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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:50 pm 
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Greetings!

I am seriously considering an Adventure Island [AI] (as opposed to that "someday I'll get a windsurfer" that my wife agreed to let me buy), and I had a few questions. I appreciate any insights users may be able to share.

1. If I make any sort of purchase, I have to be able to load/un-load from garage to roof of my SUV -- and back again -- all by myself. Given the weight and complexity of the AI, is it reasonable that an averge guy can load it, unload, rig it on the beach, and all steps in reverse -- doing it all solo? I was considering getting a Laser (small sailboat), but at 150 pounds of hull, I just don't know that a single-handed load/rig operation is practical.

2. Performance. While I appreciate the flexibility of the AI, the truth is that I would be buying it primarily as a pocket sailboat. (I already am a reasonably competent small-boat sailor, while the windsurfer poses an entirely different learning curve issue). I guess the question here is: "How well does this thing really sail?" Since sailing is my primary intended use, sailing performance is a pretty major concern for me. I have not found much in the way of article reviews that really compare the AI to "traditional" small sailcraft. Do any of the forum members have perspective on how the AI compares in sailing performance against a small sailboat like a Laser, Sunfish, Snarf, etc. How about a windsurfer? Any journal reviews out there?

3. The lack of boom concerns me, especially on a down-wind run. I was envisioning the possibility of running grommets to the two out-riggers to pull out the sail if one is heading downwind -- anyone try that?

There are probably lots of other questions I could pose, but I think this is enough for now. I am just trying to educate myself as to the real-world experience of using this craft as a sailboat so that I can proceed as most appropriate for my needs. It is a significant bit of coin, and if I get one, I really want to make sure that it is a good fit.

Thanks for any insights.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:39 pm 
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Location: Virginia Beach, Va.
I was a windsurfer in my younger days, 20 years ago. The AI is very much like windsurfing while sitting down. The difference is that when windsurfing 45 min to an hour and your pretty much through having fun and ready for a nap. I go out for 6 to 8 hours and have a blast the whole time sailing on waves at the Ocean Front.

I looked for a small sailboat but you can't really expedition sail or sail 2 mile straight up wind in a narrow channel to get out. I sail with small sailboats in the sheltered bays but them leave them and go play where they dare not because wind and current will whisk them away. I have had mine out in 30+ mph winds and 12+' waves. The mouth of the inlet I go out of regularly requires me to plow straight through 12' breakers.

When I first got mine I loaded it by myself on and off a 3/4 heavy duty 7'+ tall van. It wasn't easy especially after a good long sailing session but I did it 20+ times without incident or breakage. I finally broke down and bought a cheap trailer because the van gets 8 miles to the gallon on gas and uses a quart of oil every time you start it.

There are several solutions to getting better downwind performance. I use a bungee cord to out haul it to the leeward ama. As for rigging the AI it takes all of 15 min to do and undo solo.

To sum up if you are looking for a thrilling hour while sailing and are mainly looking to get in some quick exorcise get the windsurfer. If you want to sail for a day and go to various locations and see all the sights go with the AI. If you want to sail around in circles and race in regattas with other boats get a little sailboat.

Hope this helps I was where you are a year and a half ago and got one of the first run models, I have had to do some modifying and updating but I have no regrets and feel I really made the right choice for what I want to do.

I will be heading for Fl. in a couple weeks and hope to figure out how to spend a week or so in the Keys sailing and snorkeling.
gwiz


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 Post subject: Buy One!!!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:57 pm 
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Location: Northern VA
Better yet, buy two (or get a friend to buy one also, which is what I did).

