Soft decks are not a death sentence for your old boat. It took me a few hours to re-bond the inner skin of the deck to the foam core to repair the soft decks. It took longer to refinish the deck than to make that structural repair. The repair isn't difficult, but it does take some feel to get right. The old Hobie decks have a thick outer laminate, a foam core, and a light weight inner skin. In my case, this inner skin came away from the core and I glued it back together. Here is the short version of how it's done before I give you a full step by step description.
It sounds easy, and it is if you take it step at a time. Read through the directions several times. Do all the preparation work you can before you mix epoxy, and don't forget to chock the trailer wheels if the boat is on a trailer (Free lesson number 1. Yes, I chased the trailer around the garage.) The size of the hole we drill is determined by the size of the syringe tip we use to inject the epoxy.
I used a standard syringe with Luer Lock syringe tip. The screw is a number 8 sheet metal screw (#8 x 1) and the drill is a #17 of .173 inch diameter.
Required repair tools-
drill motor, #17 drill bit, tape, rubber gloves, permanent marker, 20cc syringe, rubber tubing, mixing cups, stirring sticks, paper towels, shop apron, #8x1 sheet metal screws, small instrument screwdriver.
A lot of you have done a lot of catamaran sailing this season with the normal wear and tear on your boats. Sometimes the wear (or tear) is a little beyond the "normal" category. When that happens, don't forget your fellow catamaran sailors who might have the same situation in the future.
As you do your repair, or fix your problem, please take a moment during this stressful time to take pictures and make a few notes about how the problem happened, any warning signs, and how you fixed it.
Nothing fancy is needed, a phone camera, disposable camera, or professional SLR will all result in pictures to tell the story. As soon as you have the pictures, upload them to an album in the Beachcats Technical section of the photo gallery to help the next sailor with the same problem. You can easily come back later and add more detailed information to the pictures.
If you are currently struggling with a problem on your boat, check out the Beachcats Technical and you might find a solution.
I have sailed the Hobie 17 for 16 years and this is great news for the best solo catamaran that I have ever sailed. There is an opportunity for the makers and owners to make some non-performance modifications to make a great boat even better . Lets begin with things on the boat that have failed on me and the possible remedies.
Cross Beam inner gunnel securing bolt bearing plate .
Fault - It's small size and relative fore and aft alignment of the bolt hole and pop rivet securing holes causes the cross beam to crack around its underside at this point. Remedy - Make this plate " U " shaped , wider and longer to separate this hole alignment and give the bolt more support .
Hobie-18 rudder castings come in two flavors: Pre-1987 and 1987 on. They’re easy to tell apart, as the newer systems use a plastic cam to hold and release the upper casting, while the older systems use a metal one. Both are supposed to work the same way, with the rudder kicking up when an obstacle is encountered or when the skipper wishes to beach the boat. However, the pre-1987 Hobie-18 rudders have an annoying habit of not releasing or kicking up when you want them to. I’ve even busted a tiller arm or two yanking up on them to try to get a rudder to release. I always had to keep a tool with a long end that I could insert from behind the release cam in order to trip the mechanism whenever things would stick – not very convenient or even safe under some circumstances.