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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:36 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Mt Kuring-Gai, NSW, Australia
Hi All,

On our 11th Sail in our 2012 Tandem Island bought in May,
our first rudder PIN went... I turned to windward in a gust
of wind and ping, it went.

I replaced it on the beach, then 3 weeks later we were
out, and again, ping, 2nd one went, it was a bit gusty but I don't
recall doing anything violent with the rudder to contribute
to it breaking this time.

Also, I have noticed recently that when there's a fairly
stiff wind and we're moving fast, There is almost total
resistance to steering into wind; the rudder control is
rock hard. Is this normal?

I've been suspicious for someone that my rudder lines might be
too tight. Could this contribute to excessive rudder pin breakage ?

Also, I've noticed that the rudder down line doesn't always
seem to take the rudder that final few mm to being vertical.
I have to pull it really hard.

I presume if its not down properly the extra resistance
could cause extra rudder stress.

Another thing, we've used the TI all through the Australian
winter - only recently is it getting warmer. Does this cause
hull expansion, line tension and therefore more rudder PIN breakage ?

Any suggestions or comments ?
Should I have by lines inspected ?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 1431
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Whereabouts in Oz are you? Maybe I live too far north, but I have sailed my TI nearly 50 times since starting out in early June this year (ie throughout the winter).

I have never broken a rudder pin, but have broken a rudder line, which I suspect was due to an assembly error where a line was passed the wrong side of a scupper tube. I cannot think of any other reason why 100kg breaking strain Dyeema line would break.

In your case, I suspect the up-line is the main culprit, as if this is too tight, you won't be able to fully pull the rudder down. Once you fix this, you can then adjust the rudder lines so that on full rudder deflection, the "shorter" line should feel slightly, but not hugely, slack. This is because the geometry of the rudder line connections are not in line with the rudder pin, so do not remain with unchanged tension through rudder travel, and if you have both lines too tight, you will put some pressure on the pin itself

Hope this helps, and I add the rider that I am far less experienced with Islands than most people in here.

_________________
Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1196
Location: sarasota,fl
oceanmoves:
I have a 2012 TI and have broke 3 rudder pins now ( I bought it in July).
The first one was obvious, I was backing the boat up into the water and the rudder fell down (snap). The second one I'm not sure what happened, but it broke while I was out on the water, no mishap when it happened, but I suspect I may have damaged it beforehand. The third one broke only partially 3 outings ago. During the next two outings in light wind, the rudder seemed funny, it would get difficult to turn at times like it was binding, obviously it was indeed binding (partially broke), but I never put two and two together until my last trip out, where the rudder line was very loose so I tightened it up before going out, then went out on what was a nice sailing day (12-14 mph winds). The rudder seemed to still be binding once in a while (hard to steer), then finally it let loose and I lost all control, looked back and it was just dangling back there. I tried sailing back to the harbor (Sarasota Sailing Squadron) but would have had to pass by the hundred or so anchored boats in the anchor field. I tried steering with a paddle but couldn't get comfortable enough to insure I would miss the other boats (really difficult to steer a TI with a paddle). So I anchored at a sand bar not far away and put in a new rudder pin.
It's strange because this is my third TI, I had a 2010, 2011, and now the 2012, and now have broke more rudder pins on this boat than all the others combined.
The design is the same, I think I'm just having bad luck thats all (especially on the first one where the rudder fell while backing up).
I have learned alot about the rudder system over the last couple thousand miles of sailing TI's though.
One important one is the boat does grow over an inch when going from cold to warm. If the lines are adjusted when the boat is warm and in the sun, then you put it in the cold, the lines become very loose, the oposite is also true, so if the rudder lines we adjusted in the cold, they could become tight enough to put undue stress on the rudder pin when the boat is warm ( I suspect this might have been your problem).
What I have learned over time on TI rudders:
1 Don't assume the rudder will survive hitting the bottom (it likely won't)
2 As weather changes re-adjust the control lines (winter,summer, etc.)
3 Check and adjust the control lines (if needed) each time before taking the boat out, I always check mine before it leaves the garage. Just like a pilot always checks his controls before takeoff.
4 Always carry one or two spare rudder pins on board where you can access them easily. There is a hanger for them in the rearmost hatch, but before putting them in there take a pair of long nose pliers and bend the end of the clip out so you can put the clip on with no tools on the water, if you don't bend the end, then you have to use long nose pliers to get the clips on (same goes for the AMA sheer pins).
5 I always pack a toolkit in a drybag with some spectra string, screw drivers, long nose pliers, a first aid kit, a small bottle of water, some emergency diabetic food ( comes in a tube, if you get swept out to sea), and a 'duck' all weather rain suit (the rubber suit folds up and stores in a small bag). However if your out in rough seas and the bag is in the front hatch, you may not be able to access it easily and quickly (thats why I keep a rudder pin in the rear hatch.
6 Same applies to the AKA brace sheer pins, take a pair of pliers and bend the end of the clips on the spare sheer pins that are already mounted to your rear AKA bars. Otherwise you can't get them on and off if you do break one out on the water (that also happened to me, couldn't get the spare sheer pin off with my fat fingers).
My opinion is the design is ok on the rudder system, and I would much rather break a rudder pin than break something much worse. But you have to be remain aware that it will likely break on any impact with the bottom or out of the ordinary strain (as intended). The same applies with the AKA sheer pins ( I have broke lots of those running into docks, or over helpful people trying to guide the boat).
It would be a good idea to practice steering with a paddle at least once, before you really have to.
I'm pretty certain that all my rudder pin breaks have been my own doing (ie.. hitting, bottom, running into something accidentally, etc).
One indicator that the pin is partially broken is if the steering gets hard at times, if so the pin should be checked.
Hope this helps you
Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Mt Kuring-Gai, NSW, Australia
Thankyou both for responding.

