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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:57 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:07 am
Posts: 91
Location: Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
After 5 years in the Ai I learned a lot about the AI, it's strengths and weaknesses.
All in all I love the Ai and thing it's on of the best and most universal to use kayak out there. But I have Greman blood in me and alway try to improofe things while keeping it simple...
So- if you could improve on the design, what would you change?
Let's be serious, so please no full automatic fishdetecting spearguns under the hull...

1. One to two inch more freeboard, a bit like the revo, to get the seat and rear well permanently out of the water

2. That might create the need for a little bit more length/width to keep the proportions right

3. A bit more volume in the bow above the normal waterline to help nosediving and a quicker recovery( might also make for a dryer ride) without slowing it down to much

4 A better seat like the skipper seat modification or the PA seat to help the mokeybutt after hours on the water

5 Maybe a little bit more volume in the Akas as well

What do you think?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:08 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
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Location: High Point, NC
I like the wave piercing bow so the only thing I'd like to see is a seat bucket that's about an inch or so higher. That's the only thing I'd change so I guess your #1 would the only thing I'd like to see.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:53 am
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Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
The AI of my dream should be absolute watertight.
The wet ride I can accept.
But when the ride is over and I have reached the camp site for the night, I would love to have all my gear packed inside the hull, dry as desert sand.

Keep on dreaming! :D

br thomas


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
I'd like to see the AI taller (or thicker) like the TI, so it has more volume and sits a bit higher off the water. Also, with a slightly higher capacity it would hold 2 people better or more gear. Higher capacity ama would be a plus too.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:11 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:29 pm
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Location: High Point, NC
Part of the problem in making the AI taller, more voluminous, etc., is that this boat is sold in two distinct forms, one of them being a stand alone kayak. Such changes might make it less appealing and less suited for use when sold as just a kayak. Just a thought I had on that matter as to why it's shaped and formed as it is.

For Kal-P-Dal,

I won't presume to know where or how water is getting into your AI. I know there are a lot of places it can get in, but none of my kayaks, including both the AI and TI, take on a single drop of water no matter how rough the water, how much splash or rain there is.

The AI would damp a sponge when I first got it (outside of a hull split that is another story). So I took a couple hours and reset some fittings with sealant and that sort of thing, so I'm wondering if there is anything you can do on your own to seal it a bit better. I doubt it's ever going to be practical for Hobie to water test each boat so some of this stuff falls on the user to implement. But again, I won't presume to know where the water might be getting into your boat or what could be done to stop it. You may have already done all this on your own so please disregard if so.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:07 pm
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Kal-P-Dal wrote:
The AI of my dream should be absolute watertight.
The wet ride I can accept.
But when the ride is over and I have reached the camp site for the night, I would love to have all my gear packed inside the hull, dry as desert sand.


Tom Kirkman wrote:
Part of the problem in making the AI taller, more voluminous, etc., is that this boat is sold in two distinct forms, one of them being a stand alone kayak.


Agreed with above!

My dream AI would keep the following:

--All water capabilities, I used to sail my boat on the rough water of the Great Lakes, and later kayak down the smooth water of smaller rivers

-- Capacity to go camping for a weekend

-- Ability to break down the sailboat to the kayak quickly and without tools. One of my best trips was when I sailed to an island in the middle of a large lake, set up camp, then broke the boat down and kayaked down a small river to photograph wildlife.

My dream AI would add the following:

-- More sailing speed, and performance. Think Weta. http://www.wetamarine.com
Something that can have a main sail and a jib, with maybe the option for a spinnaker/gennaker, and something that sails with only one ama in the water at a time.

-- I don't mind getting wet, I thought that was part of the fun, and you can dress for spray, but the seat should drain better so that you're not stuck sitting in a puddle of water.

-- The ability to steer from the trampolines like a "real" sailboat. I used to sail almost exclusively from the tramps, but steering with your feet gets old fast.

--Ideally, (and this doesn't make business sense) I'd like to see the AI come in two forms. A performance version that is a fast sailboat, and a fast kayak, but still has enough capacity and storage (on top or inside) to go camping for a weekend. And a second version that has a little more weather protection, and capacity, that would be better for the fishermen among us (not me!) and would be a stable kayak when not sailing. Each boat could use the same system of sails, with the performance one using the extra power for speed, and the higher capacity model using the extra power to move a potentially larger boat.