Seriously though. The AI is the most fun I've had on the water in years. It sails you to the places that are too far away to conveniently take the kayak, but will take you into the places that are too tight, shallow, etc, to get into with the sailboat. Like you, I'm a small & large boat sailor for over 30 years. I've sailed Lasers, Sunfishes, Flying Juniors, and numerous other small boats over the years. I also own a Hobie 16, which is also a lot of fun. For the record, the H-16 hasn't gotten wet since I picked up the AI in May, '07. I've had the AI out among the other boats on numerous occasions. I won't sit her and tell you it will outsail every other boat on the bay. Some days the Lasers & Sunnys leave me behind, and other days I leave them behind. I can tell you, without any fear of contradiction, that the AI is a ball to sail. It'll get up and go in the big wind, and the waves. It'll also give you a good sail when the wind is light. And, having the Mirage Drive pedals available as auxiliary power is sure nice too. As for the lack of a boom, yes, that is a bit of a drawback. However, (gotta love the users forums) somebody has already come up with the solution for that. Do a search through the archives for "barber hauler" and you'll see what I'm referring to. Single line that runs from a block hanging on your mainsheet, out to the aft end of one ama, across behind the seat to the aft of the other ama, and back to the block on the mainsheet. Nice, simple, neat design. As one of my engineering professors in college liked to describe such things, "An ELEGANT solution."

You also asked about transport. I tow two AI's on an aluminum Trailex SUT-250 behind my MINI Cooper Convertible. At only 115 pounds each, even a small car like that pulls them without a problem. I can also rack one on top of my Ford Excursion 4x4. I don't do that very often, as I don't have an actual kayak rack for the truck. Foam noodles and cinch straps do the job in a pinch though. If I had the right racking equipment, I could put two AIs up on the truck as well. Loading isn't really a problem. It can be a bit awkward, as the roof of the Excursion is about 6'10" high. Still, the main hull only weighs about 65 pounds, the amas only about 15 each (rough guess), and the rig another 8 pound (again, just an estimate). The hull is the only "heavy" piece, and 65 pounds isn't much. With the right racking equipment, and I'm certain that somebody here is going to reply with that info, cartopping an AI would be a piece of cake.

If you've read any of previous posts, and I highly encourage you to read them all, you'll see that the AI is not without it's growing pains. Hey, the design is less than two year old. But you will also see that Hobie has been paying attention. Note that this is their forum, and they do participate here. When problems have been discovered, solutions are developed.

One other thing I love about the AI is the speed with which I can be "feet wet & sailing". With the H-16, I needed and actual ramp to launch from the trailer, which had to be towed by the Excursion, not the MINI, and rigging took 45-60 minutes. With the AI, no ramp needed, and I'm sailing in 10-15 minutes after I arrive. Can't beat that!

Sorry if I got a little long winded here, but I just can't say enough good things about this boat!

Happy sailing,
- Jim L


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:47 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
gwiz wrote:
I was a windsurfer in my younger days, 20 years ago. The AI is very much like windsurfing while sitting down. The difference is that when windsurfing 45 min to an hour and your pretty much through having fun and ready for a nap. I go out for 6 to 8 hours and have a blast the whole time sailing on waves at the Ocean Front.


As someone who's been windsurfing more than half his life, I have to say that you haven't kept up with windsurfing... That, or you never learned to use a harness. Even 20 years ago, I could easily sail in light winds for many hours on what today we consider to be crappy equipment.

45-60 minutes, then done for the day? Yeah... Right... You weren't doing it right.

On a good day, I'll spend 4 hours on the water, covering maybe 60-70 miles.

On a really good day, I'll sail for 6 or 7 hours and cover in excess of 100 miles.

I've been sailing for 30 years and windsurfing for 26 years. I'm 45. And I windsurfed today for almost two hours.

The AI is absolutely nothing like windsurfing.... But it is a heck of a lot of fun.

Brian C


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:57 pm 
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Paultergeist wrote:
1. Given the weight and complexity of the AI, is it reasonable that an averge guy can load it, unload, rig it on the beach, and all steps in reverse -- doing it all solo?


Yes.

Quote:
2. Performan I guess the question here is: "How well does this thing really sail?"


As fast as a windsurfer? No. As fast as a cat? Uh uh. Fast enough to have fun on? Certainly. I've hit speeds over 10mph on the AI.

But I do not think it will point nearly as high as the Laser and Sunfish. (The Snark was a cooler with a sail).

