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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:39 am
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
"I'll have to get one too", I recall saying as the Canberra Hobie dealer was demonstrating the boat to my mate Mike. We were on a motorcycling weekend into the Australian Alps and Mike had arranged for a demonstration sail on Lake Jindabyne in New South Wales. I had been a sailer years back but had since raised a family, got into other pursuits such as flying and motor boating, and thought my sailing days were done. It is not hard to fall in love with these little tri-s, with their natty innovations and versatility. Before I knew it I was committed and had forked over the bucks. My only concern was sun exposure but Mike reassured me that with the dodgers we ordered with the boats such an issue would be non-existent.
The boats were delivered but unfortunately I had flu but that did not stop Mike from setting a sail. No time for dodger fitting etc, he just had to hit the water of the Gippsland Lakes that is apparently one of the largest bodies of inland waters in the Southern Hemisphere. It is over 100 ks long and five kilometers wide. It is just inside and running along the coastline of Bass Strait which can be a wild body of water at times.
He apparently had a wonderful day in 10 knots of breeze, and though he has not sailed in the past, he had no problems in any direction. Mike forgot it was summer and fooled by the cooling sea breezes, it was not till he got home that he found his legs had been severely burned, which caused an enforced week off. By that time my virus had all but gone and we decided last Saturday would be the day for a bit of a shake-down cruise from the Port of Paynesville, to who-knows-where. Mike's boat is on a trailer with the Hobie trailer supports fitted, cause he was an Officer before he retired and can afford such luxuries, while I had mine on roof racks as I was merely a foot soldier, and always hard pressed for cash.
Mike helped me lift my boat off the car, and then went to attend to the launch of his own. It only took me 10 minutes to get rigged, it took Mike much longer to launch his ship, but then you must remember he was an Officer.
Eventually we got going and though I have sailing history and he has none, we found the boats were about the same speed everywhere we went together. We initially sailed on a bit of a reach and found we were staying with and I dare say faster than a Sabre monohull sailing dinghy that was out enjoying the breeze. Both of us had our dodgers on, which provided some relief from the harsh Australian sun, as well as the spray whipped by 15 knots of southerly winds. Not long before it was decided to beat to windward across the Lake to a beautiful protected hamlet known as Ocean Grange. To get there we had to stay with a marked channel which narrows as it gets closer to the other side which caused lots of tacking duels along the way. Great fun and we finally made it. You will see from the photos that it is very protected from the wind there and quite remote though there are houses that the occupants can only get to by boat, which is about a 30 minute journey by power boat. It took us an hour or so. Mine is the red boat that took in a bit of water on the way across whilst Mikes remained bone dry. I did have a 4 mm bow-line attached to the bow and stowed below so I am assuming the water got in via the front hatch where the light rope distorted the rubber seal. That is why my hatch is left open in the photo.
Image

Image

We stayed over there a half hour eating fruit and muesli bars, then ventured back via a different route. This took us along a very shallow channel that most boats cannot use, but with dagger board stowed, and rudder lock unclipped, we were able to navigate the channel and across and area known as Carstairs Bank which as claimed the pride of many a sailor that has gone aground there. We slipped effortlessly across weed beds with no more than a foot of water below us, and caught glimpses of fish as well as passing groups swans and waterfowl that feed in that area. I am thinking it might prove to be a valuable fishing grounds in the shallow draught AI in the future. The run home was delightful and the two boats attracted more than a little interest along the way. No sun-burn to record, and had a most delightful day out on the Gippsland Lakes. I thought I would share this first 'adventure' that Mike and I enjoyed together with you in preparation for many many adventures to come. Our first more substantial endeavor will be to sail, peddle and paddle the entire Gippsland Lakes in its entirety . If you would like we will become more serious in our photo taking, rather than a few pics taken using the mobile phone in-built camera....What a great little boat in which to embark on adventures. Bravo Mr. Hobie...Captain Pirate


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 5:12 am 
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Posts: 598
Location: Punta Gorda, FL
Glad you're having fun, Pirate. Don't they have sunscreen down under? ;)

Can you remove the Mirage Drive with the dodger in place?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:07 am 
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Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Great to see you enjoying the new boats and the summertime. I really enjoy seeing Pics of the adventures and places others sail there Hobies. Especially other countries. I have yet to take any pictures or vids of the AI yet even though I have had her one month. The weather is weird here in December... 70F one day and 21F two days later and the water is 54F now so I only go out when it is 70 air temp and lighter wind so I won't get splashed to much. Speaking of Splash..... How good are the Dodgers at keeping you dry?? Maybe you could do a mini review?

thanks for sharing and keep em coming. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:28 am 
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Location: South Florida
Pirate,

Nice post. Thanks.

