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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:40 am
Posts: 952
Location: Dallas, TX
At the risk of turning the AI forum into the Windsurfing forum, I'll follow up on a few of Paul's comments/questions, then call it a day.

Paul (and I'm just assuming that's your name based on your ID), feel free to give me a ring or shoot me an email at the shop if you want to discuss some of the windsurfing options for your area. I'm sure there's some shops in your area that can help you out and they should know the local conditions better than I do. But I'm also happy to give you my opinions on the whole longboard thing. San Diego has a HUGE sailing tradition. It's a waterman paradise... Unless you're a speed freak like me. You should be able to take good advantage of the available conditions no matter what your sailing path may turn into.

As for your other thoughts.

"1.34 x sqrt LWL" is pretty much independent of sail size. Hull speed is hull speed. In displacement mode, a well sailed AI should walk away from the majority windurfers, with the possible exception of the Serenity - but she's a weird duck and not really for beginners.

The stores are few and windsurfing in San Diego isn't popular for the very reasons you're finding out. The wind is typically light. Unless you are an accomplished windsurfer on high-dollar Formula gear, the wind threshold for planing is typically 15+ mph. There are people who will argue with me that it's lower. I'm pretty confident in my assessment.

Kiteboarding is cool... And scares the crap out of me. The majority of my friends who do it have been to the hospital because of it. I know two people who died from it. It's fun and unforgiving. A dangerous combination in an adrenaline sport. We do not sell kiteboarding gear, partially because of our concerns about it's safety. The sport's safety record is much improved over the last few years. But when something kills "professionals" not infrequently, is it something we should do as a hobby?

Modern windsurfers are much more stable than people realize. Even modern longboards are quite easy to stand on compared with gear made even as late as the mid 90's. Given several hours, the appropriate gear and favorable winds, anyone can be taught to sail a windsurfer. Becoming skilled is a matter of driver and time on the water.

And "fast" is relative. Being that hull speed is based on the square root of the waterline length, the AI may only be 15% faster than an average 12 ft longboard. Margin of error and skipper skill can easily overshadow something like that. Around a course, the windsurfer could very easily win. But a straight line race in light winds should go to the longer boat.

The decision process needs to include all the variables, not just the "hull speed". Things like durability, ease of use, transportability and the always evil "cool image factor". Screw what other people think. You are doing this for yourself. You're doing it to get on the water, whether to relax, work out or just to do something different than everyone else.

As I'm always telling my customers, be brutally honest with yourself. Cause I don't care if you're lying to me. Buy something that you, not the salesman, think you'll both use and enjoy, or you've made the wrong choice.

(soapbox off)

Cheers,
Brian C


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 Post subject: Thanks
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:15 pm
Posts: 29
Thanks, once again, to everyone who has responded, but especially to Brian for all the patient explanations.

I apologize if I pulled the forum topic a bit far from the AIs, but as there was some windsurfing knowledge here, I was draw to pose my questions. Many of you seem to have previously gone down the path I am now considering -- regarding small sail craft in general. There is a real wealth of knowledge here.

Brian, your words about being brutally honest with myself are at the forefront of my mind. I have been too guilty in the past of buying sporting/camping equipment that -- for a variety of reasons -- didn't get used very much. The AI is simply too big and too expensive to become relegated into service as my wife's next laundry-drying rack, hence my rather thick-headed pursuit of asking lots of questions, and trying to determine what will really work for me. One thing, though: there is no danger of me getting lured into doing that which is cool. I am a biotech science nerd. There is not a cool gene in my body. I'll look about as hip on any watercraft as Pee Wee Herman would on a Harley, so I don't think I'll get lured by the "sheik-ness" of what ever is hot this season. I mostly just want to feel comfortable out in the local waterways, communing with wind and wave......

Thanks for the offer of letting me telephone you, Brian. I may take you up on that -- especially if I have some more windsurfing questions -- but I also think I should give my local Hobie dealer a chance to impress me. I am going to try and drop by this weekend. I'll post back if/when a real decision gets made (assuming the wife doesn't lay claim to my watersport funds!)

Thanks again, to everyone,

Paul Shanahan
aka "Paultergeist"
Lemon Grove, CA (San Diego County)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2387
Location: Escondido
I know nothing about windsurfing, but there is an area here at Lake Hodges (San Diego County) where a lot of wind surfers used to hang out. Construction has closed the land access and for awhile they tried to ferry these guys in and out of the area, as they don't seem to be able to successfully sail to or from the area themselves.

I used to sail my Adventure with them -- they could do about 2 or 3 times my speed, back and forth until a wind gust or exhaustion would knock them off. They spent about as much time on the beach resting as sailing, but we all had a great time.

