I have heard that on the old ones, you pretty much had to paddle through tacks. I would believe this, as jib-less catamarans can be a pain to make it though a tack. With the Hobe paddle drive, it wouldn't be any big deal, except as a sailor you would always feel like a utter failure. Is it better with the larger sail area?
Here is a boat that was specifically designed for inconvenienced or senior sailors. The boat is the Twitchel 12 and is a godsend to inconvenienced persons who want to race or just cruise a little sailboat up and down the bay. Chad Twitchel, a world class sailor still at age 82 came up with this amazingly maneuverable but stable design. Chad and Ron Holder are the co-designers and the well known Shock boat company of Newport Beach CA builds this spiffy little boat. The helm is basically a joy stick and the helmsman faces forward on a bench seat. The jib is self tacking and the little dinghy is quick in stays and a pleasure to sail.
There were a few times when it took on some lee helm - but I am thinking that's a matter of me needing to learn how to play the daggarboard on various tacks.
It seems to me like the sailing capability of this thing is about on a par with a Sunfish - although my experience comparing the two has only been in light-to-moderate air...... But it has the advantage over a Sunfish in tolerating submerged obstacles like crab traps and sand bars - maybe somewhat diminished by the prospect of hitting a Mirage Drive flipper.... but without the Mirage Drive it seems pretty much bulletproof in that respect...... With the Mirage Drive, I think the boat wouldn't be going that fast anyhow and my experience so far has been that while pedaling the flippers are not fully-extended for more than a moment at a time and when one stops pedaling they are folded up against the hull...so it's about as obstacle-tolerant as is possible- with the possible exception of breakaway flippers.
In wind under a certain speed I usually pedal through tacks because I'm pedaling most of the time anyhow - although those times when I do not pedal, it comes around with no problem (that's under a certain wind speed).
One of the attractions of the AI for me the opportunity to pedal and not just sit on my butt doing nothing for hours at a time.
When the wind is above a certain speed the Mirage Drive is, IMHO, best stored in the fore hatch..... With that kind of wind sometimes I make it around, other times I either back through the tack or use the single-bladed paddle I always have within easy reach.
I would opine that "sailing" an AI is not really sailing in the strictest sense of the word.
It's more a thing of it's own - call it "Pedal-Sailing"..... and forget about paddling, it's been optimized for sailing at the expense of paddle-ability.
Also, this is clearly not a "Motion Sport" vehicle like a windsurfer, Hobie 14, Hobie 16, or Weta..... recognize that, embrace it, and you'll be ahead of the game....I have had my share of pleasurable hours just noodling along in kayaks that aren't good for more than 5 mph....it's a matter of setting expectations - and I am working on that... -)
Finally, this thing is *heavy*.... I weighed each part on a balance scale and they summed up to 190# - which means an easy 200# plus sailing weight with a water bottle, throw cushion, paddles, and so-forth...... Plenty of people seem to be cartopping them and that was my initial fantasy - but after getting it up on the roof racks 3 times I decided that, for me, it was a bad idea and bought a trailer..... Also, with salt-water use, there seems to be an issue of rusting out the vehicle's roof as salt water inevitably drips from the hull.
I am still working out the best way to beach it in a strong onshore wind as per: https://www.hobiecat.com/forums/view...p?f=70&t=56210..... It's so heavy that I have trouble dragging it backwards up the beach far enough so it doesn't want to spin around in the wind and wind up broadside to the ebb-and-flow of the waves..... If it turns out that polyethelene can stand up to being sailed balls-to-the-wall at the beach and the momentum is enough to get it far enough up on the sand, I'm home free.... otherwise I'm still trying to resolve that issue.
On my personal "FeelGood" scale, windsurfing was 9-10, paddling my surf ski was 7-8, and I initally rated pedal-sailing the AI at 1-2.
After getting it out in decent (20-25 mph) wind, however, I upgraded it to 3-4. Ref: https://www.hobiecat.com/forums/view...p?f=70&t=56200
Bottom line: at this point the AI seems to be a "Keeper"....
Last edited by PeteCress; 09-27-2016 at 01:26 PM.
Pete, thanks for the update and the links to the other forum. Really appreciated. The problems with using the boat in a surf off a beach had me a little surprised, as it contradicted the salesperson I had talked to.
Old age boats should be simple...fast setup, low maintenance , easy to use.
Since old guys have vast experience on the water the design should be elegant , deliberate, purposeful....no fluff.
My issue is not with "Surf".... just with getting it far enough up on bayside sand so it doesn't want to flip around sideways to the wind.
