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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:13 am 
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Quote:
Because of this thread length, I have made a Table of Contents. This Table is on P. 22, http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=315


High Adventure or Leisure, Shakedown Cruise? Depends on Your Viewpoint.

My story about this trip appeared here viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=570 Scroll down until you come to the story: “How to Have Fun Camping in the Everglades….

To get Sue Cocking’s take on the same trip, here is the story she wrote up for the Miami Herald.

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Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


Last edited by Chekika on Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:12 pm 
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Location: Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.
Pavilion Key 150327 trip report:

Keith arranged a trip to Pavilion Key for the weekend of March 27th which unfortunately turned out to coincide with the arrival of a fairly severe cold front. Realizing this, Keith attempted to give all of us several chances to decline or drop out in the days preceding the trip but only a few did so initially. I suspect that Keith himself was dubious about going out with such a storm impinging on the area but there were several of us actually looking forward to it, not so much to be under way during the storm, but to be socked away on the island to experience the storm and its aftermath.
There was supposed to be a number of folks going out to Pavilion on this trip but only four folks on three boats actually made it out to Pavilion, Royd solo in his TI, Toby in his Kruger, and Cracker Girl and Me in our brand new 2015 TI.
Keith in his brand new AI 2 and Joe, in Keith's older AI attempted to make it out as well but wisely abandoned the trip with the storm about to hit as Joe had numerous issues with the older AI greatly delaying forward progress, probably mostly due to his unfamiliarity with an AI.

Me trying to clue my way out of the Chocoloskee passes:
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Cracker Girl bringing up the rear (hanging on for dear life!):
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We cut the surf a bit too close out around Rabbit Key but was a lotta fun:
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And wet:
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It was a wild ride out past Rabbit Key:
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Some video of passing in front of Rabbit Key:


We arrived at Pavilion just minutes before the first storm squall was about to hit and we just barely got our tent up in time which is where we stayed for the night.
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The day after the storm was beautiful as usual,
Royd gathering firewood for the nights camp fire:
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Pavilion:
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Toby and the campfire:
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And finally, about to depart:
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Sorry about posting perhaps a few too many photos... I have a hard time stopping sometimes!

Thanks Keith for setting this trip up, we missed you out there!

Don Haynes

P.S. All of my photos of this trip can be found here, if desired:
https://plus.google.com/100753971914807684060/posts/BKF8at26fUE

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Don Haynes
Aka TriBlue

2005 Outback Red
2011 Adventure Blue converted to an Island
2015 Tandem Island Red

E-mail: haynesundr@aol.com


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:38 am 
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Pavilion Key Trip -- Questionable weather but always good friends. Our little adventure into the teeth of a storm.

Excellent trip report, Don. Those seas off Rabbit Key look down-right mean! I checked out your pictures and videos on Google. I found a few more that I thought were especially worth posting.

The following pictures are Don’s. This one shows the seas off the western tip of Rabbit Key as Don and Dianne approach.

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Their colorful Pavilion Key camp on the morning after.

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And look at this cactus and all the buds. Don got this picture on Mar 28. We are going back to PAV on Apr 13, and I’m going to check this cactus out. I hope the buds will be in full bloom.

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Sunrise over Pavilion.

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Also, I received emails from Don, Royd, and the Joey’s (Joey Cianciolo & Joe Slama) regarding their experiences on this difficult but rewarding trip.

As Don noted, I did try to give everyone a chance to cancel because a strong front was passing through the first day, when everyone would be on the water. The forecast was for headwinds on the order of 15-25 mph, 60% chance of thunder storms and heavy rain late afternoon. The forecast was spot on.

At the launch in Chokoloskee, Royd was loaded and left first. Don & Dianne were next. It was Joey’s first AI trip and first sail. Don helped Joey get a feel for it as I finished up loading my boat. Joey had problems right away—a fin came off his drive. We fixed it and continued. It was a tough trip down the bay for Joey, because of the headwinds. For a first timer, headwinds and tacking can be a bit of a mystery—you make great time heading off the wind, but, of course, your VMG (velocity made good) is awful. All this took some time and winds were building. As we progressed generally southwest towards the Gulf, winds became noticeably stronger. Joey was making progress, but it was slow. Royd was well on his way to Pavilion. Toby Nipper in his Kruger canoe had left early in the day and was probably on Pavilion. But, for Don, Dianne, Joey, and myself, progress was slow. Don & Dianne had reached the Gulf, and I could see them heading south towards Rabbit Key—Pavilion is 4 mi further. About that time, Joey radioed that his fin had come off his drive—in fact, he had lost one fin. Hmmm, things were getting complicated. I headed back and met Joey, who was becoming increasingly nervous about the winds and weather in the Gulf. With the problems he was having, I couldn’t blame him.

