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matthewwhill

Hobie Adventure Island and Triak Questions

44 posts in this topic

Deciding between getting a Hobie Adventure Island and a Triak.

I gather that after 2015 the Hobie got a major redesign. I'm most interested in how well the newer models point and sail to windward. Also interested in how wet they are. Can they sail through chop?

I'm attracted to the Triak because it is lighter and is said to be a better sailing craft (points higher, is drier), but with the smaller amas how stable is it? Can it handle 20 knots the way the Hobie apparently can? Does it capsize more easily? Can it handle waves on the beam?

I'm in Seattle and will ultimately like to take the boat on the Sound and the San Juans. Nothing major but may have to deal with container ship wake and tide rips. Don't think I'll be going across the Strait of Juan de Fuca but definitely across to Bainbridge and maybe the Rosario Strait.

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did you check the Liteboat? seems like a similar boat and it´s been R2AK proven

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Hobie AI / TI are pretty impressive.  I blasted a well loaded TI with a buddy down the coast of Florida in the Everglades Challenge.  3-4 foot nasty chop in the shallow water with 15 to 20 knots, deep reach or to weather for several days.  Very seaworthy, but also very wet.  You'd want a paddling suit most days in the PNW.  The Mirage drive works great and lets you sail / power sail much more effectively than without.  Pedal a bit in lulls, big chop, headers or when tacking and it lets you sail / pinch to weather much more effecitvely.  Get the reacher, good rig and works great in the light or following breeze with a few rolls on the main if its blowing.

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21 hours ago, sail(plane) said:

did you check the Liteboat? seems like a similar boat and it´s been R2AK proven

I saw they had a Liteboat with a sail rig, but I think the stock Liteboats are rowing only... this might have been a custom design but I could be wrong.

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Have you looked at any other options?

I built a CLC Sport Tandem 22ft twin kayak with the outrigger conversion (11ft low volume floats), Mk 3 sail and added trampolines and an RS200 jib.

It flies.

I just need to improve the leeboard and beef up the rudder a bit a generting quite a lot of power.

Couple of pics and vids on here

http://www.smalltrimaran.co.uk/

and youtube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3evMZcrGGGCWwonCBHOuHQ

we've regularly been out in mid high 20's and more when everyone else has gone in. The bow volume has dealt with what I think was pretty sizeable water.

No pedal option but it zooms under paddle as well, we go nailing through boats under motor all the time.

I can't believe the small floats of the triak can deal as well with large wind as the CLC size. This rig can be used on anything really, we just wanted a fast paddler as well.

I will in fact be making larger floats for it at some stage or adding a small foil assist package once I get some time free again.

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I believe I can speak to this issue.   I have both boats....Started with the TRIAK and the later bought a Hobie AI.  I think the Hobie is heavier.  The TRIAK is very difficult to capsize. The only time I have ever capsized it was once, when I left the port ama drain plug mostly open, instead of fully tight and closed.  During sailing, it slowly sipped water till full and then I did a slow roll....Came right back upright.  The TRIAK is easily capable of sailing in 20 25 mph wind (way past whitecaps).  Same for the Hobie.

 

Here is a telling tale.  Once a buddy came by with his Hobie AI and we went 4 miles out and then when coming home a storm came at us, the wind building, all directly from where we wanted to go.  I was in much better shape then and was paddling alot.  The wind was suddenly like 30 40 mph, on the nose. Me in my TRIAK and my buddy in his Hobie AI.  We both reefed the sail around our mast and he started pedaling and I started paddling.  In short order, he was a full 100 yards ahead of me and , in spite of paddling my ass off, realized that if I didn't do something different, I would be blown backwards into the bridge behind me.  So, I rolled out just a little bit of sail and had to sail parallel to shore, but away from my destination, meanwhile my buddy was peddling straight towards home.  It took me about 1/2 hour more than him to get home.

 

Still....the TRIAK is a great boat.  It also has the deployable spinnaker.  Also, the TRIAK has foot pedal steering.  Having sailed the TRIAK for about 4 years before I got the Hobie, I must say how super intuitive foot pedal steering is.  Especially when sailing in big wind and then a gust blows in.  All you have to do when you get scared is steer into the wind.  and your hands are free to drink beer, since you are steering with your feet.

On the other hand, the mirage drive is AMAZING....others have written about pedal sailing.  It really increased your speed.  Maybe by 1.5 knots.

 

Love both boats.  Tough choice.  Good Luck.

