Picked up my new AI Wednesday, New Years Eve and took it out Yesterday, New Years Day. It was cold, about 55 degrees and the water was around the same temperature. Wind was around 10 mph, sometimes a it felt closer to 20 and sometimes about 5 mph. However all wind speeds, on my part were just a guess.
Some have claimed that the AI does not go to the winward very good. I did not have that problem. I could easily go about 45 degrees into the wind though it seemed even closer. The stronger the wind however, the better it sailed into the wind.
The boat handled beautifully. Once I buried an ama completely under the water. I quickly turned into the wind because I feared I might capsize. Probably not but it scared me anyway. I would not been scared however if the water had not been so cold.
I got wet but I had a wet suit on, a vest type PFD over that and rain gear on top. I did not get cold, in fact I was sweating under my wet suit. Water would often hit me in the face however and that was cold. Sometimes when I was going hard into the wind and the wind was highest, I took a lot of water over the side. I did not find that a bother however except for the few times it hit me in the face.
My butt did feel cold however and I later found out why. When I brought the boat in I found I was sitting in about two inches of water. The drains in the seat area had screw in plugs in them. That meant there was no drain, just a bowl of water which I sat in. When I got home I unscrewed the plugs but left them in. Hosed it down and found the water drained very good that way. That is the way they will stay.
Major problem; the damn seat would not stay steady. I plugged the two little studs into their holes but every time I turned around or slid forward, they would come out. It would take some effore to get them seated again but a few minutes later they would be out again. I don't know what I am going to do about this problem but it is intolorable the way it is. Perhaps I will get some plastic holding epoxy and glue them in. I could just fold the back down when transporting it, even upside down.
Mirage drive; I had trouble seating it. I would jam it in and it would not seat. It took me several tries to get it to seat properly. Later when I got back home, I put the boat up on a rack and found the problem. If the drive is jammed straight down with all four contact points hitting at the same time, it will seat first time, every time. So if your pedals are set on 4 then you can hold them on the verticle and just slam it into place and it will seat properly every single time. But if the pedals are set on 5, as mine was, or anything other than 4, and you hold the pedals verticle and jam it down, it will not seat and all the jiggling you can do will not make it seat. You must figure out the proper angle to hold the pedals in order to make the drive mechanism absolutely level and it will seat properly. But I tried it many, many times and it never once failed to seat the very first time if it was inserted properly.
All in all I had a great sail. It will be better next time if it is a little warmer and if I figure out how to get that damn seat to stay in place.
I too have/am experiencing the seat plug problem and the Mirage Drive seating problem.
You have posted some really valuable info here but unfortunately a lot of members will miss itr because it is under the subject heading "My first trip in my brand new 09 AI".
If the relevant parts were headed Mirage Drive seating problem and Seat Post problem/solution, I suspect lots more would benefit from your experience.
Anyhow, thanks for the post and coming up with solutions to both these issues.