The choice was pretty simple: attempt to buck the winds and waves on the Gulf with a beginner having boat problems or head back. If we headed back, the winds we were fighting would become our friend. Joey would not need to use his Mirage Drive while running before the wind. It was a no brainer. We turned around and had a pleasant sail back to the launch. The weather, however, was not done with us. At the launch, the Black Wall of Doom came through and dumped buckets of rain on us as we loaded our boats onto the trailer and gear into my SUV. I think Joey was happy to be on land.

Here are some emails I received from Don, Royd, Joey, and Joe Slama. The first is from Don sent from his IPhone on Pavilion Key. The last is from Joe Slama after he arrived back in Miami. Joe has a colorful way of describing his adventures.

From Don:
Hey Keith n Joe,

Sorry to have left you two behind with troubles... We were already well out in the gulf and heading south when heard on the VHF from Keith that Joey was having issues again with the drive.

We realized that there was no time left to get out to Pavilion if we did not go right then but not wanting to leave you guys behind I thought maybe we should turn around to assist... we tried to raise someone on the VHF but no response although we could hear Keith's side of the conversation with Joey and since the conversation did not seem dire we decided to continue on. I knew Keith would be able to handle the situation and make the right decisions.

It was a wild ride... Had to reef twice as the winds came up... Waves running 4 to 5 feet with an occasional 6 or 7 footer slapping us around. Made it to Pavilion just before the storm front hit and barely got the tent erected in time which is where we stayed for the night.

I and Dianne, Royd and Toby are all who made it out and not expecting anyone else.

Beautiful day today though... Missing everyone else but glad to hear everyone who attempted the trip but returned are safe.

Thanks,
Don Haynes



I asked Don how his 2015 Tandem had performed and how first-timer Dianne enjoyed the adventure.

From Don:
Hey Keith,

The Tandem performed nearly flawlessly! Although I had to run reefed most of the time, I had much more sail out than I could have had with my AI. One caveat though, on my AI I put the cooler right behind my seat and this works well with only an occasional interference with the main sheet… But on the TI there is no room behind the front seat and there is a much smaller space behind the rear seat. So I put the cooler behind the rear seat but it interfered with the main sheet when tacking almost every time especially when close hauled. Dianne was in the back seat and constantly grumbled about having to free up the main sheet on every tack. I will need to remedy this somehow…

I was very apprehensive about taking Dianne out on this trip due to the predicted wind and waves which, unfortunately, turned out to be fairly correctly predicted as, once out in the Gulf, we experienced constant 4 to 5 foot waves with an occasional 6 or even 7 footer along with a brisker than normal/comfortable wind. By reacting kinda slowly (I probably was intently looking at the GPS) I badly buried the port Ama heading out the channel once, so much so, it nearly threw her out of her seat… that scared her quite a bit… and then I did it a second time, not quite so badly, scaring her again. Each time I reefed a little more and eventually I had the sail trimmed where the TI handled easily in the wind gusts and she calmed down… just as we turned out in the open gulf and then hit those waves! But she took the waves and subsequent sprays of water well once she got used to getting hit by the constant barrage. In fact, when we were working on going around Rabbit Key she saw the surf and said “hey, let’s take a short cut through that”, much to my surprise! I warned her that that could be a bit dangerous but she insisted, so I cut through the surf, probably a little too close, and consequentially we have some interesting video that Dianne took to post somehow/somewhere (hopefully soon)… The waves and wind slowly built in intensity and “frequency” as we progressed from Rabbit to Pavilion and we were both glad when Toby’s Red Shelter was clearly visible in the distance and there was safe harbor on the back side of Pavilion in sight.

In the end, surprisingly, Dianne finished the trip with a smile on her face although she was a bit surly when we arrived on Pavilion with just seconds to spare in erecting the tent before the first squall hit us! She really was looking forward to setting up camp and relaxing but instead we were wet and harried and just jumped in the tent were we stayed all night.