What does a 'partially broken pin' look like ?
I thought they're either in there, working, or they're snapped in half.

How does one adjust the lines ? I wasn't aware this could be done without
the aid of a dealer.

Since the second or third time I took my TI out, the rudder movement
seemed to be "binding" at certain points when moving it.

Are the up/down left/right lines all supposed to be adjusted ?

How do you know they're the right tension ?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:59 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1196
Location: sarasota,fl
oceanmoves:
A partially broken pin is where the pin is broken only on the bottom or the top, but still hanging onto the other joint. This causes the steering to bind, and difficult to steer. The rudder continues to work in light winds, but as soon as the wind picks up, it will break the rest of the way (I suspect yours may have been partially broken for a while).

I don't think there is any adjustment on the up/down lines, they are on bungy cords. It's a good idea to not leave the up/down lines under tension for long periods of time ( ie storing the boat). The bungy cords can get stretched out over time.

This is my 5th Hobie boat, every one I have had when new, the rudder lines needed to be adjusted several times the first few times out while all the strings and fitting stretch and settle in, and everything gets used to the local temperatures. On average after the second or third adjustment, things begin to hold stable, only needing perodic adjustment thereafter (at least thats my experience and observations).
The rudder control lines are something that the end user needs to be able to adjust perodically (though if your dealer is close by take the boat in to them, they are more than happy to adjust for you typically).
On the top of each of the wings sticking out the sides of the rudder, there are two phillips screws. What I do is center up the steering levers slightly right of center, then loosen the screws then pull the control strings hand tight so the rudder is centered. You then retighten the screws being careful not to over tighten them (ie...cutting the strings). I then wrap the excess line over and tie to the tight line with a clove hitch knot, then loop the remaining line around the the line going into the boat then tying it off (so it looks like a hangmans knot). When doing the adjustment it's best to adjust at the same temperature where you will be using the boat since the entire boat grows and shrinks with temperature. When done the rudder should swing back and forth freely with no binding. If it does bind, then it is likely your rudder pin is partially broken or the control lines inside the hull are catching on something.
Another pointer I forgot to mention is sand can get into the rudder assembly and make it more difficult to swing up and down. The rudder assembly needs to be kept clean, hose off with clean water when cleaning everything else. It's probably better to not use any oils on the rudder system (similar to the twist and stow), just rinse well making sure there is no sand in the joints.
Hope this helps
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Mt Kuring-Gai, NSW, Australia
Thanks Bob.

I've adjusted the rudder line tension as you suggested (on a hot day).
They were quite tight, now there's afew mm more length in each side,
and they are not tight at all.

I also cleaned out the rudder pin housings and removed sand and noticed the PIN, which I replaced
for the later part of our last trip out, already has quite deep scuff markings
near the top - it's only been used for a couple of hours.

After cleaning, the rudder PIN moves quite freely in the housing, and even up and down a bit.

