|Steve's Sailing Mods & Repairs Page|
The stock mast supports reside at the fore and aft ends of the boat, but with a 30-ft mast this can lead to some sag and bounce in the middle when trailering.
To prevent this, the original owner built an additional mast support out of 2x4s, which attached at the mast step. Because I like to carry the mast lower for vertical clearance, I needed to make a new, shorter center support. While I was at, I updated the design by incorporating a rubber boat bumper at the top.
The boat came with one 12V outlet near the CD player that's useful for powering an MP3 player or the thermoelectric cooler. But I wanted a few extra outlets for the VHF radio and GPS.
I used a convenient access panel located near the companionway to mount the sockets without having to drill big holes in the liner. I moved the dome light outboard to make room, then tapped into an existing DC circuit for the depth finder.
Whereas stiff breezes and choppy seas often go together, we found it tough to maintain balance on the wings when we most needed to be out there! You want to anchor your feet, but youcan't reach the stock hiking straps from the wings (unless you're a basketball player). Thus I added another set of hiking straps running the length of each hull from the aft to the forward crossbars (with gaps in the center for the coolers, of course).
|I cut the straps from
some tie-downs made of 2" nylon webbing. I melted
the ends, then folded them over and sewed them using
strong button thread (you could also probably make do
with upholstery thread) and my wife's Pfaff
machine. then I installed 3/8" grommets at each end
and in the center of the long straps. I secured the ends
by screwing into the crossbars or through 1/8"
aluminum backing plates (accessed by reaching around
through the hull inspection ports in the coolers). I
secured the centers using metal wall anchors.
They work great--bring on the wind!
|Dual Hiking Sticks
We found it awkward to have to pass the tiller extension around behind the mainsheet block on every tack/gybe. I thus borrowed an idea from an Aussie skiff-racing video and installed dual hiking sticks. I made the sticks from aluminum paint roller extensions I bought for about $12 each at Lowe's. They lock with a 1/4 twist in either direction and seem quite sturdy enough for the job. I wrapped the ends with athletic friction tape for a secure grip. I installed small stainless steel broom hanger clips at either end of the tiller bar and on each hull behind the aft crossbar. The clips on the bar hold the leeward extension when not in use. The clips on the hulls are sort of a "poor man's autopilot." They're mainly used to hold the rudders straight when paddling, but can serve as a nice "third hand" when you have to retrieve a lost sheet.
|The hiking sticks are attached to the tiller bar on either side of the hole for the original tiller extension. The detail below shows the swivels I made by bending 1/8" aluminum bar stock in a vise. Other hardware I used includes stainless steel sheet metal screws, machine screws, washers and lock nuts, and nylon washers and bushings.|
|This system worked very
nicely, with one minor exception: When the boat heeled
over, the leeward stick drug in the water, popped out of
the clip, and ended up trailing behind in the wake.
I've now shortened the hiking sticks so they don't protrude past the tiller bar when retracted. When fully extended, they're still longer than the stock tiller extension, so there's no compromise.
(You saw it here first, folks!)
There's hardly a more classic, picturesque sight than a sailboat flying a colorful 'chute on a sunny day----even non-sailors recognize this image...Well, I wanted to play, too!
The problem was that Hobie didn't offer a spinnaker kit for the Getaway and didn't plan to.
eventually I talked them into selling me a Hobie 16 spin
hardware kit, which I modified, and a custom-cut
spinnaker for the Getaway.
|The sail colors are Neon
Orange, Neon Yellow, and Neon Green. I had
wanted to match (or at least complement) the
"Islands" palette of the stock sails, but there
seems to be no spinnaker cloth available in those exact
The first sail I received, a standard H16 spin, wasn't quite what I had in mind. Its more subdued shades---Pumpkin Orange, Goldenrod, and Forest Green---didn't really integrate with the Islands palette. Also, the sail was too large, as the H16's mast is taller and raked further aft than the Getaway's.
Hobie was good enough to take the sail back and try again---thanks to Matt Miller for his support, understanding, and patience! He e-mailed me a palette, from which I chose these more suitable colors. Though they're a bit more "electric" than the stock colors, this is definitely the side on which to err. The new sail was custom-cut to fit the measurements I took with the hardware installed, yielding the results depicted here...
Now that's more like it!
|Here's the spin in action
Carl Blackwell near Stillwater, OK.
For the record,
this was the first-ever
Sunday, 25 Apr 04, ~1400 CDT
words of Hobie 16 sailor from
|Here's the spinnaker in
action again on
Canton Lake, near Canton, OK.