She is looking forward to the next trip and that is all that is important!

Take Care,

Don Haynes
Tampa, Florida


I talked to Royd by phone while they were on Pavilion. He sent the following note from his place near Tampa.

From Royd:
Keith, I am back in St. Pete. Toby left Pavilion around 6am. Don, Dianne and I left about 9am. We had a lively sail back in. Tacked all the way up the pass. Good times. Royd


Joey, for all his troubles, enjoyed the trip. From Joey:

Well, regardless of not making it to Pavilion Key, I still had a great time, and a valuable learning experience sailing the AI. Once I got past the initial phase of learning basic maneuvering, I opened up the sail and began to fly across the water shouting "WOO-HOO!" No wonder you guys are addicted to sailing. I wish I could have kept going but my inexperience led me to turn around and take the safer route back to shore. I do have to admit that I did feel a little better about my decision once that storm cell reached us on land. Also, I heard some of the waves offshore were 5+ feet high. I am looking forward to the next outing in a few weeks. Hopefully by then I'll have my own AI. The weather will be beautiful. And I'll make it all the way. Thanks to all of you for your patience and advice. I will be looking forward to every sailing adventure for the rest of my life.

Joey



Joe Slama was late to Chokoloskee. As Joey and I were returning, Joe was just south of Chokoloskee Island in the bay but fighting a very strong headwind plus huge incoming tidal current. Impossible odds as Joe discovered. “PainenDias” is Joe’s WaterTribe name.

From Joe Slama

I got a late start out of Chokoloskee in my 18 foot canoe. Stopped at the Ranger station to check tides and was informed I missed high tide by 3 hours, the wind was 15 to 20 and a storm was coming and they expected rains and wind up to 28. Perfect PainenDias weather for canoeing. Everybody knows the weather is usually wrong, so off I Went from the CP2 beach. Dang, they really nailed the weather perfectly with winds on the nose from the SW. Tough paddling, but I channeled my IronBob mantra and my inner ninja told me I could make those two mangrove islands on the right of the channel leading to Rabbit Key Pass. I stroked my way confidently to within 100 feet of the islands but realized that thinking I am IronBob does not make me IronBob! I tossed out the anchor for a rest. Drank and ate and felt somewhat rested, so yanked up the hook and resumed my powerful cadence into the teeth of the wind. Now the tide was pumping, and I am going back fast! Threw out the anchor again to regroup. Keith and Joey came flying out of the channel and arced around to the east to stay in deep water. I blew my whistle, but they ignored me! Never heard it. And I thought it was a good whistle. Wind and tide conspired to undermine my resolve and when the anchor began dragging due to the waves (and no chain and short scope). Now I am in the dragon's teeth on the east of the channel. Looked over my shoulder and saw a solid black wall ripping down the coast from the north, and that is all it took to convince me to get paddling and get to shore. I actually got that overloaded pig of a canoe surfing and made it to the exposed shore and then around the east side of Chokoloskee Island into the lee by the motorhome camp. Ah, safe!

Just about this time a black wall of rain and a blast of wind spun my canoe away from shore and now I am heading into the mangroves east across Chokoloskee Bay. I suddenly lost all taste for camping! Unable to turn or maneuver in any way, I contemplate a short trip to the boonies. Maybe try the anchor again! Maybe just sink since there is no spray skirt! Necessity is a mother! Something. But this particular pig is 18 feet long, and I spin around in my seat and faced the rudder, which is up. Vacationers are waving and cheering. Maybe they have never seen a WaterTriber paddling rudder-first before, or perhaps they just finished a watching a rerun of the movie "Titanic!" Despite the wind, rain, and cheering spectators I found the nearest ramp to be quite a comforting place. Tom and Sue and their friend from Rockford, Ill. invited me to get out of the rain in their 37 foot double pop-out motorhome and then gave me a ride back to the Jeep. Then they let me back into the property and helped me load the pig on top of the Jeep in the rain. Happy birthday, Tom! You deserve a little party and I hope I made the day a bit more interesting. Tom is going to look up the WaterTribe, and we exchanged e-mail addresses. Tom is a power-boat guy and loves boats. Really nice people, and a lot of fun. Got my butt back to Miami in the rain while the canoe was shaking the top of the Jeep! Maybe sail Biscayne Bay this weekend. Chok was fun, and I miss the people out on Pavilion Key. Now just watch the weather out at Pavilion for the next 3 days! I bet it is PERFECT!

