1. Babystay. Weight 5#. Set 7' in front of the mast, 5'
behind forestay using the same size wire as the other rigging, with
load carried belowdecks by a line to an ear epoxied into the hull at
the forward v-berth bulkhead. Top of stay is set on the mast 4' above
the spreaders, with an external halyard. Stops pumping of the mast in
hard going and allows setting a staysail. It also allows jib changes
without delay for hanking on, increases power in heavy air with a
little jib overlapping the main, and improves jib-only balance in gale
conditions by bringing the storm jib 5' aft.
Babystay and bagged storm jib on deck. Sprit and bobstay are also
Babystay & halyard, set just
above the spreaders.
The babystay anchor
"ear", g-10 epoxied into the bottom, butting the v-berth area forward
bulkhead, with a drilled hole for spectra cord tiedown. Design load
of the order of 2000#.
2. Bowsprit. A sprit was installed. using two 6' pieces of 1 _
inch angle aluminum bolted to the toerail on either side of the bow
to set sails 4' in front of the forestay. Sailing load capacity was
increased by doubling the spinnaker halyard through a block at the
sail head shackle, and stiffening the sprit by use of a bobstay. The
increased luff tension, and reduced 55% midgirth greatly improved
upwind performance with a double+ size 450 S F headsail. With a 650
S.F. asymmetrical reaching spinnaker heavy air planning was easy. The
hull attach for the bobstay is a trailer-hitch U-bolt bedded in Bondo
inside the bow to stop leaks.
Bowsprit and bobstay. Note crossmember forward of the pulpit tied
Backside of the bobstay U-bolt in its Bondo bedding.
3. Sailomat 601 wind vane. Weight 50#. Wind powered
self steering in heavy air eliminates both current drain and wet
autopilot woes. Under development are adaptively shifting relative
wind tracking angle with wind speed for surfing, downwind VMG
improvement. Stock plastic air paddles were replaced with _ inch
plywood; drag was reduced by replacing the thick aluminum airfoil
oar with 1/4" G-10 fiberglass blade.
Self steering vane showing original aluminum oar.
G-10 oar at speed, showing no cavitation, drag
4. inboard style 13 gallon gas tank, 5 HP O/B 90# when full, 5HP
motor 50# (vs stock 10HP. 90# 6 gal 40#) The extra 10 pounds
extends range from 120 miles to 320 miles in calm water till
tanks-dry. Filler neck is short enough to stay below the
The 13 gallon gas tank, showing 3-axis strapping, filer neck (red),
5. Battery under the companionway. Moving one battery,
weight 60#, about 20 feet aft and adding a second one, combined with the added 140 # of vane
gear and fuel moves the boat center of gravity about a foot aft, making it a world-class surfer when sailed
Two batteries, red selector switch and distribution panel in sealable compartment.
6. Charging systems. Offshore electrical woes are the rule, so
three independent charging systems were installed, total weight 35 #:
A 1 HP, 4 stroke weed wacker coupled to a 20 amp permanent magnet
alternator; housed in a compartment built between the cockpit seats,
abutting the companionway hatch; Four amps from four flexible solar
panels; and a 10 amp propeller driven PM motor. The compartment
blocks the low companionway hatch from flooding and reduces cockpit
The weedwacker/alternator. This second generation 10 lb lighter version is still under
7. Acrylic companionway door. Acrylic allows visual check of
vane gear from inside, quicker in/out access.
8. Rudder overhaul. The notorious Hobie rudder "system" was
re-rivetted, a smooth shoulder machined on the top casting and a
plastic thrust washers added to reduce turning friction for better
light air windvane performance and reduced autopilot current draw.
9. HF radio. A 100 watt Icom 706 mobile HF feeding a
backstay-mast-bilge wire loop through an antenna tuner gave excellent
results from 1.5 to 30 MHz . The radio was altered to cover HF marine
and HF aeronautical as well as ham bands. Twice daily ham phone
patches to home, weather information and even spinnaker trimming
advice was obtained on the Bermuda trip.
10. Stowage/Seat rest. The seating in the Hobie lacks a
comfortable backrest against the cabin sides, which was supplied by
adding a one foot square by five foot long open front cabinet under
the windows running along the settees. Also added were four squares of
hull-side hanging pockets. Both additions gave dryer, more
These under window lockers made a huge improvement in back comfort.
Note the oversize windows, extra glassing between them, and stainless
The smallest of four hanging stowage lockers made from netting hung
on the hull.
11. LED cabin & running lights. Electric consumption is
another well known offshore problem area. Six cabin lights, a 2 mile
masthead anti-collision light, and running lights total just over 1
Amp. The previous lighting drew 5 times as much.
12. Window beefup. Weight 20 #. The sidewalls of the cabin
between the windows, a well-known structural weak spot, were beefed
up. Total window area was doubled to eliminate a tendency for
seasickness when below. The plastic frames were replaced with
stainless steel, and the stock lexan lenses replaced by clearer
Heavy construction was necessary to double window size and strength.
13. VHF radio. A masthead antenna was installed, with long
lasting RG 142 teflon coax run inside the mast.. The range
improvement was a help keeping in touch with the race fleet offshore,
and reached the Bermuda 2 meter amateur radio repeater 70 miles out.
14. Real Head. Weight 20 # A one piece head with 5 gallon
holding tank was installed with inlet and outlet thruhulls. Offshore
sailing with a porta-potti stinks.
The all-plastic head saved weight.
The thru-hulls & real indoor plumbing add complexity but make
offshore life easy.
15. Chart table & support. Another storm wave weak spot was
eliminated with a 1 1/2 inch stainless pole set to support the broad aft
part of the cabin roof. With the mast support pole a few feet
forward, a navigation table and one burner stove were easily
Aft cabin support, chart table. The Icom HF below was mounted to
the underside of the table to keep it dry. Existing black mast
support visible in front of surfboard.
16. Tiedown/stiffener rails. Two parallel 6 foot 2x4 mahogany
tie down rails were epoxied to the hull side by side, 3 feet apart
between the companionway and the motor well to limit flexing of the
flat aft bottom during surfing/pounding and provide tie downs for
water bags, chain, anchors, and other heavy gear.
One of two mahogany 2 x 4 stiffeners laid against the hull. Note
woven roving patches.