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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:26 pm 
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Location: Bairnsdale, Victoria Australia
Philip1el wrote:
Upyaboya wrote:
Janey Mac Pirate, you are proving to be most unlucky with the rudder pins. I use the A1 on the sea and have suffered one failure, which looked like fatigue, in 13 months. I wonder if you're on to something when you mention sailing style?

In any event, the number of failures you have experienced is clearly unacceptable.


From what am led to believe Pirate hasnt had a rudder pin failure yet, but maybe I am wrong! (I'm sure he will correct me if thats the case) I swapped to a brass pin 18 months ago after going thru a few of the plastic ones, one time I bust the rudder housing but it was awfully windy that day, since then no probs but I am careful to reef if the wind picks up. Sounds like Hobie are on the case, maybe we could leave them alone on this one...give them some time?[/quote

I agree with you Philip. Great boat produced by a very inovative and supportive Company. They say they are on the job to correct this problem and I for one are going to quieten down and support them in their quest to correct this imperfection....Pirate

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 12:57 am 
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rokraider wrote:
Hi All
Collected my AI today (secondhand). Had to do a few adjustments and odds and sods before taking it out on the water. First impressions are good, it is quite quirky and will take some getting used to. I am concerned that some of the components may be a bit light for the weather I encountered today. I was sailing through 3-4' waves (literally, I was constantly burying the nose back to the mast) in winds gusting around 20-25 knots. I am sailing in Chichester Harbour in the UK which is notorious for its fast flowing tides and mud banks. Because of the lengthy discussion regarding the rudder pins shearing, i decided not to screw the blade down whilst I am getting used to using it in the shallows. This proved to be a mistake, as the rudder would suddenly let go whenever I got any kind of speed up or in a very strong gust whilst trying to point. Due to the wind and the waves, I decided not to attempt to do the screw up on the water and ended up nursing it back to the shore. It does struggle to hold a line in a strong wind when trying to point, the rudder doesn't seem very effective and there were several occassions where it simply rounded up into the wind, however I have not sailed at Trimaran before, so may be expecting too much from it in difficult conditions.
It has the lever to park it it,would the later setup be better for what I am doing and does it do away with the lockdown screw?

I couldn't get the seat base to stay put, it kept slipping out of its holes and slipping forward, leaving me in a somewhat laid back style that was not at all comfortable and worried the seal colony as I carreered by!.

Still it is early days and like everything, will take some time to get dialled into. Overall I am delighted with it and enjoyed my baptism of fire.

Couple of questions. I would like to establish its production date. Its serial number is CCMD4443D707. It has the later rudder blade and the D plastic pin ( What a crap design that is, couldn't Hobie have made it more difficult?). I struggled to get it out on land, I wouldn't fancy doing it in the water. For the record it looked ok before I went out in rough conditions today, I will check it before I go out again.
It has the twist turnbuckle catches for the Mirage drive. Anything I should be checking for? I have had a good poke round the insert where the photos in another post showed it had cracked. So far it looks good.

When inspecting it before going out, I noticed that the mast holder base locnut was loose and the 2 diagonal stays were also finger tight. I have had a poke round the various manuals on the forum and can't find anything that explains exactly how tight everything should be and how to set it up. Any advice would be welcome.

Great site! :D

Just thought I would transfer this to the rudder pin thread as some of it is relevant and I really do want Hobie to fix this problem...Pirate

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 Post subject: Happy broken pin owner
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:21 am 
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Location: Lakes Entrance, Aust
Well I'm for one glad my pin busted.

I happened to slip loading the yellow boat onto the new trailer. Not a hard knock but enough to break the pin. Had the pin not broken something else might have but I don't think it was that hard a bump - but I'm glad I didn't have to find out.

I might add that both my AI's were on their original pins to that point.

The pin that broke did have a hollow centre but checking pins regularly did not show them looking like failing other than a bit of minor wear/distortion of the plastic.

Given that it failed in this manner I'm not sure if Hobie want it back but I do still have it if they do want to see it.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Good point Dave but the soft pins are in fact designed to fail when subjected to a sharp load such as what you experienced. This does not negate the need to have a pin strong enough to continue to perform its normal function of hingeing the rudder under most circumstances. But that is really another issue.
I cut and pasted the above entry to highlight the actual design of the pin which is unnecessarity difficult to lift out on land and especially at sea. If you care to go back to the start of this thread you will see that it was that very point that was addressed so many months back. The strength of the pin is another issue which has developed from that issue. So easy to fix but so far no success....Pirate :?

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Location: HISC Chichester Harbour UK
Spent the last 2 days blasting round Chichester on the A1. Had a great time only let down by this crap rudder design! My problem is not pins breaking but the locking screw does not actually lock anything. The U section where the rudder blade locates when down and where the screw is threaded into, has so much flex in it, that the locking screw needs to be 1/4" longer to do anything. As soon as it gets any kind of load, it simply flex's and allows the blade to slip off the screw and pop up. I now need a new blade where the hole in the side that the screw is supposed to screw into has torn out, so there is now nothing for the screw to even attempt to grip onto. I am not a fan of having everything made of plastic. I don't buy into the weaker parts to save other problems. If it was designed better and components specified properly in the first place it shouldn't need it!

In my opinion there should be a recall on this, maybe I have got a faulty component, but either way I am very disappointed with it.The boat has only been used a handful of times. The rest of the A1 is excellent and considering the number of compromises it has to be, works brilliantly. Shame it is let down by this! :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:25 pm 
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Rokraider, is it possible that the center bolt has loosened? You shouldn't have that much play, even on a worn-out rudder.

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 4:40 pm 
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reconlon wrote:
Rokraider, is it possible that the center bolt has loosened? You shouldn't have that much play, even on a worn-out rudder.


First thing I checked, any tighter and the whole thing seizes and wont go up and down. Everything is lubricated and apart from a load of slop on the main pin that allows the whole rudder to flop about like a prick in a bucket, the rest of the moving parts are as tight as I can get them and still have them able to move. If I lock the rudder down and push sideways on the blade as you might expect when trying to counter a wave pushing it sideways, the whole jaw flex's enough to let the the screw thread come out of the hole in the blade and pop up.
I am a mechanic by trade, so I am looking at it from that point of view.
I should point out that I am still using old lever system. I have contacted one of the few Hobie retailers here, who has confirmed that it is entitled to the upgrade, but there doesn't appear to be any parts available at this time. :evil:

I think I am going to have to replace the whole rudder assembly, this one is just going to continue to flex and ultimately fail. I have been getting plenty of practice steering it with my paddle. Hasn't done much for Hobies reputation, it attracted a lot of attention when I wheeled it out at the sailing club, which is primarily a hard core racing club. So all eyes were on it as I limped back in with the paddle jammed under the framework to try and keep it going in the right direction.

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:14 pm 
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Hi Pirate,

I've been following this thread on and off from the beginning.

I think you contradict yourself in the last sentence.

Quote:
So easy to fix but so far no success....Pirate


I don't think that if it was that easy Hobie wouldn't have fixed it so far. Coming from an engineering background one of the more difficult things to get is exactly the right point where you can get a fail safe to break and still guarantee that it will protect what it is there for, without nuisance breakages.

Doesn't matter whether you are looking at fuse sizes and delays for high power amplifiers or the shear pin on a prop or hi-lift jack.

The only real way of measuring sailing loads on that pin would be to strain gage a brass pin and test it under a wide range of actual conditions you expect it to work in. That alone is an intensive process probably involving quite a bit of travel and sailing time (if hobie are looking for volunteers... :D ) and you can't really strain gage a plastic pin as you'd have to reduce it's diameter at crucial points.

At the same time as you do this you'd probably strain gage the aft of the hull to try and determine stress levels with a more solid pin.

And you'd probably need to record rudder position too but that could be done inside the hull using the rudder control lines.

All the data would be recorded in real time to a datalogger.