Joe Slama



Finally, Don and Dianne visited the Smallwood Store Museum—this is a 100-plus year building which was the original Smallwood Store on Chokoloskee Island. It is definitely worth a stop. Here are a couple pictures from inside.

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Another happy ending to a little adventure.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:00 am 
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An exciting trip report Triblue with great pics and some interesting reading there Keith. 8)
It's a tough call whether to go or stay when the forecast is bad. We've called off a few over the years so I know how disappointing it is not to go. I'm glad that trip turned out fine.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:55 pm 
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Keith, thanks for posting a few more photos, I wanted to post a few more myself but was afraid that I would be going over board so to speak! I did mean to post a few more of the Smallwood Store in any case but forgot to, so special thanks for that Keith.
Anyone who visits Chocoloskee Florida should certainly stop there as it reflects so much history of the area and has so many artifacts from the last century and beyond that it is worth the pittance of an entry fee that they charge.

Stringy, you hit the nail on the head on the tough call part, as it turns out, I probably should have called it off too as I did not really allow myself the extra time to make it out to Pavilion that I could've well needed if I had encountered just one small issue on the way, say an Ama pops loose or a rudder pin failure, then Dianne and I would've been caught in that "Black Wall of Doom" that Keith and Joe so well described and experienced... woulda been real hairy out there in the open Gulf of Mexico and none too pleasant. Toby had an Anemometer with him that measured, I believe I remember him saying, 35 Knot plus steady wind well after the storm had past. During the storm front's passing I am fairly certain the winds were 2 to 3 times what Toby had measured afterward, gusts much more. Fortunately, when the storm hit, we were socked away in our small tent that held surprisingly well in those winds (although blown nearly flat), largely due to using larger snow stakes in the soft sand. The rain drops hit the sides of the tent so hard that some small portion of the rain drops would separate into a very fine mist and actually pass through the rain fly and tent shell creating a cooling mist sorta like the high pressure mister fans do. Wasn't so much that we got sopping wet but you could feel it on your skin and face, an odd sensation!

Don

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Aka TriBlue

2005 Outback Red
2011 Adventure Blue converted to an Island
2015 Tandem Island Red

E-mail: haynesundr@aol.com


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:57 am 
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Sailing the AI 2 (2015 AI)—Overpowering the rudder.

On our recent camping trip to Pavilion Key (the capsize trip--http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=54465 ), winds were about 16-17 mph (14 kts), probably gusting to 20 mph, I had the uncomfortable feeling that the sail was overpowering the rudder. It was not once, but several times. It forced me to furl the sail a full turn or so. On Pavilion Key, one friend said something to the effect, “But, the sail is smaller than the Tandem and the rudder is the same.” Good point, but other friends chimed in saying, that the boats (AI 2 and TI) are different in their forces, and that the AI 2 could have been suffering from the sail overpowering the rudder. We will have to wait for more reports, more experiences.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:41 pm 
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Keep-out lines for my AI 2

My recent capsize on the first day of a camping trip has sparked interest in “safety lines” to prevent collapse of the aka/ama when the leeward brace shear pin breaks. In my case, that breakage occurred in strong winds and resulted in instantaneous capsize. You can read about it here: viewtopic.php?f=70&t=54465&start=15 Scroll down until you come to “The Capsize and Recovery.”

Methods (both hypothesized and real) for preventing the akas/amas from collapsing when a shear pin breaks fall into 3 strategies.
1. Replace the nylon shear pin with a SS pin. No more broken shear pins but serious damage may result to your AI/TI if a collision with an immovable object or another craft occurs.
2. Rely on tramps or hakas to prevent collapse. It has even been suggested that one could fashion a “haka lock,” i.e., a channel underneath the haka which would be fastened so tightly to the aka, that the system (aka/ama/haka) would be rigid. This is a variation of the steel pin approach.
3. “Safety lines” which are attached at a point on the hull and on the ama to prevent collapsing of the aka/ama. These lines can be attached in such a way that, in effect, the aka/ama system has, again, been made rigid. It is a variation on the steel pin approach if lines are not carefully chosen. Fusioneng has suggested these lines need to be “stretchy nylon” and at some point will break. Fusioneng’s ideas avoid the “rigid” system and permits the shear pin to break and the aka/ama to fold back to some degree.

