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 Post subject: Hobie Pro Angler Cradles
PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:00 am 
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Location: New South Wales, Australia
G'day all,

I'm a new member here from Australia, eastern seaboard, far south coast of New South Wales. I have been lurking for a while and decided to join in.

I have purchased a Pro Angler just prior to Christmas, but owing to a dodgy wrist I had to buy a trailer to transport it. I purchased a set of Hobie Cradles for it from Austin canoe and Kayak, great service I might add, 6 days delivered to my door.

I received them this afternoon and went to the garage to see how they fitted up. I flipped the yak to start with.

The front cradle sits on the yak conforming to the shape nicely all the way. The front edge of the cradle is 1240mm (48.8") from the front handle, the rear edge 250mm (9.8") from the rear of the drive slot. Is this about the right spot?

Now the rear, this is where I am having trouble.

To start the cradle has a forward sticker on the cradle, of the edge with the turned down, this to me appears it would be at the rear, and owing to the shape of the cradle I am right so I just assume someone put the sticker on wrong? The only photos I have seen, have had A.I's on cradles and the curved edge has faced the rear of the yak, I'm assuming to aid in sliding the yak on.

The problem i am having is the placement of the rear cradle. I have found the closest fit to the hull is with a spacing between the front and rear cradle of 1560mm (61.4"). But the cradle doesn't sit on the outer 2 hulls, there is a gap of about 30mm (1 1/4") on each side. I have seen in the catalogue for cradles they show 67" (1700mm). If I moved it back to the 67" mark it is nowhere near right. Its like the cradle has sprung back when it has come out of its mold!!!!

I placed a straight timber across the cradles 2 mounting points and to get the cradle to contact the hull needs about 20kg (44lb) of weight. Even when the cradle does contact the hull it doesn't contact all the way to the outer edges like the A.I ones do.

Any ideas or have I totally ballsed this up.

Thanks

Mick


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:12 am 
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Location: Oceanside, California
Yep, looks like they marked it wrong. The down turned lip faces aft.

The spacing is supposed to be set at 67", so maybe the boat needs to be shifted to fit? I can't imagine that the cradle has been distorted as it is pretty thick fiberglass. Hulls to vary though.

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Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:57 am 
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Thanks for your reply Matt. I apologise for not responding, I have been away without any Internet access.

I have been doodling with the cradles and trailer the last couple of days and got it sorted. The spacing ended up pretty close, 1670mm. I got the rear cradle not contacting properly problem sorted, I clamped the middle of the cradle down slightly to spread the mounting points before drilling for the bolts.

Thanks

Mick


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:36 pm 
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Location: Michigan
Does anyone know if the PA cradles have to be purchased by the pair? The reason I ask is because I bought a custom trailer through my dealer which has fixed Thule style cross bars with less than 50" spacing between them. This excludes me from using the set of cradles unless I weld another cross bar further up towards the hitch where the spare tire is stored. If single cradles are available, which one should I get, bow or stern?
I design and make custom furniture so I'm able to make a set of bent laminated and padded cradles but the investment of time will be more costly than to purchase a set.
Options:
1)Purchase single cradle
2)Purchase set (use one out of the set) and make one.
3)Weld third crossbar onto trailer (which I'd like to avoid) and purchase a set.
It's an awesome trailer that I also use for hauling rough lumber so I have no regrets purchasing it, I'll just have to figure out a cradle solution.
Any ideas, info or suggestions would be much appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
GR8 Laker


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:35 am 
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Location: Oceanside, California
We only offer these in pairs at the moment.

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:12 pm 
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Location: Michigan
Hi gang!
I'm still considering a set of PA cradles but would like a bit more info before I decide to make a purchase. The parts catalogue offers nothing more than a part # and spacing requirements. I'd be most thankful to anyone out there who might be able to provide some dimensions and a photo if possible. I'm more interested in the fore/aft width than the port/starboard length but both would be most appreciated. Also, I've not seen any feedback, positive or negative and wonder whether anyone has experience with the following:
1) Hall deformation from high heat conditions or long term storage?
2) Durability issues?
3) Do they hold their shape with a PA strapped down tightly while trailering?

