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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:33 pm 
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Great thread, I enjoy improvements almost as much as the sailing :D

my list in order of importance!

1) weight reduction/ease of transportation - I'm a fairly fit young guy but even I struggle taking my 2011 AI to the beach and back again. Where I live (Perth Australia) most of the beaches have sand dune paths between you and the beach and pulling 60kg AI over these can be a right bastard! Obviously the Rotomodled plastic is a fairly old tech but its cheap and although I would love to see the AI built out of something lighter(carbon fiber) I can't see Hobie doing it anytime soon. Another pain is the folded back amas dragging on the ground when using the standard cart. I have had a couple of ideas to improve this, such as using another set of small wheels on the back of the the amas, or a crazy idea I had that i could put some inflatable between the boat and the kart, after you put the boat on you pump it up and raise the boat maybe 10cm. Being an electrical engineer I have also considered motorising the kart but this is tricky with the amount of slat water the kart deals with. While nothing to do with sailing the boat this is my number 1, simply because it is the one thing that stops me sailing as much as I would like to. Also when people on the beach see me struggling to hall my boat in and out of the water its the one thing that people get turned off by.

2) genuine spray skirts or modifications of the aka crossbars and a small lip around the edge of the bow to stop water hitting the bar and heading straight for me face.

3) higher seat and self draining scupper plugs.

4) improved front hatch to lessen water ingress. This could be as simple as including a little lip in the rotomould so that when you submarine water isn"t squirted beneath the seal, or completely getting rid of the strap systems and using some sort of clamp system.

5) improved bowshape(this also goes for the amas)
to lessen submarining or bow deflector

6) Jib



Anyhow I hope you enjoyed my list, points 2-5 seem like no-brainers to me and im surprised Hobie haven't implemented them yet. I would have also included some points on improving the rudder and the miragedrive well, but it seems on the 2012/13 model Hobie is already onto it. Keep it up Matt

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:49 pm 
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dstgean wrote:
mmiller wrote:
CaptnChaos wrote:
Matt, can I try one more wish since that one was so easy?


A new AI would likely be more sail oriented and less all-around...


I'd be all over that! Keep the mirage drive option though!

Dan



Agree, as long as there is still the option to peddle.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:09 am 
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Good to see you back, Chaos. Matt Miller has hinted (once) about a more "sailing oriented" AI. My view, suggestion/hope, is that Hobie is going to come out with a much improved AI. It will be faster than the TI--wouldn't that be a blast. Probably won't be lighter, because it will be a somewhat bigger boat.

I've suggested it might be called "AI II," or "AI sailing," or best "AI Magnum."

Keith

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:06 am 
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I do not believe it would make sense for Hobie to make the AI faster than the TI. They are both similar in performance now, which makes social outings better.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:25 am 
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tonystott wrote:
I do not believe it would make sense for Hobie to make the AI faster than the TI. They are both similar in performance now, which makes social outings better.


I see what you're saying, but I'm still hoping that each redesign brings a boat that is capable of more speed. I think if you keep with the spirit of what these boats are, you're not going to see a tremendous performance advantage, but a small percentage increase in maintainable cruising speed wouldn't hurt. Whatever is learned in the redesign from an AI, will likely be able to be employed on the TI. Yes, this does mean that the older generation of AI's might be slower than the future generation, but I don't think that it will make outings together impossible.

To me, if Hobie is looking to redesign the AI, they're looking to redesign an icon. Whatever they do, they'll find some criticism on this board. The best way for Hobie to move forward is to take the entire boat, and start by trying to make it better in every way. To say, right from the start that increased speed is not a goal, would be doing a disservice to the potential of Hobie's world class design team. As a design moves from the drawing board (or AutoCad) to the market, you tend to lose some of the goals that you started off with, so in my mind, it's best to leave every potential improvement on the table and see what happens.

Ideally, they create a boat that every current owner wants, and a whole flood of new owners also want.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:33 pm 
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Augaug is spot on.

Hobie is a business. A very successful business. It is in their business interest to make a new AI faster than the TI. In addition to a bunch of new AI owners, they would have a bunch of older AI owners jumping on the bandwagon for a newer, faster, drier AI. I can't wait.

Those of you who own TIs, don't worry, you can get one too.

Keith

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:44 pm 
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The other thing is, if the design team starts without the goal of improved speed, what happens if they improve the boat in every way but end up with a slower boat? Then you still have a group of AI's that can't cruise with other AI's but the problem is that a lot of current owners (your entire market so far) would really have to think about moving to the newer boat.

I've never heard anyone wish for a slower AI, and if you take two boats with different hull designs, you're unlikely to get them to be the exact same speed in all conditions. If there is even the perception that a brand new, fully redesigned AI was slower, that would be a big failure.

If you look at the requests on this thread, most can be overcome without a redesign. You can dress for wet conditions, you can use dry bags to keep your gear safe and dry, speed is the one thing that can't be achieved without a redesigned hull or sail plan.

