I picked up a pair of AI tramps last week. I've always dreamed of having trampolines on my AI, so I couldn't wait to give them a try. Here's my yum-yum yellow AI with tramps installed, just before launching:
The first thing I noticed was that my launch routine would have to change. It was nice to be able to lay the drive and other items on the tramps, rather than stack on back well, but it was harder to get into the kayak and impossible to paddle away from shore to water deep enough for the turbo fins. Next time I'll launch with one tramp rolled up.
Here is a pic of the GPS/fishfinder I mounted to the side gunnel. For sailing newbies like me, I find the GPS info helps with true speed and direction, as the wind and waves can confuse me. The fishfinder really helps with not only locating where the fish are hiding, but also underwater limbs, as the transponder is located in front of my Mirage drive and I can quickly pull the fins against the hull when I see an obstruction coming.
One of the aspects I love of all the Hobie kayaks is that you can get to areas of the lake where boats don't dare try. I traditionally rollerfurl the sail, pull the amas in against the hull, and remove the pedal drive when entering these areas. With the tramps installed, I couldn't pull in the amas or use the paddle, unless I unhooked the back of them and rolled them up first. So, I couldn't go as far into the channel as usual, as I was too lazy to mess with the tramps.
Here's a pic of the shallow inlet that I wandered into:
Here is a vid of me drifting in the inlet:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz7MmVwfY8w
One benefit of the tramps is that they did seem to help with the water coming over the side, and some of the side spray, though a front spray shield is still needed for nose spray.
Here is a vid of my moving along at 7mph in some chop:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGffuGceOZ4
I never cease to be amazed at the versatility of the AI. While all of Hobie's kayaks make great fishing platforms, the AI is the only one that lets you quickly travel a long distance to the fishing hotspot, and then roll up the sail, drop anchor, and fish. The trampolines extend this versatility, making the AI even better. While there are some compromises when they are latched (no paddling, limited side entry, no folding in amas), the compromises are worth it, and they can always be unlatched from the rear and rolled up.
Here is a pic of my GPS track. Note that the fishing hotspot the day I was out was on the opposite side of the lake from my launching point. I was able to quickly get there. On the way back, I was able to explore the entire lake, including shallow coves with tree limbs everywhere in as little as 6" of water. Note it took me almost 20 tacks to finally get to the marina at the end of the day.
I hope everyone enjoys my post. I haven't posted in a while, but thought an update would be worthwhile.
All the best!