Saturday, 1 May 04
It was a much windier day---actually went swimming a couple of times---but later, when the wind calmed down some (<15 mph), we got the spin out and it handled well. It seems to lift the bows a bit, which is nice. does this make it less likely to pitchpole? Can't say for sure yet... guess I'll need more tests!
(Note I was using my Hobie Wave mainsail that day to reduce sail area---see below.)
|The good news is, the
stock H16 spin pole bolts right on with almost no
modifications; You just have to bend the gudgeon to the
contour of the forward crossbar. the pole and stays are
already the right length to allow the stays to be
shackled to the forestay bridle eye straps on the bow
(Note: the extra lines you see were part of a "virtual sail" I used to get the correct measurements for spin #2)
|The swivel cleat for the spinnaker halyard is also an almost perfect fit. The contour of the base plate isn't an exact match to the Getaway's forward crossbar, but it's close enough.|
|I positioned the spin tang 22" (ctr-ctr) above the shroud tang. This was another a piece I had to bend to fit.|
|I put the spinnaker sheet
blocks on the outer edges of the wings, 3" from the
rear and at a 45-deg angle from vertical, which allows
both seating and sheeting.
I mounted the spinnaker bag (not part of the kit, unfortunately) on the main trampoline using nylon straps to secure it to the tramp laces and inboard hiking straps.
|Now that I've helped iron
out the bugs and write the documentation, Hobie may
start offering this as a pre-packaged kit to other
That would be cool! The Getaway is, after all, the "Wave" of the future...
(and they do offer a spin kit for the Wave)
These are H16 swivel cleats and 18" tracks, installed on the forward crossbar on either side of the mast. Now I can control the slot better for different points of sail, and can definitely catch more air with the jib when broad reaching/running in lighter winds.
|Jib Clew Plate
I Had Roger Kerr (a sailmaker in Tulsa) install this clew plate on the jib for me. In conjunction with the travelers, I now have much more control of the jib's shape. Plus it's a cool gizmo, and I like those...
|< photo n/a yet >||Main & Jib Telltales
Here's another set of mods I had Roger Kerr do for me. For some reason the stock Getaway main and jib lacked something common to all other Hobie sails I've seen (including the Wave's): telltale windows. Roger installed them and, while he was at it, also added telltales along the leech. This should really help (if all that flapping doesn't make me seasick); it was hard to tell what was going on before with only one set of 'tales per sail.
This is actually a zippered main for the Hobie Wave. Since it's smaller than the Getaway's main, using the entire sail is my "first reef." Then, if the wind picks up even more, I can remove the bottom panel to take a "second reef." (Believe me, it gets windy enough in Oklahoma to need this sometimes.)
Using this sail doesn't really cause any problems with sheeting angle because the foot length is about the same as the Getaway main's. The Getaway main has a curved foot and a large roach, but the tack-clew distance is only a few inches longer than the Wave's.
|Of course, it's necessary
to use a pennant to extend the halyard when using these
shorter sails. By making the pennant the right length,
it's still possible to use the locking feature of the
halyard to reduce mast compression.
Here's a detail of the clever system used to maintain luff and leech tension across the junction. Nylon straps are secured to the lower section and pass through grommets in the upper section. These grommets become the tack & clew cringles when the lower section is removed.
The only problem I've encountered using this sail is if I sheet in REALLY hard, the luff rope can pop out of the track up by the head. This is because the shorter sail doesn't extend all the way up the mast past the nylon portion of the luff track on the comptip.
But this isn't a huge problem, and other than that the sail works great!
|Cooler Lid Seals
When you fly a hull on the Getaway, water can pour into the downwind cooler. The lids just don't seal tightly enough to prevent this. Hobie issued instructions for modifying/adjusting the lids to improve their seal, but short of a true dogged-down hatch, you won't stop water from getting in.
Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to try, which is why I installed this weather stripping I got at Lowe's. It seems to help some.
For the 2004 Getaway, Hobie added a drain hole in each cooler to get rid of water from either melted ice or the inevitable leakage of the cooler lids. Hobie doesn't offer a kit for older Getaways yet, but they did tell me which parts to order from McMaster-Carr on line. The only Hobie catalog part is the stopper retainer, which is the same lanyard used to hold the wing pins.
|The drain hole connects
to a tube that passes through the hull. Water will drain
when the hull is level and not too heavily loaded (or
when it's upwind and flying). The small rubber stopper is
inserted to keep water from backing up the tube when the
hull is low in the water.
The exit hole is on the the inside of each hull, located six inches below the trampoline track.
