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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 3:07 pm 
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My dealer ACK here in San MarcosTexas is forwarding the issue to the Hobie people for a warranty claim . Since I purchased the i11 on 5/6/16 I had expected the purchase was outside of the steering recall and refit process that occurred with the launch of the i11 inflatable earlier this year . As I understand there were two options offered to customers with the steering problem. Either, return the kayak to Hobie for refitting ( 4 week turn around ) or install the new wiring on your own . Since, I am not a hands on kind of person And after reviewing the how to retro vidieo, I am hoping my ACK dealer can help with this option . They have been very helpful to date . If anyone has done the upgrade and would like to share information. I am all ears .

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 6:47 pm 
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I have been fishing out of my i11s about a dozen times now and have not had any problems with kinking or stiffness when steering. I asked for the DIY kit which my dealer provided to me but I have not installed it yet. I'm not sure what leads to the binding and tight steering others have encountered. When I fold the kayak I coil the steering tube without kinks on the back under the bungees so it is not in the fold of the kayak. I did lube the spectra with the recommended Dry Silicon spray and that really made things smooth. Not sure when or if I'll make the change, I suppose if things start to bind then I'll deal with it.


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 5:26 am 
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dexstrom wrote:
I have been fishing out of my i11s about a dozen times now and have not had any problems with kinking or stiffness when steering. I asked for the DIY kit which my dealer provided to me but I have not installed it yet. I'm not sure what leads to the binding and tight steering others have encountered. When I fold the kayak I coil the steering tube without kinks on the back under the bungees so it is not in the fold of the kayak. I did lube the spectra with the recommended Dry Silicon spray and that really made things smooth. Not sure when or if I'll make the change, I suppose if things start to bind then I'll deal with it.


I've been assured by Hobie (after providing serial number) that my i11s has the upgraded steering system. However, last couple of trips out (total of 8 trips so far since getting the yak), steering has become increasingly tight. I do fish in saltwater, but rinse off after each use. I also don't fold the steering cable when I fold the kayak.

I've waxed all exposed spectra, but maybe I'll try the silicone spray? Dextrom: what brand silicone lube do you use?


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:59 am 
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reason162 wrote:
I've been assured by Hobie (after providing serial number) that my i11s has the upgraded steering system. However, last couple of trips out (total of 8 trips so far since getting the yak), steering has become increasingly tight. I do fish in saltwater, but rinse off after each use. I also don't fold the steering cable when I fold the kayak.

I've waxed all exposed spectra, but maybe I'll try the silicone spray? Dextrom: what brand silicone lube do you use?


I use 3M #08897. There are several brands of dry silicone, but this was on the shelf at the local auto parts store. I've only been in salt water once, last weekend, so don't know how that will affect things going forward.


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 12:42 pm 
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I got good results by regular shooting fresh water into the tubes. It seems to me that the most salt or foul water would sit and crystallize in the last couple inches of tube (capillary action) and sure enough a post-outing vigorous squirt from my drinking bottle into all such openings always loosened up my i12s fine. I never used silicon because it has been proven by experiment to be a dust magnet on mirage drives (vs wd-40).

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:53 pm 
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Ok, so I used 3M but it wasn't the "dry" silicone...hope I didn't make matters worse.

Hosed everything down and sprayed the silicone lube over all lines/nuts/bolts, seems to do the trick (at least on dry land). Wed is my next outing, fingers crossed.

dexstrom wrote:
I use 3M #08897. There are several brands of dry silicone, but this was on the shelf at the local auto parts store. I've only been in salt water once, last weekend, so don't know how that will affect things going forward.


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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 11:44 pm 
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I got my i11S beginning of May and putting some mileage with upgraded stainless steel cable.
I did yesterday 13 miles (21 km) and today 16 miles (26 km) without any technical problem. Could not love i11S more for what it has offered me so far.

Here’s summary of upgrade and findings on mine.

1. Got i11s and tried it for the first time on a small lake. After 1 hr of riding, steering to one side was good but opposite side steering was getting stiffer and stiffer, then snap the spectra cable while steering. Could not use rudder /steer as it was fixed and pulled to one direction which had cable not broken. Had to use paddle back to shore as Hobie drive was doing donut (Did not loosen the drum screw at that time to retract rudder)

2. Called dealer whom I got i11S next day and requested stainless steel rudder cable upgrade kit.

3. As a temporary solution used Albright knot (One of the Fishing knots that I trust) to connect broken cable that is located roughly in between steering housing and right out side of steering cable tube.

4. Less than a week later , steel cable upgrade kit arrived from Hobie, and dealer gave me option of a. BYOD dealer install, b. DIY: I chose DIY option, because I simply could not imagine a day without my kayak.