Thanks in advance for any info,recommendations, photos... etc!

GR8 Laker


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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:05 pm 
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All the feedback we've gotten from customers so far has been positive.

The cradles hep keep the boat sitting level on trailers and are going to help to keep from getting dented. They are rather durable - made with fiberglass by hand here in our factory in Oceanside and they are also carpeted to protect from scratching the hull as well. They hold their shape when being strapped down. You don't need to tie the boat down too tight - just snug will do the trick.


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 7:30 am 
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Location: Michigan
Image
Thanks for the reply Jbernier, I'm definitely leaning toward making the purchase but have a few issues to resolve before following through. The spacing between the bars on my trailer is only 50", 17" shy of requirements for use of the cradles. I can go ahead with the purchase and use either the fore or aft cradle. What I'm thinking is that I can mount a "plate" on top of my spare tire to use as a mounting base for the forward cradle which would allow for the use of both cradles. Either way will require some type of modification.
I used the Thule Saddles with this trailer and noticed significant hull indentations. Needless to say, I wasn't happy with that particular arrangement. I should be able to use a combination of the cradles (as previously mentioned) and one set of the Thule saddles on the forward cross bar to reach an acceptable configuration.
Any thoughts... anyone?
Thanks,
GR8 Laker


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:13 am 
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Just looking at it, I'd suggest putting the spare up on the tongue further and mount the front rail for the trailer in that general location. Be sure you get a good look at the mounting methods for the saddles. I think they're generally for the trailer they market. Not that it couldn't be modified but 'enough modifying'...... :D Just something work....... ha. I'll also say that the forward saddle is the most important as it's meant to go across a portion of the hull that needs support to prevent denting. The aft end is a little easier to accommodate with just some padding. As long as they come as a set, go for it. That's my next move so I can retire my home made bunk that I put together.

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Yakkingaway
Portsmouth, VA


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Location: Oceanside, California
You "could" add a palnk of plywood on top of the crossbars to extend the "deck" forward enough to get the cradle spacing? Mount the cradles to the plywood?

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Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Location: Michigan
Thanks for the ideas guys!
I thought of using a piece of plywood Matt, because I also use this trailer for hauling wood for my custom furniture business. The trailer was a bus. expense!! I wasn't sure how it might affect aerodynamics. Wood that be an issue,LOL (oh that's really BAD,sorry). The only other issue is access to the spare tire. I suppose I could install a hinged circular door to maintain accessibility and have one cradle forward of the tire. It would be nice if I didn't have to move it but will if that's what it comes down to. It's nice having the spare where it is because it sits at the same level as the cross bars and would add that much more support to the plywood system. Your reminder of the use of plywood is helping me create new ideas as I'm writing this post, thanks Matt!
Yakkingaway, I'm attempting to do this as frugally as possible so removing/adding another crossbar means paying someone for aluminum welding which adds up quickly. I appreciate your tip on the forward cradle being the most critical and the fact that they are purpose built for specific mounting. I'd bet that I can locate some sections of the aluminum railing they use. I've got some serious thinking to do because I want to have the capacity for multiple kayaks in the future. Both yours and Matt's input has been inspirational and I'll come up with something based on your feedback.
Thanks again guys,
GR8 Laker
PS I thought the mounting plate for the spare was welded into place but having checked, it's easily movable.


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 2:19 am 
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G'day GR8 Laker,

The cradles worked out pretty well after a bit of adjusting as I mentioned in my post earlier this thread.

Your were after some measurements! The rear cradle is 860mm long, 140mm wide. The front is 780mm long, 115mm wide.

The position of my front cradle is directly under the front edge of the mirage drive slot, actually the rear edge of the cradle sits 55mm to the rear of the front of the slot. Hope that makes sense.

The cradles were then spaced 1670mm apart.

You will see in my photo's, hopefully they will work, that I just used a basic T boat trailer. The rear rectangle section holding the axle/springs etc can be adjusted along the drawbar for weight distribution/length etc. I then made a frame out of 4 x 2 treated pine and mounted the cradles to that. I then in turn mounted the frame to the trailer using aluminium angle/u bolts and bolts.