As for the rudder controls, I am still noticing some resistance when turning the front
control towards the cockpit, but not when I turn it back.
There are multiple "pinging"/"clicking" sounds, which sounds like lines coming under tension.
The sound seems to come from inside the hull, about a metre back from the front control.
This does not occur with the rear rudder control.

This is still concerning me, especially as I noticed great resistance to
turning the boat to windward, when at high speed, and high winds.

I have never used the rear control; I always sit in the front.

I also noticed a tiny black piece of tubing rolling around in the hull afew weeks/months
ago. Could this be important ? (see photo)

http://members.iinet.net.au/~peterwalters/hobie1.jpg


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:03 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Saint Petersburg, Florida
Hmm... I do get that clicking pinging sound when I steere too. Just started getting that. Was going to ask if anybody had the same problem and if its actually a problem. Let me know if you figure out why it does it. In the mean time I will try adjusting lines myself too.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
Posts: 1986
Location: High Point, NC
I believe the photo shows a broken pin/post from one of the hatch retaining rings. You can take your hand and check all three of yours to see if any portion of the retaining rings is missing a post.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Mt Kuring-Gai, NSW, Australia
Any further thoughts Bob ?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 1196
Location: sarasota,fl
oceanmoves:
The easiest way to see what is going on inside your hull is with a flashlight and two cell phones (or 1 cell phone and a laptop). If you have facetime or skype you just turn the camera on and look around inside while moving the steering to see where the binding occurs, while viewing on the other device.
I had a similar binding problem on one of my older TI hulls and discovered the steering line was catching and snagging on the big grey flotation block inside the hull, once I moved the block the problem went away. Without looking in your hull we can only guess. One thing to look for (since you have that spare plastic piece floating around which is suspect) is Hobie has many of the cables guided thru wire clamps that are attached to the underside of the rearmost hatch cover to keep all the cables tidy. I suspect that because of the great tension one of these cable guides has torn loose and taken part of the hatch cover with it.
If you don't have two phones you can always just record the video, then view it afterwards, or snap a bunch of pics inside.
One additional thing to note is when the boat is going high speed in high winds and rough conditions it does require quite a bit of force to turn the rudder hard, it's best to release some force from over trimmed sails before making the turn. My TI has quite a bit of extra sail area (240sq ft) and I have snapped a rudder pin pulling the rudder hard while traveling fast (>16 mph). It's best to trim the sails so your rudder remains as neutral as possible rather than overpower the boat with the rudder, you will go faster, and break less rudder pins.
There may be nothing wrong with your rudder system. Just know, the rudder system can break if moved in too radical a fashion at high speeds (moving water creates alot of force).
Hope this helps you.
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:33 pm
Posts: 36
With all of this talk about rudder pins breaking, i wonder if someone could point me to instructions on how to change the rudder pin. Also, could you please provide the information on which rudder pin to order since I see that there are several which are available.
Thanks so much for your help and for all of the interesting information in this forum,


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 9:35 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Mt Kuring-Gai, NSW, Australia
TI Rudder PIN for 2012 model Tandem Island is part no 88991101


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:33 pm
Posts: 36
Very helpful.

Can someone show a picture of how to replace the pin or point me to a source which describes how to do this?

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:55 am
Posts: 29
Location: Ocean City, NJ
Not much to replacing the pin. The up/down control lines go through the notch on top of the pin. Just move those to the side. Then remove the ring on the bottom of the pin. It behaves like a key ring. Pry one end open and screw it off. Then lift the pin out. That's it. Just don't lose the ring like I did. I'm not sure the ring does much anyway, since the up/down lines would prevent the pin from lifting up.

The steering on my new TI was very difficult. I did the cell phone picture-taking trick, but couldn't find any problems with the lines, so I loosened the screws on the rudder that lock down the control lines. Just moving the rudder side-to-side with no lines was very stiff. The tabs on the rudder were binding badly on the gudgeon. I removed the rudder and ground a bit of material off the mating surfaces until it moved easily, but was not loose. Steering is much easier now, but it still requires some strength. I'm not used to this, as I have always sailed with a tiller, which gives me tremendous leverage. A knob on top of the steering lever might help some.

I would have thought that rudder control would have been checked before the boat left the factory. I don't see how this could be anything other than a tolerance problem between the gudgeon and rudder castings. There is nothing there that could get damaged after manufacturing.


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