5. Picked up cable upgrade kit and began upgrade installation.

6. As I proceeded with MY upgrade, while steering rudder to Max, discovered that one of the steering cable tube is keep getting stuck in between steering cable pulleys in side of the bottom steering housing.

7. Steering cable inside of the tube that is wedges in between cable pulleys steers well, but wedged tube will effectively block / create friction to other steering cable as it is now negotiating very tight space with wedged tube.

8. Had why spectra line broke answered, and now needed to work on how to prevent this steering cable tube keep getting stuck in between cable pulleys when steering, as I had kayak fishing trip coming soon.

9. Created square shaped washer from an aluminum sheet that I had for fishing. Square shaped washer had to have two holes big enough for stainless steel steering cable to be able to enter steering cable tube, but small enough to stop steering cable tube from entering and being stuck in between cable pulleys. Placed DIY washer in between where cable tube ends and starts cable pulleys.


10 Applied small amount of lube (WD40) on each end of steering cable tubes (rudder direction, steering housing direction)

11. Put 28+ miles (46+ km) over the weekend: Not even a single steering issue.

Actually today steering capability was very important as I was;
AM: 2 hrs of riding / going through 1-2.5 foot ocean waves (12km / 7.5 miles)
PM: 6 hrs of ocean fishing from right pass low slack to Max Flood current. (14km / 8.7 miles)


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 7:35 am 
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Thank you for this info, will come in handy if I have to DIY my own steel cable upgrade. I'm hoping my dealer could perform the upgrade for me...but they might know less about this than me.

zastrozzi wrote:
I got my i11S beginning of May and putting some mileage with upgraded stainless steel cable.
I did yesterday 13 miles (21 km) and today 16 miles (26 km) without any technical problem. Could not love i11S more for what it has offered me so far.

Here’s summary of upgrade and findings on mine.

1. Got i11s and tried it for the first time on a small lake. After 1 hr of riding, steering to one side was good but opposite side steering was getting stiffer and stiffer, then snap the spectra cable while steering. Could not use rudder /steer as it was fixed and pulled to one direction which had cable not broken. Had to use paddle back to shore as Hobie drive was doing donut (Did not loosen the drum screw at that time to retract rudder)

2. Called dealer whom I got i11S next day and requested stainless steel rudder cable upgrade kit.

3. As a temporary solution used Albright knot (One of the Fishing knots that I trust) to connect broken cable that is located roughly in between steering housing and right out side of steering cable tube.

4. Less than a week later , steel cable upgrade kit arrived from Hobie, and dealer gave me option of a. BYOD dealer install, b. DIY: I chose DIY option, because I simply could not imagine a day without my kayak.

5. Picked up cable upgrade kit and began upgrade installation.

6. As I proceeded with MY upgrade, while steering rudder to Max, discovered that one of the steering cable tube is keep getting stuck in between steering cable pulleys in side of the bottom steering housing.

7. Steering cable inside of the tube that is wedges in between cable pulleys steers well, but wedged tube will effectively block / create friction to other steering cable as it is now negotiating very tight space with wedged tube.

8. Had why spectra line broke answered, and now needed to work on how to prevent this steering cable tube keep getting stuck in between cable pulleys when steering, as I had kayak fishing trip coming soon.

9. Created square shaped washer from an aluminum sheet that I had for fishing. Square shaped washer had to have two holes big enough for stainless steel steering cable to be able to enter steering cable tube, but small enough to stop steering cable tube from entering and being stuck in between cable pulleys. Placed DIY washer in between where cable tube ends and starts cable pulleys.


10 Applied small amount of lube (WD40) on each end of steering cable tubes (rudder direction, steering housing direction)

11. Put 28+ miles (46+ km) over the weekend: Not even a single steering issue.

Actually today steering capability was very important as I was;
AM: 2 hrs of riding / going through 1-2.5 foot ocean waves (12km / 7.5 miles)
PM: 6 hrs of ocean fishing from right pass low slack to Max Flood current. (14km / 8.7 miles)


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2016 8:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:47 am
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Location: Oregon Coast
great info, thanks for posting. my i11s, purchased in Feb, is showing no issues with the steering so far, it is working smoothly with little resistance. However I am not bending any of the tubes so that could be a big factor in it continuing to work properly. cheers, roger

zastrozzi wrote:
I got my i11S beginning of May and putting some mileage with upgraded stainless steel cable.
I did yesterday 13 miles (21 km) and today 16 miles (26 km) without any technical problem. Could not love i11S more for what it has offered me so far.

Here’s summary of upgrade and findings on mine.

