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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:37 am 
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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

Weather Helm: AI vs. AI 2
I’ve complained about the weather helm of the AI 2 earlier on this thread. That post is difficult to reach (the page is very long & my weather helm post is near the end of it) so I’ve copied it here.

Chekika wrote:
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


Matt Miller felt I was unjustly criticizing the new 2015 AI 2. He asked Yakass his experience with weather helm on the AI 2:
Chekika wrote:
I just looked at Josh Holmes' (Yakass) video review of the 2015. viewtopic.php?f=71&p=257831#p257831 At 58 sec into that video, when Josh begins to talk about the 2015, he has 2-3 wraps on the furler. At 1:24 min, a different AI 2 has 2-3 wraps in. Watching the whole video, when Josh is in rough seas with strong winds, his sail is furled. Here is a quote from that thread.

Yakass wrote:
mmiller wrote:
I do have a question Yakass.

With all of the high wind sailing and heavy gear loads you had, you stated that in addition to other improvements over the original AI... steering is improved? I have been getting some grief from Chekika about weather helm in another forum topic... what is your finding?

Matt, with all due respect to him, I don't agree with Chekika about the weather helm topic. Carl and I both felt that the daggerboard improved how responsive the steering is. Neither Carl or I experienced weather helm at all during that week, and we did have some stiff winds, and we sailed them with full expedition loads and without. I've done a lot of testing off shore down south to and no issues there either.

Mind you, we always sail to suit the conditions and if we have to furl the sail a little for optimal performance, we will. I'm sure its quite possible for the rudder to be over-powered in strong enough winds, but we're inclined to furl the sail a little if conditions dictate. We figure that's partly what its for :-)

That is my underline in Josh's quote. Clearly, Josh is furling in higher winds and rough seas. That is the way to avoid weather helm (sail overpowering your rudder), simply furl your sail.

People's experiences will tell about how much, if any, the sail needs to be furled in winds 16 mph and above. In my limited experience so far, I've had to furl to prevent weather helm. I can live with it. It was just a shock the first time, in Chokoloskee Bay 2 months ago, under what I thought to be moderate conditions (winds 17-18 mph), the sail was overpowering the rudder. It took me back to my 2007 AI with the T-n-S rudder--that rudder was regularly overpowered by the sail. My 2011 AI never suffered weather helm.

The AI 2 is a very different sail boat than the AI. It is going to take me many outings to get it all figured out.

Keith

I think I now understand the “difference” in sailing behavior of the AI vs AI 2 with respect to weather helm.

Most of the additional sail on the AI 2 is high on the mast. Here is an image showing my wife's 2009 AI sail laying on top of my 2015 AI 2 sail.

Image

In effect, my friend Josh Bowers pointed out, the AI is already "furled" compared to the AI 2. That is why my 2011 AI never exhibited weather helm, but my AI 2 does in winds of only 17-18 mph. The AI 2 has to be furled a wrap or 2 when winds reach 16-17 mph or so. Then, when the winds lighten up a bit, you unfurl the AI 2 sail to get more speed.

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


Last edited by Chekika on Wed May 04, 2016 6:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:17 am 
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This thread has been HIJACKED.

Possibly, the GREAT WEATHER HELM DEBATE of 2015-2016 should warrant its own thread.

gotta love the forums..

lots of passion + retirees = Long posts Love you guys!

Back to the expedition trips!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 10:22 am 
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Sorry, SFJ, I like to put important topics on this thread--easy for me to find them. Regarding the Great Weather Helm Debate, it is probably over already, although any comments about sailing the AI 2 will be appreciated.

That said, it is time for some good expedition posts!

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


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:21 am 
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This Trip Started a Year Ago…

Yes, it really did. A little over year ago, Nancy and I took our AIs and headed out to Middle Cape Sable. It was Dec 19, and we were trying to squeeze in a trip before Christmas. I never wrote that trip up, so this is a continuation.

The route

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Shortly after arriving at Middle Cape, a kayaker came paddling in—it was our good friend Alex Oancea (AlexO). This was not preplanned. Nancy on MidCape.

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Alex on MidCape. Alex is on a training run for the upcoming Everglades Challenge.

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Nancy's dinner

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Sunset

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Mattresses. For some reason, I was interested in z-pads for a mattress.

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Size comparison to my inflatable mattress.