These are pictures of the installation I did on my 2003 Getaway. Seems to work, though doesn't drain very fast when in the water.
|Blue Max Modifications|
When I first put the Blue Max together, the daggerboard wouldn't move smoothly through the trunk; it was a very tight fit. I used a rasp to loosen the fit around the thickest part of the daggerboard so it could slide freely. Then, borrowing an idea from many other dinghies, I used a piece of shock cord to provide tension and keep the daggerboard in position.
It works great, and has the added benefit of tension adjustability.
|oars & locks
Rather than the pricey stock wooden oars with collars and oversized locks, I opted for lightweight aluminum oars with clamp-on locks. I stuck 1/4" rubber pads on the locks to fit to the oars and hold them securely.
|< photo n/a yet >|
This didn't come standard on my hull (though it apparently does on newer ones), but Walker Bay was nice enough to send me one, which I installed myself.
|Getaway Trailer Modifications|
This is an obvious necessity. Wal-Mart usually carries both the wheel and the mounting bracket.
Note the Orion graphic on the inside of the bow.
|Here's a closer look at the mast stepping pulley. I used stacks of washers to maintain spacing between the shackles, but a bushing or spacer would be even better.|
This is a must-have! It sure beats using ragged old pieces of carpet that tend to slip out of place. To construct this I cut a rubber boat bumper in half (a band saw would probably be best, but I used a razor blade... laborious). Then I bolted the two halves to a rubber boat roller as shown and drilled several small holes in convenient locations. The holes are used to secure the cradle to the aft crossbar using two short rubber straps with hook ends. Again, a cheap and effective system using off-the-shelf parts.
|This shows how two more short rubber straps are used to secure the mast to the aft crossbar for trailering. No modifications to the crossbar are required.|
Here's another must-have that you can build for less than half what a retail version costs. I made this tube from a 10' x 12" PVC pipe and end caps (available at your local HVAC supply store for about $100). The caps are both hinged and secured by double-hinged hasps. The tube is both attached to the trailer and stabilized by heavy-duty zip ties (also an HVAC item). (Metal hose clamps would also work, but I couldn't find the right size.) Multiple holes are drilled in the bottom of the tube for drainage and to keep the trailer from floating when launching the boat.
|The hasp/hinges are attached using aluminum pop rivets and washers. The rivets are inserted from the inside out to keep the inside of the tube as smooth as possible. This facilitates sliding things in there----sail bags, rudders, tiller bar, paddles----without damaging anything.|
|The end caps are secured by linch pins and may also be locked using small padlocks. I installed small handles to aid in popping the caps off; they tend to stick a bit due to tube deformation caused by the stabilizing straps----to minimize this, be sure the caps are installed before tightening the zip ties!|
|One good tube
When I got the spinnaker and second main, suddenly I needed more room in my sail tube----more than I had. So I built another tube, which went much quicker than the first, since I already knew how to do it... it only took one day.
I use one tube for sails and one for hardware (for both the Getaway and Blue Max).
Note that I reversed the hinges & hasps so the caps now flip up when open. This keeps them from dragging along the ground when launching the boat (i open them so the trailer doesn't float).
|Beach Dolly Carrier
Our beach dolly is a Euro-Trax (from Playaboule.com) with the V-shaped cradle option. These fit the Getaway's hulls very nicely. I found that drilling small holes in the aluminum axle for the cradles' set screws----once you're sure of the correct placement!----helps improve cradle security. I used teflon tape on the set screw to help keep water out of the axle.
|To carry the dolly on the
trailer I installed a forward crossbar made from 4"
PVC electrical conduit (Lowe's). I notched the tube to
fit in the correct location and secured it with
heavy-duty zip ties.
I also cut a short length of PVC tube and took a lengthwise slice out of it so it would fit over the trailer's aft crossbar. This helps prevent damage to the dolly's hull cradles during transit.
|We secure the dolly to the trailer using a single bungee at each end. The orange edging is plastic tubing I sliced lengthwise to protect the cradles and keep their sharp edges from chafing the bungees.|
|"Honey, I Broke the Boat" Department|
was a very windy day at Canton Lake.
It was howling at about 20-25 knots.
See the waves? See the whitecaps?
|See the bent trees?|
the bent mast?
Looks like an aluminum banana
the bent tang?
Is it supposed to do that?
The good news is we had Orion 2 back on the water a week later,
thanks to Bill the Engineer and his clever solution:
You may have
heard rumors about something like this...
|It took a while, but we
finally found a way to repay Bill for being our honorary
squadron commander, the host of many excellent parties,
and an all-around great guy... not to mention a top-notch
emergency mast repairman!
(And he STILL can't wipe that grin off his face)
Lambo, Bill, and StevieRay
"Looker 41 Flight"
T-37 Tweet Orientation Ride
Vance AFB, OK
7 May 04