Let me first apologize for the long winded response.
I kind of feel the same way as I suspect you do, I love my TI and won't trade it for anything (mostly because of the Mirage drives). However after the newness wore off, and the harsh reality that in my case Florida the winds are typically only 4-8 mph, I found my stock TI to be rather boring to sail. I've commented before that in low winds I think I can swim faster
To be honest here the reason we got into kayaking in the first place was the harsh reality that owning a $60k Sea Ray powerboat and paying $400 per month storage and maint fees just to be able to get out on the water every weekend just didn’t make any sense, plus with marine gas at $4 per gallon you can’t afford to go anywhere anyway. Just straight kayaking is fun but you really can’t cover any distance as we were used to with our powerboats. We never had any desire to own a giant (very expensive) sailboat, and the constant upkeep costs, and day sailing boats like Lasers, cats, and my old Sunfish just doesn’t do anything for me. I’m being perfectly frank here, we just want to be able to go out on the water and do the same things we used to do with our powerboats, but simply can’t afford the huge expenses involved. This is the core to our attraction to the Hobie Adventure type family boats, they are affordable to own and operate, we don’t have any storage fees, and best yet no gas (feeling good about our environmental impact). I have talked to many similar people to myself in the Hobie Island club with Island type boats, and all have very similar backgrounds and interests, we just want to be out on the water as a family and enjoy the water without the huge expenses.
We felt the TI to be the perfect boat for our lifestyle, but realized quickly the lack of performance ability and because we wanted to cover more distance (like we used to with our powerboats) I decided soon after I bought my first TI back in spring 2010 (while waiting for the then promised Hobie jib option) to add my own sails to my TI. Not because I wanted to, more because I had to because there was nothing available from Hobie, or aftermarket suppliers. (I’m still in dis-believe that nothing has been done by Hobie).
The TI is a very popular boat, and for the life of me I simply can't understand why Hobie has not offered a TI with a performance option, or jib and spinnaker options to compete with the WIndriders and Weta’s, I assume their reasoning is they don’t want this boat to compete directly with their traditional sailboat market (shooting their own foot in their eyes), my personal opinion is the Adventure market will be way bigger than Hobies conventional sailing market ever was. In my opinion I feel they really hit the nail on the head to come out with the perfect family orientated general purpose kayak/sail boat (a major home run in my opinion for all of us former powerboaters). However I also feel strongly that as these tens of thousands of new people into sailing get used to the Adventure type boats, and get real experience under their belts. I think a large percentage are going to want for more sailing performance that just a stock TI can provide, and be able to cover more distance faster. I assume Hobies senior management is counting on these Adventure owners ‘once they get the sailing fever’ are going to want to upgrade to their regular line of cats (a new huge market demand for their traditional cat market in their eyes). What I don’t think they realize fully is this new group of adventure sailers are mostly kayakers, former powerboaters, and families who have no interest whatsoever in competitive sailing (class sailing), and don’t have any interest in joining yacht clubs, buying big expensive sailboats, or Hobie 16 beach cats, this stuff just isn’t what we want or does it fit our lifestyle. The Adventure line of boats fits our lifestyle perfectly, and we only want more of the same. I don’t think I’m alone here. I personally love the Mirage drives, and the whole theme of the Adventure type boats and have no desire whatsoever to buy a Weta, Windrider, Laser, or Hobie 16. I am only wishing for just a little more capability as I become more experienced. I owned a Sunfish a long time ago, and never did any of the stuff I use my TI for, it was a day sailer only for going out on a lake and putzing around for a couple hours, that’s all it was good for, I got really bored with that quickly.
I proved out the concept of how to add more sails to the TI and how to do it over 3 yrs ago now, yet still no other sail options from Hobie. Am I the only one out there that can swim faster than my TI in low wind ???, doesn't anyone else ever take their TI out in low wind conditions, or try to cover 20-30 miles and not get bored to tears going 4 mph. I have also proven out beyond any reasonable doubt that the current hull, mast, AMA's, rudder, etc systems can easily support the additional sail area, with no modifications at all to the basic design of the boat. The bow re-enforcer brace that Jim used in EC 2011, works just fine, and many of us have similar home made units installed.
I would think that with the now thousands of TI sailors out there who have seen and done everything the current TI can do, and like me find it a little lacking in low wind conditions would be pounding on Hobies doors asking for more sail options (ie... bigger sails, jib options, spinnaker options, etc). After all almost every other sailboat Hobie sells has optional jib and spinnaker option. With TI's we are not restricted by all the class rules that in my opinion severely inhibit innovation in the industry. I already know the comments from the other sailers to this will be “it’s just a kayak”.
Personally and to be perfectly honest if I did not have the ability and knowhow to fix the obvious problems with the TI design I would have got very bored with the boat a long time ago and got rid of it (though I don't think I could own a boat without the Mirage drive system anymore).
However with the minor mods I have made to my own boat ( I had to because Hobie was not addressing the obvious performance issues), I am extremely happy with my own TI, it has sufficient performance in pretty much any winds (very similar to a Windrider 17 or Weta), doesn't take hours to rig, remains car top-able, can be configured for just about anything I can imagine, including just using it as a really good kayak. We use our TI for excursions, Island hopping,Scuba diving, spear fishing, party barge, and just about anything else we can think of except fishing (we don't fish), and are able to do everything we enjoyed and were able to do with our powerboats. We of course do a good portion of our sailing in and around the keys where they have very nice trade winds. Of course I have my boat rigged with an emergency gas motor, large anchor, 260 sq ft of sail, with all critical areas of the boat re-enforced, and have all the proper safety gear, we have no difficulty taking our TI out to the coral reefs for diving, or out to Cottrell key (about 15 miles NW of Key West). We will be out scuba diving during mini Lobster season catching as much as we can eat, scuba diving off our TI, since we no longer have a powerboat.
Another thing I really like about my TI is if I'm not planning any hard core sailing and just want to go out for a quick sail, I just leave all the extras (sails, motor, etc) on the car or trailer.
It appears I'm the only one out there that feels this way about the TI, at least in my case (with the mods) it does everything I would ever want for, and we are finally perfectly happy not owning a powerboat.