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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:09 am 
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Hollgi started an interesting topic: Your dream Ai, what would you change? http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=46269

On that thread, Augaug has pointed out: “To be honest,…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.”

Augaug is spot on: “…speed should be the entire point of a redesigned boat....”

In my opinion, Hobie needs to maintain the versatility of the AI, but add speed and a drier ride. I am not talking about turning the AI into a cat—Hobie has plenty of those. No, increase the speed so it is competitive or faster than the AI Tandem. Mold in a wave deflector to the bow to discourage diving, and reduce the wet ride.

How is Hobie going to do this? First, I have to make the disclaimer: I am not a boat designer (probably didn’t have to state the obvious.)

The molded in wave deflector could be done on the current AI, but why do that? The current (original) AI has plenty of adherents, why make major changes to it? No, as Augaug says, we need a redesign.

With regards to speed, I would like to see a speed comparable to or better than the Tandem. This should be simple enough to do. (1) Use the Tandem sail or something comparable. (2) Design the new AI with an add-on jib capability. (3) Strengthen the boat so that it can handle the new sail requirements. (4) Redesign the ama. (5) Redesign the attachment of the clew to the stern to make the boat a better downwind sailor. (6) Keep the boat simple. All of that is a tall order, but Hobie now has plenty of experience between 7 yrs of the AI and half as many with the TI.

There are many faster, fun sailing boats. There are no boats that can compare to the AI for its versatility—sailing, fishing, expeditions. Hobie should try to keep these basic features.

I hope Jim Czarnowski and the Hobie engineers/sailors are working on all of these things. The goal is pretty clear, and as Augaug says, “…speed should be the entire point of a redesigned boat…A true redesign needs to solve the problems that can't be solved by a modification.”

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Chekika wrote:
In my opinion, Hobie needs to maintain the versatility of the AI, but add speed and a drier ride.
I think that statement sums up my feelings too. An AI would need to keep the kayaking abilities for me.

My ideal lineup in the future would be to see the following:
- A tremendously versatile AI maintaining all of the current versatility, but add a little bit more speed, and a seating area that drains.
- A TI that follows the AI's lead, but is geared slightly more towards the sailing side of things, where as the AI could be a great 50/50 boat. Equally good as a kayak and a sailboat
- A TI "Sport" which would be the top of the line Mirage Drive sailboat that takes aim at the performance of a Weta, but keeps a couple of the Mirage Drives to be used in lower winds, or to assist in tacking and gybing. Something with multiple sails, able to be sailed singlehanded, but great for taking a couple of sailors in the boat, and two kids on the trampolines. I would also like to see a traditional rudder on this boat, allowing the sailor to use the trampolines to hike out.

:D Hey, I'm allowed to dream.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:19 pm 
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Slightly off-topic, but I saw my first Weta in action a few weeks ago - I was amazed at the acceleration in only moderate winds...



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:41 pm 
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Location: DARWIN, NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA
I have to add my support to Chekika and Augaug's statements...is it time now considering the opinions stated in this and the "DREAM" thread to expand the ISLAND range? I spose that's a problem for Hobie's bean counters to give the go ahead for such a project to the top secret design dept.
That WETA vid demonstrates the performance factor we would all love to embrace and with not a sign of submarining weighed down with three on board! That turn was exceptionally well done. (I've slipped that into my 'favorites' bar)
I would like to see Hobie produce something with that speed capability before WETA move into the Islands versatility and steal the market by coming up with a competitive No Wind propulsion system to compete with the Mirage Drive.
Cheers Vintagereplica
If it works okay...modify it anyway!


Last edited by Vintagereplica on Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:47 pm 
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I love any excuse to watch the WETA in action. Those bows will lift out of the water with a solo sailor pushing the boat.

Even with it's aggressive planing profile, that one sure looks well-trimmed with 3 aboard. Even before the spinnaker deployed.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:52 pm 
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I will speak for Hobie. Place an order for 250 boats and they will build the mold you want. :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:35 pm 
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OK. Call me back after April 15th,..


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:30 am 
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Good video.

While not many Weta's have been entered into the WaterTribe EC, the Weta is another boat that has not done well. I don't believe any have ever finished.

Keith

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:23 am 
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Just a few thoughts re: Weta and AI/TI. I've sailed a Weta (it was my boat prior to the TI) and yes, they are a blast to sail, they move well, even in light winds and accelerate like no body's business. I liked mine a lot. By the way, solo sailing with three sails certainly makes the time go by quickly! However it is difficult to suggest what Hobie can do to be more like a Weta. The Wetas are substantially more expensive, more stiff, have a stayed mast and carry much more sail area. Also, as their name implies you get a very wet ride, like being down stream of a fire hose.

