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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:49 pm 
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I have recently acquired a 2003 Mirage Classic. have previously owned a 2006 model, but sold it when I bought my AI. So happy to have a Classic again! I need to replace the original rudder and am looking for recent modifications and ideas for upgrading to a larger rudder. I do remember that 2006 feeling of having to keep my hand near the steering control lever due to the small rudder "traveling" a bit. I am wondering if anyone has modified the larger PA rudders (new or old versions) for the Classic? Or is there a suitable larger non-Hobie rudder that is compatible with the Classic's up/down function?

I am also interested in modifications to attach a mirage sail. I believe previous posts regarding this issue are fairly old and I could not seem to open images. If anyone has links to images, descriptions, expertise, or thoughts on the subject I would appreciate the information. I am picturing the mounting bar for the Hobie Bimini and wondering if it could be adapted somehow to hold a sail.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:08 pm 
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Being familiar with other Hobies but not with the exact set-up on these particular hulls (I have only ever seen one [1] since starting Hobie kayaking several years ago) it is difficult to make anything other than some general suggestions based on other Hobie-ing experience:

Re the rudder: I would suspect that it may not be too difficult to find some suitable material to increase the surface area of the up & down rudder - possibly by cannibalising a different Hobie blade or the blade off a different brand (kayak or rudder). Other than that I am sure it might not be too difficult to fabricate one if some suitably stiff material could be found - I suspect that having a profiled blade would hardly make any difference to performance - just a slab of something stiff would probably do.

Re sailing. I was under the impression that there was a mast base in these boats already (but I am quite willing to accept that this is incorrect). If there isn't then you may be able to do what I have done to add a second mastbase to my Oasis.

I bought the Hobie black plastic mast-base (I think it may be called the 'receiver' in the parts list) as a spare part.

The way this is installed in the stock boats is that it is passed through, and then the top end screws into, a moulded hole in the top 'deck' of the hull while the bottom end (which is hollow, the tube being closed in the middle) fits onto/over a knob moulded into the inside of the bottom of the hull which, when the tube is crewed down tight, prevents the bottom of the tube from moving and thus holds the whole thing tight in place so that the mast doesn't flop about. It would appear that the tube is cut to length for the various different hulls with the excess length being cut from the bottom of the tube - there are some moulded grooves round the bottom of the tube at various points which I suspect are the 'cut here' lines.

You need to have a suitable place along the centre-line of your boat to install the mast base:
- Trying to install it through a hatch lid, for example, is not likely to be successful.
- Likewise installing it too close to a vertical bulkhead may allow the mastbase to flex the deck when there is pressure in the sail which would not be a good idea, but as long as the location of the deck hole has enough flat plastic around it, it should be strong enough.
- You also need sufficient depth between the top deck and the floor to accommodate the tube - too deep is OK - too shallow is probably a red flag (you can cut some of the length off as mentioned but you want the bottom end of the tube closed to prevent water ingress and you need sufficient length to properly support the mast).
- Too far forward will make it difficult to reach the mast to raise/lower it at sea.
- Too far back and it could impinge upon your pedal stroke.
- If the mast is way forwards in the hull it will have the effect of making the boat want to sail downwind - if it is too far back it will have the effect of making the boat want to turn upwind (this is because the centre of effort of the sail will either be in front of the centre of lateral resistance of the boat or behind it. If the COE is in front of the COLR it will push the boat downwind and vice versa = upwind). On my Oasis I already had a sail in the middle - I wanted another sail to make a schooner and so the forward position of the new mast was not too much of an issue (actually, and a bit of an aside, IMO the standard sail on the Oasis is a bit far back = tendency towards upwind sailing, so the 2 masted boat sails rather better because the foremast balances out the boat nicely).

At the place I decided to locate the mast base the hull was too deep for the standard mastbase so I needed to extend it - which I did by buying some aluminium tube which fitted snugly into the bottom of the mast base allowing me to have pretty much any length of tube I needed.

When you have decided where you want to locate the mastbase and you have worked out that you can, and how to, either lengthen or shorten the mastbase if this is required, you then need three more things:
1. a tube of Scotchweld DP8010 glue - this is the only glue that I would trust for sticking the mastbase into the deck... I very much doubt that anything else (e.g. epoxy or w.h.y.) would prove reliable enough;
2. a knob on the floor of the kayak at the correct place and of the correct size that the mast base can fit over it to hold the mast at the appropriate vertical angle;
3. a hole in the deck of the kayak of exactly the right size to allow the top of the mastbase tube just below the small flange, to fit snugly through the deck.

The trickiest one of these three is the knob on the inside of the hull. I am sure you could plastic-weld something in place (I strongly suspect that Hobie puts a metal fitting into the hull at that point which gets coated with plastic to form a raised knob - I can't vouch for that but I did think about using a nut as a 'former' around which to weld a plastic knob). Bear in mind that a raised plastic ring welded to the floor of the kayak for the end of the mast base to fit into would probably work just as well. What I did (I was lucky to have access to a spare hull to cannibalise) was to cut out the knob plus a small section of hull from an old hull and glue that to the floor of my Oasis using Scotchweld DP8010 (it has held up so far...!).

When you have all three ready you goop the top end of the mast base under the flange up with Scotchweld, insert it through the deck, and locate the bottom end over the knob or into the ring on the floor of the kayak as you screw the top end of the mast base into the hole in the deck (there are raised plastic screw threads on it).

Overall it wasn't a particularly difficult or expensive modification to make but it was my second attempt. The first involved trying to install a mastbase arrangement on the front wall of the cockpit - this was quite unsightly (big metal fittings sticking out of the hull) and it was impossible to prevent the plastic from flexing, despite the addition of a thick plywood bulkhead inside the boat. Even the mast on its own, on shore - not even on the water, wobbled about all over the place - there was no way it was going to be strong enough for sailing.

What I was trying to do was to copy the second mast-base arrangement that Stringy (I think) had set up on his Mark 1 Oasis - the model with the round hatch in the front wall of the cockpit. He fabricated a metal frame to hold the mast which screwed into the same holes as the hatch flange used. Apparently this worked well and if your boat has a similar hatch you might want to dig up the post on these forums in which the arrangement is pictured and/or to ask Stringy (if it was he) to comment. But otherwise, be warned: I ended up removing all of the fittings, welding up all the holes in my boat and starting again with a through-deck arrangement as described above; this works perfectly and appears to be standing the test of time (touch wood, though I do not worry too much about the impact of something failing - the likely contenders for a failure being the glueing of the plastic knob to the floor of the boat and/or the failure of the aluminium tube extension to the mastbase - I can't see much else going wrong, and even if one of these things failed I am pretty sure that not too much damage would be done to the boat or sailors).

Hope this gives you some ideas.


Last edited by stobbo on Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
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Also ... search the forums for these modifications to the Classic.

There was no mast receiver, but there has been some discussion on DIY.

The rudder could be modified to the Twist and Stow type as per other DIY discussions.

http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=10090&hilit=Classic+Sail+adapter

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