I am looking forward to the Hobie solution soon....Pirate
The Hobie preliminary "solution" has been posted many times here. We had a run of pins that appear to have been weaker than designed. The engineers have checked production systems and then pins as they arrive. I believe this is the primary issue with the pin failures of the last year.
As far as a safety issue? Not to minimize the issue where a boat looses steering suddenly, this is a problem, but this is much more of a "hassle factor" than a safety issue. Not good, we know, but you can replace the pin, use the paddle to steer, the drive to pedal, the sail to move... you can get somewhere you need to go.
Ultimately, the pins ARE designed to fail as a safety for the hull and rudder housing structure, so simply making these stronger... for the second time in the boats three year history... is not necessarily a solution.
The engineers are still working on this. The pins need to fail before other parts fail... that is a difficult balance and one that we need to find. One that we thought we HAD found. Then the materials / production issues came along. Of course, we have many boats and many more older pins in circulation with unknown breaking strengths, so we will likely see this continue for some time.