While some Wetas carry a furling jib mine did not. None of them have a furling main. If you get caught out in a major blow you are in deep do-do. There is no way to reduce the sail area of the main (it is all or nothing) and, if fully lowered, there is no place to put the main (a fully battoned laminated sail) while it is still connected to the sail track. Also, it is virtually impossible to paddle them when solo. One feature not often mentioned when discussing Wetas is that the dagger board loads up with grasses very easily, as does the rudder (a BIG problem in some areas of Florida). Neither dagger board or rudder can be cleared of grass as easily/quickly as on a Hobie TI with the retractable rudder and centerboard.

I'd love to see some improvements in the Hobie AI and TIs but I'm not sure being more like a Weta is the best direction for my uses. Fishing and sailing at the same time in a small boat is a wonderful thing, I hope to not lessen the AI/TI capability in this regard. Having so much storage is a real plus too, for those multi-day journeys.

Changes? Larger more robust rudder and rudder attachment. Maybe some other approach to the tiller? Maybe some additional centerboard, or maybe a second center board?

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:31 am 
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Atango wrote:
While some Wetas carry a furling jib mine did not. None of them have a furling main. If you get caught out in a major blow you are in deep do-do. There is no way to reduce the sail area of the main (it is all or nothing) and, if fully lowered, there is no place to put the main (a fully battoned laminated sail) while it is still connected to the sail track. Also, it is virtually impossible to paddle them when solo. One feature not often mentioned when discussing Wetas is that the dagger board loads up with grasses very easily, as does the rudder (a BIG problem in some areas of Florida). Neither dagger board or rudder can be cleared of grass as easily/quickly as on a Hobie TI with the retractable rudder and centerboard.


First of all, I'm not suggesting that the AI or TI be replaced by a Weta like boat. I'm suggesting that there might be a market for a higher performance version of the TI, that could take aim at a Weta. Most of the problems that you mention about a Weta could be taken care of by Hobie innovations. Furling main sails are something that Hobie has been doing for years. The difficulty in paddling a Weta type boat could be addressed with a couple of mirage drives. The fact that the dagger board loads up with grass is very dependent on where you sail, and for me wouldn't be a problem, but as you suggest, the TI has a great system to handle that already. The rudders that Hobie uses on their catamarans can easily and quickly be raised and lowered to shed grass or other debris.

All I'm saying is that if I were to buy a faster boat, I'd love something like a Wave, but the TI design is something that doesn't intimidate my wife, or young children. In Hobie's catamaran line, you have everything from a Bravo to a Wildcat. The AI and TI are all that Hobie sells in a Trimaran style boat, and if Hobie wanted to, I could see them making a killer performance trimaran. Whether there's a market for that boat or not, who knows!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:27 pm 
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As a brand, Hobie has no answer to the Weta, and that's a bit surprising, given their racing heritage and general affordability. Windrider and others have stepped up to build a "novices" hot rod trimaran. They have done it well, but it's really Hobies market to own, if they want to...

Thanks for the firsthand perspective Atango. Wetas look like very easy boats to sail, even flying the kite. For such a short craft, it tracks and behaves beautifully in chop and is hard to pitchpole. They turn on a dime and you don't need a trap harness to enjoy them.

All great features to have in any sailboat.

I think you would lose me once you created a "trailer only" boat, but that doesn't stop most folks from enjoying their TI's.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:17 pm 
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You want a faster, less stable boat, get a Cat.
You want a more stable, slower boat, get a Tri.
Or better still, get both!!!
(Go on augaug, you know you really want to.....)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:19 pm 
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I can get a H16 for dog poop around here.

I can get a trifoiler, with trailer for <5K.

But I'm going to pass. Both of those would ruin the fun I have cartopping my boat on the SUV from Hell.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:16 pm 
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chrisj wrote:
You want a faster, less stable boat, get a Cat.
You want a more stable, slower boat, get a Tri.
Or better still, get both!!!
(Go on augaug, you know you really want to.....)
But what I really want is a faster, more stable Hobie. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:53 pm 
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You will never get the level of weta performance without the faffing about rigging the thing up or loosing the fold up flexibility. That is where the hobie scores and why we all have one and not a weta.

Note the name. It's not a drier ride either!

And nowhere for the fishing rods either.

So if you want a fast trimaran with lots of sails there is one allready. If you want a super flexible tri there is one allready. I am not sure there is a market for a faster less flexible trimaran hobie or see what it would add to the mix.

But you've got me thinking

Cc

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