One more item on my list is storage.
It seems to me like the only long-term storage that Hobie approves of is inverted, resting on the gunwales..... even their proprietary cradles come with a caveat.
That being said, a lot of users seem to be carrying/storing their AIs and TIs right-side up and it is really calling out to me..... less than 5 minutes from trailer to sailing instead of the 20-25 that I am experiencing now.
"Bunks" seem to be the usual DIY solution.
Last edited by PeteCress; 10-14-2015 at 04:30 PM.
Coming here to this forum was about wooden boats, I thought, and the way older people were managing made this thread interesting. But surprise!.... this promotion of plastic toys seems out of character……perhaps you were hoping to be shown a wooden craft with pedal/sail propulsion, hey Pete.
At least a wooden paddleboard keeps true to a living material, and since it has not yet been mentioned…….if anyone is able to maintain mobility, there is probably no better way to keep in shape as well as be out on the water, than on a paddleboard.
Using all the muscles involved (nearly every one in the body) goes with the ‘use em or lose em’ philosophy.
If putting a sail on the board is not enough, then having another craft for real sailing is unavoidable…….preferably one that can carry the paddleboard.
I’m opting for a 30 footer that I can still manage loading and launching on my own in my early 60’s and having buggered rotator cuffs……oh yea, the SUP doesn’t negatively effect bad shoulder joints when paddling like a kayak does.
Definitely can’t say that DNA has favored me in any way, but doing things like surfing certainly have helped me more than sedentary activities…..even though these other activities have at least payed more than the excessive hours work with toxic solvents and silica.
This thread has some legs. I suggested about 5 months ago, along with others, the small tri, but I'm starting to think differently.
I was at the Annapolis sailboat show last weekend, and sitting on the tarmac not too far from each other was a Weta and a Scamp (The Gig Harbor glass version.) If I'd had to pick one without looking at them up close, I would have gone with the Weta immediately. But up close and personal, I found the Scamp far more appealing. (And this from one who is on his third multihull.)
Weta - fast, but the skipper is always in an open, exposed location. Plus, there's no where to stash all your stuff. I can't really see spending even one night on one. (Not that it couldn't be done.) Really, another type of beach cat. Great for one-design racing and summer jaunts, but not much beyond that.
Scamp - slow, but the skipper is in a deep, wide cockpit with lots of place to stash all the stuff he could possibly want. Plus a cockpit tent would turn it into a cozy cabin for a night or two. Here's a boat that's good until the water freezes over. Also, it can be rowed short distances if you really don't want an outboard. (I think I'd make do with a little electric.)
I must be getting older too?
I was interested in Andy Linn's report from the Stockton Lake Messabout, with photos of Bob's Seaclipper 10 "Tri Again" designed for the handicapped sailor. Don't think I'd like being stuck in a single sitting position, but it looks easy to manage from the cockpit.
"The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.
An older persons boat has almost as many possibilities as any other boat.
1- budget....how much money is available
2- health and fitness....including agility
3- geography.....where are you sailing ....what are the normal conditions, Relatively smooth/sheltered or relatively bigger water/exposed, normally modest winds or more brisk winds
I had a friend for years in the same marina that continued to spend his summers living aboard, up to his late 80's. In the last few years it took him perhaps 25 minutes to get to the boat because he moved very slowly and stopped frequently. On board he had his much younger wife and a skipper and one crew to handle to boat...a 50 odd foot plastic monstrosity. But the again John had lots of money.
I also remember seeing Bill Garden in his later years sailing his "Tom Cat" with a pretty young woman to take care of him, and do most of the work.
The Cat boat shown in post 30 is great as a stable platform, comfortable and easy to move around in. If the older person is a little delicate, then hoisting the sail may be a bit of a job.
The little trimaran and catamarans may be very good for sailing but a little difficult to get into, requiring agility.
Kayaks and canoes often suffer in this regard. Kayaks with small cockpits are particularly hard to get into in less than ideal conditions, though Double Paddle Canoes being more open are less difficult to board, but are a little less seaworthy. I note L Frances Herreshoff continued to paddle till near the end of his life.
I think Scamp would be very good, Steady enough that a person with reduced abilities could still operate everything by themselves.
I was always interested in the Seaclipper.
My conclusion was it would be a "nice" boat, but I might as well have a 16 set up the same way.
Sounds like you need a 22 foot Chris Craft Utility....But really, those are all cool boats. I would eliminate car topping or reduce the "Wants" weight, too much chance for something to go wrong with a body part/car/boat interface as we age. But if you keep it, then something that breaks down into smaller chunks would be better.
