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 Post subject: AI for a big guy
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2007 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:17 am
Posts: 11
Location: Camano Island, WA
Well, OK, not THAT big... but since I failed to get myself bonsai'd during a long-ago growth spurt, I now have trouble buying boats that fit (I'm also shopping for a full-time voyager, having just sold my Corsair 36 trimaran, and it is amazing how few sailboats in the 50-foot range have adequate headroom).

I posted this over on the kayaking forum, but it's really an AI question so I'll quote it here:

I have a Revo and love it, but frankly, it's just too small for me; I'm 6'4" and about 235 pounds. Leg extension is a little short but I can live with that; the problem is that I am always sitting in a puddle and have a VCG (vertical center of gravity) that is too high for the hull stability curve. I thus have come to consider the Sidekicks essential in anything other than flat water; I've done a few crossings and some sailing without them, but it's nerve-wracking and requires active management. The Sidekicks solve that problem (I love them), but it's still very wet. When I'm out with my friend in an identical boat, she bobs around like a cork and can recover from an abrupt 45-degree heel in a beam sea... at that point, I would be taking a cold Puget Sound swim.

In a non-pedal kayak this would of course be a non-issue, as paddling takes care of dynamic stability even without deliberate bracing. I've tried that while pedaling the Revo, but lower-body coupling to the boat is way too loose and it also eliminates rudder control.

I'm about to buy an AI for this reason, but have not actually tried one yet... any comments from people of similar scale?


Any AI owners of similar dimensions? I have seen discussion of the 350-pound load capacity and what that really means, but this is more a question of puddle-sitting, leg extension, reserve capacity, room to move about, head clearance on a close reach (a nuisance on the Revo), and general fit to a large body.

Thanks and cheers,
Steve (poised to buy unless I'm talked out of it)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Don't know about the AI, but I do know that the BigA is a considerably wetter ride than the Revo or Outback in any kind of chop. The Adventure sits lower in the water due to its reduced freeboard and thus tends to take more water over the gunnels than either the Revo or Outback--and that is with about a 175-200 lb person and gear aboard. With a 235 lb person, it would sit even lower, and this would further increase the amount of water taken aboard.

Of course, a pair of breathable, waterproof pants or shorts and a light jacket that is also breathable and waterproof considerably increases the comfort of sailing, fishing, and yaking in general, especially in rough weather, and/or in the cooler months. I use the Stearns models that are available from W-M for a very reasonable price (but make sure any such gear is breathable--very important). I have continued to fish and travel in the Sport, even in a pretty continuous downpour, and remained very comfortable. I normally wear my Stearns waterproof pants even in the spring and summer when fishing (keeps the fish slime and skin cancer under control!). My unlined Stearns jacket is rolled up in my seat-back fanny pack (on the older Hobie Mirage Drive yaks), and stuffed in a Zip-Loc quart bag, so it is alway readily available with just a few minutes lead time. Works for me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:04 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 42
Location: Dahlgren, VA
Been driving an AI for a few months on the lower Potomac river in wind up to 25 knots and waves to 2.5'. At 6'-1, 205 lbs. there have been no problems with performance. Sometimes my wife rides along on short trips (2 miles) which brings the weight to 310 plus gear. The AI still handles well under sail. Understandably, it takes a little more effort to pedal.

The AI is a wet boat in all conditions. To keep your seat dry either leave it in the garage or wear some good quality spray pants. I always wear them, not to keep dry but to keep the sun off.

At your height, if sitting upright the sail will brush your head. Recline the seat a bit and that should correct the problem. My dealer had an AI set up in his warehouse so I was able to check out the fit before the purchase. There shoud be adequate leg room for you to pedal.

Stability is not an issue but I've never had out without the outriggers and sail and can't comment on the stability of the Big A.

There are only two minor frustrations which I am in the process of correcting. First is the installation of a fairlead on the cam for the furling line. Second, the seat straps slip a lot. Some velcro may correct that.

The AI is a well-designed, fun boat. I got it to sail and, given the versatility, it does everything I expected.

baysailor

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:15 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:30 pm
Posts: 260
Location: Vancouver, WA
If you can make it down to Seattle, Dan at Hobie Cats NW has (last time I was there) an AI set up in the shop, so you can (as has been mentioned) sit in it to try the fit. He might do demos as well - he's in a great spot now on the west side of Lake Washington in Magnussen Park.

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 Post subject: AI for a big guy
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:17 am
Posts: 11
Location: Camano Island, WA
Thanks for the comments!

TJP... yes, Dan at Hobie Cats NW is the fellow from whom I bought the Revolutions, and will be the source of the AI if I decide to do it. They seem to be the most knowledgeable dealer in the area (even though one is much closer to where I live). I really should do a demo, I guess!

My last kayak was a wonderful big barge of a boat, the Aire Sea Tiger, a 19-foot inflatable. You can see it here. But I needed something more agile for deployment from the mothership, and also wanted pedal and sail. So the Revo is actually pretty sweet, despite being almost dainty by comparison. Having just sold my Corsair 36 and not having a role for the Microship in the next expedition, I think my interest in the AI is less based on practicality than on pure tri-lust. The ratio of on-water pleasure to handling overhead seems to be considerably higher than other micro-trimarans in the same size range, and even without that, the Mirage drive is a powerful selling point.