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2 hours ago, Rowcat said:

I believe I can speak to this issue.   I have both boats....Started with the TRIAK and the later bought a Hobie AI.  I think the Hobie is heavier.  The TRIAK is very difficult to capsize. The only time I have ever capsized it was once, when I left the port ama drain plug mostly open, instead of fully tight and closed.  During sailing, it slowly sipped water till full and then I did a slow roll....Came right back upright.  The TRIAK is easily capable of sailing in 20 25 mph wind (way past whitecaps).  Same for the Hobie.

 

Here is a telling tale.  Once a buddy came by with his Hobie AI and we went 4 miles out and then when coming home a storm came at us, the wind building, all directly from where we wanted to go.  I was in much better shape then and was paddling alot.  The wind was suddenly like 30 40 mph, on the nose. Me in my TRIAK and my buddy in his Hobie AI.  We both reefed the sail around our mast and he started pedaling and I started paddling.  In short order, he was a full 100 yards ahead of me and , in spite of paddling my ass off, realized that if I didn't do something different, I would be blown backwards into the bridge behind me.  So, I rolled out just a little bit of sail and had to sail parallel to shore, but away from my destination, meanwhile my buddy was peddling straight towards home.  It took me about 1/2 hour more than him to get home.

 

Still....the TRIAK is a great boat.  It also has the deployable spinnaker.  Also, the TRIAK has foot pedal steering.  Having sailed the TRIAK for about 4 years before I got the Hobie, I must say how super intuitive foot pedal steering is.  Especially when sailing in big wind and then a gust blows in.  All you have to do when you get scared is steer into the wind.  and your hands are free to drink beer, since you are steering with your feet.

On the other hand, the mirage drive is AMAZING....others have written about pedal sailing.  It really increased your speed.  Maybe by 1.5 knots.

 

Love both boats.  Tough choice.  Good Luck.

Wow. Thanks! Does the Triak point higher in your experience?

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We just picked up a tandem Mirage Oasis for messing about in. (No sail rig.) Once you start peddling, it's hard to go back to paddling. My wife and I have huge grins while peddling along with very little effort at the same speeds we'd be working a bit to paddle. It feels like cheating! I'd go for the Mirage drive boats every time. 

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I am stuck on the pointing issue.  I think they both point roughly the same into the wind.   I will also say this.  For me, at least, I never tack....I only gybe.  I hate getting stuck in the irons, so I go around the other way, as in gybe.  I just am careful with the mainsheet and I keep that sucker under control as the sail switches sides during the gybe.  I could get out the paddle to get me out of the irons, or in the case of the Hobie, put the mirage drive into it's slot, but I don't always want to do that, so I just gybe.

For camping, the TRIAK can keep all your gear sealed inside the boat.  Also, I ran electrical on the TRIAK and kept the battery inside the dry hatch, so not only could I have nav lights for night sailing (make sure you get a chance to try night sailing...it is FUN), but I also put 12 volt color changing rgb LED lights around the edge of the boat, and they worked real nice.  Didn't do that on the hobie.  The Hobie, being rotomolded didn't want to accept sticky stuff easily.  

I guess I might say that the TRIAK might be the drier ride.  I still got a drysuit for the times when it wasn't dead summer.  The drysuit is well worth the cost.

 

 

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They get stuck in irons that often? I guess I'm used to my fin keel boat that spins like a top.

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Since I moved the position of the leeboard on the Sport Tandem kaymaran and got used to it, it never gets stuck in irons - it sails serenely through, with the jib pulling it it round no problem.

A more powerful rudder and leeboard will further help when I get a weekend free.

What is the siuation with the foils on the triak? Is the leebaord in a fixed position or can it be moved for/aft?

Or is it through the hull and noway of adjusting it?

Sounds like taking it forward a few inches might balance it up better and get it through quicker.

Or is it possible to cant it forward if it can;t be physically moved?

I couldn't believe the difference 4 inches made on mine and that is a twin and 22 feet long, so something shorter and less weight it could make all the difference.

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The centerboard (wrong term?) goes thru the hull and can only be adjusted up or down.  I tend to only put it all the way down when I am sailing in wind over 20 mph.  Lighter wind, mostly only half way down.  A bunch of us owners have made improvements to the TRIAK, such as replacing the cables to the foot pedals with thicker wire rope and , if you look at small trimarans.com, last weeks article highlights the improvements a TRIAK owner, Thom Davis, has done, such as replacing the rudder bracket and he also put something at the top of the mast that allows the mast to rotate, while still keeping the spinnaker deployed.  The previous part made the spin wrap around the mast, which was a total cluster, especially in big wind, if you needed to reef suddenly.  Both boats have some downsides.  The Hobie has some known problems with the rudder pins and the pins that are on the crossbeams.

I trust both boats offshore and in big wind. 

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Tropical storm warning here tonight, so I took my grandson for his first sailboat ride in my AI.

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi...haven't sailed an AI, but it is a wet ride in a big breeze based on video I've seen on YouTube.  I have owned and much modified my Triak.  While you may be able to survive in 20+ winds, you would have to reef a bunch.  Once you reef that square top mainsail around the mast (both boats, by the way), you won't be able to point worth a darn since the placement of the camber in the sail's design gets messed up.  I solved that with a pin top and a radial head mainsail, so the camber stays where it belongs even when you furl.

The stock Triak is not stable in anything over 13 kts with the mainsail fully deployed.  It only has 85 pounds floatation and you can't move your body from the center hull to offset heel. 

Don't get me wrong, I really, really like sailing my Triak now that I've modified it to be able to handle the normal summer winds I see in SF Bay.  It's very quick to set up to sail (15 min now that I use a trailer); It won't win any races-the main hull is a displacement kayak hull so it really won't go much faster than 10 kts--the AI or TI will go faster than that  BUT, it is DRY since the sole AKA is a wing set behind the driver, so no splash (well, when you run into waves you get some).  The carbon mast is very stiff (as opposed to the noodle that Hobie provides)--but it is only 12 feet tall and mainsail is only 3.5 sq meters...not a lot of sail area.  The boat does not tack well-especially in big wind and chop...I routinely paddle through the tacks in big breeze.  I really like that it is fiberglass and not rotomolded plastic, just this weekend I was fixing some dock damage==try that with a rotomolded boat.  Pointing in any light tri is bad, but triak points better than an AI (at least mine does).  Tacks through 100 degrees at a guess (hard to pin it down since I always have current either helping or hindering.  Also, it comes with a spinnaker...sailing inches above the water at 10 kts is really, really cool.  Check out my videos on YouTube...I'd insert a link but when I do the system goes catywumpuss.  Search for tpdavis473...there are a hundred videos or so.

And, with each ama only 85 pounds floatation, righting is a piece of cake, just step on the ama and flip it back over (I"ve never flipped mine, but my neighbor did once).

Bottom line, I really like my Triak.  The stock boat has some issues-but they can be solved.  There are two Triaks in Seattle area, guy there is about to graduate from Lake Washington to the sound...might want to look him up.  Robert Jones--I can't give you his email address without his permission, tho.

Edited by MultiThom
Answer another question

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6 hours ago, MultiThom said:

Once you reef that square top mainsail around the mast (both boats, by the way), you won't be able to point worth a darn since the placement of the camber in the sail's design gets messed up.

Not true.

I haven't sailed in enough wind to have to reef going off the wind but since I seldom sail my boat in less than 20 knots of wind, it's almost always necessary to reel in some sail to go upwind.

I roll up enough that the top batten still sticks out, so it's still a square top. Shape is flatter than the unreefed sail, as it should be. Whether it "points worth a darn" depends on your frame of reference. Not compared to a racing sailboat. Compared to the same Adventure Island in lighter winds with full sail? I'd say the reefed version actually goes higher. Never measured angles with a GPS, just my impression after ten years of ownership.

The "second reef point" is rolling up the sail until the top batten is fully wrapped onto the mast. Going upwind in those conditions requires a LOT of legwork on the Mirage Drive.

When tropical storm sailing, I usually tow my boat to an upwind ramp and sail it to a downwind one mostly to avoid having to go upwind with a deep reef.

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Well, my GPS is probably more accurate than your impressions.

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1 hour ago, MultiThom said:

Well, my GPS is probably more accurate than your impressions.

No doubt and when you've sailed an Adventure Island I'd be interested in seeing a GPS track.

No fair using the Mirage Drive. It changes upwind math a lot, as you've noticed.

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True, using the mirage drive is like motor sailing, you point very well that way.  BUT, I do point higher while sailing in my triak than the AI next to me (he's not the worlds best sailor, though).  So I'm pretty confident that the AI isn't going to point worth a darn when reefed.  Heck, you even say you drive to an upwind launch so you don't have to go to weather in your boat in big wind.  The triak's boards are designed by Morelli and Melvin--they do know how to make the most of foils-and the triak daggerboard is going to be more efficient than the ones on the AI. 

