Dave, tightening the sprayskirt so that it only raises slightly on the windward side (from wind) and only lowers slightly on the leeward side (from water) while in use, works best. If it looks like a tennis ball would bounce a little off of it, it feels about right to me.
If you still choose to bury the nose in larger waves, it will slow the boat (to a stop if a big enough wave). The boat will pop right back up. This is instead of plowing through the wave leaving you up to your armpits in water.
A trade off. It's designed to keep the spray (and buckets of water) off you, not to climb 3 foot waves.
If you sail across the waves at about a 45 degrees, it shouldn't grab the waves and can be much faster than a strait downwind run, even with the extra area covered. Of course, if you need to stay in a channel, then you just need to slow the boat down to match the waves to not submarine.
The sprayskirt seems to raise to bow slightly, which helps get over more of the smaller waves. And when pushing the boat for speed, (especially heading between close hauled and a beam reach) it will stop the ama from burying very far as it will plane off the sprayskirt instead of continuing to bury deeper (racing
). Like the center boat on the picture below (I did finally catch him!).
My best installation advice is to add a knot on the line, just inside of the sprayskirt at all points the line exits and add a small wire tie on the shade cloth around the line, just outside of the knot to keep the shade cloth stretched taught.
Post some photo's when you finish it.
- - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2012 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI