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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 12:50 am 
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Location: Brisbane Australia
Hobie needs to address the issue of akas disconnecting. Two weeks ago I was sailing off Mooloolaba, Queensland. As i was tacking over a wave the right front aka disconnected, ...........by some miracle and quick reaction time I grabbed the aka as it passed by me, and a capsize was averted.
Today, sailing around Peel Island, a friends TI aka disconnected resulting in a capsize in choppy water.
There is definitely and issue with the aka assembly, and something needs to be done about it, before someone gets injured. This part of the boat should not be failing.
The first was an 2015 AI, and the second a 2016 TI.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 2:45 am 
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Are you saying the AKA disconnected from the AMA? i.e. the bungies failed? Or did the AKA disconnect from the crossbar?


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:28 am 
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John_h wrote:
Are you saying the AKA disconnected from the AMA? i.e. the bungies failed? Or did the AKA disconnect from the crossbar?


The aka disconnected from the cross bar.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:33 am 
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yikes, that's not good. :shock:


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 4:44 am 
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Hogman, I can only assume that the incidence of such separations reported here is roughly proportional (or more likely a higher proportion) than "out there".

Based on that assumption, separation is a rare event. That leads me to assume that there is no fundamental design shortcoming. Are there any other factors?"
Were the boats involved disassembled after every outing, or shipped and stored intact? (This obviously increases wear and tear plus the possibility that the buttons might not be fully engaged on assembly).

I cannot add any experience to your incident, as my akas have only been disassembled (only deliberately) once since I got my TI in June 2012. I fitted diagonal safety lines years ago, so could theoretically manage without the retaining clips.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 5:44 am 
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That has always been a potential problem with both AI's and TI's along with AKA sheer bolts sheering (also causing capsize), especially with those who use the boats offshore.
Most of us just add a safety rope which cures both problems in one fell swoop, and is a one time fix that takes all of 5 minutes to rig, (just once), then forever mounted on the boat, costs about $5 bucks. If you search the forum for safety rope you will find a dozen solutions.
The simplest is just some 3/16 dia nylon rope (needs to be stretchy). Tie a cinch knot to one end of the rope, now wrap the rope around the front outer aka hull brace (where the front aka cross bar attaches to the hull) then pull the end of the rope thru the cinch loop and pull it tight (kind of like a hangmans noose), or you can just tie a simple knot as well, that knot is never removed again. Now take the free end of the rope and run it to a stainless caribiner that you attach to either the stainless cleat in the center of the ama (on older boats), if you have a newer boat it might not have that stainless cleat in the center of the AMA (those cleats may have been eliminated recently), if this is the case just attach the caribiner to the front of the lifting strap (it is plenty strong). With the AMA out and locked just pull the rope to the caribiner and tie it off (doesn't need to be tight).
When not using the boat you just stuff the safety line into the mesh pockets, the safety rope can stay attached to the boat forever forward. When setting up you just open the AMA lock it, then just clip the carabiner to the AMA (takes all of 15 seconds of your time).
That simple rope cures 3 or 4 major issues all in one fell swoop.
If the front or rear aka bar come unclipped and starts to slip out (as it sounds like what happened to you), the safety rope prevents the AKA bar from slipping all the way out and causing capsize. Of course if it does pop out yo still have to stop and pop the bar back in, but no damage will occur and you won't capsize.
If you are in choppy water or hit a large powerboat wake it's likely the nylon sheer bolt on the AKA brace will break (as it is designed to do) and the AMA folds in and you go swimming. The safety rope prevents the ama from folding in (preventing capsize). Of course you still have to stop, furl your sail and replace the AKA sheer bolt (which is way easier when the boat is right side up (lol)).
Older boats were famous for the AMA bungys breaking and the AMA's falling off, if one of the bungys breaks, the safety rope prevents the ama from falling off.
The other thing that the safety rope prevents (especially on the older boats) is when you are on a reach and one AMA is way up in the air, the bungys stretch and the AMA flops up and down making a lot of noise (that noise drives me nuts). That same safety rope prevents the AMA from flopping up and down willy nilly annoyingly.
It's of critical importance you understand the design intent of the AMA bracing systems on the boat prior to making any mods, as the last thing you want to do is disable or override the original design intent of the boat (becomes very expensive very fast with a huge potential of ripping your hull if done wrong, rendering the boat useless and un-repairable (lol)).
The intent of the nylon shear bolt is in the event you hit something like a dock, the nylon bolt simply snaps and the AMA harmlessly folds in preventing further damage. With the only downside being if you happen to be in the boat when the ama folds in, the boat capsizes and you go for a swim. With the safety rope the shear bolt still snaps (preventing further damage), and the AMA still swings back, but as the AMA is swinging back, the safety rope is stretching acting like a giant bungy obsorbing the energy of the collission, preventing the aka expensive AKA bar from folding like an elbow (destroying the $200 dollar AKA bar, and ending your sailing for a few weeks.
Anybody can make all kinds of re-enforcements to the boat and many do things like replacing the nylon sheer bolt with a stainless bolt, or lashing all kinds of heavy ropes back and forth to completely prevent the AMA's from folding in alltogether but doing so may defeat the original design intent and a greater possibility of ripping the hull itself in that area around where that little ball sticks up (basically scrapping out your $6k boat).
Don't take my word on anything, once you have installed feel free to go target a big yacht and just ram it, (yea I've done that (lol)), channel markers also work very well, or cut or leave off one of your bungys while out sailing, and just sail around a while, then to test out the aka's coming out just push the buttons on the AKA braces while underway and turn, trying to get the aka to fall out. Carry a couple extra aka sheer bolts along when testing, you should be fine. You might want to throw in a couple nasty surf returns just to make sure everything works. All this stuff happens in real life anyway, why not be prepared for it.