You didn't factor in set or take down time, maybe not an issue? Or parts availability, I'd say it was a must to make sure parts were available.
As for aging, we use it or lose it. Sounds like you are on the right track. Our buddy Murray is in his mid 70s and his boat stash includes a trailered MacGregor 26, a trailered Venture 21, a 16 foot Sears double ender canoe with lug sail rig, a Sunfish, a Viper, 2 kayaks and an O'Day Widgeon. He uses the Widgeon and the kayaks the most, recently sailing in the Florida 120 and Mississippi 110.
Murray's similar-age neighbor Fred has row/sailed over 1200 miles in his Madisonville award winning Penobscot 14.
Check out Webb Chiles, in his 70s and currently out on his 7th circumnavigation, one of which he did mostly in a 19 foot Drascombe Lugger. Lots of good ideas on adapting with one good eye, 1 1/2 arms, etc: http://self-portraitinthepresentseajournal.blogspot.com/
Last edited by signalcharlie; 10-17-2015 at 07:37 AM.
Compared to the Weta:
- It's slow as death - but the Mirage Drive offers purposeful leg movement and I like that better than sitting on my butt for hours at a time.....
No wind, Mirage Drive only: 4.5-4.8 mph. 5.5 in a sprint.
Light air (8-10) with sail and Mirage Drive: 5-6+ mph.
Heavy air, no Mirage Drive, plenty of 8 some high nines-to-occasional-low tens...
The .GPX rendering app I use reported 13+ max speed yesterday.
- I know for a fact that I can do a deep-water remount..... Couldn't figure out how to do that in the short time I had access to a Weta.... Doesn't mean it can't be done by Yours Truly - only that I had not worked out how to do it.
- It deals gracefully with underwater obstacles and the Weta does not.
- On the Weta, there's no place to hide if serious wind comes up. OTOH, real Weta sailors seem to thrive on heavy air.... but I'm not a real sailor... just an old guy whose bod is failing.... so I like the AI's roller reefing capability..... Had it out yesterday when it was gusting over 30 and there was no problem..... A few inches of reef tames it right down..... I'm not saying it's particularly fun above 25.... but it's not what I would call survival sailing..... perfectly manageable..... Only loose end is dealing with falling out of the boat at speed..... I am pretty sure Weta would round up or pitch-pole but I am also pretty sure that the AI will become what surfski paddlers call "A Blow Away".... Had a little bit of a chance to test that on Thursday in 25 MPH gusts: I was walking it in to the beach backwards and managed to stumble and fall..... grabbed an ama, but at that moment, the roller furling line managed to un-cleat itself and I wound up with full sail close-hauled in a cross-onshore wind..... lost contact with the boat and I'm not sure I would have wanted to be tethered to it either..... finally chased it down in some tall grass about a tenth of a mile down the beach.
- On a Weta you can stand up and (more-or-less) walk around... well, at least stand up... that is not going to happen on the AI.
My Fun Factor ratings are: (on a scale of 1-10)
Surf Ski Paddling: 8-9
First few times out I was giving this thing a 1-2, but now I have upgraded it to 3-4.... and it may yet improve..... I think it is partially a matter of managing one's expectations and partially learning to appreciate something new and different for what it is and not for what one wishes it were.
My biggest gripes with the AI are weight and hull speed:
- This thing is *heavy*..... Main hull 106#, sailing weight 250#... I strongly suspect that I would like it a lot more if they had chosen the Revolution's hull as their new main hull instead of redesigning it into the monster they did......
- If anybody has plans for cartopping a 2015 AI, don't count on it. You may be able to - plenty of people seem to be doing it, and I got it up there 3 times, 3 different ways but it was scary every time.... Have a trailer in your backup plan.
- Compared to the Revo, the hull speed is at least 1 or 1.5 mph slower - maybe more. ....It really cannot be paddled realistically and under the Mirage Drive it's a lot slower..... A guy at the local lake pedals his Revo and if I have to catch him from a mile or so away on my surfski I'm about ready for the ER by the time I catch up...He seems to be cruising at 6.3-6.5 mph and I have followed him in sprints at 7.5....... OTOH, I can do several miles back-to-back at 6.1-6.3 on the ski - but the the AI with Mirage Drive and no amas is only good for low-to-mid fives.... less, as mentioned above, with amas....
Finally, I'm jonesing for the first aftermarket sails to appear. Stock sail is 6 meters and it really needs another square meter or meter-and-a-half of sail - especially in the context of roller reefing..... Based on windsurfing experience, I am pretty sure that at least another meter can be fit on the existing mast.... it's just a matter of somebody who knows what they are doing making the investment.