Don't get me wrong, the AI is faster-especially if you put a spinnaker on it.   The original poster, though was asking questions about the two boats.  I think he's sorta nuts thinking either one will be useful getting him from Seattle to Bainbridge IS.  One big drawback to the Triak is the fact you can't move around any--so sitting in one position is fatiguing for the hours and hours it'd take to make the trip - will be grueling at best.  These little boats don't get seen by big boats (ferries for example) and worse, if you are in the way you can't move out of the way very quickly.  Recipe for disaster--head has to be on a swivel.   Better thee than me. 

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16 hours ago, MultiThom said:

So I'm pretty confident that the AI isn't going to point worth a darn when reefed.  Heck, you even say you drive to an upwind launch so you don't have to go to weather in your boat in big wind. 

I do that to avoid going upwind with a "deep reef" as I said. That means top batten fully wrapped. And no, you don't want to try to go upwind in those conditions with that sail shape. But the AI is so underpowered that I don't have to do that until the wind is near 30 knots.  I'm out to have fun and beating into that shit isn't. Tearing downwind with the full sail when it's like that IS!

It's very different with a bit of batten still sticking out up top. Tacking angles seem to me to be better than I get with the whole sail. If they're worse, it's sure not noticeable. I sail upwind like that all the time and only use the Mirage Drive to do it if I'm in a hurry (or have blown a tack.)

 

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The AI is catrigged.  The AI has a square top mainsail,  The AI is a trimaran.  It doesn't point worth a darn.  A boat that points "OK" will tack through 90 degrees.  The AI can't do that without pedaling or a big current behind it.  I'm very happy that you are happy with the performance of the AI.  But it seems ridiculous to me that someone who has never made a sail is arguing with someone who makes sails about camber placement in a sail (you know that camber placement affects the driving forward force that the sail creates, right?).  When the mainsail is unfurled, the camber is placed about 40% behind the mast.  When you roll up the sail around the mast, the first foot or so of the bulge is rolled as well; the result is that the remainder of the sail behind the bulge placement seam is flat and the bulge itself is nearly gone leaving a flat piece of cloth, the camber is therefore "placed" in the middle...do the physics/math, now the driving force is less forward.  In any event, have fun with your boat-it doesn't point worth a darn, but you seem to like it that way; that's OK by me...try sailing alongside a J24 or other keelboat to see what pointing actually looks like.

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On 8/1/2017 at 6:09 AM, Uncooperative Tom said:

Whether it "points worth a darn" depends on your frame of reference. Not compared to a racing sailboat. Compared to the same Adventure Island in lighter winds with full sail? I'd say the reefed version actually goes higher.

I haven't made a sail since I was a kid making them out of coconut tree parts but I think you missed where we have no disagreement.

I'm well aware, and said, that the AI doesn't point worth a darn compared to a racing sailboat, or even a J24 when it's on the surface.

It seems a bit ridiculous to me that someone who has never sailed an AI is arguing with someone who has owned one for ten years about how it actually behaves on the water. But have fun with math and I'll have fun with my boats!

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I just bought a TI and can attest in my very limited experience that it doesn't point worth a damn. Too much leeway owing to crappy foils I think. But it's still a hoot. I'm planning on doing a race on mine next year down 175 miles of the Savannah River from Augusta to Savannah and then up the coast another 60+/- miles to Edisto Island, SC. It seems to be a good fit for that course. 

 

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Well, I see why Uncooperative Tom picked his moniker. S'OK...takes all kinds.  It's great that folks believe in stuff even when there's no evidence.  God and a pointing AI...whodathunkit?

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Tom and Thom seems to me you are saying basically the same thing, why don´t you put numbers instead of words?

My Weta will typically tack through 100deg (course over ground-no current). A typical monohull, 90deg?. What about the triak and the AI? 

Edit: MThom already did, 100deg also, right?

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Yah, and I routinely outpoint the AIs I sail alongside.  They are faster absolute velocity, but VMG is about the same. 

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1 hour ago, sail(plane) said:

Tom and Thom seems to me you are saying basically the same thing, why don´t you put numbers instead of words?

My Weta will typically tack through 100deg (course over ground-no current). A typical monohull, 90deg?. What about the triak and the AI? 

Edit: MThom already did, 100deg also, right?

If I had tracks to post, I would. I'd be surprised if the AI did as well as 100 degrees.