My AI is a lot faster than the Adventure and I can sail up to this area easily. Wind surfing seems to be out of the question until next year when the construction is finished. So keep Hodges in mind if you get into wind surfing.

The AI may not be the fastest ride in town, but it's pretty quick (can do 10 to 11+), a bit wet and tons of fun.
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It handles light air well, and never leaves you stranded if the breeze dies. But, as others have stated, it can handle rougher conditions than most sailboats. I love the quick set up -- you waste no time getting on or off the water, so it's feasible to go for a quick sail after work. You can launch it collapsed with sail furled under pedal power and set up your amas and daggerboard, and unroll your sail while underway in about 30 seconds!

I transport and handle the boat (disassembled) myself easily with a truck.
Image
Another local puts his in his truck bed with a bed extender and flag -- it seems to work. The boat sets up right at your vehicle in about 5 to 8 minutes once you get used to it and it launches anywhere. Toss everything in and you can just wheel it right into the water with the scupper cart (sorry I don't have a better pic here, but you get the idea).
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There's really nothing like it; I see the AI as an anytime, anywhere boat. If you like to sail, or if you just like to be out on the water it doesn't get any more fun than this! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Thanks
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:35 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:40 am
Posts: 952
Location: Dallas, TX
Paultergeist wrote:
I am a biotech science nerd. There is not a cool gene in my body.


I'm a retired electrical design engineer from defense/telecom... No cool genes here either. :lol:

I'm sure you'll get good advice from the local shop. And you should definitely give them a crack at your business, because it's important to have a local source when things don't go quite as well as planned. Plus, I'd charge you way too much in shipping just to make sure you work with the local guys. Seriously. I would. :twisted:

Brian C


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 Post subject: Cool......
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:54 am 
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Thanks, Roadrunner, for the thoughts on Lake Hodges. Although I have lived here for some time, I have only been to Lake Hodges once, and I hadn't really considered it as an alternative site for wind/water sports. Good idea.

Also thanks for posting all the photos, they are very clear and self-explanatory, although I question whether I will ever look quite as cool as you on one of these things! :wink:

Brian, thanks again.

Paul


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 Post subject: Re: Cool......
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:08 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2387
Location: Escondido
Paultergeist wrote:
I question whether I will ever look quite as cool as you on one of these things! :wink: l

Me neither -- that's me behind the camera! :lol:
Most of us AI users have that same silly looking grin though so it's sometimes easy to get us confused! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:42 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:57 am
Posts: 222
Location: Phuket, Thailand
Now youve gone and wrecked your image, Roadrunner! You were looking way too cool there for a while :D

The trucks whats got me...Its MINE...well not exactly mines a 2 door 2X4 Toyota Hillux Xtra cab, cheap as chips and absolutely LETHAL!!!!! I have 2 Thule bars over the cab. By lowering the tailgate I can just about slide the boat up and over them so its resting precariously over the cab then I drop an H frame rear crossbar I made into the back of the bed, pull the boat back so the stern rests on that....but its only just do-able. Looks like your rack is fixed, how in Heavens name do you get your boat all the way up there!!!!!!!!!???????????

Oh well lost the thread again....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 1942
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
I thought everybody knew what Roadrunner looked like?

Beep, beep!
Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2387
Location: Escondido
Philip1el wrote:
Now youve gone and wrecked your image, Roadrunner! You were looking way too cool there for a while :D

It's really shallowminded for a person to be concerned about his or her image. And by the way, how rude of me not to to introduce my brother Phil in the picture above. People say we look alike, but in all modesty I think they're just being kind ... to him. :mrgreen:
Quote:
Looks like your rack is fixed, how in Heavens name do you get your boat all the way up there!!!!!!!!!???????????

Usually just toss it up with whatever hand is not signing autographs. But in all seriousness, my brother and I got our Dad to demonstrate how he sets up his Adventure (the AI is a little easier because you can get a better grip on the back aka bar than the cargo well):
Image

Image

Image

Image

Note, only the back half is lifted overhead and it's just pushed forward. If you have it on a cart, just wheel the bow onto the tailgate and you don't even have to bend down very far to lift, or so I hear.

If you have bars over the cab already, here's a nifty solution (if you have a hitch receiver).

Image

Speaking of bed extenders, here you can see how it works -- we're transporting 2 AIs; one rides in the bed. Not nearly as nice as Norskboy's rig, but works for an occasional extra boat. You just have to watch your swing!

Image

Thanks Stringy for posting my actual photograph. Must have been taken at a very fast shutter speed! Note that same silly "AI"grin that my brother also has.