Last edited by PeteCress; 09-27-2016 at 01:19 PM.
I really appreciate you continuing with the in depth reporting.
I've always wondered about the Adventure Island, but the two thing you report were assumed negatives.
Weight, speed or lack there of.
Thanks and keep it up.
Here's a screen snap of my current "Pros and Cons" list: https://picasaweb.google.com/1081497...83156685886754
FWIW, I have recently discovered SmallTrimarans.com.... And I suspect that most of my functional mismatches could be resolved by a replacing the vaka with something lighter/faster.
Pete -- I'm still watching. And yes, the lighter and skinnier the hulls, the faster you'll go. I think the bigger tradeoff is deciding how dry you need to be, or how wet you're willing to get. If you optimize a small trimaran for performance, you tend to get a wet ride in any kind of a sea, or even cutting across a boat wake.
I bet people are still watching the thread.
If you're reading in small trimarans has really gotten you thinking about a slimmer Vaka, you might look back at the Trika 540. There are people installing the Mirage drive in other boats, the main hull is 27". The sail area there is 85 sq ft instead of 65, and I believe a main with a boom will be more controllable reaching and running.
I'm not sure how you are realistically going to get lower freeboard.
You could always go for a 24" wide kayak from CLC as was mentioned before - or narrower. You might want to convert to a more open cockpit - most of the boats are sit-in.
Please keep this going with your ideas. I'm looking at the W-17 trimaran for about the 10th time. It's about what I want except for the flat sided design.
I'd like to see options you are considering.
As a surf ski paddler - and one who tries to dress for immersion at all times - I do not place any importance on a dry ride.... in fact, I prefer being in the interface, so-to-speak........ Especially when the water is colder because a wet ride reduces the temptation to under-dress in order to reduce sweating and increase comfort while not immersed.
Although I do have to grant that the mid-forties (F) water that I was taking in the face on Sunday in 25-30 mph winds *was* starting to get a little old... -)
But that's what spray skirts are for.
Last edited by PeteCress; 01-15-2016 at 07:13 PM.
OTOH, I have watched them being used as the backbone of a rental fleet at a local lake for quite a few years and they seem to be both seriously durable and foolproof.
What has been your take on the Weta ? (besides the cost.....)
Last edited by PeteCress; 01-15-2016 at 07:17 PM.
You might be thinking about the WR-17 built from rotamolded plastic. It also has no centerboard/ daggerboard, just a bizzare bulge on the bottom. I believe it is a consequence of the manufacturing method.
The W-17 is a plywood stitch and glue boat. As designed probably also too heavy, but I believe it would sail better.
With your discussion about making a new Vaka, I was really suggesting the Trika 540.
Now if you are going to say spray immersion is ok and fun, you probably need something more kayak like. I've thought about that a little bit, which is why I was interested in your thoughts.
The Weta looks like a nice boat. I would prefer something longer and cheaper - I know I'm unreasonable - but that is why I am thinking about homebuilding. I have a selection of rigs - a Hobie 16 or a Tornado. So the investment is a bit less with my situation.
Last edited by upchurchmr; 01-16-2016 at 11:54 AM.
At first glance you would not think of the new B&B sailing canoe as an old person's dailing vehicle
However, there are two ways she might be.
One could be using her as a lightweight central main hull. She is certainly light enough and there is a mention of using hobie drive with her.
The other way, would be to use a smaller rig, current rig is 70sq ft, or larger outrigger floats more like the AI. The hull looks very sweet and very quick.
First introduction and spec http://www.sailnaway.blogspot.co.uk/...ion-canoe.html
Latest Build blog http://www.sailnaway.blogspot.co.uk/...ng-nicely.html
Build pictures https://picasaweb.google.com/1074696...IOsp-T16eSKxwE
I am no longer pissing and moaning about what a pig the AI is. .... Instead, I am grateful that I can sail it without having to move around much.
Started out with a Yakima Rack-and-Roll trailer: Seriously cool-looking and highly-engineered... but pretty high off the ground. ... Think lifting 250# to get the AI on to it.
Now the Yak is up for sale and I have the AI on a more sensible Trailex 450 trailer with 8" wheels - which the boat goes on/off of about as close to effortlessly as possible.
Bottom Line: Your advice about choosing a boat under the assumption of further body deterioration was right on the money and I am grateful for it.
That certainly looks like a kayak to me. Perhaps the usage of "canoe" is different than in Texas.