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Thickness comparison—z-pad is about 1 inch and the inflated Exped mattress is about 3½”. I used the z-pad (2 of them) on that MidCape trip, but that was it. Give me my Exped inflatable!! My inflatable does take much longer to pack up than a z-pad.

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Camp

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Birds of a feather flock together along with a few others

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I easily caught sea trout from shore.

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Just let me remove the hook and you are free to be on your way.

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I use Gulp! Baits—hard to beat on a camping trip and, maybe, any other time.

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Alex shot this sunrise on MidCape as he left on his training run.

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And that brings us to this year’s version of the trip. The plan was to meet Alex at East Cape Sable. Joe Slama in his Adventure Island was joining us.

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We were on our way out of the marina. Left haka...

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Right haka

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If we had a decent wind, we would have made ECS. We didn’t. It went to zero, but it was a beautiful sunset.

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We pulled into Clubhouse Beach where the mosquitoes were thick, 3 mi short of ECS. Shortly after sunset, a fog or haze settled over the water, and we could not see anything. We didn’t know what had happened to Joe. Next day, we headed to ECS with variable to no wind.


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We found Joe at ECS—he peddled the 12 mi last night. Alex Oancea was there but he was in his kayak and about to take advantage of the current to head back to Flamingo. Joe waits for us in front of his camp.

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Our camp at ECS. The arrows indicate the high tide line during the night.

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Here is a picture from our tent of the surf. It is 1:30 AM—about 30 min after high tide. All the dots that look like stars are droplets of water thrown up by the surf. The debris line at the bottom of the picture is the same one pointed out by the arrows above.

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An audio video of the sounds outside of our tent. Turn your computer sound to max to get a feeling for the sound during the night.




Joe Slama is a WaterTriber. You have to have balls to be a WaterTriber.

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Give Joe a couple balls and…

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More Joe

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About 11 AM, we returned to Flamingo with the current and a 12-13 mph following wind. Thunder storms were around us, but we only got a few drops of rain. We made the 12 miles in about 2 hrs 20 min. A fun ride back, and I learned a bit more about sailing our “new” 2014 Tandem. BTW, the Tandem suffered some weather helm forcing me to let some sail out or furl some. Am I the only one to notice weather helm on the Tandem?

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


Last edited by Chekika on Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:32 am 
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Most sailboats, when properly set up, will (should) have weather helm. If you simply let go of the rudder control, you want to boat to round up into the wind.

On most sailboats this adjustment is made by changing the amount of mast rake. Of course there is no such adjustment on the Islands so you have what you have. But, there is nothing wrong with weather helm, unless and until it requires you to use so much rudder that the rudder starts acting like a brake.

Obviously, the harder the wind blows the more weather helm can be expected. When the rudder becomes completely overpowered, or you have to use so much rudder that it is noticeably impeding your forward progress, it's time to furl a bit of sail.

Weather helm is not indicative of a problem - it is generally the way most boats are set up to sail and provided that it is not excessive, makes a safer and better sailing vessel.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:40 am 
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Thanks for your comments Tom. I only mentioned it because I don't remember others mentioning it. The pre-2011 AIs were terrible with the small Rube Goldberg rudder. The 2011-2014 AIs were great--I never noticed any weather helm. The 2015 has weather helm, and the TI has weather helm. You are right, it is a consequence of the large sail and boat design. I was just spoiled by my 2011.

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


Last edited by Chekika on Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:38 am 
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I wish I knew how everyone is getting this weather helm... I typically sail in 5-10 mph winds with gusts around 15 mph, I usually experience slight lee helm and some balanced helm. The only time that I've ever experienced weather helm was in strong gusts or strong winds (I'm guessing 15+ mph), or weirdly enough, if I pull up the rudder. As far as the lee helm goes, I could very well be doing something wrong, but I don't know what... I've tried everything that I can think of to correct it, now I'm just starting to accept it.

By the way, nice pictures, Chekika, looks like a fun trip.

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-- Chad | 2014 TI


Last edited by chadbach on Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:45 pm 
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chadbach wrote:
I wish I knew how everyone is getting this weather helm... I typically sail in 5-10 mph winds with gusts around 15 mph, I usually experience slight lee helm and some balanced helm. The only time that I've ever experienced weather helm was in strong gusts or strong winds (I'm guessing 15+ mph), or weirdly enough, if I pull up the rudder. I could very well be doing something wrong, but I don't know what... I've tried everything that I can think of, now I just accept it.
My experience is similar.

