Hobie Forums

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Author:  fusioneng [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

I have to admit that I'm a little frustrated at Hobie when it comes to the TI. We use our TI most weekends and just love the thing. When we bought our first one in April 2010 we fell in love with the boat, it does everything we want to do and is so versatile you can use it as a family boat for just about anything imaginable. We prefer to take the boat out in calm seas and flat water with winds typically under 7mph. The reason for this is when the wind picks up around here so does the chop and we get 2-3ft washing machine chop whenever the wind picks up and it becomes very uncomfortable out on the water. Another big factor is 90% of the time we want to go out the conditions are flat and the winds are under 7mph. Also Tampa/Sarasota bays and the keys are huge and right next to shore pretty much everywhere there is nothing but bare sand around any body of land (boring). Also our main pastime is diving and snorkeling and it's simply no fun to dive in rough seas (no visibility). The stock TI with just a single sail in light winds cruises at around 3mph. When in Sarasota the closest beach to us is South Lido beach, It's about 6 miles from where we launch ( there are no launches any closer). The other place we like to go is Egmont Key which is 25 miles from where we launch. Yes we could jump in the car and drive up to ft Desoto, launch from there and trek the 8 miles or so out to Egmont, but it almost a 2hr drive out there by car from sarasota (about $30 bucks in fuel with our truck (used to be $50). Then we have to sail the 8 miles or so out to Egmont, at 3mph thats 2.5 hrs sailing to get there from Ft Desoto). With our current setup we can get there by sea from Sarasota in a couple hrs and the fuel costs me about a buck or two for the day (We have hybrid outboards on the boat FYI)
We meet our powerboat friends up there and spend the day typically diving and snorkeling. We also like to go to places like treasure Island and many of the oceanside restaurants all along the coast.
Another major issue we have with a stock TI is the currents both here and in Key West are typically around 5mph, if all the faster you can go is 3mph you have a problem.
What frustrates me to no end is I walked into the Hobie dealer cash in hand to buy a new H16, the dealer showed me the new TI. We took the TI out and it was apparent right away that it had too small a sail area (unless you like going 2-3 mph). They assured me up and down that Hobie was working on a jib and it would be released within a month or two (this was in April 2010). I went out a couple more times and did the 3mph thing, then decided I couldn't wait on Hobie to do the right thing so I went ahead and designed and built my own jib and spinnaker systems. The sail area went from 90 sq ft to around 260 sq ft and all my issues went away. That was almost 6 yrs ago now, most of the stuff I made I'm still using (most of it is looking pretty ratty now with thousands of sailing miles). I never took the boat out again without my mods, I'm perfectly happy with what I have, the boat is very capable in most any conditions and I have had no difficulties with the boat (almost 6 yrs of heavy use with this design).
To the best of my knowledge I have the only car toppable complex sail boat out there (though I often use my trailer just for ease and convienence (it takes me about 15 minutes to launch or retrieve from the trailer)). (Complex meaning with jib/spinnaker sails). Because I go offshore I have always had outboard motors mounted to the boat mostly for safety reasons. Only recently in the last year or so I've been messing about with sail/ peddle/hybrid propulsion with my hybrid motors and wing sail crap (what Hobie calls Tri-power), with really good success. (Thats another whole other subject Hobie should be all over, after all they invented it (lol))
Whats frustrating to me is every other sail boat Hobie makes have optional jibs and spinnakers that can be added. I can only assume Hobie has on purpose limited the capabilities of their Island line of boats so as not to impinge on their sailboat sales. Basically telling us if your a rank beginner get the TI, but if you want to really sail get rid of it and get a real sailboat (ie...H16,Getaway, etc). Personally I prefer my TI way over any of the others, way more versatile, and actually mine is faster than any of them in really light air. And the best of all it's a great kayak with mirage drives when you want to use it that way.
Both the jib and spinnaker options should have been released 6 yrs ago, (it's not rocket science). I'm seeing the promised spinnaker going down the exact same path as the elusive jib from 6yrs ago, purely political because hobie doesn't want to hurt their cat sales so they purposely impair the TI capabilities. (Of course this is just my opinion).
Personally I don't care either way, I'm all set with what I have and extremely happy with what I've been running for almost 6 yrs now with no major issues (ie.. Jibs, spinnakers,etc), so Hobie can't tell us it can't be done, they just don't want to do it...
It's pretty apparent I'm alone in my feelings, and nobody wants or needs these kinds of options (based on feedback over the years whenever I brought it up).
Ok I'll get of my soapbox now. (Yea I'm still mad about the jib deal)

Author:  mmiller [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

fusioneng wrote:
I can only assume Hobie has on purpose limited the capabilities of their Island line of boats so as not to impinge on their sailboat sales.

Simply not the case. It's not about limiting Islands to get people to move up. It is about reliability and liability. People will always push harder than we think they should and not all sailors are skilled enough to be aware that they are exceeding a products abilities. We have to make things more robust.

I believe you are aware of the reason the jib kit was scrubbed? Jim folded his boat sailing upwind during the EC. The jib system caused the bow to crease at the hatch due to leverage loads. He never felt comfortable presenting that to consumers. He tried many things to stiffen the bow. None made good sense. He decided that a downwind-only accessory sail using a reacher was the best solution. It is a complicated rig and process to fly a spinnaker, so to be honest... not for everyone. If you are a skilled sailor using this type of sail or start in lighter winds to learn before pushing your limits... You are going to love the improved performance.