Did I mention that the price would come down, and the weight too? :D

Boy, it sure is fun to dream!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:07 am
Posts: 91
Location: Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
I find it interesting to get all your input.
We are all from different parts of the world, use the Ai in different climate and circumstances, but I have too agree to pretty much all of you.
Everyone agrees with more freeboard, volume, higher seat, whatever you wanna call it, to get the seat above the waterline.
I use the Ai as adventure on the river as much as Ai for extended kayak fishing & camping trips.
I also agree with Bob, a bit higher carrying capacity would be helpful, and if it is only 20kg. If you go for a week and need to carry all the water there is not that much left for gear.
I generally don't have a big water problem, a little bit of water- yes, but not a lot.
It's important to keep the seals clean and to press the hatches down after shutting them.
The Hobie seat is not bad, but after a week with daily 4-12 hrs on the water it does gets unconfortable. I use mine only in Adventure mode.
I like the wave piercing nose as well, but a bit more volume towards the top / above the waterline shouldn't change that, while helping surfing and 'comming back up'.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:21 am 
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Posts: 288
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
1) I would address the sitting in the water problem first. The TI has a lees of a issue because the bottom of the cockpit & seat sits above the waterline.On the AI this would mean raising the pan 1-2". This would also prevent accidentally kicking open the Mirage Drive locks.

2) Add about 1" of freeboard around the cockpit and modify the top edge to keep waves from washing in. Reshape the little coaming around the mast to diver the waves around that come over the bow.

3) Hobie has improved the bow hatch gasket but I still think there is a problem with the design of the recess for the bungee strap hooks. Heeled over or diving, the forward motion hydraulically forces water into the back of the gasket channel. The increased pressure eventually will make any gasket leak. A foam bulkhead kit would be nice to make the bow that one completely watertight compartment for your camping gear.

4) For a over 6' guy like me the Hobie Seat back is too low. There is bad support and rubs low on my back. The strap locks slip on all boats that I have used. A positive locking mechanism instead of using just friction.

I have many more ideas but not the time to type it all...

See my boat on the starting line at the EC...

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DogsLife
2011 Adventure Island


http://dogslifeadventures.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Good Luck Paul! We'll be following you, on-line. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:13 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:53 am
Posts: 192
Location: Sollentuna, Sweden, Europe
@Tom Kirkman
Thank you for your concern and your thoughts! I still think the design for ALL hatches is not perfected and there is room for better solutions. The big hatch in front is not designed to be watertight in the conditions that occur in an AI (or a TI), with good speed through waves and lots of time under water surface. The hatch in the stern must also be designed to keep tight under water. The middle hatch must also be easily accessible and, as I noted when touring packed, also watertight. The rest of possible leeks I can take care of.

DogsLife wrote:
3) Hobie has improved the bow hatch gasket but I still think there is a problem with the design of the recess for the bungee strap hooks. Heeled over or diving, the forward motion hydraulically forces water into the back of the gasket channel. The increased pressure eventually will make any gasket leak. A foam bulkhead kit would be nice to make the bow that one completely watertight compartment for your camping gear.

I totally agree! Maybe the design is sufficient for kayak mode but when sailing an AI in bigger waves it is just not enough.

But I have no other problem and love my AI. Maybe the idea about better possibilitys to steer from trampolines is something to be nice to have...

br
thomas


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:19 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Great topic H