Hope this helps
FE


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 10:59 am 
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A Sprayskirt on the front will stop the front aka from complete disconnection and attempt leaving. Add a leash to the rear aka completes the set. Happened twice to me early on. Never Again! Image
Image
http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=41340&

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 12:57 pm 
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tonystott wrote:
Hogman, I can only assume that the incidence of such separations reported here is roughly proportional (or more likely a higher proportion) than "out there".

Based on that assumption, separation is a rare event. That leads me to assume that there is no fundamental design shortcoming. Are there any other factors?"
Were the boats involved disassembled after every outing, or shipped and stored intact? (This obviously increases wear and tear plus the possibility that the buttons might not be fully engaged on assembly).

I cannot add any experience to your incident, as my akas have only been disassembled (only deliberately) once since I got my TI in June 2012. I fitted diagonal safety lines years ago, so could theoretically manage without the retaining clips.


The akas on both boats are not removed at each outing, so there is no wear and tear. They are also checked before each outing to make sure they are locked in. After my incident, I have put safety lines to prevent this happening again.

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 3:29 pm 
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I've never had an aka prematurely release from a crossbar in 9 yrs of sailing AIs (4) and a TI. Despite that LACK OF FAILURE, I've added KayakingBob's aka retention lines. The link: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=750 It is a simple safety feature.

Keith

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 8:34 pm 
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Found this on Youtube

Scary!

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:32 pm 
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Hmmm, having another look at that video, I am wondering if the new location of the reacher block has any influence.. The upwards pull from the very rear of the aka with the resultant longish levering moment, could put an anti-clockwise twist on the port aka/crossbar junction. You can see this in the way the ama stern lifted up after the disconnection.

I know with my own akas, to release them, sometimes (while pressing the buttons), a quick pull anti-clockwise seems to make them easier to disengage.

No matter though, a simple line between the akas on each side as illustrated by kayakingbob will prevent this happening again.

Oops: I had another look, and realise the spinnaker was not flying when the incident happened. Nevertheless, it might have got the buttons past their detent position on its last deployment

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Last edited by tonystott on Sun May 22, 2016 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 3:04 am 
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I want to see what happened next.
C'mon Spook ...post the rest of that clip!

Like Keith I've never had an aka disconnect in 6 years of TI sailing. I always use tramps and I mostly hike out.
I haven't even bothered with any retention lines either but I can see they are a good safeguard.

When the TI first appeared with the new button lock aka (as opposed to the old pin lock on AI's) some reported disconnect problems. I was considering pinning the new aka's like this pic that was posted (can't remember by whom sorry).
Image

Hobie sent out replacement locks and I've never had a problem.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 6:35 am 
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My situation is similar to Stringy's, when I first got my TI the clips on the Aka's failed quite often, then Hobie sent out replacement clips and most of my issues went away. However by that time I had lost faith in the design for it (never to return) and always rigged my safety lines and clips, actually six years later I'm still using the exact same clips (lol). Unlike stringy though I have had about a half dozen AKA disconnects since then where the clips pop out but my safety ropes ( and my tramps and spray skirts) prevent the aka from coming completely out and I simply stop furl my sails and snap it back in, then go on my merry way. However keep in mind I always sail my boat with massive sailsets mostly offshore at much higher speeds than most TI owners ever see so the stresses and strain on every component on my boat are triple everyone elses. Also my boat has been widened quite a bit to make it un-capsizable with my bigger sailsets and this puts more strain on everything. And It's likely my big ole twin outboards don't help matters, most TI's stop when hit by a big wave and chop, mine just powers over and thru it which I'm just guessing here increases the stress and strain on the boat and all it's components quite a bit.
I have never seen that pin idea before, I see no downside to doing that, I store my boat on my trailer and honestly can't recall the last time I removed my AKA bars. Honestly I learn something new every day following this forum. One more thing I can check off of my list of potential failure points (lol).
FE
Edit:
Just as a pointer to tramp users, if when putting the tramp on you cram the back of the tramp inward so that 3/8 rod is over the gunwale, and attach the first strap to the center AKA brace vs the removable AKA, this also helps prevent the rear aka from coming out completely in the event the clip comes undone, at least until you can pull over and snap it back in. Same applies on my front AKA with my kayakbobs sprayskirts. With these boats offshore, spray skirts all around and tramps makes for a much drier ride because the boats are so low in the water (just sayin).


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 9:46 am 
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I had that happen twice on my 2015 TI back in December. Luckily I was quick enough to respond and and reef in the sail quick enough. I went to the dealer where I bought the boat from (economy tackle, sarasota, fl) and told them what had happened and they immediately order all new cross bars and akas. 3 weeks later I took the boat back and they replaced everything under warranty. Hasn't happened since but I just don't trust that system. Hobie does need to address this issue. BTW, economy tackle has been great to me with service, way better that the next closest dealer (tackle shack).

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G890A using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 10:27 am 
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Agreed Economy Tackle is awesome, they get all my business, I recently updated my mirage drives to the new glide technology and new fins, they were very helpful. Boy what a difference those new mirage drives make, I sailed/peddled my TI ten miles saturday and my legs weren't tired like normal, definately a worthwhile upgrade.
FE


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