My disagreement with Thom is (to me, anyway) over whether reefing destroys what little pointing ability the AI has. My experience has been that if you reef a bit, it doesn't. If you reef a lot, it does.

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UncooTom...I believe I have determined two things that may make your senses plausible.  If you only reef a tiny bit; then you could bring the draft of the sail forward to 30-35% which will drive the boat forward better than having it placed at 40% (jibs routinely have the draft further forward to about that amount).  So you may in fact be pointing better-especially since you also are probably pinching since it is windier and folks tend to pinch when it is windy.  Also, on half the tacks the wind entry will be smoothed since the main is furled.

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From tracks I've seen from folks I know who sail AIs, a buck twenty is more like it. The one time I sailed my TI seems to bear that out. But it's so shifty and gusty here when we have wind, I don't trust my data all that much either. If you really need to make VMG dead to windward, drop the mast and pedal. 

 

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7 hours ago, MultiThom said:

UncooTom...I believe I have determined two things that may make your senses plausible.  If you only reef a tiny bit; then you could bring the draft of the sail forward to 30-35% which will drive the boat forward better than having it placed at 40% (jibs routinely have the draft further forward to about that amount).  So you may in fact be pointing better-especially since you also are probably pinching since it is windier and folks tend to pinch when it is windy.  Also, on half the tacks the wind entry will be smoothed since the main is furled.

That may explain it. I do have the pinching when it's windy tendency and also the opposite tendency is necessary in the AI when winds are light. It's so underpowered that you can't spare the power that pinching costs and still maintain enough way to keep what passes for the foils "working" when winds are light.

Ours have the original rudders that flop up flat on the deck. Hobie has since realized they're way too small and put larger ones on later boats but I never bought the retrofit kits.

I think it would go upwind better if the daggerboard were longer and if I got the bigger rudders but I agree with Mr. Moon that tacking through 120 is about what they do. There are probably lots of things they could do to make it a better sailboat but not much needs to be done to make a more fun toy.

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BTW, Tom Scott did a great job of capturing just how wet an AI can be. Long video but start around 4 minutes in to see him bury the bow all the way up to the mast.

 

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We sell both boats, and consider them pretty different.

The Hobie AI is just the perfect cruising platform.  Mirage Drive is amazing and you can fish and do all that sort of stuff on it.
Tons of accessories made by Hobie, it's really a great recreational platform.


Triak is more adventurous.  A lot lighter, and foot steering, with built in spinnaker.  Our experience is it points higher than the AI/TI (but not like 10 degrees higher).
Paddles easier, but, doesn't have the mirage drive feature.  Triak includes a shipping crate, so they are easy to move around the country or the world.

Pricing is fairly similar, Triak is a bit more expensive due to lower production quantities and of course being made of fiberglass compared to plastic.

Both great boats, just different mission profiles for our customers.

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The AI is great fun and can handle some pretty good conditions.  But don't expect it to point.

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3 hours ago, jzk said:

 

The AI is great fun and can handle some pretty good conditions.  But don't expect it to point.

And as you can see quite clearly, don't expect to stay dry.  OTOH, here's a Triak in decent breeze...

Still a little wet, but not from boat per se...wetness due to sea state (2.5 ft waves).  Also note the tack angle in the GPS track.

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That youtube screen capture is a great view of what happens when an AI goes through a wave. It's like someone threw a bucket of water at you.

This can be alleviated. Years ago, someone on the Hobie AI forum made "wings" that are a piece of trampoline cloth stretched from the bow to the inner and outer edges of the akas on each side. This became so popular that there was a bit of a waiting list of people for whom he was making them. Then Hobie noticed and started making them, along with aka-to-aka trampolines.

Users report that it not only blocks spray but tends to lift the bow, preventing it from diving as deep into waves, resulting in more speed.

I haven't tried them. I'm amused by diving through waves.

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Some here talk about sailing the AI with the mirage drive in and using it to assist.  I much prefer to sail without the drive in.  The AI sails MUCH better and points MUCH better wtihout the drive.  It is a huge difference.   I put the plug in and keep the drive behind me for when I need it.

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2 hours ago, jzk said:

Some here talk about sailing the AI with the mirage drive in and using it to assist.  I much prefer to sail without the drive in.  The AI sails MUCH better and points MUCH better wtihout the drive.  It is a huge difference.   I put the plug in and keep the drive behind me for when I need it.

The mainsheet is stronger than those bungees. Snag. Splash. Oops.

That little lesson cost me five hundred bucks, but I'm sharing it with you for free.

