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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:03 am
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Location: Sydney
I have a new AI, probably the first customer sample on the water in Australia. I have a real problem with the rudder, which seems to be a real weak link in the design. The rudder pops up under minimal load when sailing, most often on the port tack. I have tried many adjustments, but none seems to make much difference. When I screw the lockdown in as far as it goes it is ineffective on a port tack, as the lateral pressure on the rudder pushes the rudder sideways and pops it out of the indent in the rudder blade designed to hold the lockdown screw. The end result is no rudder control in any reasonable breeze on the port tack. The starboard tack is just fine, as the lateral pressure pushes the rudder tighter against the lockdown screw. Does anybody have any suggestions, short of putting a pin through the rudder where the lockdown screw goes? Thanks in advance. Bill

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:54 am 
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My friend and I each got AIs last month. We both have the same problem you have. In any kind of wind on a port tack, the rudder is pushed out of place and you can't steer. When this happens I furl some of the sail to reduce the pressure on the rudder. This works, but is a disappointing solution. He drilled a hole through the rudder and uses a quick pin to hold it in place.

I'm sure Hobie is aware of this problem and is working on a more permanent fix. It appears the rudder was designed for kayaks and kayak speeds. At sailboat speeds, it is overwhelmed. There is a solution and they will find it, they always do. In the meantime, has anyone else found a better way to deal with this?


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 Post subject: Rudder
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:29 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
There should be a small screw in the rudder housing. That is there for windy conditions. Set the screw to hold the blade down. I believe all Island have the screw. Yes, the up down will not work when using the screw.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:58 pm 
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Matt -

That screw works fairly well for me, but the rudder bent the screw on my friend's boat. That's why he drilled it out and put in a pin. Are there other solutions being considered?

Thanks -

David


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 Post subject: Ideas
PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:12 pm 
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Sorry, there are... were... two parallel topics running here. I have just deleted the other.

Here is what I had said in the other about new ideas:

It is a tough balance between a retractable rudder and one that will stay down under higher wind loads. Same issue with the cats. We are working on new ideas though. Still in design and testing at this time.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2006 9:08 am
Posts: 6
Location: Boucherille, Québec, Canada
Hi, I don't have an AI myself, but I think a good solution to the rudder's problem is to use a spring plunger with a ring. You will be able to attach a wire to the ring and control the locking of the plunger by the AI's cockpit.

http://www.McMaster.com
Part #8482A6

Hope this will solve the problem...


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2005 11:32 am
Posts: 183
Location: Portland, OR
I was just at the Seattle boat show yesterday and talked to Doug Skidmore, Hobie's president, about this very problem. Hobie is well aware of the issue and working on some solution involving a pin that would lock the rudder when you put it down and release it when you activate the control handle.

I love the creativity of these guys!

Anyhow, I don't think they can make any promise on a fix, but they sure know of the issue and are working on it. That's Hobie for you.

By the way, I discussed with Dan (from Hobie NW) and Doug a number of the AI quirks, and both were very helpful in providing rational answers to my wild dreams for both the AI and Getaway (putting a Bravo mast and sail on the AI, adding a spin to the Getaway). Unfortunately neither can be done safely as the hardware wasn't designed for the added load.

But Doug gave me a very useful tip for the furling line catching below the AI drum (which happens every time I get the boat in the water). To solve this, you have to extend the turnbuckles inside the hull (supporting the deck at the mast section) in order to decrease the spacing between the deck flange and the drum. You have to keep enough space for the free rotation of the mast, but the 3/16 on my boat were enough of the furling line to squeeze in.

Hobie is also modifying the AI mold so that the up/down rudder line enter the hull in a "bump" instead of the current "recess". They heard us talk about the amount of water that some of us "heavy weight" get in our yaks, and found that the small amount of water that collects in that small recess on the aft deck quickly finds its way inside the hull, to be replaced with more water, etc....

I was quite impressed by the stories they told about testing their designs before release (such as standing someone of the AI ama and puling on the mast until they capsize it; and rigging some device to simulate thousands of capsize on a boat in order to check what will break!) It sure builds confidence that they've done their homework.

Yeah, we'll always find new quirks, but I left the show quite reassured that Hobie is listening and learning.

Now, if only they could get me an AI with a Bravo-size sail, and a Getaway with a spin, I'd be a happy camper. That is, until I found more stuff to enhance on these new crafts!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:43 pm
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Location: Miami Shores, FL
I just purchased a new 07 AI, which came without the new rudder, which is supposed to reduce load on the mechanism. The dealer said that the new rudder would be coming from the manufacturer in the "not too distant future".

Took my new boat out last Saturday, circumnavigated Biscayne Key, launching from Hobie Beach on Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami. Except for the Port Tack problem, it was an AWESOME day! I found that at speeds over about 3.5 Knots, holding the tiller hard to starboard, at best could only keep the boat straight, it would not turn away from the wind (due to sternway from a sternward primary moment?). After struggling with this for a while, I took the paddle and wedged the concave side of one blade on the lower mast, trailing the other end of the paddle under the Starboard side aft aka. This just magically seemed to bring the boat into trim and I found the rudder would center perfectly, just as it did on the Starboard Tack. Several times over the course of the day, my GPS unit indicated water speeds of over 7 knots, I even got on plane a couple of times! The trailing paddle seemed to keep the rudder in trim on the Port Tack. However, it created significant drag at lower speeds. I tried to screw in the set screw, but it did not seem to make much of a difference.

