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Topic: Hobie island PVC mast topper  (Read 520 times)

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  • Sea Lion
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  • Location: Pepperland
  • Date Registered: Aug 2011
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This year, I've been using a jib on my Hobie AI. One key to this mod is a good mast topper. Hobie has one that's for use with their spinnaker, but it leaves much to be desired. There are several mast topper designs that people have posted online, but most are too heavy, complex, or hideously ugly to be of much use, IMHO. Here's what I've come up with, and it seems to work well.

The 1st picture shows the mast extension, which is just a 16" length of 1.25" PVC pipe, spray painted yellow.

The 2nd picture is a short segment of aluminum I-beam (leftover pocket door rail). Instead, you could use the bracket that comes with a stainless U-bolt, as sold at Home Depot. It slides into the slot at the top of the mast to hold the extension in place.

The 3rd picture shows the mast extension attached to the top of the mast. There are a couple of wraps of tape near the top of the mast to keep it from wobbling. This extension stays on at all times. The mast still fits in the sail bag with the 8" of additional height.

The 4th picture is the mast topper. It's 3/4" PVC pipe, with a 1/2" pipe inserted thru the 3/4" cross fitting, with a bolt to hold it in place. The 3/4" fittings fit perfectly inside 1.25" PVC pipe.

The 5th picture shows the mast topper topping the mast (ba dum tss). You can see that the backstay clears the sail. With Hobie's mast topper, the backstay interferes with the sail, which is a major hassle.

The 6th picture shows both sails deployed. It's kind of dark, so you can't see the mast topper very well, but it's up there.

I use 2 separate ropes, one to hoist the jib, and a separate one for the backstay. You could just use one long rope that runs thru the 1/2" PVC pipe (that's essentially what Hobie does on their spinnaker mast topper). But, I find that a single rope tends to put too much pressure towards the back when you try to pull the sail tight (which is necessary with a jib). Using 2 ropes makes it easier to keep the pressure downward, as opposed to front-to-back. That downward pressure plays to the strength of the AI design.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2020, 06:01:53 PM by NowhereMan »
Veni, piscis vici!


  • Sea Lion
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  • Location: Emerald Hills
  • Date Registered: Mar 2015
  • Posts: 1042
2015 TI (red)

For sale/trade:
Beach wheels and PVC cart - http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=93136.0
Lowrance Elite 5 CHIRP -http://www.norcalkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=95647.0

Previous fleet:
2012 AI (white)
2011 OK Ultra 4.7 (yellow)