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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Okay,
I would really like to hear of experiences changing a rudder pin at sea without anyone else's help.

I envisage jumping overboard and fixing it while floating alongside, and then climbing back on board. Maybe my current weight of 128kgs (steadily dropping thanks to Miragedrive), my age of 67, and my reduced mobility from umpteen back & knee issues, steers me away from attempting to lie out on deck facing the rudder and trying to fix it that way.

Looking forward to solutions for this realistic scenario (we can't always guarantee there is someone nearby who can chge the pin....)

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www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:18 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
If you broke a pin, we can assume it's rough out there.

I think the sensible thing to do, Tony, would be to fold the Amas back and scoot aft, sitting or laying down to do the swap. Tie yourself off. The extra floatation should be enough. If you have to get wet, that's plan "B".

IMHO, docking in swells is never a good idea. But, if you have a mate nearby who's a great swimmer, have her leash herself to a bowline and swim to your stern. You could pedal slowly upwind (tow mode) as she swaps pins.

Anyway you do it, you should buy the drinks later, and thank your lucky stars. :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 9:22 pm 
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Location: Aussie living in San Diego, CA
I echo your request Tony - this is one thing that I have not figured out yet and to me it a weak point in safety. I look at the replacement rudder pin and I just know that little slippery sucker is going to dive into the water with me spread-eagled on the back of the kayak pliers in one hand, rudder in the other hand and rudder pin in the other hand while hanging on to the kayak with the other hand :lol:
I just saw this posting http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=47486 which was made today of this very thing and these are the kind of conditions that I am thinking of will be the case when a rudder pin breaks.

... so I too would like to hear of other who have faced this and found a way to do it at sea.

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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 10:16 pm 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
I've replaced dozens of pins, over many years and tried many different ways. First most important thing to remember is to release the rudder up and down line cleats!

The easiest way for me has been to holding the pin in my teeth crossways, while stretching out over the rear deck and clearing any pieces of the old pin. Then line up the rudder assembly, push the lines aside then push the pin in. If it doesn't go all the way down, wiggle the bottom of the rudder around until it drops all the way in.

Remember to cleat down the rudder down line before starting to sail again.

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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 10:52 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
Good tip.

The pins on gudeon equipped boats (TI/new AI) are SO much easier to change now. No tools!

Try it first on land, with your eyes closed. That will help.


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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 11:41 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
What KB and Nohuhu said!
I'm still on the original TI pin but on my older AI I broke 2. The first was in around 25knots of wind and I tried to fix it on the water but it was too rough so I headed to shore. I furled the sail to a 'handkerchief', dropped the daggerboard and steered using the paddle while pedaling as well. Worked OK.
The second time I was able to fix it on water as I detailed here in an earlier post:
"Broke my second rudder pin last week. It had been in about 3 months. This time I was able to replace it easily on the water and continue on my way. :)
Winds were about 8-10 knots with stronger gusts and I had just commenced a tack upwind when the pin snapped at the lower end causing the rudder housing to kick up. It stayed in place though, unlike the first break when the whole housing was trailing behind held only by the rudder lines.
I furled the sail, uncleated the down line, grabbed the spare pin and headed aft. Kneeling on the rear hatch/well I was able to release the housing by wiggling it. The broken pin came out easily and it was just a matter of lining up the holes on the housing and the hull and inserting the new pin.

My GPS plot shows just what a minor inconvenience it was!
Image "

If I had no landing alternative in rough conditions I think I would drop the mast and tie it off to the aka to help stability, lower the daggerboard and then head aft much like KB has described.
If you don't think it's possible to change at sea then you should practice steering using a paddle. Remember to furl the sail to a manageable size for the conditions and drop the daggerboard so you don't overpower the paddle. Supplemented with pedaling you should be able to make land OK.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 12:17 am 
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Location: Mt Kuring-Gai, NSW, Australia
I've had 3 break in a year, with my 2012 TI.
Two on the water - both times I pedaled ashore using the paddle to steer (well, more accurately, periodically stall the boat in appropriate direction to maintain direction, then carry on pedaling)
The 3rd time was last week, PIN broke as I arrived to shore & pulled up the rudder - don't know what happened, but I assume PIN was damaged and the lift was enough to finish it off)

I'd like to see more reinforcement in the rear hull and a stronger PIN - seems to be break too often for too many people if you ask me.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 4:49 am 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
I have had experience trying to steer my TI with paddle, when a steering line broke inside the hull about 80 outings ago. I managed to sail about 4 miles on port tack OK, but it was uncontrollable on starboard, so I called for help. By the time a trawler got me, the offshore wind had blown me 6-7 miles out to sea towards New Zealand, a sobering occasion.

I have had spinal fusion surgery and a hip replacement, and I really don't think I could recover from lying flat out along the hull, which is why the idea of swimming and climbing back aboard appealed. I haven't yet tested my "ladder", which is a line running from the front port knuckle to the rear port aka/ama junction (tensioned during sailing by bungee cord coming from the stern), but my first attempt with the loop tied between the port knuckles was unsuccessful, as my feet kept going under the hull, making climbing aboard too hard. Be having the space out from the hull, I think I would be able to manage getting back on board.