BTW, anyone who believes all this is very astute -- my compliments! Paul, sorry for hijacking your thread. We'll be expecting to see you in your new AI very soon! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:15 pm
Posts: 29
Roadrunner wrote:
Paul, sorry for hijacking your thread. We'll be expecting to see you in your new AI very soon! 8)


Hey, hijack away to your heart's content! This is all very interesting and descriptive. The photos do serve very well to illustrate ideas as for transport methods.

Cheers!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:41 pm
Posts: 7
Location: Sarasota, Fl
I'm glad Paul put up this question since by now some of us have been AI owners for over a year & by now some of the "newness" of the AI may have wore off. But, I can tell ya that I don't think our smiles have wore off. The AI is just a big 'ol bucket of fun nearly every time I take it out. I bought my AI in Oct '06 here locally in Sarasota, Fl. I sold 2 of my 4 kayaks to buy the AI, but at times I still really miss my seakayaks. But, you didn't ask about how the AI compares to other kayaks, how does it compare to other sailboats? As others have said, I have yet to beat any other 16'-18' beach cats ..... unless the wind is less than 5knots. Using the Mirage drive I'm able to be faster than most other sailboats I've come across & point higher in very light wind conditions. But, those are conditions that I would not likely be out in unless the wind just died. I try to wait for 10+ knots before launching .... it's just more fun. Last weekend I did an overnight camping beach camping trip around Marco Island, Fl where the wind never got beyond 5-6 knots. But, I was still able to sail/paddle/pedal at 3-4 knots to get to my beach campsite, would not have been able to do that with a camping load with any other "pure" sailboat, the tide would have been pushing me backwards.

Since you're in SOCAL, being wet most of the time won't be a big deal to you. The A/I is a wet ride & if you lived in NOCAL a good dry suit would be needed. For those in cold (or even cool) water areas the cost of a good drysuit/footwear etc could easily be $400-$600 extra.

For the price, I don't think you can really find another sailboat in the same size of the AI that will give you the same dollar value. Plus, you may find that you enjoy kayaking the AI as well. And I don't care what you think now ..... but you will be cool on your AI. Everytime before I take apart my AI to slide it into the back of my pick-up (using a bed-extender) I always turn to look over my shoulder to see just how cool the AI looks sitting on the water.

But, for all it's good points I may be selling my AI soon. To me, the very best thing about the AI is also it's biggest weakness. It's a solo boat & I really enjoy every outing. But, it's a single person boat, it's not made for two adults, 1 adult & 1 child maybe, but not 2 adults & that's my problem. I gave my girlfriend a 5 minute sailing lesson & I had to stand on the beach for 45 minutes waiting for her to return. She came back with a huge smile & said she wanted her own AI, but the color had to be pink! She also has 3 kids ..... so while I'm out sailing I know my honey-do list will be growning when I get back home. I love that it's a solo boat, I love being on the water by myself (which is why I like seakayaking so much), but I also have now rediscovered the enjoyment of sailing after 25 years (I had a H14 & H16 in high school/college) and would like to be able to take my girlfriend out with me to enjoy sailing (and getting me a cold beer out of the cooler). So I'm on the lookout for a good conditioned used 21' SeaPearl that would still sail shallow & be easy to launch & singlehand.

So I would say ..... go ahead & buy the AI, I don't think you will be disappointed. If you are, you can always turn around and sell it for nearly the same as what you paid for it, I would think an AI would hold it's value better than a windsufer. Besides, just ask your windsurfing mates if they can carry a cooler of cold beers all day long on their boards!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:38 pm 
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ShallowMindedII wrote:
And I don't care what you think now ..... but you will be cool on your AI.


Gosh! Making me look cool on the water may well be the AI's greatest feat yet! :D

Great observations and comments. Thanks for posting them!

Paul


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 2:48 pm 
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Quote:
But in all seriousness, my brother and I got our Dad to demonstrate how he sets up his Adventure.


Roadrunner- I hope you and your brother appreciate just what a great Dad you have there.
How come we never hear from him on these forums?
I'm sure he'd have a wealth of experience to share. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2008 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2387
Location: Escondido
Stringy, no doubt you're right! A modest man, Dad prefers to stay out of the limelight whenever possible. So we'll probably not see too much of him (other than an occasional photo). :wink: :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Picked up my AI yesterday and though there was only about an hour of daylight left I had to test it out. What a blast! Winds were 10-15Knots with a lot of chop and I was cruising at a comfortable 6-7knots. I definitely had that silly AI grin that RR referred to. :D :D
For those who carry their AI on racks the right way up have you had any problems with hull distortion? I have always carried my Tandem upside down but this isn't possible with the AI.


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