1. Got i11s and tried it for the first time on a small lake. After 1 hr of riding, steering to one side was good but opposite side steering was getting stiffer and stiffer, then snap the spectra cable while steering. Could not use rudder /steer as it was fixed and pulled to one direction which had cable not broken. Had to use paddle back to shore as Hobie drive was doing donut (Did not loosen the drum screw at that time to retract rudder)

2. Called dealer whom I got i11S next day and requested stainless steel rudder cable upgrade kit.

3. As a temporary solution used Albright knot (One of the Fishing knots that I trust) to connect broken cable that is located roughly in between steering housing and right out side of steering cable tube.

4. Less than a week later , steel cable upgrade kit arrived from Hobie, and dealer gave me option of a. BYOD dealer install, b. DIY: I chose DIY option, because I simply could not imagine a day without my kayak.

5. Picked up cable upgrade kit and began upgrade installation.

6. As I proceeded with MY upgrade, while steering rudder to Max, discovered that one of the steering cable tube is keep getting stuck in between steering cable pulleys in side of the bottom steering housing.

7. Steering cable inside of the tube that is wedges in between cable pulleys steers well, but wedged tube will effectively block / create friction to other steering cable as it is now negotiating very tight space with wedged tube.

8. Had why spectra line broke answered, and now needed to work on how to prevent this steering cable tube keep getting stuck in between cable pulleys when steering, as I had kayak fishing trip coming soon.

9. Created square shaped washer from an aluminum sheet that I had for fishing. Square shaped washer had to have two holes big enough for stainless steel steering cable to be able to enter steering cable tube, but small enough to stop steering cable tube from entering and being stuck in between cable pulleys. Placed DIY washer in between where cable tube ends and starts cable pulleys.


10 Applied small amount of lube (WD40) on each end of steering cable tubes (rudder direction, steering housing direction)

11. Put 28+ miles (46+ km) over the weekend: Not even a single steering issue.

Actually today steering capability was very important as I was;
AM: 2 hrs of riding / going through 1-2.5 foot ocean waves (12km / 7.5 miles)
PM: 6 hrs of ocean fishing from right pass low slack to Max Flood current. (14km / 8.7 miles)

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2016 i11s 'Go Cougs!'
2012 Oasis and 2012 PA12 (moved on but not forgotten...)


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2016 1:49 pm 
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The rest of the story. I purchased my Hobie i11 on May 6th, got on the water a week later and discovered my ( steering system would bind up and not turn in opposite direction ). Contacted my local ACK vendor and was told it would be turned over to their customer service warranty person for submission to Hobie Corp. I contacted Hobie to alert them of my warranty claim .
The Hobie warranty person found the claim and asked me if I wanted to ship it back for service 3 to 4 week turn around or have the steering system sent to ACK for replacement. I chose the ladder for saving time and getting on the water safely. My local ACK store manager contacted me and explained that he and his staff had no experience doing the install and could not give me a turn around time and getting it fixed. He suggested that I do the replacement install myself . I explained I did not feel confident in my skill set for that issue.
Finally, we contacted ACK Corp explained our situation and their management offered a refund or a replacement Hobie i11 that would be delivered by June 9 or 10 th. I explained I was only interested in getting a product that worked safely . So, I hopefully will be back on the water within a few days. I chose Hobie and ACK because of my past excellent experience with both companies. I am confident I made the right decision then and now.

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Texas Hill Country
New Braunfels, Texas


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2016 5:10 am 
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Thank you for the update. I am following this thread closely since I'm pretty much in the same boat (no pun intended!): no DIY skills here and don't want to send the kayak in during prime fishing season. My dealer wasn't aware of the recall, and does not feel comfortable swapping out the spectra for wires. Do keep us updated!

RjHobiei11 wrote:
The rest of the story. I purchased my Hobie i11 on May 6th, got on the water a week later and discovered my ( steering system would bind up and not turn in opposite direction ). Contacted my local ACK vendor and was told it would be turned over to their customer service warranty person for submission to Hobie Corp. I contacted Hobie to alert them of my warranty claim .
The Hobie warranty person found the claim and asked me if I wanted to ship it back for service 3 to 4 week turn around or have the steering system sent to ACK for replacement. I chose the ladder for saving time and getting on the water safely. My local ACK store manager contacted me and explained that he and his staff had no experience doing the install and could not give me a turn around time and getting it fixed. He suggested that I do the replacement install myself . I explained I did not feel confident in my skill set for that issue.
Finally, we contacted ACK Corp explained our situation and their management offered a refund or a replacement Hobie i11 that would be delivered by June 9 or 10 th. I explained I was only interested in getting a product that worked safely . So, I hopefully will be back on the water within a few days. I chose Hobie and ACK because of my past excellent experience with both companies. I am confident I made the right decision then and now.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:10 pm 
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I've only had my i11s for two weeks and have only had it out three times, but so far there is no problem with the steering. What I have had trouble with, though, is pulling up the rudder. Dropping it is not a problem but pulling it back up is nearly impossible to do while sitting. The rudder drops into a notch in the rudder mount when it is down, and it seems to get jammed into that notch so tightly that I cannot get enough leverage on the cord to pull it back out. Has anyone else had this problem? It first happened when I demo-ed the boat, but we thought that the rudder had just gotten jammed against the rear carrying handle, so I did not worry about it. Then it happened the next time I had a boat out, and the handle was not in the way. I stopped at the dealer and spoke to them about it, and we concluded that the notch that the rudder drops into is just too tight, and I am hoping that it loosens with a little wear. I considered rounding off the edges of the plastic to make it a little smoother, but I hate the idea of having to modify something that I've had for only two weeks, and I don't want to potentially damage any of the rudder components.

