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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:12 pm 
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I am a brand new member on the forum and relatively new to sailing my new AI. I find in strong winds it is very difficult to hold the rudder on a straight line. It takes all my strength to hold the steering paddle on line. Is the common with this vessel and is there a way to lock the steering paddle in a certain position?

Thanks

Gerry


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 6:18 am
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
With most Hobies we have owned, just pulling down and locking the rudder down line isn’t always enough. You need to pull it kind of hard before locking.
You can tell if you don’t have the rudder down line tight enough if you walk to the back of the boat with the rudder lucked down, and the rudder moves back when you push on it.
Also you don’t want too much tension on the steering lines, ( the whole boat grows and shrinks an inch or two between warm and cold weather), the rudder lines don’t, in other words the lines need to be adjusted once in a while as they get loose and tight from temp changes.
You didn’t say what model you have, (makes a difference). Everything I’m talkin about involves the standard twist and stow rudder system.
On many models part of the rudder is in front of the pivot point, making steering easier, if the rudder is loose, (not locked down completely), making it harder to steer.
We go thru a lot of shallow and weedy water, we bought the bigger hobie sailing rudder and installed it on all our kayaks, ( we are also kayak sailers). We just lopped off the bottom 5” of the big rudder so we could go in shallow water without having to raise the rudder. In weeds ya gotta pull the mirage drive and paddle, to keep the rudder straight we just shoved a rag under the handle to lock the rudder straight, ( this was on older models, I haven’t looked at any newer models in a while, so the rag thing may not be an option anymore).
Hope this helps
FE


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:00 pm 
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As noted... lock it down, but is it?

There is a cleat that is used to hold the rudder down. Be sure you pull the rudder down with good tension and cleat the line to hold.

In strong winds you may need to reef the sail a bit to help handling. You also can raise / adjust the daggerboard a little to help balance the helm load.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Oops I didn’t catch it was an AI.

Don’t lop off the bottom of the rudder, no need on an AI, the size of the rudder on the AI is near perfect, (it’s a tad small on the TI).
One cool feature about the AI rudder is it can still be used in really shallow and weedy water, ( especially in kayak mode).
What we do in shallow water is raise the rudder up so it is straight back but tilted up around 15 degrees from horizontal so as little of the rudder is in the water as possible. Then lock in place. The boat still steers ok, espescially when in kayak mode both shallow peddling and paddling. Yea the steering is a little harder, but it sure beats getting out and walking the boat thru the mud or oyster beds. A really cool feature.

By your description I’m pretty sure your not locking your rudder down strong enough.

You are really lucky with the new AI with the same centerboard system as the TI, which is really good.
We have a lot of shallows, oyster beds, and coral heads around here that you can’t see, I rest my elbow on the centerboard lever and use it as a depth finder, tells me i’m in shallow water and it’s time to put the bungy onto the mirage pedal and start shallow pedaling, ( hint you can still pedal the mirage drive just fine with the bungy on).
Keep in mind the center board is huge, you don’t have to keep it all the way down, ( of course you need it all the way down, like on upwind), typical position for us in light wind is 1/3 down, ( less drag).
In heavier winds if helm control get hard, furl in the sail a turn or two, that’s what we do. If your sure the rudder is locked down correctly, and your still straining to steer, this is called weather helm, means you have too much sail out.
Hope this helps
FE


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:43 am
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Location: Chalfont Pa
If it is fighting that hard you need to reduce sail. The flipper controlling the rudder should not be more than a light touch. The wind is putting so much force on the sail that the rudder is getting too much sideways force to counter, it will lose steering control at that point anyway. Reef sail and all will be good, or bear off.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:57 am 
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Ditto on what quattroguy said. Ease off the mainsheet (thereby moving the center of effort) and if that doesn't work, reef it a bit.

I have also found that the rudder will creep up a bit if not properly cleated down, which affects the "feel" of the rudder, so I will sometimes quickly pull it up and pull it back down to be sure that it is all the way down.

Nice little linky...

http://www.schoolofsailing.net/weather- ... -helm.html


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:47 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Just repeating what everyone else is saying one way or another: the forward edge of the rudder must be absolutely vertical and must stay there by cleating the pull down line hard. Any drifting up of the rudder is trouble and cannot be tolerated.

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 Jun 14, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Not sure he is talking about cleating it down to avoid it lifting. Rather locking it into a direction so that he is not holding onto it by hand. ie lashing the rudder on fixed position


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:07 am 
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Location: South Florida
I think people feel his rudder is not locked down which is causing problems holding his tiller.

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: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:25 am 
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Thanks for all the responses. I used the boat a little this weekend and I think my issue was the rudder was not locked all the way down. I made sure it was all the way in the down position and I was having no issues. Great forum, thanks for the help.

Gerry


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:15 pm 
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Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
Perhaps it helps to understand WHY you need to lock the rudder down fully... the forward lower part of the rudder blade overhangs the rudder's vertical pivot line.

Therefore, when the rudder is fully locked down, the forces on the overhang REDUCE the total forces on your tiller lever, being on the opposite side of the pivot line from the rest of the blade.
However, as soon as the blade can tilt back, even a small amount, this changes quite suddenly from reduction to ADDITION to the tiller forces. Taking this to extremes, if the rudder leans back at a big angle (like 45 degrees), it is almost impossible to change direction if the Island has any speed at all, as the tiller just doesn't have the power.

Hope this helps.
PS. When I lower my rudder, I like to hear a clucnk, signifying that the rudder has hit the down stop. Steering is then manageable in almost all conditions.

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2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM" with Hobie spinnaker and Hangkai outboard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:59 am 
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I love to hear the clunk.


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