Here are a few of the small, but useful, mods I've made to my A.I. over the
past few months. Not all are my idea and a few of them are relevant to
other Hobies too.
I thought it'd be worth starting a thread that keeps a lot of the 'mini-mods', to
make it easier for people to find em.
The first was one that I also used on my Sport and Revo. Not my idea, but of
all the cart mods I tried (tennis ball, etc) this seems the best. The cart already
has the Hobie-supplied cart collars, but these aren't really strong enough to
support an A.I. without sliding down the cart uprights.
Adding a couple of sections of good old pool-noodle above the collars makes
a perfect cushion for the scupper-holes and surrounding hull. The pool-noodle
conforms perfectly to the shape of the hull and spreads the weight more
efficiently than the tennis-ball option.1: Pool-noodle cart cushions:
The second one is just as simple - relocating the Mirage drive pedal
bungee from next to the middle hatch to the front of the footwell.
When not in use, this keeps the bungee out of the way, which is a
blessing on the A.I. with so many other ropes, lines and things
cluttering the place up.2: Relocating the drive pedal bungee:
The third is very much down to personal preference, it might not bother
some (most?) people. I found it rather strange that the rear-most attachment
points for the cargo bungee were padeyes, rather than cleats. This meant
that it was impossible to completely remove the rear bungee, as the bungee
cord was held captive by the eyelets.
So I simply replaced the padeyes with the same cleats that hold down the rest
of the rear cargo bungee. To do this you have to unthread one end of the bungee
from its shockcord fastener (hook), but that's not a major drama.3: Fully removable rear cargo bungee:
The next one is only applicable to those unlucky punters who have a 2011+ model
Adventure Island. Hobie, in their infinite wisdom, saw fit to replace the perfectly
adequate moulded-in carry handles with a design straight from satan's drawing-board.
The newer style handles are ideally placed (and shaped) to scoop great gouts
of water into your lap when travelling at any speed greater than a snail's pace.
Thankfully forum regular Slaughter came up with a very cheap and simply mod that
goes most of the way to fixing the issue.
Simply wander down to Bunnings and get yourself a 1m length of water pipe
insulation foam/tubing (costs about $2.50).
Then wander back and unscrew one of the shock-cord ends that hold the
paddle retaining bungee in place. Untie the end of the shock-cord (probably
the hardest part of the operation) and thread a 21cm length of the insulation
over the cord, then retie and reattach the shock-cord end to the hull.
The splash-guard can slide along the shock-cord to either cover the gap in
the handle, or out of the way if you're using the handle to lift the yak.4: Begone, satan's carry-handles!
The last of my mini-mods is one that I also performed on my Revo, as I was
tired of my camping dry-bags being rent asunder by exposed, and sharp, screw
threads hidden inside the hull.
The main culprits were the screws that hold the cheek-blocks for the rudder
up/down pulleys, just aft of the front hatch. The screws used to hold the
block in place were too long (by between 5-10mm in my case) and protruded
far enough to catch and tear anything that was pushed along the side of the hull.
The easy fix was to simply mark the exposed ends of the screw thread with a
thick black texta, then remove the screws - only one at a time on each block
or you'll have bungees and cords whizzing around the bowels of your hull,
never to be seen again! I used a hacksaw to chop the excess length from the
threads, then a file to smooth away any remaining rough edges. Then I
replaced the screws for a smooth, snag-free interior.
I've also done a similar mod on the screws that hold the retaining catches
for the front hatch bungees and I have the mesh-pocket self-tappers in
my sights too! They're going to be replaced by screws and nylocs.5: Chopping exposed screw-threads down to size:
One source of frequent irritation to me are the mesh pocket covers on the inside
of the cockpit on most Hobie kayaks. I often keep lures in the pocket area and
9 times out of 10 the trebles will get tangled in the black mesh that covers
I read (probably here on the forum?) that one solution was to replace the original
mesh with silicone or rubber. So I thought I'd give it a try. I bought a small silicone
mesh net from ebay and used the existing Hobie mesh pocket 'surround' to mark out
the correct size. The only slight glitch was that the net I bought from ebay was tapered
so the mesh got closer together towards the base of the net.6: Hook-friendly side pockets:
To get around this I stretched the replacement piece of mesh between the small pegs on
the top half of the pocket surround. The pattern of the mesh also wasn't ideal, so I had
to do me best to get a reasonable fit.
I then fitted the other half of the surround and used a few paper clamps to hold it together
since the silicone mesh is much thicker than the black netting it replaces. The clamps were
also very helpful when screwing the pocket back into place. I reattached it via one corner
screw then worked along the pocket, removing the clips as I went.
The final result was pretty good for a first attempt. Plenty of tension and far fewer places
for trebles to get snagged.
Solid enough to hold a pair of pliers in-place, but still plenty of stretch to fit a tackle-box
behind the mesh.
Hopefully these little modifications will prove handy for other Hobie/A.I.