I thought it might be helpful to make a collection of hints & tips for people who have just bought their AI, to make their start a bit easier. Some things will apply to the TI as well, but i am not sure, as I never was fortunate enough to sail one. Feel free to ad some more. Here we go:
• The best wind speed to sail the AI is between 5-20 knots. Below 5 it is not really worth carrying the Sail and outriggers. It is more efficient to use the hull only, or to go Polynesian style (the hull with one ama). Above 20 knots it gets a bit rough (depending on the water conditions & where you sail ).
• If the rudder gets over-powered, either pedal hard, furl your sail, or let your sheet line out a little bit. Also if your ama burries you boat is overpowered. Furl your sail to about where the H of Hobie is printed on your sail and you will go even faster thsn before with less forces on the rudder.
• While Sailing in high wind speed, hold your sheet line in you hand, so you can un-cleat and let it go at any time.
• I like to knot the furling and the sheet line together. This makes handling the lines easier.
• Amas are the 'floats', the Akas are the cross-bars holding them in place.
• Store your spare rudder pin in the holder moulded into the lid of the centre hatch, not the rear hatch; you can't open the rear hatch in open water without getting water in it.
• To exchange the rudder pin out on the water, the rudder should be up, not down (applys to the old twist & store, not sur about the new one).
• Be careful with the trampolines in high winds. The wind can get caught underneath and lift the ama up (you might tip over). Stop and roll them up if you feel the 'lifting'.
• The AI sails better with most weight transferred towards the back.
• Having the amas folded back while wheeling your AI on the cart, balances the AI better, and makes pulling easier.
• Carry & wear safety gear, familiarise yourself with rescue procedures, have a back up plan & let somebody know where you are going.
• If you tip over, fold one ama in. Make sure the sail is furled or the sheet line is loose. I've found it easiest to then step on the opposite ama ( the not folded one ) & to hold on to the drive, hull and daggerboard while it rolls back up.
• Don't forget to undo the stretch cord around the sail and rudder before you set off, as well as lifting the fins, rudder and daggerboard before you land
(don't worry, happens to everyone (:-)
• To trim your sail correctly, let the sheet line out to the point where the front edge of the sail starts to flutter, and then tighten it until the fluttering stops.
• When you sail upwind the daggerboard should point straight down, while if you are on a broad reach or running, the daggerboard can be folded up.
• Use tooth paste with UV 30+; you won't be able to stop smiling while you're out there for the first time!
• Whatever can get lost needs to be leashed: 'leash it, or loose it'. Don't leash yourself to the boat though.
• In case of a capsize, swim around the boat, don't dive through underneath it; too many entanglement hazards there.