My capsize probably was caused by a faulty shear pin. It was only the 4th time I had sailed my AI 2, and the 1st camping trip. It occurred in open water with winds in the 16-18 mph range, gusting to 20 mph (my estimate.) My speed was probably 6-8 mph in rough chop. When the pin broke, I was over in .3-.5 sec. In other words, my capsize was almost instantaneous once the shear pin broke.

While it is tempting, I’m not ready to go the “rigid” routes suggested above. Rather, I would like to find a sweet spot where the shear pin will break, and the aka/ama will fold back, but not so far as to permit capsize. My aim is to avoid major damage to the boat in the event of a hard collision and avoid a capsize if a shear pin breaks.

My plan was to develop a shock-absorbing safety line. I call it a “keep-out line.” It is a line which has some designed stretch as Fusioneng suggested, but no breakage, while keeping the aka/ama out far enough that the boat will not capsize in strong winds—a keep-out line. My line is composed of a length of nylon line attached to a 1” wide, Keeper flat bungee cord. “Keeper” is a brand name and their flat bungee cords can be found at Home Depot and Amazon. Here is a picture of my keep-out line attached to my AI 2.

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If that keep-out line is replaced by a full length nylon line, the system becomes rigid. The looped Keeper bungee provides a shock-absorbing effect as the aka/ama is folded back. Here is a picture of the line as the aka/ama is folded.

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This is a top view of the rear aka and knuckle joint to get an idea of the folding. If I have proper fitting hakas on the akas, at this point in folding, they should begin to assert some pressure to keep from folding further. However, my keep-out lines do not need any reinforcement by hakas when working as designed (hoped?)

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When the keep-out line is not in use, it is lives on the ama as shown here.

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I have not had a chance to try these keep-out lines under real conditions, but hopefully in the next few weeks, with winds on the order of 15 mph, I’ll give it a real world test.

Of course, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Keith

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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


Last edited by Chekika on Sat May 02, 2015 6:36 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:06 pm 
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Keith, I prefer the location as per fusioneng's photo, with the line passing through the mast base, and leading to the handle area on the ama. If not in uise, they sit in the front mesh pocket.

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only cool people follow the (non-magnetic) titanium weight-loss program! lol.)


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2015 6:01 am 
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My problem with Fusioneng's setup is (1) I don't know what line to use, (2) it may result in a rigid setup, if the line is not "stretchy," and (3) my pockets, where you store yours, already have KB's line which acts as a sail outhaul in downwind runs and other things. My keep-out lines store easily and out of the way on the ama. I'm looking forward to giving my keep-out system a real test under windy conditions by releasing a leeward aka brace.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 4:39 am 
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Keith is that a riveted padeye on the ama end ?
I have been wondering if a riveted padeye would be strong enough since as far as I know there is no other way to put a padeye on an ama.
I like the ring on the bow cleat. I'm thinking about adding a padeye or two up there and maybe on the stern also. Between ama safety lines, double handles, anchor lines etc. it's a lot of stuff to get on one cleat.

thanks

Chris


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 10:40 am 
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Buckaroo wrote:
Keith is that a riveted padeye on the ama end ?
I have been wondering if a riveted padeye would be strong enough since as far as I know there is no other way to put a padeye on an ama.
I like the ring on the bow cleat. I'm thinking about adding a padeye or two up there and maybe on the stern also. Between ama safety lines, double handles, anchor lines etc. it's a lot of stuff to get on one cleat.

thanks

Chris

Chris, that SS rectangular shaped padeye (available at West Marine) is attached with two #12x3/4 SS screws. I did not want to use rivets because they would leak. The ring on the bow padeye allows attaching more items. The bow padeye is very strong--you can lift the boat with 1 or 2 handles.

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 12:21 pm 
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Fusioneng’s comments about shear pins, breaking forces.

Fusioneng, using his engineer talents and software, has made an excellent analysis of the consequences of making the aka/amas rigid either via a steel aka brace pin or hard safety lines & trusses. His analyses are from a thread found here: http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=71&t=54588&start=0 or you can read them here.

fusioneng wrote:
Keith:
As an Engineer I have all the coolest software you can possibly imagine to figure all this junk out (this is what I do for a living).

Just for my own information I just ran all the calculations thru my FEA software (it's like a 20k program lol) with interesting results.