1)I would like to see a little longer rudder blade that is kicked under the hull slightly so it reduces the weather helm feeling when in decent winds and a stiffer centre board/dagger board.
2)Also would like to see the front hatch sealed a lot better.
Lifting up the aka braces a few inches so the don't dig in would be nice.
3)A seat that you dont sit in water and has as much adjustment and comfort as a PA one.
4)I liked the idea of the TI amas on the AI so a bit more length in the amas wouldn't go a stray. Any ideas why the TI's amas go almost to the bow of the main hull but in an AI they are like a couple of feet shorter than the main hull?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:27 am
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Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
1. More rocker in the hull and amas to handle rough water.
2. Raise the lower end of the sail, move it aft and give it 20% more area for greater speed, control and for handling greater weight.
3. A better seating system with back support. (possibly make it an upgrade)
4. A mounting point for a chartplotter.
5. Raise the iako's and tramp areas to keep your butt out of the water while out of the hull. Add freeboard.
6. Reinforce the mast holder.
7. Design the hull with a deeper V shape for greater speed.
8. Install a compass.
9. Make the rudder pin easier to replace.
10. Sell replacement parts directly to customers online and credit dealers by zip code.
11. Retractable daggerboard.
12. Recess hull to accept mirage drive fins and add lock position so mirage drive can remain installed in shallow water ops.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
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Location: South Florida
This is an excellent thread. Lots of good ideas, some of which could be implemented by Hobie w/o much trouble. Luakahi summarizes many of the improvements needed in the AI. Longer amas, shifted forward, with more volume, and with significant rocker could go a long way toward reducing hull diving and produce a drier ride. An inch or 2 more freeboard would also help. Dogslife comments, as usual, merit attention. Channel drains at the rear of the front hatch might solve the hydraulic forces Dogslife mentions. TK's point that the AI doubles as the Adventure fishing kayak is excellent.

Regarding leakage into the hull, those who think they do not have a problem need to put their boat into "expedition" mode with 6-7 days of gear, supplies, & water to get a real test. An AI with a 150 lb. load, plus a 200 lb. operator, rides very low in the water. The "wave spearing hull" now regularly submarines and frequently has 2" of water running over the bow and front hatch. The side edge of the front hatch is partially under water when the boat is heeled over. If you have 1 ft chop and are driving your expedition-loaded AI at 4-6 mph for 10-15 miles, you have conditions to test whether your boat leaks.

Keith

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:11 am 
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Location: Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
I am not sure cheikika.
I have done a couple of expeditions myself.
We go to Fraser island since years, 7-8 days fully self sufficient.
I weigh in with a hundred kilos plus 24 l of water, safety,camping and fishing gear(160kg all up)
We do 54km the first day(as th crows fly) and in the unfavourable winds this year it took us 12 hrs.
It was the first time ever I used the bilge pump to remove some water right at the end when we entered our destination. I don't want to argue that I sit low in the water or that the AI takes on water, but I think a great deal is in preparation as well.
Yes, I get a little bit of water in my hull, but generally after a couple of sponges it's gone. Making sure there is no sand on the seals and pushing the hatches down after I close them helps a lot. I also tried to seal everything else.
So yeah, a completely dry hull would be great, 20kg+ carrying capacity would be great, but I can life with what the AI takes on.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:44 am 
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Location: South Florida
Hollgi,

I certainly agree the round hatches must be regularly maintained. After cleaning them, I coat them with silicone grease (Home Depot, Plumbing Dept, or Amazon.) And I do religiously push them down after closing them. I am simply saying that an expedition-loaded AI with a 200# captain (ca 150-160 kg total) in some chop, doing 4-6 mph, for 4-5 hrs is a real test of hull water-proofing. When someone claims their AI does not leak, unless they have really put it to a serious on-water test, I question the claim.

Dogslife and Kal-P-Dal on this thread have a good point that the front hatch needs to be modified to reduce or eliminate the leakage.

If you have major water (1-3 gal) getting into your hull, and the hull is not compromised by a crack or damaged fitting receptacle, then the front hatch is the most likely culprit. It can be as simple as avoiding any upward pressure on the hatch cover due to an over-packed front hatch. Or, it may be a compromised seal or worse, but the front hatch is the most likely source of an unusual amount of water in the hull.

My boat had a small amount of water leakage, but then I had a problem with the front hatch seal, and had to re-glue it. Now, the seal looks fine, but the hatch leaks considerably. Obviously, I did not get it re-glued properly even though it looks quite good. My feeling is that the front hatch should be improved with drainage channels in the hatch mote so that hydraulic pressure (see Dogslife above) when underway can be minimized. In addition, the front hatch seals need significant upgrading so they are more reliable.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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