I have tried comparing my boat with the drive out to my wife's mostly identical boat with the drive in and haven't notice a huge difference. To be honest, I couldn't detect any difference. If anything, she was STILL a bit faster. I think it's mostly because the red ones are faster. It's closer to orange these days after some fading, so I guess it's even faster.

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I've got tethers on all my drives. Those dang things are expensive!

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6 hours ago, MisterMoon said:

I've got tethers on all my drives. Those dang things are expensive!

The only thing worse than paying to replace one is not having one.

There's no paddle at any price that I can use to make the bare Adventure (kayak only) go close to 5 knots, but I did it with the Mirage Drive. Full sprint and I wasn't doing it for long, but I did it. No paddle can do that.

To jzk's comment, I sail with the drive in almost all the time. If I'm in the harbor, there's a lot of wind and it doesn't noticeably slow me down. It does let me "make" a blown tack easily and it doesn't get snatched by the sheet and tossed in the drink.

If I'm in the creek (which is any time the harbor water is below 80), I frequently have to go through spots where the wind is blanketed by trees or dead on the nose. I just power through them.

"Motorsailing" with a Mirage Drive sorta works. There's a wind range where I'd get tacking angles upwind of about 70 degrees, but most of the power to do that is coming from my legs, not the wind. Once the wind is blowing hard enough to make the boat go beyond normal kayak cruising speeds of 2.5-3 knots, you can still boost your power and tighten tacking angles by pedaling but you must pedal pretty hard.

As for pure human power, I'd expect a tug-of-war between an AI and a Triak to go about the way it did when Hobie pitted designer Greg Ketterman against an Olympic gold medalist. Ketterman towed him backward fast.

 

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The AI is all about fun. The drive works great for tacking help and getting places without wind. The paddle is essential for beaching it where I do where it is too weedy for the drive. It is also essential for holding the boat on port tack as an extra rudder when the twist-and-stow rudder gets overpowered and lifts out above 10 knots. :angry: The newer AIs went back to traditional on-center rudders.

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8 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

The only thing worse than paying to replace one is not having one.

There's no paddle at any price that I can use to make the bare Adventure (kayak only) go close to 5 knots, but I did it with the Mirage Drive. Full sprint and I wasn't doing it for long, but I did it. No paddle can do that.

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As for pure human power, I'd expect a tug-of-war between an AI and a Triak to go about the way it did when Hobie pitted designer Greg Ketterman against an Olympic gold medalist. Ketterman towed him backward fast.

 

Absolutely true.  If you want an exercise machine for the water, get a mirage drive kayak.  If you want to sail, though...

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19 hours ago, Grey Dawn said:

The AI is all about fun. The drive works great for tacking help and getting places without wind. The paddle is essential for beaching it where I do where it is too weedy for the drive. It is also essential for holding the boat on port tack as an extra rudder when the twist-and-stow rudder gets overpowered and lifts out above 10 knots. :angry: The newer AIs went back to traditional on-center rudders.

There's a cam cleat on the downhaul to lock it down.

I don't lock mine down. If it pops up and the boat starts to skid, I pull it back down. It mostly stays down OK. But the boats are individuals. My wife's rudder won't stay down without being locked down. Lock it down and her boat eats rudder pins. I've lost count. I think my boat has eaten two pins in ten years.

13 hours ago, MultiThom said:

Absolutely true.  If you want an exercise machine for the water, get a mirage drive kayak.  If you want to sail, though...

I rarely use mine in "exercise machine" mode and play with it mostly when I want to sail, so that doesn't apply to me. Amazing as the Mirage Drive is, the top cruising speed of the boat is still a kayak speed. It sails much faster, so the main source of power for the boat is the sail. If tacking through 120 degrees made it impossible for me to enjoy sailing, I never could have become a Sun Cat Class National Champion. But I'm easily entertained.

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I do lock it down. Otherwise it lifts at lower windspeeds. The rudder linkage still has enough play to lift. If the lockdown were at the rudder, there would probably be enough leverage to hold it down. Gets complicated.

 

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I think there's a bungee in there that you may need to replace. Or just get the new rudders, which by all accounts are way better.

Hobie replaced my hull when it had a Mirage Drive well crack (so I suppose that counts as another rudder pin replacement along the way) but both boats have behaved the same way. The rudder stays down even if not locked most of the time. It comes up if I steer too hard when going fast or if a wave rotates the boat against it. I usually feel it happen immediately and just pull it back down. One day it will happen one time too many and I'll get the new rudders for our boats.

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