According to the FEA simulation the Nylon bolt exceeds the yield strength of the nylon, at a little over 125 lbs of direct force (my rough test with the fish scale verified that test). I was pulling on the AMA and damage to the bolt begins at around 60 lbs of force (because of the leverage (approx. 2x force)).
However I made a significant discovery while doing my tests that Tom Kirkman has been telling us all along (he is very clever). After the 75+ to 85 lb test I removed the shear bolt and put in a new one (did the same test twice just to make sure). The first sheer bolt (because it is threaded) showed deformation on the threads (the threads were crushed a little because we exceeded the 125 lbs of direct force on the sheer bolt (because of leverage, we are pulling on the AMA further out, but the sheer bolt is about halfway inboard (basically doubling the direct force on the shear bolt))). This is one of the unique things about plastics (they have very little memory). What this means is each time the AMA takes a 65lb or greater shock there is some damage and deformation to the sheer bolt. So in other words if you tug on the AMA 4-6 times with 65 lbs of force it may break eventually (via material fatigue and creep), I'm just guessing here but maybe a dozen hits at 50 lbs force, and it may break, and just guessing 30-40 or so 40lb hits and it may break. Basically the threaded shear bolts are ticking time bombs ( lol)

Tom was exactly correct in his observations and statements (he replaces his pins on a regular basis with new ones ( quite probably the root cause of your problem). Going to a pin without the threads would lessen the creep factor in the plastic, because it is a cut thread the plastic creeps each time it is hit with a smaller than ultimate (125 lb) blow. According to my FEA anything over about 85-90 lbs tugging force on the AMA can possibly take the pin out on the first try.
In other words if your AMA takes an 85 lb hit, even if it didn't break the first time, once it has begun deforming the next time it may only take 75 lbs to break it, (as per Tom's own observations).

I also measured the ball on the hull, according to the charts the bolt should be able to withstand 1400 lbs of sheer force, However because it is a thread, the factor of safety is exceeded at around 600 lbs direct side force. In other words that ball may be able to take a 500 lb hit, but that's not saying the brass insert won't be ripped from the hull. Because the force is amplified via leverage, I'm guessing about 200 lbs against the end of the AMA will snap that ball right off.

I'm just guessing off the top of my head here (based on experience with such things) but I would think it would take around 500 lbs of direct force to elbow the AKA bar material (just a guess on my part). Because of leverage and the mounting point to the brace, if you apply around 200 lbs force to the AMA if the ball doesn't break off, the AKA bar will likely fold and elbow.

Bottom line summary of my results:

The worst thing you can possibly do to your AMA's structural integrity is to put a stainless bolt into the brace replacing the Nylon sheer bolt. The reason for this is the direct force pushing back on the AMA is concentrated and amplified at that small point 1/2 way down the bar, the result is the AKA bar will elbow and fold with as little as 200 lbs force (this is just simple physics and leverage). If you want to prevent the AKA bar from elbowing, allow the nylon bolt to go ahead and sheer off. This allows the entire length of the AKA bar to absorb and distribute the force and hinge on the hinges (can't possibly elbow). By adding a safety line let’s say to the bow, then tied to the center of the AMA, all the forces are direct (no amplification or leverage), so if you have a 250 pound test line tied to the bow (I have 1/4" nylon 250 lbs test line tied from my bow to the center of the AMA), it will take 250 lbs of direct force against that AMA to break that line (if you hit something), but once the line is broken, the AMA and AKA bars just fold out of the way harmlessly (no damage to the AKA bars or the AMA's, or the ball (simply not possible)).
If you have a stainless bolt in the brace, either the ball will pop off (200 lbs force against the AMA), or the AKA bar will elbow (200 lbs force) more likely both, or the ball will be ripped from the hull. Personally I would much prefer to replace a small nylon bolt, and maybe a small piece of rope (all of which can be replaced on the water) than have to replace either my hull, or the AKA bar, or the brace ball, likely all three.