OK, so my seat will be wet. A small price to pay, and I'll take your suggestion, Apalach and Baysailor, about the dedicated pants.

Thanks for the input, folks! Just for context, three photos of my homebuilt tri with retractable landing gear are below. The Microship has a pedal drive as well as an electric thruster (480-watt solar array not installed in this test-sail photo, but folding panels fill the space between hulls), as well as a modified WindRider 93 sqft sail with added furling drum and vang. It's a wonderful machine, but still too heavy and complex for a quick day sail... the seductive appeal of the AI is that I can throw it in the truck (or launch from dinghy davits) and be playing on the water within a few minutes. The older I get, the more I appreciate simplicity.

Cheers,
Steve

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Microship Wordplay docked in Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, WA

Image
Spinfin pedal drive unit designed and built by Bob Stuart

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Detail of Microship sail rig

---

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 4:06 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Long Island, New York
Steve -

I thought it the first time I saw your pictures and I still think it. That is one of the coolest boats I've ever seen. Your inventiveness is amazing. Go for the AI. You'll love it.

John Long


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Steve,
WOW--I'm impressed--that is one fine craft! And, I have to agree with you--KISS rules! Just like my other favorite personality, Murphy, that I learned all about as the First Lieutenant and head of the Deck Department of a U.S. Navy ship in the Western Pacific! I think you're gonna like the AI, especially with some waterproof and breathable yak uniform gear. Let us know what you decide, and how it goes.
Best,
Dick

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 Post subject: Big Guys and the AI
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:03 pm
Posts: 42
Location: California Delta
I see the little ones answered up. I run 260+ and 6'3" I have a long torso so I would probably be as tall in the seat as you. I have to duck on a tack but I don't mind, there are too many positives about the AI. I have several Hobie cats including a new Getaway but I love the setup and quick to sail feature of the AI. I also have a "straight" Adventure kayak and don't have stability problems nor do I feel I ride too low in the water. Hope you do a demo and enjoy the boat, I demoed and bought the same day back in March on SF bay.
Bill


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:17 am
Posts: 11
Location: Camano Island, WA
Longfellow, Apalach, and Wcvette...

Thanks for the kind words and advice! It looks like I have no choice; I really must have an AI. It should be an excellent substrate for the Kayaktopus project, which was starting to feel a bit cramped in the Revolution. Sounds like a plan.

I'll post here as things develop!

Cheers and thanks again for the comments,
Steve

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:55 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Steve,

I'm 6' 5" and 235. I don't have any issues fitting on my AI. I can extend my legs fully when not pedaling. On a close reach, you will notice the sail brushing the top of your head when tacking, but I don't find it a big deal--you can let the sail out just a bit to avoid the issue all-together.

The seat is comfortable, and the back-rest is adjustable. I have not sailed in rough enough conditions to be sitting in water, however I have sailed in some fairly high winds. I love the boat--perfect for lake sailing in northern Michigan (when it's warm!)...good luck!


Hayes Wyngarden
Ada, Michigan

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Got out of town on a boat going to southern islands, sailing a reach before a following sea...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 11:17 am
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Location: Camano Island, WA
Thanks, Hayes! Now, of course, I want both an AI and the new inflatable. This is an expensive passion...

I'll post when I get the new ship - any day now!

Cheers,
Steve

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 Post subject: Big Guy
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:16 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Cypress, Texas

I have an AI. I am 240 lbs., 6'4", with a 34" inseam. I have no problem with pedal adjustment being too short, sail clearance head room, or an excessively wet boat.

I shopped for months before buying my AI and I would change nothing about the boat.

I fish the bay system around Galveston, Texas in mine rigged for sailing. I do wish the boys at Hobie would have considered the AI when they designed the new live bait tank.

Doug Hale


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hey Doug,
Welcome the Hobie Forum! As you no doubt know by now, lots of good folks and great information here.

BTW, I have not yet checked into the new bait tanks. For which models were they designed to fit? I'm assuming at least the Outback, but have yet to see one up close and personal.
Best,
Dick

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 Post subject: Bait Tank
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:16 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Cypress, Texas
I ordered a bait tank when I bought my AI around the first of July. It will fit the regular Adventure, and some of the other models. It will not work on the AI because the mounting bracket for the rear ama's is in that spot.

I have researched the bait tank problem and do not like anything I have seen. For now I am going to use a piece of 4" plastic pipe with holes drilled in the side and a sewer clean-out threaded closure for each end. I can tie it to one of the rear akas and let it trail in the water to keep my bait alive when I use live bait.

Most of the time I will be throwing plastic. I the summer we use live croakers for spotted weak fish.

Regards,

Doug


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hey Doug--I hear ya. What I finally resorted to was not too pretty, but it turned out to be pretty functional. This was ths suspension of a floating bait bucket from a PVC arm so the drag doesn''t slow me down. When I get to my fishing spot, I just drop the bucket in the drink with my pinfish bait therein, and the bait gets the new water recirculated nicely.

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