And it probably won't point as high as a Forumula class windsurfer, but it will point much higher than the typical slalom boards.

I have no idea about journal reviews.

Quote:
3. The lack of boom concerns me, especially on a down-wind run.


Like most multihulls, the AI sails better on a broad reach than dead downwind. But if you're running with big swell, it can be a hoot dead downwind.


If you're looking for pure speed, the AI falls way short of windsurfing. But as an admitted speed freak badly addicted to windsurfing, the AI is still good fun. Especially on the 10-15mph days.

Brian C


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:48 pm 
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Location: Redmond, Wa.
Contrary to my Avatar I have not gotten proficient at Windsurfing so I will not comment on the comparison. I will say that loading an AI on anything but a trailer is a two person job unless you invest in a racking system designed for one person loading.

I have 2 AIs and made the mistake of purchasing a standard Kayak rack it was great if I was going out with a buddy, but after many attempts I could not devise away to load the AIs on my SUV by self, and had to break down and spend the money for Thule Hullivator.

Image
Image

Two complete Hullivator set ups costs 1/2 as much as an AI, but makes it possible for me to go it alone. Worth every penny!

I sail regularly and 10 - 15 mph winds is good for a nice time. 20 mph + and I am blowing off work to go out. (pun intended)

I did add a Barber hauler as you describe and it works great running in light winds. If it is really blowing I find that I don't tend to engage it as I am already surfing the waves.

I have an 07 so I had deal with a lot (meaning every one) of the issues you will see discussed on the forum. I wish it was perfect out of the box, but to be honest Hobie has been great and I would not give up the last year of AI sailing to avoid the issues you will avoid if you get an 08. I absolutely love these after 4-5 hours in a stiff wind the biggest pain I have is my mouth hurts from grinning :D

My two cents worth. One would be a disappointment... buy two.

_________________
NorskBoy

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:21 am 
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Location: Phuket, Thailand
Quote:
I've been sailing for 30 years and windsurfing for 26 years. I'm 45. And I windsurfed today for almost two hours.


Me too, just come in...wasnt it fun?!! WINDY...6.5m2 Aerotech Daytona on an On 278 race, bit overpowered at times, but a two hour blast. Old farts can sail forever (well, we will come to that later) in whatever, I mean the knees start to get a bit 'ratchety' the knuckles ache a bit these days but what the hell it was gusting 25 knots out there, offshore so nice and flat, blasting at 26-27 knots. I started to windsurf in 1981 I'm 54

Now whos this fella sailing his AI thru 12 foot breakers in 30 knots of wind???!!!! KARUMPH! just imagine charging towards something of that size/velocity just as its 'throwing'.

To buy or not to buy? You have to ask yourself what you want out of your boat, Portability, Versatility, the ability to tour around, fishing? The AI has all that. Its also an exceptionaly good sailing craft in light winds. I have been out with it when its been windy too...NOT in 12 waves NOR in 30 knots of wind. I felt as if I was on some kind of insane sledge ride, sure was WET! Reaching downwind I could get about 8 knots. Personally I dont feel particularly comfortable in this boat if its blowing more than about 17/18 knots but maybe thats just me. My tendancy is to crank in the sail and expect to tear off like a Hobie ...well, its just not going to happen. But there again if you gave me back my old 18 and expected me to trap out for hours on end along with my old crewmate..theres no way we could do it. sailing the 18 in a stiff breeze was one of the most physical things I have ever done, i mean that cat REALLY worked you and the speed.... :shock:

My happiest sails in the AI will remain with me forever, yesterday in about 8 knots cruising out the the islands about 4 miles offshore, suns going down, suddenly the reel on my rod starts to whirr....I think Ive hooked a monster...up comes a paltry 2 kilo Trevally..thats enough for dinner. Back to the beach at dark, friend of mines just come in too. in the time it takes for us to pack up my AI the fish has been cooked for us (restaurant's just above the beach) delicious.

There were times when I really thought I had bought the wrong boat and I am certainly not the most complimentary contributer to this forum. But having discovered what its capable of doing for me I wouldnt trade it in for all the tea in China.