I am guessing that strong-enough gusts bend the mast in a way that moves the sail's CE aft.

Weather helm = Good.... The last thing you want is a boat that turns off the wind unattended. You want it to weathervane.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:17 am 
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Hobie's "One Size Fits All" Practice on Critical Components

PeteCress wrote:
chadbach wrote:
I wish I knew how everyone is getting this weather helm... I typically sail in 5-10 mph winds with gusts around 15 mph, I usually experience slight lee helm and some balanced helm. The only time that I've ever experienced weather helm was in strong gusts or strong winds (I'm guessing 15+ mph), or weirdly enough, if I pull up the rudder. I could very well be doing something wrong, but I don't know what... I've tried everything that I can think of, now I just accept it.
My experience is similar.

I am guessing that strong-enough gusts bend the mast in a way that moves the sail's CE aft.

Weather helm = Good.... The last thing you want is a boat that turns off the wind unattended. You want it to weathervane.


CB, you are never going to get any weather helm in winds "5-10 mph." On my TI, I was getting weather helm at steady following winds of 12-13 mph. We were loaded with maybe 500# camping gear and people--that makes a difference. On my AI 2, I get weather helm at about 16-17 mph w/ full sail out--I'm willing to furl the sail a turn or so at 16 mph to avoid it.

PC says, "Weather helm = Good...", but only if you don't have to fight it a lot with the tiller.

This is another case of Hobie's "one size fits all." They have 1 size aka brace shear pin, and it is supposed to serve well the the 2007-2014 AI, the 2015-2016 AI 2, and the tandem. I don't think that makes sense. Now, we have the large sailing rudder. It was introduced for the 2010 Tandem and the 2011 AI. It is still in use for the Tandem and, now, the 2015 AI 2. You have to wonder how one rudder would serve properly such a wide variety of boats. The fact is that rudder does not serve all boats well. My 2011 had no weather helm, even with the sail out full. My AI 2 has weather helm up around 16-17 mph when fully loaded for camping. My TI experienced weather helm at 12-13 mph winds when loaded with 500#, maybe a bit more.

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


Last edited by Chekika on Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:02 am 
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Keith,

Any idea what those halved lengths of PAC are for on JoeSlama's AI? Some kind of removable extra sealing for the hatch?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:13 am 
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tlorio504 wrote:
Keith,

Any idea what those halved lengths of PAC are for on JoeSlama's AI? Some kind of removable extra sealing for the hatch?

Do you mean the 2 halves of PVC? He used those to slide his boat up the beach. They worked very well. Sliding down the beach? Greased lightning, except I think you need 3-4, at least for a tandem.

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


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:26 pm 
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We have just completed our annual, leisure 7-day trip along coastal Everglades. These are our fine friends from the Florida Keys and Everglades National Park Headquarters in Flamingo: Dave, Sarah, and Sharon. Bless their hearts. They shuttled our cars from Chokoloskee to Flamingo. It is clear they know how to enjoy themselves in Chokoloskee. Those are Florida stone crabs which they are about to consume. Stone crab claws are one of the true gourmet delicacies of the world.

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


Last edited by Chekika on Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:33 pm 
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Yes, definitely thanks to Dave, Sarah and Sharon... really appreciate the shuttle service and their happy attitude... definitely made the trip start out and end right! Was quite a surprise to see them out on the water at North East Cape as well. I envy their job... wish I could spend my time out there like they must do regularly!

Also, thanks, Keith, for putting this trip together once again... keep on keepin' on...ya did great out there this trip despite a rough, tiring start and I hope I can keep ticking on like you do when I get to where you are at in life...

Don

P.S. Lookin' forward to your trip report when you get around to it... I hope to do my own, probably on this thread...

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Aka TriBlue

2005 Outback Red
2011 Adventure Blue converted to an Island
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E-mail: haynesundr@aol.com


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:24 am 
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Thanks for your generous comments, Don. I think you ought to aim to guide some of these trips in the future--somebody's got to do it!

Here are Dianne & Don on Highland Beach in what was affectionately referred to as the "dorm" of our camp. Outside the dorm, a huge storm was raging. Don set that tent beautifully in case the winds wormed their way into the dorm.


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


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:25 pm 
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The winds were about 35-40 mph as we hunkered down on Highland Beach, 35 miles from anywhere.

Image

My next post should be on a new page. Don't miss the next post.

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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