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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2407
Location: Escondido
As we all know, things can occasionally break on a Mirage Drive. Although most failures are preventable or can be seen coming, that is of little consolation when you're 10 miles out and you left your paddle at home. Your emergency tool kit, if you bought one, will be of little use to you out at sea with cold wet hands and no work bench, where even the simplest repairs are almost impossible.

Fortunately, most Drive failures are not complete. With a little headwork and three tools*, most Drive failure will not leave you stranded.
Image
*Note: '08 and newer Drives and those upgraded to newest drums and cables do not need vice grips.

Let's take a look at a variety of situations:

Broken fin mast:
Mast falls out:


Either of these will give you the same result -- a one finned Drive. All you need to do is remove the Drive and disconnect the bad fin and mast at the clew outhaul. Removing the ring pin is simple, but in the water I had difficulties accomplishing this with wet fingers. If necessary, get the dikes out and cut it. You can replace it later.
Image

The result should look something like this:
Image

Caution: Using the Drive with one fin will rock the boat, so take it easy until you get used to the rhythm. Once you get into the swing of things though, you can move along quite well.
ImageImage
I was able to average 5.1 MPH cruising and reached 7.1 on a sprint (Adventure with one Turbofin)! That should be enough to get you home in time for dinner.

Clew Adjustment Screw unthreads: Remove fin if it's still there. Proceed as above.

Pedal comes loose or falls off: This is an easy one --simply push against the pedal crank. Adjust the pedal position if desired.
Image

Pedal adjustment pin rips out of drum: Find an undamaged hole and continue at a slower pace until you get to your destination.
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Cable or chain breaks: This depends on which cable breaks. It can be rather messy looking but don't let that deter you from getting back. The following picture shows front cable and idler cable disconnected, with only the rear cable operating.
Image

In any event, the broken piece will probably not interfere with your Drive operation. But if it does, use your 7/16 open end wrench and needle nose vise grips as necessary to remove the offending part:
Image

Idler cable failure: You should be able to continue to port with both fins fully operational. Don't do any sprints though.

Front chain/cable failure: The idler cable will probably also come loose, but don't worry about it. You should be able to proceed home on one fin as above. If you pull the Drive for inspection, the drums may want to spread. Keep them together until you remount the Drive where they will be held in place. Don't be alarmed if both pedals rock back at once -- once pedaling, this should not be an issue. As long as the rear chain stays on the sprocket you'll have power.
You can leave the front fin to freewheel if it's not in the way.

Rear chain/cable failure: This is the toughest one because both pedals will fall forward instead of pedaling. But you can continue to use the drive by re-inserting it backwards where you should have some pedaling traction. You'll have to head home in reverse since you left your paddle behind! Not to worry though -- it works. Just be very ginger with the rudder and keep your turns gentle and try not to run into anything. Here's what your "stern" wake looks like going backwards. It's kinda fun actually.
Image

As you can see, short of an explosion, your Drive will not fail you, even if something breaks on it. The only caveat I can think of here is on worn out Drives or the old stainless steel Drives, the fat center tooth on your plastic sprocket that holds the chain in position may be worn down or absent. This can allow the chain to disengage during certain cable breaks where both pedals can move in one direction (but not the other). In that case, you may have to re-seat the chain, push the pedals in the other direction and reset the drive. I have not tried this, but I think it can be done. If not, you may have to paddle home with your hands. 8)


Last edited by Roadrunner on Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:18 pm 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 8:28 am
Posts: 18
Location: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Thanx for the underway repair lesson. I have printed a copy to carry in our new boat.

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SuEllyn & Brian Mccabe
Florida Panhandle


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:28 pm 
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Hobie Approved Guru

Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2407
Location: Escondido
The nice thing about your new tandem is that there is always a spare Drive. That second Drive is more than adequate to run the boat by itself!

This happened to Kepnutz a few months ago in his tandem. His wife brought them both back with her Drive while he provided all the encouragement -- and steering. Smart man! 8)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2007 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 2007
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Brilliant guide as usual RR!
In my toolkit I also have these split ring pliers (thanks to Apalach) that I first read about here:
http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewt ... ing+pliers
They have been very useful for removing the split ring on the outhaul and on the older pull-up rudder. Saves destroying the split ring.
I can vouch for your "one fin will rock the boat"comment. When first trying out the kayaks at a dealer demo I asked to try the Turbofins just as the demo was almost over. My mate who demoed first, broke the mast unknowingly (the tide had gone out) just before I hopped in. After pedalling for a bit I thought there's no way I would get these. The speed seemed OK but the rocking was terrible!
It wasn't until we beached the Adventure that we discovered one turbo fin hanging by the outhaul.
PS- For those of us over 45 a spare pair of glasses is essential in the toolkit as well!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:50 pm
Posts: 461
Location: sacramento california
With a few miles yet to go to reach dock and surrounded by a sea of mud flats at low tide on a narrow ribbon of brown brackish water, mrs kep got us back using her one remaining front mirage drive...yikes :shock:
Image
Our landing dock is near the small hills in the distant background and with water levels at low tide we used the paddle to find the deeper water so as not to break our remaining drive on the way back in
Image
I have since made a repair kit with tools,sprockets, fins.masts and parts to fix a broken mirage drive out on the water if necessary which fits inside the hull for easy access.
..............Take it easy out there :wink:
....................Kepnutz


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1886
Location: South Florida
Stringy is right. Brilliant guide. Thanks.

Keith


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 Post subject: bent mast fix
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:50 am 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 1:10 pm
Posts: 16
Hey, good info on mirage drive repairs so far. I would add a tip for bent drive masts we have developed. We paddle in creeks and rivers that have underwater hazards. The two mirage drive problems we experience are bent masts and pebbles lodged between chain and sproket.

We always carry spare masts, fins and tools in our kits but found that on longer trips, we needed a way to fix a mast. I drilled an appropriate sized hole through the head of a small hatchet. This was about ten minutes of work and having a hatchet and a good folding pruning saw has been a good plan for paddle trips in remote areas.

It is easy to insert the mast and bend as needed. I usually stick the hatchet into the end of a snapped limb or stump (thousands available post Katrina) and let that stablize the hatchet while I tweak the drive shaft. I suppose I could sit or stand on the handle if nothing else was available.

We typically have one person replace the bent mast with our spare while the other straightens the bent one. Not more that five minutes and we are underway with a straight spare mast.

As to gravel in the drives, it is best to pull the drive out before beaching on a gravel shore or pull it and clean before departure. Failing that, use your pliers to pick out any bits before they are firmly lodged. Otherwise, you will need to loosen and remove a cable end to clear the rock.

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Outback


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