BUY IT


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 Post subject: decisions, decisions
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:23 am 
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Thanks very much to all responders for the detailed and thoughtful replies. I do sincerely appreciate the time spent rendering opinions and observations. I wouldn't have asked if I wasn't truly interested in the AI, but if I get one, I want to make certain -- from a standpoint of both transport and set-up practicality and sailing satisfaction -- that I am really going to use it.

I am embarking on a two-fold course of action:

1. I am attempting to schedule a couple of windsurfing lessons. Oddly, while looking for windsurfing instruction it would appear that windsurfing has lately taken a back seat to kiteboarding (I don't really want to pursue the kiteboard idea at this time), and it has been a bit hard to find windsurfing lessons -- though I did eventually succeed. I figure a lesson or two will at least give me a small sample of what windsurfing might be like, as well as make sure I understand what is involved in terms of equipment, set-up, etc.

2. I am fortunate enough to have a local Hobie dealer in my area, and he has offered a test drive of the AI to me. I am going to try and pick a day with a bit of breeze, so I can see what it is like under sail. This will also give me a chance to see how feasable it is for me to pick the hull up myself and lift it on to the rooftop of my car, as well as get some general rigging / de-rigging perspectives. I believe that -- assuming I get to actually get the sail out with some room (I have to stay in the harbor with the dealer's AI) -- this will give me a pretty good perspective of what sort of sailing performance I would be getting.

These two little "experiments" should help me gain some perspective on how to proceed -- so I hope!

Philip1el wrote:
Its also an exceptionaly good sailing craft in light winds. I have been out with it when its been windy too...NOT in 12 waves NOR in 30 knots of wind.


I have seen some truly exceptional and fearless people do some incredible things. Myself, *alas* am not fearless......were I in 12 foot waves aboard anything less than an aircraft carrier, I would be staining my shorts and praying to God to let me live. In San Diego County (where I reside), the winds are notoriously light, so really, this craft would be used mostly as a very light wind craft (probably 3-6 knots, typically).

Thanks again to all who replied to my query. I'll post back when I have some further conclusions.


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:28 am 
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Lest I forget.....

Norskboy, thanks very much for the extra trouble of posting the pictures. Your pictures provide a very useful understanding to me of what the "Hullevator" is and what is does. I may have to factor in some extra costs for this idea........the wife isn't going to be happy! LOL


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:35 am 
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Okay I stand corrected. I started windsurfing in the late 70's on a first generation board. It was a mini fish with a knuckle in the mast and a rear fin instead of a rudder. It had a big triangular sail with a boom that was crotch high. Worked good on lakes but was worthless in the surf and currents of the Ocean.

I notice however that windsurfers still tend to make a few runs back and forth in front of their launch point and then head in for equipment adjustments and breathers. I prefer to sail places and see sights I haven't sailed or seen before. With the AI I always have fun no matter what the conditions.

And as for plowing through 12' breakers going out Rudy Inlet I wouldn't be able to do it without the AI. I have never seen any other sailboat without a motor try it, but I do know I wouldn't and most people seem to think I am nuts.

I would try filming while doing it but things are usually a bit too hectic. However I have been known to do it repeatedly, when the water is warm, just because riding them in as the funnel into the inlet is great fun. Just don't over shoot the crest.

gwiz


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:08 am 
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Philip1el wrote:
Quote:
I've been sailing for 30 years and windsurfing for 26 years. I'm 45. And I windsurfed today for almost two hours.


Me too, just come in...wasnt it fun?!! WINDY...6.5m2 Aerotech Daytona on an On 278 race, bit overpowered at times, but a two hour blast. Old farts can sail forever (well, we will come to that later) in whatever, I mean the knees start to get a bit 'ratchety' the knuckles ache a bit these days but what the hell it was gusting 25 knots out there, offshore so nice and flat, blasting at 26-27 knots. I started to windsurf in 1981 I'm 54.


Image

I was hooked up with a 6.5 Ezzy Infinity on my Madd 135. It wasn't anything to write home about, but not bad for Feb 4th.