You can check out my thread which details my experiences, and my numerous complaints about hull leakage in the AI. http://www.hobiecat.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=7276

It basically comes down to a few salient points: (1) on a new boat, the front hatch probably does not leak except in heavy seas where the bow is being buried under water for longer than 3 seconds. It has 3 features to prevent leaking: a moat around the opening and 2 independent rubber seals. Further, it is one of the highest points on the hull and the hatch is designed to shed water.

(2) There are 80-100 holes through the hull. If these are factory hardware, it all needs to be tightened (screws, nuts/bolts). If necessary, put some marine goop in them for a good seal. If you have put some holes in the hull, these need to be waterproofed w/ goop.

(3) The rudder line holes are well-designed and probably do not leak. The rudder housing and attachment to hull will not cause leakage into the hull--unless something is broken.

(4) IMO, the most serious potential for leaks are the two "twist-n-seal" hatch covers. They are level and not designed to shed water. They only have one feature to protect them from leaking: the rubber-like, sealing ring. It is very easy for the ring to get twisted (it may take a close inspection to see the twist.) If that happens, serious water gets into the hull in any kind of waves. The longer you are on the water, the more water in hull. Very simple. These seals need to be cleaned regularly and lubricated with silicon lubricant. In addition, after some use, the hatch latch does not pull the cover down tight (even if the ring is ok), and you manually must force it down as you turn the latch to close it.

(5) Unlikely for a new boat, but, if you have really large amounts of water in the hull (>4-12 liters), you need to check for cracks in the hull. Most hulls DO NOT have this problem.

Keith

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:27 am 
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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Nice writeup and pic's!

Kayaking Bob


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:08 pm 
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Location: Calga NSW, Australia
Thanks for sharing that Pirate. If you dont mind me mentioning, your dodger looks a little wrinkly :wink:. Does it tighten when you pull back on it?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 25, 2006 5:17 pm
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Location: Ettalong Beach, Central Coast, Australia
Tom Ray wrote:
Glad you're having fun, Pirate. Don't they have sunscreen down under? ;)

Can you remove the Mirage Drive with the dodger in place?


Yeah we are the land of sunscreen. That was a wild call thinking the dodger will solve the sun problem? I never get burnt, but yesterday it was so windy, and so wet, I had to remove my hat, and dammn, got some sunburn on my head. I will need to buy one of those bathing caps, the tight ones I think. But what a sail.

Geoff.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:18 pm 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Geoff wrote:
Tom Ray wrote:
Glad you're having fun, Pirate. Don't they have sunscreen down under? ;)

Can you remove the Mirage Drive with the dodger in place?


Yeah we are the land of sunscreen. That was a wild call thinking the dodger will solve the sun problem? I never get burnt, but yesterday it was so windy, and so wet, I had to remove my hat, and dammn, got some sunburn on my head. I will need to buy one of those bathing caps, the tight ones I think. But what a sail.

Geoff.


That alone brings a smile to my lips Geoff. Not the sunburn but the fact you had a fantastic and fast sail.
The dodger does completely cover the legs so no chance of getting burnt there at least, and sheltered from the wind and waves makes it a comfortable environment to sit in.
Water still finds its way in via the gaps around the aka cross bar and being only press studded, via the edges where it attaches to the hull but it does cut down the spray considerably and its so much dryer and more comfortable than without one. I have mine set-up so as I just have to take of the tension bungy strap at the back end of the dodger on both sides, and the back half collapses giving me more room to move around if needed.
Tom I did not try to see if the Drive would come out whilst the Dodger was in place but I think it would. If not I would simply drop the Dodger the way I just spoke about and then it would be no problems....other than where to put it. It is a bit cramped in the cockpit and the Dodger fitment precludes the opportunity of stowing it under the bungy cords on the front deck, like some do. I would have to put it behind after first securing it properly. eh Tom.... In that respect I am seriously thinking of encouraging my wife to whip me up a spray deflector like Kayaking Bob has perfected with an extended trampoline with pocket to store this valuable aid. When I get her motivated, I will post my results.
Lastly, as for the Dodger, I have beefed up its weak areas a bit and believe I will sail with it fitted most times I go out. Incidentally it stows up front down below even with the batons left in, and only takes a moment to put on when needed...Captain Pirate


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:16 pm 
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Location: Ettalong Beach, Central Coast, Australia
Pirate wrote:
The dodger does completely cover the legs so no chance of getting burnt there at least, and sheltered from the wind and waves makes it a comfortable environment to sit in.


