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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:21 am
Posts: 75
Location: Clearwater, Fl
One minute it was a beautiful Florida day and there were a lot of sailboats and kayaks out on the water. Ten minutes later I turned around, looked north, and the sky was black and a nasty storm blew in with 35-40 mph winds. While struggling to stay in control with my AI, I looked toward the causeway and saw an out of control kite surfer in the air. As I watched, a blinding flash exploded and I saw the unfortunate kite surfer flying through the air. His kite was out of control and his body slammed into the power lines on the causeway. It was a terrible thing to witness while I struggled to keep my AI safe. There were 3 other small sailboats in my vicinity. The kid landed on the causeway but his kite flew towards us and one of the guys tried to salvage it with his catamaran but it started tangling his sails so he cut it free.

The problem I had was when I tried to reef in the sail, it kept slipping out and everytime I thought the sail was reefed in, I would look up and it was out again. The cleat didn't hold that size rope very good. It was very annoying in these dangerous conditions to say the least. I got some mud in the cleats earlier in the day so maybe that was the problem. When I got home I cleaned them. Could it be that the furling line is too small for that cleat? And I was also wondering is there a correct way to wind the furling line around the mast - clockwise or counterclockwise ?

One other question I have as I'm new to this. Should the sails be washed when you return. I rinsed mine off at home but wasn't sure if that's necessary.

The storm was scary but I felt good about successfully sailing (and pedaling) back in it. But I felt terrible about the kid on the kite as we lost our 22 year old son in July.

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Jim
Clearwater, Fl


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 Post subject: Wash the sails
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 9:21 am 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Location: Oceanside, California
Horrible thing to have witnessed.

On the sail. You can rinse, but be sure it is totally dry for storage. Salty sails actually store better as they don't mildew as easily.

The cleat may have been stuck open. Hard to say. Usually they hold the sail furled partly for sailing. Certainly should have kept it fully furled, but when things get that rough... hard to say. The wind can be VERY strong and buffeting. Net option is to tie it off if the cleat fails.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2409
Location: Escondido
If you haven't already done so, you'll find the use of fairlead a great help. You want a Harkin part # 284 microcam wire fairlead -- looks like this:
Image

Image

Your furling line rolls off the forward side of its reel so the angle to the cam cleat is less acute. 8)

Sorry to hear about your recent loss.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:12 am
Posts: 420
Location: Florida
Florida Robot - I had exact same problem last year with the Island on my 3rd outing where the wind was very high and the furling cleat seemed not hold very well. Mostly the rope was just at the wrong angle. Having the sail suddenly go from 1/3 to completly full unexpectedly can be a real panic.

Before my very next outing I installed the fairlead, as illustrated by Roadrunner, and have never had a furling line loosen up since then.

Having a kite surfer end up like a insect in a bug zapper is a truely frightening thought.

I'll stick with the relative safety of sailing the Island - thank you very much.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2231
Location: Maui, Hawaii
We also have just added the fairlead to our AI's. Much improvement. I also just received a replacement hull for one of my AI's and it included a fairlead already installed on that cleat. Go Hobie!

Kayaking Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:21 am
Posts: 75
Location: Clearwater, Fl
Matt, thanks for the info about washing the sails. I didn't think about the mildew but I'll leave the sails alone from here out and just clean them every so often. On the furling line, not sure where I would tie it off but will figure a plan before next time.

Roadrunner, I have a 2008 AI and it has a similar fairlead installed (must be new on the 2008's) but it's plastic , not heavy wire. Thanks for posting the pics and confirming the direction of the rolling line on the mast.

Yak, Glad to hear I'm not the only one who had a few minutes of terror on the AI in a storm with the slipping line. I can see I'm going to have to modify a few things.

Also the rudder has me a tad concerned. It's the most important component but feels like the weakest. I may build a backup rudder in case the rudder lines snap or break or something. Something like a long collapsible stick that grabs onto the rudder so you can use it like a tiller maybe. I'm a little paranoid about stuff like that. I wouldn't want to be a couple miles out and have to kayak paddle back.

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Jim
Clearwater, Fl


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 7:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2231
Location: Maui, Hawaii
On a replacement rudder, my long stick with a "rudder" on it is called a paddle :) I carry a single bladed straight paddle, besides the Hobie double bladed paddle and have used it when I've broken the rudder or rudder pin in big water to steer with to get back. Works on many, but not all tacks while sailing. Otherwise I use the double paddle to steer and peddle in.
Remember to carry spare parts, like a replacement rudder pin.

Aloha,

Kayaking Bob


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 3:15 pm
Posts: 109
Location: Olathe, KS
Re: The kite surfer.

http://www.miamiherald.com/775/story/255845.html

If that's the story, it appears he managed to survive. Amazing.

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1984 H16 - #80541


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 3:21 am
Posts: 75
Location: Clearwater, Fl
Bob, I'll try using the paddle as a rudder before I rig something up. That might work ok. I'm glad you mentioned extra replacement parts. Besides a rudder pin I'll order a couple of screws for the rudder cables too. Can you think of any other good spare parts to have aboard the AI ?

JRagg, Yeah, I hear the kite surfer is still hanging in there. I sure hope he makes it.

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Jim
Clearwater, Fl


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