Then armed with that data you could build a test rig to replicate the recorded load curves in a lab using plastic pins to see what sort of stress that places on it and whether it breaks, and carefully monitor the transom. I'm not even sure if the stress indicating paints you can get would work on the polypropylene.

It's a big project.

Hobie have already made other changes in the twist & stow on the AI's so they are fixing issues that they can fix.

I'm guessing - and Matt can step in if he likes, or not - that if there were a quick fix they'd have done it in a heart beat. There isn't a quick fix so it's taking a while to sort out.

In the mean time, I've been one of the lucky ones it appears who've not had a pin failure on water on either of my two AI's. It's bound to happen sooner or later, but in the mean time it means I don't have to panic when my kids forget to pull the rudder up in the shallows.

I can't believe how long this thread has become. I don't see anyone balancing the length of this thread with a corresponding positive thread on what is overall a sensational product.

Maybe cut them some slack. They'll fix it if it can be fixed. They have a track record so far with me of being super helpful.

Just my 2c worth.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 1:08 am 
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Location: HISC Chichester Harbour UK
I am happy to address that. The AI is brilliant and is the best fun I have had on water in years. When the rudder issues have been sorted it will be just about the perfect compromise vessel, capable of an amazing array of tasks.
I think my problem is that I am using it at sea in often fairly strong winds and generally 3-4' waves that sometimes are quite violent. I think it is getting towards the edge of its operating envelope and weaknesses are being exposed.
I am hoping that the upgrade to the up/down operating system will sort out my problem with the blade popping up. I have not had any pins break so far.

Overall I am mightily impressed and view this as an annoying but fixable problem. I would imagine that a lot of people using them inland water, probably do not have the same problems and as such will be very happy.

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 5:35 am 
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Dave, 'So easy to fix' was in reference to the reshaping of the pin to make it easier to insert and release, not the strength issue.
You cannot be following the thread too closely or you would know I believe pin failures are not due to soft pins so much as poor engineering and quality control issues surrounding the rudder box assembly in some boats.....Pirate

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:43 am 
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rokraider wrote:
I am happy to address that. The AI is brilliant and is the best fun I have had on water in years. When the rudder issues have been sorted it will be just about the perfect compromise vessel, capable of an amazing array of tasks.
I think my problem is that I am using it at sea in often fairly strong winds and generally 3-4' waves that sometimes are quite violent. I think it is getting towards the edge of its operating envelope and weaknesses are being exposed.
I am hoping that the upgrade to the up/down operating system will sort out my problem with the blade popping up. I have not had any pins break so far.

Overall I am mightily impressed and view this as an annoying but fixable problem. I would imagine that a lot of people using them inland water, probably do not have the same problems and as such will be very happy.

It happens plenty on inland water too rokraider, as soon as the wind picks up a bit. Cleating it down, with the up/down system, completely fixes it in my experience.

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:57 am 
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Pirate wrote:
Good point Dave but the soft pins are in fact designed to fail when subjected to a sharp load such as what you experienced. This does not negate the need to have a pin strong enough to continue to perform its normal function of hingeing the rudder under most circumstances. But that is really another issue.
I cut and pasted the above entry to highlight the actual design of the pin which is unnecessarity difficult to lift out on land and especially at sea. If you care to go back to the start of this thread you will see that it was that very point that was addressed so many months back. The strength of the pin is another issue which has developed from that issue. So easy to fix but so far no success....Pirate :?


Please don't make assumptions about how I follow threads.

If you reread your post you state, "The strength of the pin is another issue which has developed from that issue. So easy to fix...."

You wrote it. Don't try and back away from it. If you meant something else you didn't type what you meant.

I have to say I really admire your persistence, and I'm all for consumer rights, but I'm going to go out on a limb here. Personally - and I think I'm still entitled to hold an opinion - I think your persistence in this case isn't doing anything to help you. My first thoughts on coming back to this forum after months away from it were that I couldn't believe this thread was still going.

Hobie will fix this at some point. They have said that they are working on it. I'm not the first person to suggest this but in the mean time, how about you cut them some slack and enjoy your boat for a while rather than continue to belt your head against a brick wall trying to get them to fix something that they are already trying to fix?