Now here is the reason for using the nylon stretchy line. When you hit something your boat is moving, right away the shear bolt breaks, the nylon rope completely absorbs your forward motion energy as it stretches and bring the boat to a halt. You will never in a million years break that 250 lb test rope if the collision is being created by your forward motion, because just the act of stretching that rope stops your boat (like a big rubber band stretching). Once your forward motion is stopped, the stored energy in the rope pushes you boat backwards in the water (like a giant shock absorber). Resulting in no damage of any kind to your TI ever.....(besides have to replace a shear bolt once in a while). Hobie’s design is brilliant, the only thing they didn't count on is eventually boats being modded, and going faster, or being taken out into open ocean, and big waves. But by adding the simple safety line I have been trying get everyone to understand very frustratingly now for over 5 yrs now, that totally compliments Hobies original design and intent, the only additional thing the line does is if you do happen to break a shear bolt while out on the water, the lines only purpose is to prevent the AMA from folding in completely so you can make repairs and then get back underway.
My little line thingy totally compliments Hobies incredibly good design and collision damage prevention system that they so cleverly designed into every Island boat.
Hopefully everyone now gets it.

Bob


Later comment by Fusioneng

fusioneng wrote:
That's one thing about water force it increases exponentially as speed increases. What was designed to work fine up to about 10 mph is totally inadequate at 15-20 mph or taking a physical beating in rough chop and boat wakes in water the boat is not rated for. The CE "D" rating only certifies the boat for use in protected and inshore waters (not offshore). Probably 90 percent of the AI/TI owners will never be out in open water and rough conditions offshore and most will never see in excess of 10 mph speeds (the envelope the boat was designed for).
For those of us that do go offshore into rougher offshore conditions, and travel at speeds 15-20 mph in those conditions, we are operating beyond the design envelope of the craft and precautions need to be made to mitigate the potentially deadly consequences. The intent of the little rope thingy is only to decrease the risk of capsize if you do happen to break a shear bolt while underway in those conditions (you will continue to break shear bolts (I break them on a regular basis). It's what happens after the bolt shears where the safety rope thingy makes a small difference (no swimming involved lol).

The design of the safety rope thing in my opinion should not interfere with the built in 'collision damage safety system' designed into the craft. So if you do happen to hit a dock or a buoy, you want the AMA's to fold in safely without doing any further damage to the structural integrity of the boat. If you plow into something, yes your AMA will likely fold in, and you may tip over, everybody laughs at you and you recover tipping the boat back up replace the shear pin, recover all the stuff you just dumped, and your back on your way. This is the way it's supposed to work, and is normally at very slow speeds, and typically if you feel in danger just stand up, because all these kind of things always happen right next to shore, in harbors, and usually in shallow protected water. Same with failed surf entries (I have lots of those), just stand up and walk what’s left of your boat the rest of the way to shore, replace the shear pin, and you’re off to do it again (carrying lots of shear pins). My opinion it's a great design since I typically sail in close quarters via the brail method, and am a graduate of the Hellen Keller School of Sailing (just being funny).
My opinion is you don't want to defeat the built in safety systems. If you hit a channel marker pole, it's your own fault for not paying attention (yes I have hit a few of those too).
Of course, anyone can rig a rope truss bracing system to hold the AMA's out with a strong line from the bow to the center of the AMA (or the AKA bars), and possibly another strong line to hold the AMA from folding forward. Many do this, and, once in place, the shear bolt brace system can either be left on not connected, or taken off completely (doesn't matter because you’re not using it). The boat will be reasonably strong, and many prefer this route, this has nothing to do with the springy rope thingy. If you regularly run your boat hard offshore at great speeds, this is likely the route to go (a rope truss system), I'm just sayin’.

Bob

I’m convinced. Bypassing the Hobie designed nylon aka/brace shear pin, invites more serious damage elsewhere on your boat. Many people are willing to take that risk on the assumption that they are a good enough Captain that they will avoid any serious consequences of their decision. Maybe, but if they ever sail with other people less skilled then themselves, it could be another person who causes an accident. Once, on a 2008 camping trip in strong winds, a new friend of mine literally sailed his ama over mine at speed. We laughed about it, but it could have been serious—4" lower and we would have had two broken shear pins!

Keith

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2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 7:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3311
Location: South Florida
Test of My Keep-Out Safety Lines

My new Keep-Out lines needed a test. I went out on Biscayne Bay south of Miami in winds 13-15 mph. It was a bad day for sea weed. I’m sure I had lots of sea weed on both my rudder and MirageDrive fins, but I was so focused on the keep-out lines that it didn’t dawn on me to remove it. I’m sure it slowed the AI 2 down and made for bad rudder control. Still, I got a couple tests done, one at 4 mph and the other moving between 5.5-6 mph. Check out this 51-sec video to see what happens when the aka brace is released.