Will changing out for the new rudder (when it arrives) fix this? :?:

Hey, despite this little nuisance, the AI was just AWESOME! I am really loving this boat!!!

Dorsalis


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 1:07 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Make sure your rudder is centered so it can sweep equally in both directions.

The new rudder will give you helm balance, but not boat balance. After tacking, before you get your speed up in chop and wind, the weather helm can overwhelm your rudder. Solution is to luff the sail a little until you pick up enough speed for a good rudder bite. Then it should work fine. BTW, pedaling through your tack helps carry your speed and minimizes this effect.

It's just a matter of learning the best technique for the boat. 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:17 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Dorsalis wrote:
The dealer said that the new rudder would be coming from the manufacturer in the "not too distant future".


Check to see that they actually ordered one for you. We do not automatically ship rudders for new buyers (they may think we do). We did a one time mailing to registered owners last Spring. Dealers should have updated their stock some time ago.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:43 pm
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Location: Miami Shores, FL
Thanks for the reply. Had another great day yesterday on the boat. Launced from Upper Matacombe Key and explored Shell Key, Lignum Vitae Key, then sailed out on the ocean side to Indian Key and ultimately out to the wreck of the San Pedro.

Continued to have the rudder problem, but I understand it better now. After tightening the set screw, which screws in on the starboard side of the rudder, when water speed exceeds about 4 knots, there is an audible "Pop" and the set screw pops out of the recess on the rudder. At that point, when on the Port tack, the bow turns in to the wind, no matter how far the tiller is pressed to starboard. Last week on the Key Biscayne trip, I didn't think this could happen, because I was sure the screw was in tightly. This week, I stopped in shallows several times over the course of the day and found the set screw popped out. Each time, I would have to put it back in to place and the tiller would respond properly, until the next time it "Popped" out. Evidently, when water pressure on the starboard side of the rudder (such as when turning to starboard on the port tack) excees a certain amount, the screw is just not enough to keep the rudder attached to the pivot block. It is definitely a Pintle and Gudgeon issue. On the Starboard tack, water pressure is much greater on the port side of the rudder, and this supports the rudder pressing in against the block, so there are no rudder problems. I have double checked to make certain the rudder is centered correctly. Interestingly, the gerry rig of dragging a paddle under the starboard aft Aka, wedged against the mast, still seems to work well in holding trim on the boat, even with the set screw poped.

I have spoken with the folks at Florida Bay Outfitters, from whom I purchased the boat 3 weeks ago. They have assured me that the new rudders have been ordered and when they arrive, I will be contacted for a changeover. Hope this solves the problem as I am beginning to see some chafe on the lower mast luff and under the starboard aft aka, from using the paddle to maintain trim.

Still, this is a GREAT boat and despite this little probelm, I have had two incredible days of island adventures, doing with this boat exactly what it was desginged for! Looking forward to many more!!!

Thanks for an awesome product!


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:46 am
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Location: sacramento
Dorsalis
Have you replaced with the newer balanced rudder? The need for improvment is still there....bigger stonger handle...more rudder less adjustments. The balanced rudder is still a wimp... peddling is the only option. The cables wearing after 10 times out. Will try bracing with the paddle. Did you come up with a way to mount paddle?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 8:51 pm 
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Location: Miami Shores, FL
Yes, kepra, I recieved and replaced the rudder this last week. Took it out in light winds (2-7 knots) and had no problems. The folks at Florida Bay Outfitters have found that if you take a regular stainless steel screw of similar diameter as the plastic set screw, and pass it all the way through the rudder in place of the set screw, that the rudder seems to hold against port tack pressures. This requires drilling a hole through the existing screw inset of the rudder, which is about equal to the core diameter of the screw, and then let the metallic screw cut its own threads through to the far cortex.

The tiller seems easier to handle also with the new rudder, although I have not had it out in anything really gusty yet.

When I needed it, I wedged the paddle so that the concave side of the forward blade was pressed against the foot of the port side mast, while the opposite end of the paddle was trailed under the starboard stern aka. This seemed to bring the boat into trim and restored some control to the rudder, even when the set screw was popped.

Everyone seems to agree that peddaling is best to bring the head across the wind, but I think this is more likely due to the hydrodynamics of a trimaran hull, rather than anything to do with the rudder.

The fix seems to work well. Really, the hardest part is to remember unscrewing the set screw prior to raising the rudder in shallow water. It's still a great boat and wonderful fun to be out on the water with.

Fair winds and blue skies to you!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:46 am
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Location: sacramento
dorsalis

The rudder seems to move in 10 to 2 swing with a differnt size stop on each side.. at the rear. The handel in a 11 to 3 centered at 1:30 .Rotation of handle to full starbord hits the internal stop in hull near handle. There is some slop in the cable The cable has stretched I guess. Still using plastic screw untill I hear it pop several times. Are these settings of rudder rotation similar to yours ? or is your handel tight to the touch.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:44 pm 
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Location: Miami Shores, FL
Hey Kepra

Yes, if one takes midships as 6:00, the rudder seems to get to just about 10:00 @ max starboard helm and almos 2:00 at max port helm. The handle does span an arc between about 11:30 and 3. Mine centers also, at about 1:30.

My handle seems OK. It is a bit tight, but needs to be so as to resist slipping back to center, when not being helmed.

I am much happier with the boat, now that it has the new rudder.

Hope you are enjoying yours as well! :D


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