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 Post subject: Upgrading the Sport
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Here are a couple of simple things you can do to upgrade the hardware on your Sport (and, in some cases on your Outback). Note that none of these items is really essential, but they may be somewhat useful down the road (or down the bay, as the case may be).

1. First project was the upgrading of the seat attachment eye straps from Nylon to SS. In addition, I added a new OK handle (similar to the new stock Hobie handles) to the port seat attachment eye strap ($3.00 from KFG, http://www.kayakfishinggear.com/ ).

After my (and other) earlier complaints/suggestions about the weak attachment points for the Hobie seat straps on the Outback using only 1/2 inch sheet metal or self-tapping screws (and my upgrades to thru-bolted machine screws with lock washers and nuts), it was refreshing to see that Hobie has also upgraded their seat attachment eye straps. They now use thru-bolted SS #10 machine screws with Nylock nuts on the new Sport (and presumably on the OB, as well). This should eliminate the previous problem in the OB of a large-bodied person occasionally causing these 1/2 inch seat attachment eye strap screws to pull out just by leaning back in the seat. This pic also shows the new portside handle, and the upgraded (to SS) seat attachment eye strap. Several different names for these things: West Marine calls them “eye straps”, Hobie calls them “pad eyes,” and KFS calls them “deck loops”.

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2. Upon poking around inside the Sport hull, I noticed that the sheet metal screws attaching the starboard cleat were a bit longer than they needed to be. In addition these screws, which are surprisingly sharp, penetrated the hull in the vicinity of the small lines and control handle for raising and lowering the rudder. Although I saw no evidence of chafing, I tend to look askance at sharp objects in the vicinity of running lines after my years at sea in the Navy and aboard a staysail schooner in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans (all hail Murphy's Law!). The first pic shows the Spectra lines and bridle attachment to the rudder up/down handle. Note the starboard cleat attachment screws at the top of the pic (inside of cockpit at top, bow to left, large round object at right is bottom of the cup holder).

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I replaced the stock Hobie SS 1 1/4inch #10 tapping screws (center, below) with 1-inch SS #10 round-head machine screws and Nylock 10-24 nuts. This round-head screw length fit the stock Hobie 4-inch cleat just about right, leaving little excess length inside the hull that might chafe the lines. Also these machine screws are not really very sharp anyway, and the rounded Nylock nuts further cover the screw tip to protect the lines.

NOTE: Round-head machine screws and flat-head machine screws are actually of slightly different lengths. This is because of the differences in the way each type of screw is measured. Flat-heads are measured from the top of the head, while round-heads are measured from below the head (which makes them slightly longer overall).

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This is a view of the same starboard cleat installation inside the hull after replacing the Hobie stock sheet metal-type screws with the #10 machine screws and 10-24 Nylock nuts. This gives a much cleaner installation, IMHO.

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3. The next project was to replace the stock Hobie port-side nylon eye strap with a SS one, as well as replacing the Hobie #10, 1/2 inch tapping screws with something a little more sturdy, such as #10 thru-bolted machine screws (3/4 inch long) with 10-24 Nylock nuts.

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4. I also decided to add an additional nylon eye strap (that became available when I added the SS ones earlier) on either side aft to provide a better attachment point for the Igloo ice chest bungees. I also replaced the stock Hobie #10, 1/2 inch tapping screws on the eye straps in the rear gunwale trays with #10, 3/4 inch tapping screws, as well as using them for the additional eye straps here.

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And here is the Igloo 25 quart ice chest installed, using the new eye strap.

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5. Port-side, I added a new 4-inch cleat to serve as an attachment point for my anchor. These West Marine cleats are pre-drilled for 8/32 machine or tapping screws. I decided to use 8-32, 1 1/2 inch SS machine screws, backed by 1 inch SS fender washers and 8-32 Nylock nuts. Another option would be to drill out these cleats so they can use a #10 screw to match the stock Hobie 4-inch cleat, but this seemed to be more trouble than necessary.

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6. I also added a new nylon eye strap forward on each side to use as either a rod leash attachment point, and/or as a Mirage drive leash attachment point. Here is a pic of the entire cockpit port side with the new SS eye strap at far left, the new 4-inch cleat (center), and the new nylon eye strap and RAM ball at the right.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:59 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 3:36 pm
Posts: 8
You da man Apalach!
Thanks for all you do to help others here and on KFS and who knows where else :D


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