One of the great things about the internet and forums like this is that they give people a direct line of feedback to a company or organisation. One of the bad things is that they tend to attract more negative comment than good and can paint a great product in a bad light based on one or two or ten bad experiences in several thousand.

I don't know how many AI's Hobie have sold. It'd be a lot. There are not many people on here making a huge amount of noise about it compared with how many Hobie AI owners are out there. Yet still to their credit Hobie are addressing the problem even though it would appear that the greater proportion of failures appear on reading this thread to have occurred in conditions that are probably pushing the designer's envelope of the craft.

If you don't like the timeframe that they are doing it in, ring them and complain about it. Don't wallpaper them in forums for it.

All you do is pi$$ them off. (And that's where it gets counter productive.)

I don't think they are vindictive at all but logic says that with any company, if you had a questionable warranty claim or an issue out of warranty they would be far more inclined to be flexible for someone who hadn't potentially cost them several or so lost sales through swaying public opinion on the product.

I reckon based on my own experience you would go a long way to find another company so receptive to feedback, so ready to develop new ideas provided by customers and so flexible on their warranty claims.

If there's a solution in a week, month or next year I'll wait for it. In the mean time I'll go sailing or fishing. If I'm unlucky enough to bust a pin I'll deal with it. I might post here to say it happened but more as a point of interest than complaint - like my post about the trailer incident.

See you on the water sometime.

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:42 am 
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chrisj wrote:
rokraider wrote:
I am happy to address that. The AI is brilliant and is the best fun I have had on water in years. When the rudder issues have been sorted it will be just about the perfect compromise vessel, capable of an amazing array of tasks.
I think my problem is that I am using it at sea in often fairly strong winds and generally 3-4' waves that sometimes are quite violent. I think it is getting towards the edge of its operating envelope and weaknesses are being exposed.
I am hoping that the upgrade to the up/down operating system will sort out my problem with the blade popping up. I have not had any pins break so far.

Overall I am mightily impressed and view this as an annoying but fixable problem. I would imagine that a lot of people using them inland water, probably do not have the same problems and as such will be very happy.

It happens plenty on inland water too rokraider, as soon as the wind picks up a bit. Cleating it down, with the up/down system, completely fixes it in my experience.


I do hope so. I am really looking forward to getting this sorted, it is the only gripe I have with it, the rest of the design is excellent. I am supposed to be doing Federation Week in the harbour next week which is a week long regatta, where all the clubs in the harbour get together and race and party for the week, usually 350-400 boats of all shapes and sizes charging about.
I would really like to use the AI as it will attract a lot of interest, (as it has already at my club). I believe it will generate a few sales in the harbour, as it is great for the whole family to use, whilst dad is racing his Skiff, Moth,49er,14 etc.
However, I don't want to spend my whole time going to wind in every puff and trying to lock the rudder back down. There isn't enough space in the harbour (with 350+ other boats) to have something as wide as the AI suddenly lurch off windward whenever it wants!
It makes Hobie look bad and me look inept.
I suspect that I am not going to get the parts in time to fix it, as no one appears to carry any stock in the UK, or answers repeated phone calls :( Which is a real shame!

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Last edited by rokraider on Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:42 am 
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Posts: 956
rokraider

I have contacted the kayak importer in Holland with your issue - you should have parts to upgrade to the current up/down system. This solves the issue that you are having - sorry that your dealers weren't helpful.

E mail zach@Hobie-Kayak.com at Hobie kayak Europe directly if your dealers aren't getting you the items you need.

Sorry for the delay in getting you the required kit (sometimes inventory can get difficult to keep current with due to shipping times from California and then distribution throughout all of Europe)


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 Post subject: Re: Rudder Pin design
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:48 am 
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Location: HISC Chichester Harbour UK
That is what I call customer service!!! posted within the same minute as my comment.

I will contact them direct if that is ok, as I really don't think I am going to get a timely result relying on the UK network.

If they could UPS the parts, I could have it fixed ready for next week! :D :D

Thankyou for your timely response, it must set some kind of record..

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