I get constantly hit in the face by water, sometimes so hard I can't see, and it certainly takes my hat off. I will start carrying safety goggles, because they will clear my prescription lenses. I used to do that on the H17 I had, when we sailed it really hard, two up, and me inboard.

That's one reason why I can't see the dodger being useful for me. Its too low. As also, I am typically leaning out, to help keep the jak more upright. The spray shield yes, I would try that, but as a single guy, I will have to wait till we get a commercial one available.

Geoff.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:35 pm 
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Pirate wrote:
I did have a 4 mm bow-line attached to the bow and stowed below so I am assuming the water got in via the front hatch where the light rope distorted the rubber seal.

Capt'n Pirate, very nice write up. I like to run a light bow line also and instead of stowing it inside, it runs along the port rail and ties off just aft of the cockpit. That way it is always accessible as needed and can be used to quickly secure a paddle or other gear you don't want to lose. As you can see here, it's not in the way at all.
Image

BTW, now that you're a captain, you'll have to watch the scuttlebutt about your fellow officers. Play your cards right and you may even make admiral eventually! :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:53 am 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
chrisj wrote:
Thanks for sharing that Pirate. If you dont mind me mentioning, your dodger looks a little wrinkly :wink:. Does it tighten when you pull back on it?


I knew it. The Colonel warned me to tidy my boat before I took the photo. And yes the wrinkles disappear when I give it a bit of a tug......LOL...Captain Pirate :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:00 am 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
That's one reason why I can't see the dodger being useful for me. Its too low. As also, I am typically leaning out, to help keep the jak more upright. The spray shield yes, I would try that, but as a single guy, I will have to wait till we get a commercial one available.
Geoff.[/quote]

I did not find the spray hitting my face at all on Saturday Geoff. Maybe the Dodger deflects it on its way up to the face. :shock:
And re the building of the spray shield, I was talking to an old salt that makes similar by simply gluing the rope to the shade-cloth using silicone. I will try some and let you know if it works OK...Captain Pirate :wink:


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:04 am 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Roadrunner wrote:
Pirate wrote:
I did have a 4 mm bow-line attached to the bow and stowed below so I am assuming the water got in via the front hatch where the light rope distorted the rubber seal.

Capt'n Pirate, very nice write up. I like to run a light bow line also and instead of stowing it inside, it runs along the port rail and ties off just aft of the cockpit. That way it is always accessible as needed and can be used to quickly secure a paddle or other gear you don't want to lose. As you can see here, it's not in the way at all.
I'll take your advice on that one next time out Roadrunner. Thanks for the pic.
BTW, now that you're a captain, you'll have to watch the scuttlebutt about your fellow officers. Play your cards right and you may even make admiral eventually! :wink:

Now your just trying to spoil my fun.... :wink: :wink: Tell me where does Old Salt fit into the scheme of things?....Captain Pirate :D


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:37 am 
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Those of you who have the Dodger and are thinking of sewing a sprayshield together and have in some way reinforced said dodger with sewing or some sort of adhesive.....? How hard would it be to build a dodger from scratch? What kind of material is it made of? how much sewing skill would be required?
could it be made for cheaper and better than $129? Just wondering

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:40 am 
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It would be quite a simple task for an upholsterer or similar with the sewing equipment and skills Element. It cost us over $200 down-under, which is expensive compared to tents etc. that are far more elaborate for far less money. There would be little material costs with litttle more than a square meter in it, say 2 meters at best, and a couple of fiibreglass batons. However, labour costs being what they are, a one-off professional build would probably cost all of Hobie's retail price. IMHO the problem is not so much the build, but the instructions. My advice is when fitting a new one up, not to go too taught and keep the whole thing pretty relaxed when fitting the press studs and plastic posts. (that is if were supplied with the kit as they are supposed.) It appears to me that the locations provided with the kits result in an overstretched finished job that has already started to overstrain the seams. Having said that if mine wears out prematurely :? , a pattern will become available. :lol: LOL.. Captain Pirate.


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