Has this been an issue for anyone else, and if so, what solution is there?

I think that Hobie mounts the ring for the rudder cord too close to the seat, so that you have to pull back from the side of your body instead of in front, making it difficult to get enough leverage. If the ring were 6" to 8" farther forward, it would be much easier to generate the leverage. Alternatively, maybe a small pulley/block & tackle system instead of just a bare metal ring would increase the leverage and make the rudder easier to both lower and raise.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:59 pm 
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mjkirshner wrote:
what solution is there?

I think if you read back a little ways in related threads, there is a destructive solution (filing notch?) and an elegant one (loosen drum screw?) circulating around official channels.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:11 am 
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daft wrote:
mjkirshner wrote:
what solution is there?

I think if you read back a little ways in related threads, there is a destructive solution (filing notch?) and an elegant one (loosen drum screw?) circulating around official channels.

Thank you, I will check it out. Loosening the screw may be all it takes. Alternatively, the rudder seats into a notch on the mount and the fit may just be a little too tight. Obviously, it needs to be snug in there, but it seems so tight that I cannot get enough leverage on the line to pull it out. If it were a hard plastic kayak, it would probably work okay, but between the stretch in the cord and the flex in the boat itself, too much of the force is absorbed. If I pull it out of that notch by hand first, then it comes up fine. If loosening the screw doesn't work, I will try running a file lightly along the two edges to be sure there are no burrs causing the binding, and then put a little marine grease on it. As I said before, if the metal ring that the rudder line runs through were just a few inches forward, there would probably be no trouble getting the leverage needed, but by pulling from a point 90 degrees to your side or even a few degrees behind, instead of 30 degrees forward, you can't get the force needed to overcome the stretch the in cord. I think it is something that Hobie could probably engineer a little better. Maybe they could try using a material other than nylon line, which has too much stretch, or use a small pulley, which would amplify the force on the line. Even running a portion of the line through a stiff plastic tube to offset some of the flex in the boat might work. I think there are many solutions that are more elegant than a knotted nylon cord and plain metal ring. Considering how elegant the Mirage drive is, the existing system for raising/lowering the rudder is surprisingly inelegant. It's like putting an 8-track tape deck in a Tesla. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:57 am 
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If loosening the drum bolt doesn't work, go ahead and file down the notches. They serve no function once you cleat the rudder line, either up or down.

mjkirshner wrote:
Thank you, I will check it out. Loosening the screw may be all it takes. Alternatively, the rudder seats into a notch on the mount and the fit may just be a little too tight. Obviously, it needs to be snug in there, but it seems so tight that I cannot get enough leverage on the line to pull it out. If it were a hard plastic kayak, it would probably work okay, but between the stretch in the cord and the flex in the boat itself, too much of the force is absorbed. If I pull it out of that notch by hand first, then it comes up fine. If loosening the screw doesn't work, I will try running a file lightly along the two edges to be sure there are no burrs causing the binding, and then put a little marine grease on it. As I said before, if the metal ring that the rudder line runs through were just a few inches forward, there would probably be no trouble getting the leverage needed, but by pulling from a point 90 degrees to your side or even a few degrees behind, instead of 30 degrees forward, you can't get the force needed to overcome the stretch the in cord. I think it is something that Hobie could probably engineer a little better. Maybe they could try using a material other than nylon line, which has too much stretch, or use a small pulley, which would amplify the force on the line. Even running a portion of the line through a stiff plastic tube to offset some of the flex in the boat might work. I think there are many solutions that are more elegant than a knotted nylon cord and plain metal ring. Considering how elegant the Mirage drive is, the existing system for raising/lowering the rudder is surprisingly inelegant. It's like putting an 8-track tape deck in a Tesla. :roll:


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