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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 687
Location: Satellite Beach, FL
Last weekend I got brave and took my AI to the beach. Surf was around 2-3ft and I was there right before high tide. These surf conditions were mild compared to average (Atlantic Coast Florida). I got destroyed and didn't make it past the first break! I took a beating myself with some cuts and bruises and the boat flipped over on the mast. I was able to pull it all up out of the surf and it turns out the only thing that broke was the mirage drive fins where the masts forced through.

First, I learned to never put the mirage drive in when launching or landing. I was hoping I could get in and punch out through the waves, but it's just way too risky to have the drive in.

Second, I was pulling the boat into the surf by holding the bow handle. The problem was that the water hitting the beach would flow back into the ocean and pull the back of the boat sideways at exactly the same time the next wave came crashing in. Every wave ended up hitting the boat from the side because of this.

So what's the trick? Do I need another person? Is 2-3 ft simply too much? I've launched Hobie 16's through this stuff without much trouble. I know AI's aren't quite as capable at beach launches but there has to be a way.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 687
Location: Satellite Beach, FL
Here are some pictures of the boat all covered in sand and the broken mirage drive ImageImageImage

I got it all cleaned up and ordered new fins
ImageImageImage


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Last edited by PurdueZach on Thu May 05, 2016 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:43 am
Posts: 91
Location: Chalfont Pa
Sorry I cannot help but I feel your pain. many decades ago my first hobie 14 beach landing went bad. I almost made it thru the surf in laguna beach when a wave pushed the rudders sideways hard. I had such a death grip on the tiller it pushed me right out of the boat. Of course the boat and passenger got a great ride into the beach and I was left in hip deep water!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:28 am
Posts: 63
Location: Alcamo-Sicily-Italy
I am used to launch my AI from the beach too,
I never pull it from the bow handle, I push the AI by the front AKA trough the surf. I have much more control of the direction.

In this video you can see the first time I launched my AI, it was absolutely my first time I was using it, and as you can see I was quite clumsy. I was not able to put the mirage drive in fast, I forgot to put the rudder down and so on, but I had an easy control of it, pushing on the front AKA.



Hope this help.

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Last edited by Blasius on Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:57 am
Posts: 244
Location: Fairfax, CA USA
Sounds like a steep beach, if you have that strong backflow.
When I launch in the surf I look for where the surfers are going out.
Push out via xbar, till about thigh deep, wait for the set break, jump on, drop drive and pedal like hell while dropping the rudder.

You want to make sure you are always square on the waves, if you hit them at an angle you risk getting turned sideways, then the next one will flip yah....
Coming back in is way more hair-raising to me....


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:03 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
Posts: 2981
Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Yea I've had my boat covered with sand like that more than a few times. I usually have my boat nose on the beach, (we have a bigger TI which can be a handful in surf). We typically have shallow beaches and warm water so that makes a difference also. I always back the boat out standing behind the left AKA (so I can easily release the rudder up cleat). We always have tramps on, the reason I stand where I do is for leverage guiding the boat out. I typically back the boat from shore to about waste deep water (it seems to be easier for me to handle tail into the surf). Once deep enough to drop rudder I turn the boat around between sets while walking out, then in almost waste deep water I give one final push then scramble on board over the left tramp ( I have the nuiter claw (aka... Paddle clip) removed on the left side) I then jump in the seat put the mirage drive in and lock the rudder down while pedaling like a madman. Once out of the surf zone I open the sail.
Alternately when we have our motors along, everything is way easier, basically we do everything the same except I start the motors while still on shore and just leave them idle, then do everything else the same, after scurrying on board I simply throttle up instead (way easier). BTW when I have passengers I usually have them board as I'm backing out from shore.
Coming back in I try to jump out in knee deep water hanging on to the boat from the same spot (never jump in front of the boat)
Right or wrong, this is the way we launch in surf
FE


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:10 am
Posts: 687
Location: Satellite Beach, FL
Thanks, everyone. Sounds like guiding the boat with the crossbar is the best way to keep it under control. Holding onto just the bow handle didn't give me any control of where the aft end of the boat went.

I also need to pick my days as I think the waves around here are typically just too strong to launch without high risk.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 12515
Location: Oceanside, California
PurdueZach wrote:
Thanks, everyone. Sounds like guiding the boat with the crossbar is the best way to keep it under control. Holding onto just the bow handle didn't give me any control of where the aft end of the boat went.

I also need to pick my days as I think the waves around here are typically just too strong to launch without high risk.


Push the bow / boat laterally up or down the beach to help keep the stern in alignment when the surf surge heads back out. The sooner you react the easier it is... Like balancing a broom in your hand with the broom up in the air. The longer you wait to move... the more dramatic you have to move the bow to compensate.

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Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Warranty and Technical Support
Hobie Cat USA


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:59 pm
Posts: 586
Location: Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia
Just don't mix AI's with surf that size.
While you will meet some heroes in here who claim to successfully "Surf" in the AI every attempt at real surf I have seen has looked very dangerous or ended in a sticky situation.
I have the photos of someone's broken mast, upturned AI and marine rescue to prove it. and the surf was only 2 Ft.

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 11:03 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:29 am
Posts: 93
I launch in 2-4ft quite often. Its nerve-wrecking! I learned the hard way as well not to hold the front handle and now hold the front AKA bar and try and push into the wave (Cutts like butter). The hard part is Returning without breaking something..... I try to hop out in waste deep (or just behind the breakers) and turn the boat around quickly. I pull up on the beach from the rear handle. I do this because I have snapped a few rudder pins from waves hitting the rudder from behind. By reversing the boat, I am able to push the front end back into the wave (& push up the rear pending when the wave crashes on me to save the rudder). The new style rudder just doesn't mesh well in the surf....


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 8:16 am 
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Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 6:23 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Depends on how big the waves are, to be sure. If I couldn't take a wave head on just wading out (with no kayak), I wouldn't attempt it in an AI. The technique that works for me is to guide it out into water deep enough to drop the sailing rudder and Mirage drive (always leashed!), continue out into waist deep water standing along one side and keeping it pointed directly into the waves, push off hard and climb on, and start pedaling hard immediately. Once past a couple of sets of waves, you're good. Of course this assumes an awful lot.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:44 am
Posts: 20
kevinbeane wrote:
Depends on how big the waves are, to be sure. If I couldn't take a wave head on just wading out (with no kayak), I wouldn't attempt it in an AI. The technique that works for me is to guide it out into water deep enough to drop the sailing rudder and Mirage drive (always leashed!), continue out into waist deep water standing along one side and keeping it pointed directly into the waves, push off hard and climb on, and start pedaling hard immediately. Once past a couple of sets of waves, you're good. Of course this assumes an awful lot.


That also works for me. I had narrow haka tramps made so I can stand alongside and jump on. If I had full tramps, that would be a big problem.


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