Tthe 4 x 2's that the cradles are mounted to I angled them slightly so that the cradle would contact the hull correctly in the fore/aft plane.
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I made the frame longer that needed so I could slide the kayak to the rear so the scupper holes for the cart just clear the yellow pool noodle, insert the cart, slide back onto wheels with nose of yak still on trailer, pick up and then walk off. Anything else you need let me know.

Mick


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:44 am 
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Location: Michigan
Cracka,

Cheers, my friend, for the most informative and nicely documented post! You just sold a set of Cradles for Hobie and I believe you should receive a commission for your effort. The Cradles are deeper (fore to aft-140mm/115mm) than I expected them to be and look as though they'll do a great job in spreading the load.
I'm curious to know whether the 1670mm spacing is to center (mounting points), inside edges or outer edges of the cradles? I'm guessing that due to minor differences in hull shape from PA to PA, spacing will differ a bit. Also, I like how you are able to separate the frame from the trailer. Do you do this to store the PA or do you leave it on the trailer for storage? Lastly, how did you figure out how much to angle the cradles? Did you flip the PA over and rest the frame with loose cross members onto the hull of the PA?
Thanks again, Cracka! Your feedback has been instrumental in my decision to go ahead with a set of cradles. I'll be ordering them today!
Take care and safe adventures to you,
GR8 Laker

PS. Beauty of a set-up you have there. Love the color of your PA!


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:03 am 
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GR8 Laker,

No problems in relation to posting I'm glad I can help somebody out. I am a member of a few different U.S based fishing/boating forums and I find you're a great bunch over there, that I have encountered anyhow, I'm glad I can help out.

The 1670mm spacing is centre spacing on the mounting bolts, but like you said with minor differences in hulls it may change slightly. I got my basic spacing by having the yak upside down and seeing where the cradles fitted the hull shape best.

I did have a bit of trouble with the rear cradle in that there was a gap of about 30mm between the cradle and the 2 outer hulls with the centre portion of the yak hard down onto the cradle. What I did was cut my cross piece that the cradle was to be mounted to longer than needed. I drilled 1 of the bolts mounting holes and sat the bolt through the cradle into this hole. I then sat the yak on the cradle and pulled the center of the cradle down with a small clamp. This tended to spread the mounting points and allowed the yak to make contact with the cradle as you can see in the photo. I then marked the location and drilled that. I then needed to cut some small wedges as the flat mounting pads, where the bolts go through the cradle, were not flat against the timber. These wedges are between the cradle and the timber cross piece, if you zoom in on the rear photo of yak on trailer you can just make them out.

It was a bit of a fiddle but it was the only way it would work to get the yak to sit on the cradle, it did not matter where I located the cradle along the yak as you are governed by the distance from the keel to the inside edges of the 2 outer hulls.

To get the correct angle, I had the cradles fixed properly to the cross pieces. In the photo of the frame on its own you can just see the cross piece for the rear cradle is fixed by 2 fixings through the side rails into the cross piece. I just fixed both cradle/crosspieces originally with the top fixing and then sat the frame onto the trailer with the yak on top of the cradles in position and then manipulated the cradle/cross piece untill it fitted the yak and then fixed it off properly.

I guess you could separate the frame to store if you needed to. I had just taken the photo's as I was building the trailer up for just this purpose, as I had'nt seen anything online for the PA and cradles, so I thought I might be able to help someone out. I store the yak on the trailer as in the photo and it's great I'm really happy with it.

I bought the cradles from Austin Canoe and Kayak they were fantastic. I got the cradles delivered to my door in Australia for $331 in 6 days, they were going to hit me $480 for a set in Australia and then I had to pay freight :shock:

If you need anything else give me a shout, I'll check back tomorrow, I'm calling it a night.

Mick


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Location: Long Island, NY
G'day Cracka,

Your post is excellent! -And timely, too. I just got my cradles today. While my mounting will be somewhat different from yours, you've touched upon many points I had been considering. The pictures are a big help. I'll be sure to share once I get my rig sorted out.


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