If that aspect is fine, changing the rudder pin from in the water would be a doddle by comparison IMO

I am glad there have been plenty of responses, as this is an issue everyone should give thought to.

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM"
www.scenefromabove.com.au


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 5:11 am 
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Location: Mt Kuring-Gai, NSW, Australia
tonystott wrote:
I have had experience trying to steer my TI with paddle, when a steering line broke inside the hull about 80 outings ago. I managed to sail about 4 miles on port tack OK, but it was uncontrollable on starboard, so I called for help. By the time a trawler got me, the offshore wind had blown me 6-7 miles out to sea towards New Zealand, a sobering occasion


this is the kind of story that compels me to get an evolve !


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 7:23 am 
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An Evolve wouldn't ave been any real help. The issue was the inability to move in the desired direction. I could move as fast as I wanted, but not in the right direction

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:45 am 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
I have changes a couple of pins from in the water. In calmer conditions, it wasn't too bad. I had my "captain's" (9' surfboard) leash on my ankle, which kept me within arms reach of the stern at all times without holding on.

A second occasion to change the pin while in the water in 3-4 foot wind waves was not as helpful, as the stern kept violently rising and dropping making it difficult to do. I had to put all my weight on the stern to finally get a few seconds to get the pin in right.

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:58 am 
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Location: Aussie living in San Diego, CA
Good replies and wise counsel from the more experienced sailors - thanks. I need to practice that maneuver in calm water.
It still leads me to think about an emergency rudder as I too have practiced steering using just the paddle under calm conditions - its better than nothing but would not want to be relying on that 2 miles out to sea in rougher conditions. I know that's why we carry VHF radio and cell phones etc however It seems to me that with 3 modes of propulsion on the AI/TI the rudder is the weak link with only one designed steering system to rely on and yet a boat without steerage can be a big concern as indicated by Tony's comments.

So, my apology if this has already been covered under another thread, but has anyone designed a DIY emergency steering system for the AI/TI (outboard motors aside) ? If its already covered elsewhere just point me to it guys!

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:19 am 
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Something on the boat is going to be the weak link. It's a matter of figuring out what part or piece you'd want that to be. If you put in a steel pin instead of a plastic one, then any damage or failure would most likely take place at the grudgeon or the bolts holding it on, which you're not likely to be able to replace on the water or even on the beach. Beef those up and now any failure will move to another part, somewhere on the boat.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see certain aspects of the Island Series kayaks made slightly beefier, but there is only so much you can do before you reach a point of diminishing returns or have to change the very nature of the boat that most of find so appealing.

In the meantime, you might want to think about replacing the rudder pin every so many trips out. Granted, sudden failures certainly occur but in at least some cases I'd think damage can be cumulative and could therefore be caught before total failure either by inspection or replacement every so often. I've only had my Island boats for going on a year, but I do sail them pretty hard and plan to replace the rudder pins on both in June, whether they appear damaged or not.


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:51 am 
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Location: Lake Macquarie NSW AUSTRALIA
Great thread Tony. Thankfully I don't have any experience in replacing pins in anger. Although, back in my day, we had the old 'twist and stow' rudder system which you young whipper snappers wouldn't be old enough to remember. That system gave me grief a couple of times when it became virtually useless. So I know what it's like to be in a howler with no steerage. I've practiced in the AI with the paddle which would be good for perhaps 10-15 knots, but 20+ I reckon you'd be struggling. Dunno about the TI. What were the wind conditions when the trawler had to come Tony ? ( sorry to reopen old wounds ).

Dipping and turning the paddle though has a pretty good effect. Better than nothing in a light wind. A bracket like the camera gimbal mount shown below, made up to clamp loosely on the Aka and then clamp loosely around the paddle, may certainly help get you out of trouble.

Image

Image

Hope this explains what I'm talking about. Take off the counterweight and the camera bracket. Perhaps not use the green Stauff brackets but 2 different sized tri-clover clamps ( the metal round bracket in the photos ) welded at 90 degrees to each other, so that one quickly clamps around the Aka and the other quickly around the paddle would give 2 axis of rotation. By loosely bolting the 2 brackets together, instead of welding, you would then have 3.

Problem is that if I made one of these up, I'd probably store it in the rear hatch. So while I'm up the back getting it, I may as well replace my rudder pin. :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Location: Ocean City, NJ
I have a TI with the new-style rudder. The one time I had to remove the rudder pin (at the dock), it was a royal pain to remove the little retainer ring. I couldn't imagine doing that out on the water, possible in rough seas. I don't see that the ring is really necessary, since the control lines, which thread through the slot on top of the rudder pin, would prevent the pin from walking itself out. Has anyone else abandonded use of the retainer clip? BTW, I tried bending the end of the ring out a bit to make it easier to get on and off, but there didn't seem to be a point where that did any good and still allowed the ring to be threaded through the pin.


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