it as a fishing platform when conditions are permitting.

I'd like to take the AI on certain trips to extend my range, allow me to troll more, and cover more ground between spots. Water bodies will be medium size lakes, bay/inlets, and ocean when conditions allow. I don't think I'll push it with crazy wind and waves like some of you and knowing now about the known issue I will opt for safety (back the sail down) if the wind is blowing hard and I am in a vulnerable spot like a channel or inlet.

A bit of a newbie question. Is the rudder pin designed to break in order to prevent further damage? I assume it is because its plastic. The reason I ask is would it be ok to replace it with some stronger? I assume the answer is no but just thought I would check.

Thanks again for the feedback and I look forward to your replies.

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Currently own: 2012 AI, 2 - 2012 Revo 13's, 2012 Revo 11,
Sold: 2-2011 Oasis, 2010 Outback, 08 Outback, 08 Adventure, 06 Kona


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:48 am 
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Yes, the rudder pins are designed to fail before the rudder housing or hull are damaged. Use the newer gray colored pins. These are more durable, but have several spares and know how to use them.

Theoretically, you could break one everytime you land the boat, if you keep repeating the same mistakes. But you sound like a cautious and intelligent person, so that won't happen. :wink:

I think you should grab this 2010 AI w/ tramps and start sailing while you still can! If your spouse is on board with this, they'll even go along with the excuse that you're doing it for "the kids". :lol:

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:37 am 
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Hi everyone,

Just wanted to thank everyone for all your help. The dealer and I couldn't come to an agreement on a fair price so I decided to walk. If it was an 11' it would have been a different story and thanks to all of you I now know what I'm looking for.

It wasn't a wasted trip I picked up 2 leftover Revo's (11,13) on the way home and got a really GREAT deal.

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Sold: 2-2011 Oasis, 2010 Outback, 08 Outback, 08 Adventure, 06 Kona


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