To be honest, speed should be the entire point of a redesigned boat. A dry seating area could be accomplished by redesigning the current drain plugs, or modifying the current mold. A true redesign needs to solve the problems that can't be solved by a modification.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:16 pm 
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Yeah, speed would be a good improvement, as the A.I. (or the TI for that matter) can never be called quick boats - maybe for a yak, but even a little lazer would blow them away...

Oh yeah, and bring back the old moulded-in grab/carry handles - they're better, in every respect, than the current ones!

Cheers,

Mike.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:18 pm 
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A pity that my comments have been re-interpreted to suggest that I want a new AI to be slower... but I maintain that Hobie shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the real market appeal of the Island is its versatility, and any wholesale increase in performance could require compromise in other areas

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:20 pm 
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Sorry, Mike, I love the new handles--the ones on my 2011 AI. I can actually pick up the hull and carry it with a handle, something I could never do with the molded handles.

Keith

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:32 pm 
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A true redesign needs to solve the problems that can't be solved by a modification.[/quote]
Now there-in lies the entire truth of the matter
Cheers Vintagereplica


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:40 pm 
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tonystott wrote:
A pity that my comments have been re-interpreted to suggest that I want a new AI to be slower... but I maintain that Hobie shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the real market appeal of the Island is its versatility, and any wholesale increase in performance could require compromise in other areas

Agreed
If I wanted a faster boat there are plenty of better choices than the Ai/TI. But none of them offer the versatility that these boats do.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:42 pm 
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tonystott wrote:
A pity that my comments have been re-interpreted to suggest that I want a new AI to be slower... but I maintain that Hobie shouldn't lose sight of the fact that the real market appeal of the Island is its versatility, and any wholesale increase in performance could require compromise in other areas


I didn't interpret your comment as you wanting a slower boat. My point was just that performance needs to be on the table in any redesign.

I completely agree that the market appeal of the boat is it's versatility. All I'm suggesting is that the boat is versatile enough as is. If the boat were to undergo a true complete redesign, it should maintain it's tremendous versatility, but gain performance. I'm not sure that most users need "more utility" I think most users, like you and I are quite happy with the level of versatility that the AI has. So if there is going to be a redesign, it absolutely has to maintain it's versatility, but more performance should be required as well.

mickeymouse wrote:
If I wanted a faster boat there are plenty of better choices than the Ai/TI. But none of them offer the versatility that these boats do.
Agreed, but why not add performance to the versatility of the AI. That's all I'm suggesting. A great way to broaden the market appeal of this boat is to get the guys who want a higher performing boat, and introduce them to the versatility that the AI provides. That seems to be a solution that makes sense for everyone.

If they don't add versatility, or don't increase performance, than there's no point redesigning the boat, just tweak it to evolve from what's already there. My suggestions are only relevant to a complete redesign of the AI.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:19 pm 
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Dude-it's your wet dream, so your "dream AI" can be as fast as you want it to be. :lol:

But at least make it as fast as the TI, so I don't have to pedal so much, or cross shallow reefs to catch up. The point of the TI has never been pure speed, anyway.

And I much prefer the new soft side handles, (except while sailing). :(


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:03 am 
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What do we mean when we say we want the boat to be "faster"?
-Higher top speed in ideal conditions of wind and water?
-Able to travel point to point in less time?
-Faster in light winds?
-Faster downwind? Close hauled?
Few boats score on all those definitions of faster, because they all involve tradeoffs.
-Boats with high top speed pay a price in stability and reliability. Catamarans and Moths are prone to capsize. Even the TI seems to pay a price in increased likelihood of gear breakage.
-Point to Point? The AI had already proven itself pretty fast point to point, given its performance in the Everglades Challenges.
-Faster in light winds? That's what NOHUHU is wishing for when he complains of needing to pedal to keep up with a TI, since pedalling becomes pointless at higher wind speeds. The obvious answer to that is more sail area, but that increases the risk of breakages at higher wind speeds if the sail is not furled judiciously.
-Downwind? The AI is not a great downwind performer, largely because of its boomless sail, but the addition of a boom would be at the expense of the furling sail and the boat's ability to handle high winds. A spinnaker would be a big help, but, again, at the risk of gear breakage.
-Close hauled? The AI has already been substantially improved in this regard with the addition of the vertical rudder, which has eliminated the boat's tendency to round up to windward in strong winds. It is now possible to sheet in hard and sail close hauled in high winds without having to depower the sail to correct weather helm. Because of the high relative air speed, it is the point of sail which feels the fastest, even though it's the slowest. Looking at Tom's impressive clip "All she will do.", he is sailing close hauled on his first run and the sound of the wind rushing by and the extreme heeling of the boat give a tremendous sense of speed, but I'll bet that's not the run on which he reached 17-18 mph.
For me, the speeds that matter are the ability to reach a destination quicker, if I'm in expedition mode, and the sensation of speed when hiked out in a good breeze (the "Woo-Hoo " factor). A high number on the GPS is nice, but it's just a number and I don't know which of the boat's features I would be willing to trade off to improve that number. More sail area would be great, but I can see how Hobie doesn't want lots of punters complaining when they overdo it and break their boats.

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