Cheers,
Brian C


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:20 am 
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gwiz wrote:
I notice however that windsurfers still tend to make a few runs back and forth in front of their launch point and then head in for equipment adjustments and breathers.


There are quite a few people who still BAF (Back and Forth) a few times, then break for a beer. But for most people, that's more of an old habit than a requirement. Windsurfing gear has gotten "rangier". Adjustable outhauls allow us to flatten a sail when the wind picks up - saving a trip to the beach. And the advanced head design allows modern sails to "auto-dump" through twist off. Combine that with wider, shorter boards that are easier to keep on a plane and it's a brave new world for windsurfers.

That said, the ability to travel like an AI is limited for many people who are either short on skill or under geared. But long distance windsurf cruising is finally catching on in the USA. It's been popular in Europe for some time now.

Quote:
I prefer to sail places and see sights I haven't sailed or seen before. With the AI I always have fun no matter what the conditions.


Absolutely. More importantly maybe, the AI can accomplish that huge range at a significant cost savings over the "equivalent" amount of windsurfing gear. And the learning curve isn't nearly as steep.

Both are good hobbies. And some day, my kayak may go through an extreme make over.

Brian C


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 Post subject: Re: decisions, decisions
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:46 pm 
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Location: Phuket, Thailand
Quote:
Myself, *alas* am not fearless......were I in 12 foot waves aboard anything less than an aircraft carrier, I would be staining my shorts and praying to God to let me live.


heres something a tad smaller than an aircraft carrier being struck by a 12' breaker, dont think I would want to be there either!

Image

San Deigo sounds a perfect place for an AI


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:04 am 
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Quote:
In San Diego County (where I reside), the winds are notoriously light, so really, this craft would be used mostly as a very light wind craft (probably 3-6 knots, typically).


In all the traffic, I missed the "San Diego" part earlier on.

Go for the AI.

San Diego, for the most part, is a longboard (non-planing) or Formula board (planing) area. While a true longboard will point just as well as an AI, the AI will win out in boat speed because of waterline. And Formula gear is just plain expensive. All the windsurfing folks I know who've moved to that area have converted to boats.... Or travel to get their windsurfing fix.

Brian C


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:32 pm 
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Thanks for the additional information, everyone.

Brian, I wish your store was close by. It would be ideal, as I do my research into this, to have a dealer who carried both windsurfing gear and the Hobie line at the same time. I do really appreciate you sharing your insights.

As it is, the whole windsurfing thing seems to have largely fallen out of vogue here in San Diego. I find it weird. I "googled" for windsurfing lessons, shops, etc., and found that all but one place around these parts has basically quit their involvement in windsurfing. It seems that kiteboarding is the new "thang," but at the same time, the kiteboarding shops are pretty quick to offer full disclosure that San Diego only gets about 3-5 decent flyable days per month. That is pretty inconvenient for a guy with a 9-to-5 gig like myself; I cannot just take off from work when the conditions are good. More reliable wind conditions require a several hour drive to either north of L.A. or south into Baja. San Diego County seems to have embraced kiteboarding (from a commercial standpoint), even though the wind conditions here are typically too light to support a kite canopy. Odd.

My assumption with the windsurfing idea was that -- in light winds -- I could still sail, just not very fast. Maybe even that is not very realistic; I have no idea how stable a windsurfer is in low winds. If I am windsurfing in the (typical) light winds, however, I must assume that the board would not have the speed to get on plane, and therefore my speed would obey the waterline ratio limitations experienced by displacement hulls? If indeed that is the case, it might give the 16-foot wateline of the AI an edge over a 9-foot waterline on a windsurfer board? I would point out that windsurfer sail might have 7 m2 of area, while the AI has 5.34 m2, so I am just trying to think through the performance idea. I had guessed that a windsurfer would be faster than the AI (under sailpower), but I now wonder if this would only be true in stronger winds where the windsurfer could get on plane, otherwise, in light winds the AI will beat the windsurfer by virtue of waterline length?

Thanks again for all the support.


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