Author:  stringy [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

So, any idea of when we can start loving it Matt?

I understand the reasoning for dropping the jib. First time I unloaded our TI back in 2010 I creased it just by resting the bow on the rear of the trailer. I'd done the same thing with the AI and had no issues.

Is the AIv2 similarly weak in that area, or did the hatch area get strengthened?

Author:  mmiller [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

I would not expect any bow strength issue without significant loads. Maybe hot? left for a period?

Reachers are getting closer. Last I heard... February, but maybe later January.

Author:  Tom Kirkman [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

Something I've found to be true in most cases is that every sailboat tends have a "sweet spot" in terms of the wind speed where it performs best. Above or below that sweet spot, it's either a dog or upside down.

The Hobie Islands have a fairly broad sweet spot because of the ability to furl the sail. But they are not typically good low wind boats if you discount the Mirage Drive and rely only upon the sail. The same can be said of most "performance" type multi-hulls which can be downright painful to sail in most single digit winds.

Making the Islands better low wind performers isn't an easy task. Sure, you can keep piling on more and more sail and/or a taller mast, but at some point the very things that make the boat a better low wind performer turn into liabilities in higher winds. Given the broad utilitarian nature of the Islands, how much of that is Hobie and its customer base willing to give up in order to have better low wind performance? Everything comes with a price...

Properly used, a reacher/gennoa will likely add to the Island's overall sweet spot. But improperly used it's going to turn a lot boats turtle, at which point I suspect this forum will be filled with angry owners who want to know why Hobie would put out such an unseaworthy craft.

I plan to buy one of the new reachers and know how to use it. I don't anticipate any trouble, nor I doubt will many of the other long time users and members here have trouble with theirs. But considering how many first time sailors have and are buying Islands these days, the reacher puts a lot of power in the hands of people who may not be prepared for it. They are literally going to get their feet wet... heads, too. We'll see.

Author:  Chekika [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

I don't anticipate a lot of trouble, but, I'm not sure I will buy one. No big hurry as far as I'm concerned.


Author:  vetgam [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

I plan on buying a reacher too.

I agree with Tom that we are going to see more capsizes. A smaller sail such as a jib on an AI will freak you out with wind gusts as low as 20 mph. Several times I have had fears about mast stability and capsizing when using something as small as a working jib. Keep in mind, that was with TI amas on an AI for added stability. I might have gone over with the original AI1 amas. If you have a pre 2015 AI, I would be very conservative with use of any added foresail and I would add TI amas for added stability. Not sure if you can add AI2 amas to AI1s.

Still, I applaud Hobie for making the teacher available. All I ask of Hobie is to test drive for mechanical failures. Then put the warnings the product literature and the rest is up to us to stay safe.

We need to remember too that recovery from the capsizes will be more challenging. Something we should practice before taking these added sails offshore in gusty conditions.

Author:  fusioneng [ Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

My only advise on big spinnakers ( on TI's) is make sure your boat has fairly good upwind ability to kind of match what you can do downwind. We made that mistake once chasing down some friends on the Marquisa (the biggest cat in Key west) south of the Island just to say hi (wifes idea not mine lol).
We finally caught them down near sand key and stopped and talked a while, then turned around and tried to beat our way back tacking up wind. 30 minutes of fun getting there turned into 5-6 hrs of torture tacking back to key west upwind (needless to say we were exhausted (thank goodness for the mirage drives). That was a few yrs ago and that trip inspired me to invent the wing sail crap and develop the twin hybrid engines. Now the boat is as capable upwind as it is downwind.
Probably the stupidest thing we ever did (lessons learned), don't repeat (lol).
You guys are goin to have fun with the new Hobie spinnaker (my opinion is flying a huge spin is the most fun thing in sailing). Just be careful in rough seas ( and big boat wakes), I've pitchpoled 3-4 times.

Author:  Chekika [ Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

If these kids can handle this single hull


We ought to be able to handle this


(Famous last words???)

Of course, this stuff takes practice.

BTW, I believe there were 4 reachers on boats at the start of the 2015 Everglades Challenge.


Author:  tlorio504 [ Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

These kids can probably outsail our whole island forum, Keith! :lol:

I inquired about the reacher at my dealer in yesterday to make sure I was in the first round of deliveries, but they hadn't heard a thing about it. (They're more of a clothing retailer than a boat dealer so no surprises) Has anyone been able to pre-order?

Author:  mmiller [ Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

Not even announced to dealers. We are trying not to promote stuff until we have it in stock, but you guys are "special" :).

Author:  Carl M [ Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

mmiller wrote:
Not even announced to dealers. We are trying not to promote stuff until we have it in stock, but you guys are "special" :).

lol, thats the truth!! special.....

Author:  tonystott [ Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

As an aside,I don't believe I am the only one to notice that fusioneng appears to have run out of carriage returns, so there is hardly any white space in his posts. So maybe others can join me in sending him some carriage returns so he can make his future posts b r e a t h e :D :D :D :D :D :D

There ya go Bob! Free of charge!
PS. a few extra

Author:  Sardinian Islander [ Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

since Hobie will not probably communicate the price of the kit before they will put it on sale, I wonder which range of price other users expect for it.

Author:  tonystott [ Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacher

I am hoping $500 or less.

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