While I would have liked to be moving at 8 mph, the winds and sea weed didn’t permit that. Still, it seems clear, the Keep-Out lines work. I’m confident and happy!

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:36 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3311
Location: South Florida
Pros and Cons of My 2015 AI (the AI 2)

Most of these comments (pros/cons) are comparing my 2015 AI to my 2011 AI. I loved my 2011 AI, but it became obvious that a major upgrade was needed (too much diving, too wet, too slow) and was possible--the TI with its innovations had been out since 2010. By early 2014, with no upgrade in sight, I began to look at other boats, especially the Weta. The Weta is a real sailing machine, but it is much heavier than the AI, and, surprise of surprises, it capsizes occasionally in strong winds. I was still looking when the 2015 AI became available. I put in an order immediately and received my 2015 in Feb this year. My new AI was a major upgrade. So much so, that I suggested it be referred to as the AI 2 to distinguish it from the AI (http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=585)

I’m still learning the ins and outs of this new boat. I did a single camping trip (which included a broken aka brace shear pin and capsize). This is a summary of my observations so far.

Pros:
    higher, drier ride
    larger,better-designed sail & taller mast resulting in increased speed
    much, much less diving (submarining) than AI
    extra volume for storage
    less leakage in hatches
    slanted back hatch (less leakage)
    tacks effortlessly
    Vantage CT seat (in the high and approximately horizontal position)
    built-in, kick-up centerboard
    new Mirage Drive technology
    deeper drive well plus alignment slot
    double ama shock cords
    larger front hatch opening
    …more may be coming.

Cons:
    weather helm in moderate to high winds
    lack of handles--major inconvenience and may become a safety feature in case of a capsize
    location of the main line cam cleat is too far forward (the sharp downward angle of the line to the hull block makes it hard to release sail in moderate to strong winds)
    lack of grab lines around perimeter (needed for man overboard)
    aka brace shear pin may not be appropriate
    no leash for the expensive Mirage Drive
    no padeye to attach a Mirage Drive leash; same for storing the main sheet block
    several padeyes & top hats which were on my 2011 are missing from the 2015
    default Vantage seat rear legs not deployed (default should be with deployed legs making it approximately level). For me, seat becomes uncomfortable w/o legs deployed.
    weight of AI 2 is 185#, not the 142# listed in specs on Hobie site
    …more may be coming.

Overall, the AI 2 is an excellent upgrade to the AI. It was long overdue.

Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


Last edited by Chekika on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3311
Location: South Florida
Modification of the Vantage CT seat kickstand default position

I use the Vantage CT seat in its highest position in front. The problem for me (6’, 190#) is that the high front position and the kickstand in default LOW POSITION, the seat slants down too much in the rear. For those of you who don't know, the "kickstand" is the set of pegs in the rear of the seat. They are not deployed in the default low position.

Image


The front of the seat cuts my leg circulation and great discomfort follows. I solve the problem by putting the kickstand in the HIGH POSITION.

Image


I don’t know how you reliably locate the MID POSITION of the kickstand—by experience and feel, I guess.

Image


While it is easy to put the kickstand into the HIGH POSITION, each time you shift your weight forward (like adjusting the mirage drive, reaching for a wayward main sheet or your GPS or your cooler, bringing a fish in alongside the boat, or any other reason), the spring-loaded kickstand flips back to the default LOW POSITION. It can be quite frustrating.

In addition to comfort, a big advantage to using the Vantage seat in the highest position, front and back, is that it provides space under the seat to store my hand pump, drinks, etc. To avoid the automatic “flipping” to default LOW POSITION, I decided to fix the kickstand in the HIGH POSITION. It is simple to do by reversing the tension on the spring which flips it to LOW.

Simply unscrew the Philips screw holding the spring. Using an icepick to hold the spring with the opposite tension (twist), re-insert the screw. Now the spring holds the kickstand in the “HIGH POSITION”—the new default and only position. The seat is near level and no longer cuts off my circulation.

Image


After my recent capsize, I decided to add another tether to the seat. During my capsize, my seat stayed attached to the boat fine, but, I sure would not want to lose that seat on a lengthy camping trip. It is also in keeping with my new mantra: Better to tether than to shed tears.

Image


Keith

_________________
2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

"Less is more" Anon


Last edited by Chekika on Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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